KIIP Level 3, Day 1

Today was the first day of Level 3, aka Intermediate 1. The textbook is 7,000 won, just like before – but structured quite differently. The class is quite different too. Previously, my class was small enough that everyone could do dialogue practice, and speak their own attempts at making sentences. This class, not so much. The occasional volunteer (forced or not).

Getting to class was much easier. Previously, I had to take a hourlong bus ride to the middle of nowhere.  Now, I take the subway from the station next to my apartment, switch over at the big station to Seoul Line 1, and get out a few stations later.

I really, really prefer the subway. Also, some expats apparently nicknamed the Seoul Line 1 as ‘Slumpiercer’? I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry.

Going to Taiwan

I didn’t go anywhere during winter vacation, so now I’m going on two vacations! My Malaysia trip has come and gone, and tomorrow morning I’m headed off to Taiwan.

My Mandarin is really bad, but I’m going to try really hard!

KIIP Level 3

Registration opened at midnight on the 16th, and the KIIP website immediately slowed to a crawl. I saw that people were registering slightly before midnight, but I thought I’d wait until after, just to be sure. Occasionally, you see notes on classroom listings that threaten to kick out people who register too early. You’d think they’d build it into the system.

But anyway. I’ve registered! I’m going once a week for 8 hours, every Sunday, from September 04 to December 04. Three months! But it’s only once a week, which should be a cakewalk compared to last semester’s Sat/Sun, 8 hours a day classes.

Incheon Airport observations

Some funny things I’ve noticed at immigration clearance:

  1. Two screens playing only SM Entertainment music videos, one after the other.
  2. Another screen on the wall next to the immigration counters, mostly advertising … LG plasma screens.

Window mesh replacement

screen1

Thanks for nothing, Whiskey. Whiskey has a habit of scratching at the window screen, and I had patched those up with 500 won premade patches, but this was going beyond the beyonds. Off I went to Gmarket to buy replacement parts. Not bad, it only cost me around 15,000 won for the screen and various other tools for the job.

I ordered on Friday morning, and a long thin box, similar to a poster box, arrived on Saturday morning. I love Korea’s delivery speed.

To prepare, I skimmed through an instructional YouTube video.

 

screen2

Pushing the new gasket in, with the special tool. I had waffled about buying a special tool just for this, but I’m glad I did. It was only 1,400 won, anyway. I swear, sometimes I’m stingy about the silliest things.

 

screen3

All done, kind of. It took me another hour or so to cut off the extra screen with a stationery knife.

Leftover meat

Way too much 삼겹살 left over from the work barbecue. 60근 had been ordered, and 60근 x 0.6 kg = 36 kg! I was sent home with a 2.5 kg pack. I asked how I was supposed to eat it, and was told: slowly. So I oven-baked all of it yesterday, a hot summer day. It’s in the freezer now.

KIIP Level 2 pass

lvl2-results

Look at that! I passed Level 2.

The exam was out of 100 points, with 70 points for the written test (20 questions x 3.5 points), and 30 for the speaking test. The entire class was a bit stunned after the written test, because it was much, much harder than any of the practice tests we had taken. I came out of the test worried that it could easily go either way by a margin of a few points. I had even gotten to the point of randomly choosing between two possible answers on several questions. I remember one of them: I knew options 3 and 4 were wrong, but I didn’t even know the meaning of options 1 and 2.

I bombed my initial question on the speaking test – I was asked to provide instructions on how to make 떡볶이. Wut? We had totally studied it but my brain completely short-circuited. I muddled my way through it, horribly.

One of the two speaking test examiners was my course instructor, and they looped back to me after the others in the test, and asked a different question: what’s your hobby? Maybe because my course instructor knew I could do better? I don’t know. Anyway, it all worked out and I now have a very satisfying 94/100 points.

class-schedule

The entire course was 100 hours, with 8 or so hours of class per day, from 9 am to 5 pm. It was 5 Saturdays and 8 Sundays over the span of 7 weeks. After a while, I got really annoyed at never having a single day off, and less than my usual amount of sleep. It wasn’t that bad, it’s just 7 days a week of sitting at desks … it’s not like it’s manual labor. Regardless. I’ll have to think long and hard before I ever sign up for 9-5 job and classes, every day of the week.

Was it worth it? Yes, completely. Will I do the fast-track course again? Probably not.

Anyway, onwards and upwards.