Just Thinking

I studied abroad in Fukuoka, Japan last year, and it was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I met so many wonderful people, and did so many fun things, the entire stay there just felt like a dream. One girl that really hit me as amazing though, is one of my Japanese friends. She spoke English really well (it was her major), but she also spoke Korean pretty fluently. Never studied from a textbook and learned everything she needed to know from Korean dramas. Accent was nearly perfect-if not perfect, and she made communicating with other Koreans seem effortless-as if she had been speaking it all her life. And if I’m not mistaken, she did that within 3 years or less. Right now, I can only hope to reach that level, but one day…one day I’ll get there. I just randomly thought about this and wanted to post haha.

Noooooooo!!!! But yay!!!

Apparently my package was supposed to show up today (I was expecting it much later) and they came earlier than ever. So when they came, I was sleep and there was no one else in the house to answer the door. -_- Usually we don’t get our mail until 6 pm, but they decided to come early in the morning. *-* But I was able to put it up for redelivery, and can get it Friday (tomorrow-Thursday-is a holiday which is why I didn’t expect it to come so quickly). So now I’m waking up at 8 am and not going anywhere; completely ready to get my package. I also had to order a textbook that I need for one of my classes which cost about $50, and I’m expecting that on Friday too. I guess I get a lot of “Christmas gifts” on Friday. Haha, it’ll be a good day.

Also, Friday is a “holiday” called Black Friday. Every year, the Friday after Thanksgiving, almost every store has a lot of sales and discounts to take advantage of, so people prepare to go out and get to the stores as early as possible (usually around midnight on the day). So we may go shopping, but I don’t want to buy anything xD I spent ~$100 on the Korean books then another $50 on that textbook, so I’m not looking forward to anymore spending until I get a job. @_@

Other than missing the package, it’s been a really good day! I posted that I wanted a MacBook Air for Christmas on Facebook (my current computer has had problems ever since I bought it, so I finally got tired of it-it’s only been a year; aren’t computers supposed to last for 3 years?), and my dad bought one for me!!! Yay!!! So I’m typing this from my new laptop. I would be drinking hot chocolate to make it a perfect night, but I’m clumsy, and if I spilled anything on this laptop, I would kill myself. @_@

Now if only my dad could get me an internship or a job or something. The hard thing (at least it seems to me) about trying to work in America, is I either need a car to drive somewhere or some type of experience in the work I want to do. I don’t have money for a car now (even if I did get a job because I had a car, I doubt my starting salary would be enough to help me pay for the car in addition to all the other stuff I have to pay for), and I can’t get experience if all the jobs are looking for people that already have experience! That makes no sense. One day, I really would like to be making enough money where I can provide for my parents as well to pay back what they’ve done for me. I’m so grateful for my family!

Korean Presentation

Today was my Korean presentation and it’s finally over!!! It was terrible (maybe I’m too hard on myself? Nah, it was terrible.), but I got through it! And now all I have left:

  • Quiz in my Traditional Asia Class tomorrow.
  • December 1st, Japanese presentation for my Capstone class (basically a class that’s supposed to incorporate everything (mostly) we’ve learned in the 4 years we’ve been in college).
  • December 2nd, Computer Science turtle homework due. We have to make turtles dance to music in a computer program called JES. x3
  • December 4th, finish Traditional Asia essay on Street Criers: A History of Chinese Beggars. It’s technically due on the 11th, but I want to finish by the 4th, so I don’t have to worry about going to class on the 11th. This way I only have to worry about 1 presentation and one test.
  • December 9th, Japanese presentation: Design a website for an international audience. I don’t think we’re making an actual website, but more of a proposal for one. Hopefully it’s not as much work as it seems. Still waiting for more info on this cause our teacher hasn’t explained it well…or maybe I didn’t understand well. @_@
  • December 10th, Korean final exam! Then I should be finished!!!

I’m actually supposed to have a Computer Science final on Friday, December 12th at 2:50 pm, but if 80% of the class fills out the Course Instructor Opinion Survey, the final is optional! I’m counting on everyone to do this!!! It’s not hard at all. I did mine at 1am and was finished in less than 10 minutes. I am NOT trying to take a final on a Friday in the afternoon =/

My Plan(?)

Ok I’m going to try to come up with a plan for what I want to do when I actually start studying Korean (not quite a schedule, but things I want to accomplish).

Drama:

  • Triangle-I am a huge Kim Jaejoong fan, and I do like watching him grow through acting. Quite a few people said the drama was pretty good (fans and non-fans), so I would like to get into that. It seems like a melodrama and I’m more of a comedy person, so we’ll see how this goes.
  • My Name is Kim Sam Soon-I think this was popular when it came out? Not quite sure now. But I started downloading the audio for the show, so I would like to watch it in addition to listening to it.

Textbook:

  • Yonsei Reading (Book 3)-ordered this from TwoChois about a week ago, so I’m expecting to get that soon. I think there were about 30 lessons, so I should be able to get through one lesson a day for one month, which doesn’t seem to be too much to handle. But then again, I don’t have the book yet, so we’ll see how much work it is when I actually get it.
  • TTMIK Iyagi-not a traditional textbook, but I at least want to read, listen to, and understand at least 5 in the series (they have quite a bit to choose from).
  • KoreanClass101-go through a few lessons on Korean Class. I’ve been subscribed to this since I entered college, but I never really looked at the site. I would look at the “Korean Word of the Day” or the “Sentence of the Day” and that was it. Never really focused on it, but I don’t know why.

Novel/만화:

  • Big Bang Autobiography-a lot of people said this was a good novel to start off with, for Big Bang fans and non-fans, so I caved in and bought it haha. I am a fan of Big Bang, and recently I’ve been listening to their songs a lot more, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this book as well.
  • A Scholar That Walks in the Night-I guess since the very first K-drama I watched was a sageuk and that was kind of like my introduction to Korean culture, I’ve been really attracted to them. This manhwa is a sageuk (manhwa-style…what do you call those? Just a historical manhwa??) and when I saw it, I wanted to buy it right away, but I don’t think TwoChois had it at the time (and I wasn’t sure where else to buy it at the time), and I was pressed for money (I’m still a broke college student). But now, I was finally able to buy it (2 volumes) and I know it’ll have some “funky” sageuk speech, but I don’t mind that. 🙂

I think all of this should keep me busy for the month of December. I would like to get my books before December 1st, but I don’t think that’s going to happen, which is why I’m glad I have TTMIK and Korean Class 101 to work on online. I have one presentation in Korean on Monday November 24th, one in Japanese on December 1st, an essay due before December 11th, and another presentation due on December 9th. Then I have a final on December 10th. If I time my stuff right, I can get everything done without it being too much of a hassle. 화팅!!!

I also just Skyped with one of my closest Japanese friends. We talked a lot more in Japanese, which I am very grateful for, so my Japanese doesn’t all go down the drain while I’m not in Japan and not trying to speak Japanese outside of class (granted there aren’t many Japanese people where I live…). She’s also really good in English, so if I don’t understand something, she’s usually able to explain it to me with a mix of English and Japanese.

School is a Pain

I just can’t seem to get into this Korean self-study thing, but I guess one of the reasons is the timing I chose to start. I’m done with most of my tests for this semester, but now I have loads of projects and essays that I have to complete which takes more time than studying for a test would. :/ If you work and/or study while self-studying Korean, how do you motivate yourself to do it as often as you do?

Over the 3 years I’ve learned Korean, in addition to the textbook I used for class, I was going along with the Talk To Me in Korean lessons as well, so I finished most of the curriculum I think. While I may understand grammar points, my vocabulary level is really low. I don’t even know how many words I actually remember. Sometimes they say you should know XXX words at XX level, but I don’t know how many words I actually know. The textbook we’ve been using in class (from Integrated Korean Beginning up to the Intermediate 2 book) has been good, but that series was all I really used for studying Korean so I guess I’m bored with it now, haha. I ordered the Yonsei Reading Book 3 from TwoChois a while ago, so I’m expecting that in the mail soon (probably after 2 weeks). Judging from other reviews of the book, it seems like it’s a little above my level-just enough to give me a challenge without completely discouraging me from learning Korean. I also ordered 2 만화 and Korean Family Foods (the Japanese version) for when I get tired of doing heavy reading. As I wait for those books, I think I’ll hold off on doing extra work. I should be focused on trying to finish out the semester.

Hmmm…

Just want to say I ate a banana for breakfast, and my grandma’s homemade lasagna for lunch and dinner. Yum! I also had another banana and made lemon tea to go with it. I guess I need more veggies in my life…

Anyway, I planned to take the intermediate level TOPIK Mock Test today, and I looked at the questions, and couldn’t understand most of the important bits so I was just guessing (all wrong answers); I couldn’t even attempt to figure it out. T_T So I stopped with the test, and listened to Korean audio instead. I have the extracted audio from 내 이름은 김삼순 (My Name is Kim Sam Sun), so I listened to the first 10 minutes of the first episode. Despite how popular the show was while it was still airing, I’ve never seen it (but I was able to get the gist of what I listened to, yay!). I will listen to the audio first and write down what I think is happening (this will be in English for now, but eventually I’ll work my way up to Korean). I hope to listen to and comprehend about 10 minutes each day (still getting my feet wet haha). When I finish an episode, I’ll go over the transcript that I found, to make sure I understood. Maybe I’ll watch the episode again with English subtitles to see if there was something important that I missed, I’m not sure yet (yay for not having a concrete study plan!). I also had class today (an hour long) and we have group projects where we teach the class 3 한자성어(basically Korean sayings that stem from Chinese characters) and 3속담 (proverbs), so one of the groups presented theirs today.

I also listened to a Japanese drama CD. One of my favorite anime is called 彩雲国物語(さいうんこくものがたり->Saiunkoku Monogatari). It’s a historical anime, but I like to think I know where to draw the line in terms of what sayings are frequently used now and what will make me sound like I came from the late 13th century. It’s about a girl who likes to study and wants to take part in government, but go figure, women aren’t allowed to participate in government affairs. It took forever to find the drama CDs, but now I have a whole playlist of them! When it was still airing, it seemed impossible to find, but now that it’s over, it’s not terribly hard to find; BUT, since it’s not one of the more popular anime, it’s still troublesome finding some things. My two major weaknesses in Japanese are speaking and Kanji *-* When I get off of my (well-deserved?) break, I’ll shadow the drama CD. I found the light novels as well, so tomorrow I’ll use that as reading practice. 頑張らなきゃ。。

If anyone ever comes to look at my blog (doubt it), here’s the link where I found the transcript and audio for My Name is Kim Sam Sun: http://mykoreancorner.wordpress.com/korean-study-materials/k-drama-scriptstranscripts-audio-files/

Also, here’s a link if you’re interested in the first audio drama for Saiunkoku Monogatari: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFVMlgwakmI&list=PL85473B010A6D8D2F&index=1

The drama is pretty short and easy to take in, so I really like it. ^^

Edit: I just remembered I also have a Japanese “project” due tomorrow. We have to find an English page that’s not translated into Japanese, and translate it. I can’t remember if we have to do about one or two pages. @_@ I’ll take a nap then work on it. This semester is almost over! I need a break to catch up on the dramas I want to watch!!!