Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Weekend

Friday afternoon, I finished teaching and surfed the web a bit before running out of school in my attempt to catch the bus. I was not lucky, however, and missed the last bus to arrive for another 2-3 hours. I hadn't even left the school perimeter yet; from one corner of the school building, I could see the bus driving through the intersection, leaving me behind. Luckily, the kindergarten teacher kindly offered to drive me home.

Though I was cold, tired, and hungry once I got home, I went back out into the cold night to buy dinner, buy a train ticket to Seoul, and get money from the bank. With all that taken care of, I made a last-minute decision to straighten my hair (something that took many hours). It was close to 1 AM before I fell asleep.

I woke up early and caught a 7 AM train to Seoul. I needed to arrive early enough to take the subway down to the Gangnam area. What was happening there? SeoulTube November 2012 was happening! This gathering was particularly special. It would be different from previous gatherings in that Youtube would be helping to host the event. (I've written about SeoulTube before, haven't I? Well, if not, I'll explain in better detail later). Rather than just a simple gathering of Youtubers, fans, and the in-betweens, this event was complete with guest speakers, seminars, and workshops. It started at 10:30 AM and ended at 5:30 PM. Hyunwoo Sun, Simon & Martina, and Manjoong Kim. A lot of the speaking was done in Korea, though there were people of many different nationalities in attendance. Lunch was served, and people were able to mingle and film together. All of the guest speakers were very kind, funny, and helpful in their explanations during the Q&A sessions, as well as during the workshops they each had to lead. Despite not understanding every word that was said, it was interesting and fun being there and seeing everyone in their various stages of video production. What I mean is that some people chose to interview or create videos while they were there (during lunch breaks or chatting time), and during the workshops, many of the guest speakers started creating videos and including all the attendees in the production process. For me, someone who wants to do more of this kind of work, it was a very good feeling being surrounded by like-minded people, and just watching them work.

All of the attendees were split up into three groups: Team Create; Team Curate; and Team Engage. I was a part of  Team Create (go team!), taught by Manjoong Kim. We basically created a video from scratch. We started with an idea (pre-thought by the leaders/teachers) and created a script. After that, some people were chosen to be characters. There were props available and equipment a-plenty. Other people from the group volunteered to do other important tasks like film and edit. We filmed the actors, transferred the files to the computer, and began editing. Filming the actors was quite entertaining, despite any language barriers I faced. Editing (something I personally enjoy doing) was interesting to watch. The group watched Mr. Kim speedily cut down the video, deleting bad takes and creating special effects. Some others from the group got to help add other effects and text to the video. With at least 30 minutes to spare, we all watched the video get converted and uploaded to Youtube. Because this event was partly hosted by Youtube, there was talk about how to utilize Youtube's many editing functions after a video has been uploaded. It was amazing seeing all this work I attempt to do over the course of several days get done in the span of a few hours. It think it helped immensely that there were so many people available to help.

Here's links to the guest speaker's Youtube channels, if you don't already know them:
Hyunwoo Sun [http://www.youtube.com/user/ever4one]
Simon & Martina [http://www.youtube.com/user/simonandmartina]
Manjoong Kim [http://www.youtube.com/user/manjoongkim]

AFTER ALL THAT, I went over to Itaewon to check into a hostel. This was my first time spending the night in Itaewon, so checking in required searching for the place for the first time. My stomach started furiously complaining though, so I cut my search short and stopped in a small shop for some ramyeon. All the while, I'd been talking to my friend from TaLK, a Korean co-teacher whom I met during my regional orientation. She wanted to meet up and lived close by so she found me at the ramyeon shop, and we searched for the hostel together. After much settling in, and meeting nice owners, we went back out into the populated streets, pondering what to munch on while we caught up. She took me to a nice cafe with amazing patbingsu, and we talked about what we'd been doing since we last saw each other face to face. Before the night was over, I found out that her birthday was the next day, so we planned an outing together.

Sunday morning my friend and I headed to COEX mall for a buffet lunch. We spent 3 hours there eating and talking, laughing and asking each other language questions. After realizing we couldn't stuff ourselves any further, we reluctantly left the restaurant and walked around the mall. COEX mall, by the way, is the largest underground mall in Asia! I thought that was pretty cool, and felt it necessary to visit at least once (considering all the times I've been to Seoul and never once set foot inside COEX mall... AND the fact that I'll be leaving Korea soon). We were able to catch up on a lot of things, and I was able to get some things off my chest that I'd been unable to discuss at length with other friends. We both had a really good time, and it's just another good memory to add to my life. I caught the 8 PM train back to Jecheon. There were no seats available, so I stood for most of the trip, but that's ok. It was still a good day. I got to enjoy buttery pretzel sticks from Auntie Ann's and listen to music on the ride home.

'Til next time,

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