Two For the Price of One! (AKA I Couldn’t Possibly Decide!) Part I

December 7th, 2010


(Plus I pretty much just HAD to!)

P.S. Notice who’s missing???

P.P.S. Sorry I had to separate this from the first part, but things weren’t loading nicely. Also, the second photo was supposed to be a sign closing the beaches, but it refused to upload properly, so, I altered it a bit. I kind of prefer it this way anyway!


Tooth #3: Nagouri Quest! Part II

December 6th, 2010

Upon hearing that Sunyoung was determined to see, take pictures of, and/or catch a raccoon, as a dutiful roommate, I set out to assist her in her Quest! It hasn’t been easy. It’s required many late night trash trips, and some close scrapes with a few pesky rabbits, but our Quest has not been completely in vain! I won’t bore you with the details. Instead, I’ll show you our progress via the white wash board on my door. The Nagouri Quest has also inspired many artists along my hall, reflecting the true spirit of Nagouri. Enjoy. :]     

September 10th


September 17th


October 6th


Sadly, these artist’s renderings are the closest thing to proof that Sunyoung has in her possession. This is why our Quest remains incomplete. Never mind that Sunyoung and I have spied the wily critters twice now; until Sunyoung can show her friends and family with a proper photograph, I’m afraid her coming to the United States will have been in vain!

So of course ds106, I shall keep you posted of all our findings. Until then, please wish us luck in our most Noble Nagouri Quest!


P.S. Your vocab word was Nagouri, just in case it wasn’t clear! (It means raccoon…Again, just in case!)

P.P.S. Now you know why my last post was of such grave importance, Ouri Nagouri (Duck Raccoon) are of course, close relatives of THE Nagouri!

P.P.P.S. Sorry I had to split this up into two separate posts. During the archiving process the post wasn’t editing very nicely, so they divorced! :]

Hello world!

December 6th, 2010

Welcome to UMW Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging! If you need some help getting started with UMW Blogs please refer to the support documentation here.

All for JAWS…

December 6th, 2010

One of the best things about this class is finding out just how much we all have in common with each other. Case in point: someone has already linked to the “Reflection” song from Mulan! Just jealous I didn’t get there first!

As I think back to the first day of class, I can see why I decided to brave it and stay for the semester. When I registered for the class I pretty much thought I was shooting myself in the foot. What do I know about computer science!? With a pessimistic outlook for the semester, I arrived at the first day of class and was, well, enlightened!

In the same way that the movie The Social Network had nothing to do with Facebook and everything to do with friends, so to was this class something quite unexpected. Although the course title puts ‘Digital’ in front of ‘Storytelling,’ I soon realized that at its core, this class was about storytelling. The ‘Digital’ part was simply the medium we would be using to tell our stories.

Admittedly, I took this class to fulfill a general requirement for performance where something is created. I wasn’t really sure how it would fulfill anything, but I soon understood after about the first week just how much we would be creating… a LOT.

Honestly, I was hooked in with our JAWS discussion of the first day. But as each of the early assignments progressed, I began to question my judgment. We still hadn’t started our projects and all we did was read and comment about Web 2.0! Just as I was beginning to get anxious for what the rest of the semester held, we did the “Film in 6 Frames” assignment and all my fears were allayed. The class momentum really picked up after the Daily Shoot, and I don’t think I was the only one to feel a little blue to say goodbye to that assignment.

The assignments really stepped it up after that, and I honestly don’t think I was really ready. (Maybe I was still mourning the loss of the Daily Shoot.) I think I kind of dropped the ball a bit on the “Uninteresting Story” and I think that was simply brought on by a total lack of focus working at home. I still liked the idea for the story, but dissatisfied with my own final product. The video commentary proved to be a bit frustrating for me, but I blame my computer.

Honestly the idea for that project is one of my favorites, because I’m always the one watching all of those movie extras with directors’ and actors’ commentary. After using the Ultimate Mac of all Macs to solve my commentary problems, my assignment was finished. Thinking back, I think I would have chosen a different movie to comment on; despite my fondness for it, I don’t Dead Poets Society was the perfect choice for this class. The Mashup was, well, challenging. I’m certainly glad I did it, and don’t regret my choice, but this was the first time I felt truly limited by my own technology. Upon completion I felt good, satisfied even. However, after viewing and commenting on everyone else’s videos, my video felt, well, amateur. (Which makes sense, because that’s what I am!) Still, I’m glad we did something so challenging, and it gave me a newfound respect for artists like POGO. I loved the idea of the “View from the Street” assignment, and I’ve shared the technology we used for that assignment. But in the end I didn’t feel like we had enough time for that assignment, or maybe I just didn’t have the time. The fan fiction was certainly fun, but I had difficultly seeing how it connected to the rest of the semester. I think it would have done well  being introduced earlier on.

The only assignments I can really look back with any degree of satisfaction, is my semester project. My semester with the Korean exchange students was a blast, and I hope this showed in my Tooth posts. (Of course I took any opportunity to fit sharks into my blog.) I’m also really grateful that this class offered an opportunity for me to record my thoughts and reflections during such a meaningful semester.

Despite the overwhelming workload, the hours spent riddled with frustration and anxiety, and the persistent urge to hurl my laptop across the room, I would definitely take this class all over again.







Tooth #7: Made Ya Look!

December 6th, 2010

Drum Roll Please!

Drum Roll



The Moment You’ve All (I’m Sure) Been Waiting For



Now, before we begin, I think it’s a good idea to take a quick review, a listen down Musical Lane if you will! I’ll go through some of the videos I’ve shared with you over the semester, just as a nice warm-up as we crescendo to the heart of this post…

First I started out with a soft, simple selection so as not to SHOCK and awe, but rather to inspire. I said this simple piano piece from Epitone Project  would set an easygoing, contemplative tone for my blog, and I hope it has.

Second, I used a very different strategy. This time I tried very hard to SHOCK and awe you guys. I needed to grab your interest! So here, back for an encore performance, is the Korean Lady Gaga, Boa!

Third, and sadly last, I posted a video reminiscent of the Age of Boy Bands, AKA the 90’s. Here, the group Shinee bravely returns to that epic time where choreography and costuming were more important than lyrics.

After reviewing all of these videos, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Ok…What next!?

Well, nothing actually!

Here comes the REAL shock of it all…that’s it!!! With all of my research and illegally downloaded Limewire, I’ve come to an interesting realization. All of this music I was listening to, it all had one thing in common….and that was language. Strangely enough, I don’t mean the Korean language! If you notice, from song titles to lyrics, none of these songs did without English!

What’s even more fascinating, is that as I went through the semester asking the Korean students about what kind of music they listened to, I realized that they knew more American pop music than me! That’s the music that they listen to in Korea, so that’s what they know! It seems strange, and from an American perspective, almost unthinkable! And yet my collection of Korean music didn’t grow as quickly as I originally imagined it would. Instead, my library of today’s big Grammy nominees broadened, because that’s what they knew! 

When asked what one of the student’s FAVORITE song was, this was the resulting video:

With the group name, song title, and lyrics being in English, I don’t have to tell you I was a little thrown! Still, as glad as I am that their music is so accessible, I find it frustrating that it’s our language that has become so dominant. I suppose it’s just a result of globalization, but I don’t think that’s a very good excuse.

I think we’re quickly coming to an age where we need to begin to meet in the middle, or, God-forbid, bend our American ways a bit. I’m not saying we should all stop speaking English and learn Mandarin for when the Chinese take over, but I am saying that it’s time we look out to others as real equals from whom we have a great deal to learn.

If anything, at least we’ll learn ourselves a bit better!

So for my final Tooth vocabulary word, and word of farewell, I chose the phrase “Id da ba!” Instead of saying a permanent goodbye, I hope, just with the Korean students, that this is not our last meeting. “Id da ba” means, “See you later!” and of course I figure that I will, “Id da ba!”


P.S. Quick side note! POGOjust posted some new mashups….PLEASE check it out!

P.P.S. My posts title is totally referencing Aladdin when, at the very end, Genie picks up the film reel and says, “Made ya look!” as if he’s tricked us…..Yes, I spent about 35 minutes looking for the video on Youtube…..No, they don’t have it. But that doesn’t make it any less of a classic catch phrase!

Tooth #6: The Hair Rainbow

December 5th, 2010

I just thought I’d start my blog on Korean hair by posting a video that I recently shared with my roomie, Sunyoung. She was busy writing a paper on African American women’s hair trends reflecting white women’s styles, when I so thoughtfully interrupted her to share this video. We began talking about the different standards of beauty, how things have changed over time, and how we need to redefine what we see as beautiful.

But that’s not actually where the idea for this post began. It all started several months ago at the beginning of the semester when, after taking a shower, I emerged from our bathroom with a head full of very wet hair. Not thinking anything of it, I went about getting ready when Sunyoung suddenly surprised me with a cry of exclamation. She stared, wide-eyed, at my hair which had turned a shocking color of dark brown. She couldn’t believe my hair had changed color simply by getting wet! When she asked me how this was possible, I had absolutely no idea. I mean, this was something that my light hair has done since I was a baby, and I’ve never thought to ask why!

Which brings me to Korean hair…

So I know this is totally a stereotype and certainly doesn’t apply to everyone, but Koreans have amazing hair. (I mean, Asian hair is awesome in general. Come on! Tell me you didn’t want Mulan’s hair!!??)

But that’s besides the point! Where I’m getting at is this: just as the video showed the progression of our idea of beauty in the U.S., we can see how Korean standards of alter as well. In Korea it’s very rare to see someone with naturally wavy or curly hair; everyone just has straight, dark brown/black hair. So it’s now very fashionable to perm one’s hair. Now, at first that kind of surprised me, mostly because when I hear the word “perm” a woman with a frizzy mess of  late 80’s early 90’s curls comes to mind. But that’s just me! For them a perm is a bit of a wave to their hair, just enough to stand out.

And that’s what leads me to the main idea of the Hair Rainbow. In Korea, where the majority of the population is Korean, everyone looks very similar. By changing their natural hair, the Koreans look different enough to really stand out in the crowd. I’m not going to post any pictures here, but all you really need to do is tune into channel 79 on the UMW cable, and you’ll see MBC America, the Korean American network. Here you’ll get a taste for Korean news, drama, and game shows. Now not everyone is going out dyeing their hair, but it’s certainly no surprise to see someone both men and women with spiky blonde hair, or a bubble gum-pink wig. Just the other day one of the Korean Exchange students came to my room to ask where she can get her hair dyed…!

I mention all of this, not in an attempt to look at how different we are, but to point out a funny cross-cultural paradox. In making themselves look different from one another, the Koreans of course stand out, especially against an ethnic backdrop that is so alike. However, in this self-expression they also come together. They make themselves outwardly dissimilar, but through their choice for their own personal taste and fashion comes a bond with the rest of the world and its constantly changing style.

SO! This week’s Korean vocabulary word, due to the SHOCKING surprise of the crazy hair, will be an expression of surprise that the Korean students use daily. “Hore Tayba.” It took me about a month to realize, after a heavy sigh of relief, that they weren’t saying “whore.” This phrase is often used like, “Wow!” or “Oh my gosh!” But I think it’s more fun to say than both of those!


My Tale of the Three Brothers

November 23rd, 2010

My obsession, if you didn’t get a chance to read all about it, had to do with my love-hate relationship with Harry Potter. Since I absolutely love the book series, and feel quite the opposite towards the films, I thought I’d stop whining and actually do something. SO! Here’s my interpretation of one of the scenes from the first part of the last HP movie.

LOTS of love and thanks for my brave Korean friend and neighbor, Serena, for providing the vocal talents for this project!

 I would have shown more LEGO’s, but the video was about 2:20, and my audio was 4:30, so I had to stretch stuff and add the few images from the book. The numbers were supposed to help you keep track of the brothers…but probably could have been executed better! What I meant by having a Korean exchange student read the story and pair that with some LEGO’s and images from the book was to show how if I made the movies they’d be based soley on the books and wouldn’t have anything to do with fine actors or special effects. In fact, I’d probably just show a blank screen with the message, “Go read the books!!”

P.S. If you haven’t yet, PLEASE read the books! (Or at least read them before you see the final film!) Thanks!


Love-Hate Obsession

November 18th, 2010

Did you really think we were going to be able to write about obsessions without someone posting this?!

OK. Now that we’ve done that, let’s get on to the real post!

The nature of this post sort of forces you to be brutally honest with yourself, on the most loser-ish level! This requires a great deal of modesty and willingness to look like a moron. I’m not necessarily saying I’m this wonderfully honest, modest individual, but I can be a bit of a moron.

SO! First, let’s get to differentiating between what defines an “obsession,” and everything else. For example, I LOVE sharks (no kidding, right!?) However, I wouldn’t say that I’m obsessed. I am fascinated, enthralled, and terrified of those mysterious beasts, and I’ll always remain strangely attracted and interested in them…but I definitely think about WAY more than sharks.

SO. On to my actual obsession. When I’m really, truly, terribly honest with myself, I realize that my obsession is sadly, a bit cliche. However, don’t despair! I’m not all that pedestrian. There is yet one factor that distinguishes me from the rest!

I love Harry Potter.

Let me re-phrase that: I love Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling.

I do NOT love Harry Potter by WB.

This distinction is key to my oh-so-healthy obsession. I have a BIGthing with books being made into movies. (I could totally write an entire blog just based around this theme with The Lord of the Rings, but I’ll spare you! Which, on a side note, I think was executed swimmingly!)

Here’s the deal. Harry Potter is just one of those things that I grew up with, having read the first one at the age of 9, continuing all the way to the last in the series at the age of 17. It became such an integral part of my childhood and adolescence that it’s now difficult to remove myself from the novels. I’m not saying that the books in some way defined my youth…or maybe that’s exactly what I’m saying! 

So when they started to make the movies in 2001, you’d think I’d be a pretty thrilled 11-year old! (Coincidence that I was the same age as Harry here…maybe, but I don’t think so!) Instead, I rejected the idea. Offended and insulted that a production company was going to try and interpret and re-create the world that I had found so, well, magical, I completely rejected the films. I held my own non-violent resistence against the movies, refusing to buy them. Of course, I’ve still managed to watch every film, and mine is not a silent rebellion. My younger brother, the only other member of my family who has managed to read the series in full, is the only person on the planet who can bear my endless stream of vehement video commentary. (I’m pretty sure this is only do to the international law which states that brothers must enjoy seeing their sisters suffer from all forms of extreme annoyance.)

So as an enthusiast of the book series, let me give you a glimpse of how far my obsession goes. Now, I wouldn’t classify myself as say, a fan. (This is due mostly to the fact that I don’t own any HP paraphenalia including but not limited to: a wand, a cloak, Hogwarts House team colors, etc.) Not that there’s anything wrong with that! :]

Here’s the kind of obsession I have. In the 4th grade, we used to “play” Harry Potter during recess. I was nine, don’t judge! (And if you were wondering, I played Harry- I was the only one with glasses!)

I never went to any of those “Midnight Premier Parties” Barnes and Noble and Borders used to host for book releases, but I alwayspre-ordered my copies. And yes, every time I want to read one of the books in the series, I can’t just start in the middle. I have to start from the very beginning and read all the previous books. (I still do this, and no, I have NO idea how many times I’ve re-read them!)

Remember the show LOST? (Also an enthusiast, but not obsessed!) Remember how people used to write their theories about what would happen next, who would die, what it all meant?! Well, the same happened with Harry Potter, and I was all about theorizing! My favorite Harry Potter websitewas like Facebook for me, WAY back in 2003. It’s since gone downhill as it has nothing to discuss but the movies and theme park, but back in it’s prime, it was THE source for bloggers and avid readers to share their ideas. I didn’t write any myself, but I seriously spent hours poring over theory after theory. I even went out and bought one theorist’s specific books, which I can still read with real interest!

Now, when I say I love the books, but I don’t love the movies, don’t think there isn’t a bit of a grey area. I have a real love-hate obsession with the films. That’s why I can watch a brilliant video like Pogo’s Alohomora without going into a ranting rage!

Still, with the exception of JohnWilliams’ theme and a select few cast members (none of the main three), there’s very little positive critique I can offer. Basically, I wait for the day, maybe in 30 or 40 years, when they finally re-make the films. (This time they’ll actually make them after the books are written!) And you know, the producers will come running straight to me for my expertise and guidance. After all, I was the one with the wisdom to foresee the day they would remake them!

Anyway, like most people around the world, I will be viewing the FIRST of two parts of the final installment in the Harry Potter film series. This Friday I will be going out with the Koreans and their respective roommates to partake in the ‘ol dinner and a movie. Of course, the dinner will be coming after in the form of IHOP. (How could I forgive myself if I neglected to give the Koreans the full American student experience, especially visiting IHOP way after respectable eating hours have elapsed?!)

Yes, I asked my younger brother for permission to see the movie without him. (I promised to watch it with him over break. I guess I’m just that selfless!) And yes, there will be a blog entry that will attempt to encapsulate the Korean-Harry Potter experience.

So please, stay tuned for what is bound to be a magical experience!


My Walking Tour

November 17th, 2010

Sorry, but I couldn’t get this thing to upload to Youtube, so you’ll have to follow the link! Hope it works!

My Walking Tour


Closed Captioning…

November 17th, 2010

Whoa. What happened to the pool?!

Hey, HEY WAIT! I'll take another box of the Thin Mints!

Halal Shmall, I miss Virginia Barbecue!

They'll NEVER find me here!

Whew. Close call. Thank God this wall was here!

My fitness regime has RADICALLY improved ever since I replaced my feet with a Segway!

Juliet, hey, JULIET!