Intermediate Korean TV 3 | 중급 한국어 TV 3

Hi everyone. Finally, I finished my Intermediate Korean 1 (3급) through Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, also an accredited Sejong Hakdang Institute (세종학당) where I started my Korean studies way back in 2012. I finished the class after not continuing it before due to work schedule and stuff.

Unfortunately though…

I did not pass.

Which is still okay, since I expected it anyway. I’m actually very lazy when it comes to studying so I know this would happen. I’m lazy in a sense that I shy away from the textbook and whenever I’m studying about the current lessons, I would procrastinate and look up words, topics, or grammar patterns that appear until eventually I’m too far away from what I have to study at the moment. So that’s what happened, and since I think I already reached the point where I can already come up with more stricter study plans and habits, or at least get by without guidance from a proper teacher, I may have to just continue to study by myself through online materials, textbooks, immersion with locals and unorthodox methods. The foundation I got from Korean Cultural Center is definitely unbeatable. Even if most of the self-studying students are better than my level, I have no regrets that I was handled by one of the greatest teachers in KCC, 노옥진 선생님!!

Video Presentation for Graduation

So yesterday’s our graduation. The program includes the graduation of Basic Korean classes, Elementary Korean 1 and 2 classes, and the only Intermediate Korean class which was our class. Per usual, graduation day is the moment when everyone can showcase what they’ve learned for the whole term. Mornings are for language classes and afternoon comes cultural class presentations (K-Dance, K-Musical, Taekwondo, Traditional Music, etc.). The only way we can present how much we’ve learned about the language easily is through video presentations.

Ours is actually the third from the Intermediate Korean TV series which was started by my classmates from the Intermediate class that I was unable to finish. They have tackled about Korean proverbs way back, and since I had previous classmates who took the following Intermediate class, they followed and created the second episode of the series tackling about onomatopoeia and mimetic words (의성어, 의태어) for their graduation video.

This time, we talked about 성격 / Personality and shot the entire show through an iPhone. My classmate, James (second top student 추카추카!!) was in charge of the flow and the script. I edited the whole show, including the selection of music and some of the directing when I’m not editing simultaneously while they were shooting. I had no high hopes for the video since this was my first time to do a video as crazy as this (though in all honesty we had a higher edge than the lower classes since we have a better command of the language), but watching even the video presentations of Basic classes got me surprised. Everyone’s video had it’s certain charm and everyone really did their best.

IMG_9019.JPGBut of course, the Best Video Presentation award went to us!!  We won P5000 pesos worth (about 120,000 KRW) of gift certificates for a Korean restaurant and we planned to eat out with our 선생님 next year at 정월대보름. It was a very pleasant experience anyway, so even if I failed the class, I definitely have zero regrets! And I promise to study better from now on.

 

 

My 32nd TOPIK Experience | 내 제32회 한국어능력시험 체험

The day before the exam, I slept super late because I had to do some stuff. I wasn’t reviewing though, actually for the whole week before or two, I didn’t actually review for the TOPIK, because I’m confident enough that my knowledge alone would suffice for me to pass the exam.

 

First thing in the morning, I had to wake up super early. It was hard to wake up but it was a mixture of excitement and the thought of going back to bed, and few nervous moments, all mixed into one. I wouldn’t know what to bring. Should I have my notes with me, or Korean Grammar in Use for some light reading? But then I just stuffed my pencil case in my bag, some stuff I need like keys, cards, iPod and some wires, and continued with the rest of the morning.

 

As always, my mom prepared fried rice and something fried for my breakfast. Since I had less sleep, it was hard for me to intake the food happily, but I did anyway because it’s not very easy to think properly when you suddenly get hungry.

 

I thought of asking my dad to escort me to school by car so I can rest a bit without thinking about coins and changes, MRT cards, and transfers, etc., but I did the usual mornings anyway. Rode a pedicab to the train station, took the morning train up to EDSA, and rode the MRT to Ayala and from there, a bus to school. It was a long commute but since it was morning, the sun was super energizing.

 

The moment I arrived there, there were familiar KCC students, some KCC staffs I know, and some others I have no idea who they were, and some Korean people who would probably take the exam too. I said my ‘Hi’s and ‘Hello’s to my close friends and together, entered the room with them and find our seat numbers. It was exciting and nerve-wrecking at the same time. I was like ‘Finally! It’s the exam day!’ and I was like ‘I’m confident about this exam, but what if I read wrong directions or misunderstood the essay part out of nervousness’. But then I just sat and stopped myself from overthinking.

 

After some minutes, the proctor came, asked us to put our bags and other stuff away, and had only the required items on top of our desks. This is it! I was thinking about the exam the whole time. My classmate who would always drop me off somewhere nearby whenever our class is over was sitting behind me. It gives me the sense of familiarity and security, that even if I don’t know everyone in the room, there were several of us in there taking the exams together.

 

And then the proctor distributed the exam materials, and off we proceed.

 

As I expected it, me answering the exam was just swift, without too much double-checking and hovering on a single question. The vocabulary and grammar part was easy peasy. Then comes the writing part. It was something like, where do you want to go something something, so I thought, aha! Bingo, this is easy! I had to write down quickly through scrap and then transfer it to my provided 원고지 after properly examining my essay if it would fit or if it would exceed. Since I had too much to talk about, I had to delete some of the sentences. It was actually my worry. What if I lose time revising and revising my essay? But I finished it anyway.

 

The listening part was as usual, super slow and super easy, so all in all, I found the exam, quite challenging, but easy at the same time. After the exam, all of us friends asked each other about questions and stuff. Some of them had no difficulties with the vocabs and grammar, but they had difficulties with reading. We also had usual student-type questions like, “What was your answer in this question again?”, etc. And then the inevitable, “Ahhhhh!!! I answered that too!”.

 

Then afterwards, we had to eat somewhere nearby, and spazz about TOPIK and other stuff, since we’re already separated. Some retook Elementary 2 and some of us already at Intermediate 1. But before leaving, we had to give good lucks to some of our classmates who would be taking the afternoon Intermediate exam.

 

I was too tired so I had to get home quickly…

The exam started at 8:30 AM, and that same day, 11:30 AM, I finally woke up, and told myself that…

The above TOPIK experience never really happened. If I just had my slip, the exact same story above would have happened.

The night before, which I was stupid enough not to have thought about it earlier, I prepared my TOPIK things and found out that my examination slip was lost. I had to find every corners of my books and every possible place where I might have put it, but to no avail. I just thought, maybe God had better plans, and the exam’s just not yet for me. Well it was easy for me to accept. I was just trying hard to find the paper up till 2 AM. Not because I’m dead hungry about taking the exam, but just because it’s a waste if I can’t take it. I paid for it, so still, I’m worth taking it. But then circumstances happen. All my previous Korean-related papers from last year, Elementary 1, random lyrics and still ugly Korean Handwriting, every paper I found all of them. Even the 32nd TOPIK guidelines, but that slip… It just slipped away 😐

Anyway, I’m planning to take the TOPIK next year, and I’m praying for it not to change yet, or if it will really change starting next year, I would be happy that I would be included in the first batch to experience the new TOPIK.

There’s always a reason for everything 🙂

Hangeul Day! | 한글날!

I should actually be doing our homework but since I only have about an hour to post this stuff for it to be a bit more ‘related’ with the world, I should hurry. Lol.

Today is Korean Alphabet Day or 한글날 as we all know it *or not*. It marks the invention of the highly scientific and easy-to-learn alphabet of Koreans known as 한글 (Hangeul). Actually, Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines celebrated the day by having a game similar to Star Golden Bell. This time they gave participants a copy of the questions and answers, but only a percent of it will be used for the actual game. The answers were given in English or Romanized if it’s a Korean name, and the participants would just have to answer in Hangul.

I half-planned joining the said event but I just don’t have time (well I can actually make time, but chose not to), and I don’t usually join stuff like that. I’m more of the reserved-type, lol.

Anyway, earlier before our class started, Alodia 씨 (http://mykoreancorner.wordpress.com/) was at school and she introduced herself. I was surprised so I didn’t know what to say. To Alodia 누나, let’s talk longer some other time ㅎㅎ.

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Please excuse my Sadako-looking nails.

These are my nails! Please don’t judge me, I’m not good at doing things like this, and I don’t ever put nail polish or nail art or something. This is just something that we did last Saturday because me and my cousins were bored and I thought about this to be fun and interesting. There’s been a lot of mistakes. First, we actually printed lyrics in 한글, but the printer was not very sharp so the text won’t register. What’s good about those lyrics if it turned out good is that it was mirrored, and it will register on my nails as how you would correctly read it.

Now a lot of people at school asked me how I did this because they were amazed, so I shall teach you guys how to do it too.

Sorry if I don’t have pictures to illustrate this, but:

1. Print Korean anythings, or if you have like photocopies of Korean stuff, you can use it. Make sure it’s something like paragraphs or Korean lines etc. It’s better if the paper is white, and the text should be black for better clarity.

2. If you want the text to look right, mirror it through Adobe Photoshop or similar photo-editing programs. It will do the job right.

3. Prepare your nails by cleaning it, obviously. My cousin put a nail base/hardener/I’m-not-sure-what-that-was, because she said it will help my nails to be stain-free when the nail polish fades.

4. Put a plain white nail polish. If one coat is not enough, wait for it to dry and have another round afterwards.

5. Cut out the printed Korean text by lines, it’s your choice if you want it to be super spaced or not. You can also decide about it when editing your material before printing. Anyway, since my copy’s spacing is a bit apart from each other, I decided to cut it out line-per-line.

6. Place the printed strips onto your nails. You may think I just put glue or something but not. Place the printed strips, with the text against your nails (the reason for mirroring the text). If it’s not mirrored, it will look like mine’s.

7. After placing it appropriately onto your nails, pour a generous amount of alcohol above the paper. Press it gently for it to register successfully. This will have the text make an impression onto your nails. The text on the paper will be transferred onto your nail, but you should do this carefully so as not to mess up.

8. Let the paper dry a bit. It should be half-wet, half-dry then gently peel the paper off your nails. You can check underneath while peeling because sometimes, the text won’t come out fully. If it didn’t, replace the paper and pour another round of alcohol.

9. Repeat step 6 on a single nail if the text was not sufficient, then repeat it for every nail.

10. Put colorless nail polish above to protect it from fading and getting messed up easily.

Now you have 한글 nails!!!

Happy 한글 day!!!

Finally Enrolled! | 드디어 입학했어요!

Stage 1: 재능과 능력은 다르다

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Aside from the fact that I successfully enrolled my Intermediate Korean 1 (still without asking my boss about it), I’m also happy that in three days, I finally finished ‘Stage 0’ and ‘Stage 1’ of ‘세상에 너를 소리쳐!’ It was GD’s story *I guess?*, and as how I saw it…… 음~  well I only saw Korean characters and aside from just understanding about 10% of it, I haven’t seen anything at all. But honestly, I can say that my reading pace has been quick than before. I think I need to read more since I still have difficulty rapping along with a 가사, but after this book, I’m gonna try and evaluate myself how faster I’ve become.

I actually never had time to read at home since when I get here, I can only do three things, eat, blog, and sleep. Only time I can read is through commute. In the morning while I’m waiting for my train, and just up till the first station, which would roughly be at about 20 minutes? I can’t read longer than that since I remembered from my elementary Science that reading in a moving vehicle can cause damage to the eyes, my vision’s already blurred, and it’s just dizzy-fying and I don’t wanna throw up in my book, lol. I also go home by train so it’s not very possible to read while I’m inside a can of sardines. So I myself was surprised with how fast I read the first chapter. Or maybe some learners can read it in one day, I’m not sure >.<. I hope I get more faster in everything in the nearer future. I’m somehow fast at typing already, now I’m starting to hone my reading speed, next would be listening and speaking, and let’s see what should be improved next.

Enrollment

I had half-day off from work since I have to pay for the enrollment fee, which is still very painful for my pocket >.< Well it’s still super super cheap *super only because super super is 1,000원, lol*, and even if it’s a bit more expensive it’s still gonna be super super worth it. I arrived Korean Cultural Center at about 3, even accidentally rode the bus together with my Elementary 2 classmates on my way there. The other one’s enrolling E2 again since she didn’t pass, and the other one would be taking Intermediate 1 with me. In our class, I bet all of us who passed will be taking this term’s I1. Well it’s good because I don’t have to adjust myself so much. I wouldn’t want to take next year’s I1 because I don’t want too much delay. There were 6 of us who passed, and I’ll be having two of my E1 classmates as classmates again!!! That’s just sooo hooray!! Another’s already an acquaintance so I already have 8 friends from the start, and I heard only 13 students enrolled. It means I’m already friends with more than half of the class which is just sooo much more hooray!!

Enough with the hoorays though…

I don't even know what happened to that face... no amount of BB cream would whiten that >.<

My Elementary 1, 2 and Intermediate 1 IDs.

I don’t even know what happened to that face. No amount of BB cream would whiten that >.< Thanks to that flash I looked highly African. *please don’t think I’m racist, because I’m not. In fact, I really love Africa, and would want to travel there someday*. It’s just that this picture made me ‘Fifty Shades Darker’.

Or maybe I was just darker this day? With my E1 classmates!

Or maybe I was just darker than usual this day? With my E1 classmates!

This day was actually sad *for a bit there*, because our E2 선생님 asked 찰린 누나 if we were planning to go somewhere after the enrollment. Since she was asked and she didn’t even know how to manage the conversation since it’s hard to explain everything to a Korean, it was hard to decline our 선생님’s offer. She actually asked the whole E2 class to have a meal with her *maybe her treat*, but everyone’s a bit carried away since it was not planned, and we had plans (E1) ourselves, and it would be very awkward to go even if 선생님 allowed our former classmates (not her students) to join. My heart’s breaking a bit because she told 찰린 누나, that we didn’t bid her goodbye during the graduation. I don’t know, but after our stage picture, I believe we said goodbye. But….. Anyway, it’s complicated. We asked our 선생님 to have another pre-planned dinner instead, during class days.

We successfully escaped! Had our coffee at Kuppa, with pizzas and pastas go sponsored by 엘리자 누나!!! Some sentiments, nostalgic moments and picture takings, bonding’s never been better with my E1 classmates.

After pre-planning on where to go next, we rode this very cute and utopically sweet, electronically powered ‘E3’ at Bonifacio Global City.

I wish there would be more of this around the metro, but sadly… there are none.

Believe me!!! The picture might look very low quality and stupid, but this is agreeably one of the best things that ever happened to each and everyone's lives yesterday!

Believe me!!! The picture might look very low quality and stupid, but this is agreeably one of the best things that ever happened to each and everyone’s lives yesterday! ( 김재신 in his dark and invisible self at the back)

Then finally, we had another stop at Serenitea, when my other classmate had to go back to work just to open a meeting, and came back after some minutes, just after saying ‘Hello, I’m 벌리’. Cool right? And again we had nonstop talks about Korean stuff, the upcoming classes, Korean travel experiences and tips, and future Korea plans.

We had to go home then since two of them will still be having work afterwards. The two of them (even while working), and 엘리자 누나’s currently on LINE as I’m composing this entry, and we’re still talking about the things that happened earlier. We’re just THAT close.

Maybe next week or later, I’ll finally talk with my boss about my classes. I expect him to be okay about it since I go under time and they don’t pay me for that. If he won’t allow me then work’s finished! I make sure I do everything on time when they give me projects, so I don’t see any deviations for him not to give me considerations. I’m still having my Korean as priority since I’m still young and having this kind of opportunity to study can’t be found nowhere so if my Korean’s not gonna be permitted, then it’s time for me to compose my resignation letter, in Korean I suppose, lol. *BUT WHY AM I RANTING ALL OF A SUDDEN?!*

Graduation Day! | 졸업식 날

DISCLAIMER: I will update this post with graduation pictures when I get them. I haven’t taken any decent pictures because it’s just too weird and it’s not possible to take a selca onstage while receiving my certificate, no?

I finally graduated my Elementary 2 course! Yeaaaah! It was a very tiring day, nonetheless it was super fun. Basically it was not just our graduation but the whole center’s graduation. There were several Basic Korean and Elementary Korean 1 students who also graduated for the language classes, then there were Taekwondo, Salmunori, Traditional Dance, K-Pop dance and sing, etc for the culture classes.

Presentation

I arrived early in the morning because we haven’t practiced for our presentation. It’s hard because we have to do it live and since most of us were working, we haven’t had any time to practice before. And why this presentation even came up because we also had no time to shoot the videos before. Thank goodness though, our presentation went smoothly *or maybe not?*. We were in so much stress and palpitations while waiting for our turn. We saw all the Basic and Elementary videos and dramas, etc., so it made us feel like we’re 선배s who didn’t even took the time to prepare 😐

What was our presentation? Way back when we were discussing if we should just do live, or commence with the video shoot, majority chose live *since majority of those in favor of live can’t make it to the ceremony, lol, so bad*. I suggested a game, and good thing, everyone agreed. It’s basically a game show type of presentation. It’s like charades, but instead of guessing the whole word, I would action out random syllables within the word, until they complete each syllable and guess the whole word correctly.

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This thing flashes on stage while we’re having the presentation.

I actioned the first syllable ‘문’ by making a gesture which seems like I’m opening a door. They would guess the words ‘나가다, 나오다, 들어가다…’ but since the action looks like I’m stabbing someone, they also guessed ‘죽을래 and saksak하다 *saksak means to stab in Filipino*. Audience were laughing since they understand the word and we think it’s cool that we’ve added jokes into our presentation so as to make it more relate-able. For ‘원’, I actioned it by making my eyes smaller by bringing it apart with my fingers, because Asian eyes were always referred to like that, lol. And I would gesture getting something from my pocket and giving it. They guessed ‘내다, 이상하다 *because of the eyes*, 중국 사람, 사다, and 돈’. It’s actually ‘원’, the Korean money. I don’t know how I came up with that action though.

The next word was ‘노옥진 선생님’, I chose for them to guess the syllables ‘진’ and ‘생’ together which sounded like ‘ginseng’. My gesture included drinking from a cup and flexing my arms so as to indicate that the drink can make me healthy. They guessed ‘소주, 술, 커피, 맥주, 건강, 운동’ and when someone guessed ‘인삼’, I gestured that it sounds like it, so when someone said ‘ginseng’, everyone laughed, including the teachers and the school director. Next was the word ‘노’ and acted it out by making a gesture, waving both of my hands quickly. They guessed ‘안돼요, 아니요, and even 여자친구 없어!’ which made the crowd laugh a bit more. It was actually ‘no’, the English word. Then there was ‘옥’, I acted it by doing thumbs up and then the OK sign where you make a circle with your index finger and thumb. They guessed ‘괜찮아, 삼 (3), 대박, 짱, and 귀요미’, lol. The word was ‘옥’ but I made them guess ‘OK’, which I find a bit witty.

The last word was ‘감사합니다’ and it went easy. I can even hear the audience shouting out answers *which were right, to my surprise*, and the group who won received a bouquet. Well not actually, after the group received the bouquet, everyone went down the stage and gave 선생님 the flowers. In the end, we didn’t get the award for best presentation because we lacked practice. And…. our presentation was just 바보 ㅎㅎㅎㅎ.

Awarding

Finally, every top students from Basic to Elementary classes were awarded. My former E1 classmate and recurring friend *well most of my E1 friends were recurring* who re-took Elementary 1 came in third. I was notified earlier so when I was called for top 3 in my class, I’m not surprised anymore.

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The stage lighting was a bit weird, hence the darkness in the photo. Photo credits to my 누나 who loves 성종!

Top 3 students! See you next term?

Top 3 students! See you next term?

As for my camera, the only thing I got valuable was this:

I don't usually smile with teeth, but I did because I was just so happy I forgot I was not supposed to show my teeth, hence my weird-looking face >.<

I don’t usually smile with my teeth, but I did because I was just so happy I forgot I was not supposed to show my teeth, hence my weird-looking face >.<

That was our picture with our uber-great, patient and wonderful 노옥진 선생님. Not everyone attended the graduation so it was kinda sad, but it’s okay. Next picture would be…

My E1 classmate who got in third, 강효경 선생님,  our E1 선생님, and my derp face.

My E1 classmate who got in third, my ever sweet and loving 강효경 선생님, our E1 선생님, and my derp face.
Please don’t mind my 선생님, she never smiled through pictures, and seeing her smile a bit here, it’s kind of a miracle.

After the graduation, we ate lunch at McDonald’s, and for the first time, I talked with them a lot *starting the whole graduation day*. I regret how aloof I was. I’m just not good at making friends, so I just let the whole term flow without having so much connections with my classmates. I was just contented with my E1 classmates, but I was wrong. After our lunch, all of us passers swore that we will be continuing Intermediate 1, WHICH I don’t know yet. I will go and book a slot, but let’s see which tree will I get my money from.

Gifts

Every graduation, students get a certificate *if they don’t get absent for a number of times*. As for me, I got two certificates, one of them indicates my being ‘top 3’ and the other one, the generic certificate of participation same as the one I got last year.

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As for the gifts, the paper bag included a lot of stuff.

Standard English-Korean Dictionary for Foreigners

Standard English-Korean Dictionary for Foreigners

WHICH to further emphasize my fury, is…

ROMANIZED!!!

ROMANIZED!!!

Okay, this is directed to foreigners, and this is just free, so why am I throwing tantrums? Lol. Anyway, the second top student got a better *or at least better*, ‘Korean Conversation Dictionary for Foreigners’, also by Hollym, and the top student got a super better ‘한-영-한 사전’ in a slip box case.

Taekwondo, and Korean Culture and Travel Guides

Taekwondo, Korean Culture and Travel Guides

This is my third Korea Travel Guide, and yet. I STILL DON’T KNOW WHY I’M NOT YET GOING TO KOREA ㅜ.ㅜ. I have three of those Taekwondo thingy because I got one when I entered the school, the other one inside the paper bag, and the other one given to me when I went out.

A coffee table brochure *lol* about Korea.

A coffee table brochure *lol* about Korea.

I wish it was a book though, not a brochure, since everything inside’s very picturesque. And look! It’s Super Junior, I wish it was BIGBANG though, lol I have too many wishes.

KOREAN MAPS!!!!!

KOREAN MAPS!!!!!

Probably one of the bests I got from my graduation. It was five because I got one when I entered the school, two when I got another one inside the first Taekwondo brochure I got, the third one inside my paper bag, and the other two when I went out. It was cool, I might post one on my bed.

Everything's inside the paper bag, and loook! There's a box...

Everything’s inside the paper bag, and loook! There’s a box…

Now what would be inside the box? It’s almost obvious that the content would be…

Yeap, a mug. A cute one.

Yeap, a mug. A cute one.

I probably won’t use this because aside from its souvenir and sentimental properties, this is a bit small for a coffee that can reach my tummy.

This graduation post has been sufficiently long, so let’s talk more about my Korean future in the next entry.

졸업해서 정말 행복했어요!