Monday, December 19, 2011

GRE in Daejeon

I had Friday off of work because (due to bus and train schedules) I had to head to Daejeon on Friday for my test on Saturday morning.

I got up at about 0630 on Friday, took a shower, ate, and packed.  Then I headed to the Changwon bus terminal and took the 0900 bus to Daejeon.

There were only about five or six people on the bus with me, rather empty.  I read: "The Great Depression: A Diary" on my Kindle.  Just reading about that time period and all the gives me a chill.  It's also interesting because he spends a lot of time talking about stocks rising and falling and then there are notes from ten or more years in the future comparing them.

The buses here have no bathrooms so we stopped halfway to Daejeon at a rest stop that reminded me a lot of the ones in Europe.  Except that all the foods were Korean and not German or Italian.

I ended up getting to Daejeon at about noon.  Grabbed a coffee from Paris Baguette and then took a taxi to KAIST.  It was about 7000 Won, but was much easier than the bus.  Since I would've had to take two different buses to get there.  Also, I'm not sure what the temperature was, but there was ice in various spots on the sidewalk.

Weather in Daejeon according to a weather site.

I'm really, really glad I had the extra time to look around KAIST in order to locate the building my test was in.    All I had was this:
Only useful thing was that I was looking for building N4...
Walked around campus for forever (it's a huge campus).  Finally found the N buildings and wandered around looking for a sign.  I finally found this one:

Second from the top is the building I was looking for
So I headed off in the right direction and kept walking, looking for either a N4 or the name of the building.  When I reach the athletic center and only saw E buildings beyond it I knew that I was missing something, so I go in the Athletic Center and ask at the Information Desk.  He finds a map and we discover that the building I'm looking for is the one right next door.  There's no N4 on it and this is the name on it:
Was it too much to trust a sign?
I go wandering through the building and finally find the room:
Found it!
I then went and wandered around town some.  Took lots of pictures and even some videos.  I left my camera at work on accident and so took my video camera instead (which can also take pictures as well as film in HD), this led to some awesome videos and pictures for y'all.


The almost impossible to find building...

A view of KAIST
Look!  I found Olive Garden!
Awesome Bridge

More artisitc shot of the awesome bridge


More ice!

For some reason I felt the urge to take pictures of all the ice I saw...

Probably because I'm from Florida.

So spooky and grim, and yet still beautiful to me

Yes, I find this beautiful, maybe I have issues...

Those crazy, crazy birds....I will never understand them!

Okay, y'all are first, first in what?

So much traffic!

I think everyone's heading downtown for some reason...
I ended up wandering inside of an E-Traders, which is like Sam's Club, to get warm and try to find food.  Ended up getting distracted by the pet shop there and the most adorable Yorkie puppy I've seen since Lily.
Isn't he adorable!?!?!?!?!
After I left E-Traders I had some misunderstandings on which bus to take, but ended up getting to the place I was staying at for the night.

I originally planned to just stay in a motel during my stay in Daejeon, but after some time on the Waygook site I discovered Couchsurfing.  So about a month ago I contacted this couple and requested to stay with them.  They're both teachers at public schools in Daejeon and seemed really nice.  She's from Idaho and he's from Indiana.  They met in college, got married, and then decided to come teach in Korealand.  He has an Education Degree and she has an English Degree.  They both teach in high schools here.

They have a two bedroom place and I stayed on the futon in the spare room.  If you remember my talk about bathrooms you'll remember the Wrong Switch type, which is what they had.  And I was right, showering with a sink right next to you is a little awkward.  I definitely prefer my style, even if it means not having a sink in my bathroom.  It was pretty cool though that they had a fan in their bathroom, probably because it has no window.
Christmas tree I slept next to!
Josiah and Jenelle are also big gamers and fantasy fans.  Shes just as much of a Harry Potter lover as I am, if not more.  They have a Wii, xbox 360, and PS3.  We played some Mario Kart on the Wii and Josiah is currently addicted to playing Skyrim on the PS3.

They also have the basic Settlers of Catan game and two expansions.  Needless to say that after Jenelle made a totally awesome spaghetti dish we played Settlers of Catan.  They reminded me a lot of Michael and Kristen.  In fact, the resemblance (in terms of likes and beliefs) was rather eerie.  Maybe that's why I felt so comfortable with them.
Settlers of Catan!
Josiah, Jenelle, and the kitten (Juno).  Jupiter (the older cat) didn't want a picture...
The next morning I woke up really early, grabbed a shower in the Wrong Switch bathroom and left.  I walked downtown and ate breakfast at one of the few coffee shops open early in the morning.  I had a bagel with ham, egg, and cheese on it.  Not my normal cereal, but it was delicious and there's nothing like having a hot breakfast on a cold morning right before a test.

I missed the 604 bus and since the wait was so long I ended up grabbing a taxi to KAIST so I wouldn't be late.  I went straight to the building, grabbed some hot coffee from a vending machine to warm up and proceeded upstairs to my test.

I didn't find the test to be extremely difficult, though there were a couple of questions in the quantitative section I looked at and couldn't even narrow it down to two.  So I guessed.  The new test is out of 170 points instead of 800 for each section.  The total score for the old test was 1600 and the new one 340.
I ended up with:

Analytic: 161
Quantitative: 153
Total: 314

That's more than high enough for the programs I'm looking at.  As far as I or Apple Jack could tell from comparing scores I got the equivalent of a 1400 on the old test.  Or thereabouts.  Not a lot of data yet from which to figure this out with.

I'm pretty happy with my score.  I'll find out the score on the writing section in about a month, but that score isn't typically very important.

After the test I hopped on the 604 back downtown, walked back to their apartment, grabbed my things, said, "Thank you," again and left.

Ultimately had a great time in Daejeon and had a great trip.  I know most people say there isn't much to see there, but even if there isn't much to see, I'd still like to see more of it.

Other random things from the weekend:

  • Saw Tintin - It's a million times better than I expected and I am going to love going to see it again.  Dad you have GOT to go see it!  You won't be disappointed.  Everything about it was great and I really like how they transferred it from a comic book setting to a movie.  There's also lots of extra things in the background that you'll only catch if you read the comics.  I really don't think they could've done a better job.
  • Ate Eudong - Yes, I ate eudong again, I seriously have a weakness for this stuff.
  • Went on a date - y'all are going to be all over this one, I just know it...I will say nothing though, that's all you're getting for now.  So deal with it.  Love you!  
  • Tried cucumber kimchi for the first time - I think I like it even better than regular kimchi!
  • Got snowed on - just little flurries, but still totally awesome.
  • Got mistaken for a Korean - granted I had my hood up and was looking down at my phone while I walked...but blonde hair was sticking out.  They thought I could give directions in Korean...until they saw my Western features that is.  Second time that's happened too and the first time my hood wasn't even up...
  • I also drank lots and lots of coffee this weekend...
Cookies and Cream Coffee.

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