June 28, 2016

A more recent update

As for more recent events I've got my share to write about as well.
I'm currently on holiday with my family in Italy and now that I, for once, have more time on my hands than ever in a looooong time, I thought I'd pull myself together and write a summarizing blog post on what I've been doing and thinking about lately.
As of now I have already been out of school for about a month and will continue to be out about 2 more months. Some of our exams we had during the semester but our last written and oral exams were on May 13th and 20th respectively. In contrast to my classmates who worried more about the written exam where we had to translate a known text, an unknown text, and write an essay without any kind of dictionary, I feared the oral exam the most. For our oral exam we were in teams of 2 (Celine 씨 and I were together). First Celine 씨 went in alone to do a presentation of herself in Korean, thdn she would answer some questions from our teacher, and then I was called in as well. Together we had to have a conversation on 1 of 5 topics in Korean. Then Celine 씨 was asked to leave so I could do my presentation and answer questions. I was ordered outside and some minutes later we were each called in to hear if we passed or not. I think everyone in our class passed - except our classmate Agnes 씨. I'm not sure what happened to her.
Our exams worked in the way that we had 3 written exams in Korean, one oral in Korean, one essay in history, and had to show up to 75% of our classes in both history and conversation/grammar classes. In order to pass the semester we had to take our oral exam and to be able to sit for this exam we had to pass the 3rd written and then at least one of the 1st or 2nd written exams. Agnes 씨 had had some situations at home that sometimes kept her from coming to school or studying and so the night before our 3rd written exam, she stayed up late to catch up. When her alarm went off the next morning she didn't hear it and ended up oversleeping - thus failing that exam as she didn't show up in time. I believe she took a re-exam but I haven't heard from her since. She didn't attend our "party" that same night in Sophie-Amalie 씨 and Tulsheenam 씨's apartment, celebrating the end of the semester and that Martin 씨, Iohan 씨, and Maria 씨 had all been accepted into the Korean universities they applied for exchange to.
It was a fun party where everyone brought food - also Korean themed. Iohan 씨 brought fried chicken and a Korean spicy sauce that Martin 씨 named the sauce of death because of its red colour. The sauce was delicious nonetheless and some of the girls ended up eating it with a lot of the other food including chips and macaroni and cheese!
Now that the semester was over, I planned to return to my hometown as soon as possible to be with my family, cats, and bunny. Before I could do this I had to finish my work with Nikoline and Mike who, luckily for me, had time for extra "classes" so that I only had to stay a week.
Mike was the first of my students that I had my last class with and by that time the weather was so nice that we spent 2,5 hour outside playing badminton, throwing a football, and fighting with the water hose. When I left he gave me a box with some fancy chocolate that he and his parents had picked out for me. I felt that there wasn't more to teach him for now and some days after I got feedback from his parents saying that Mike was now all caught up and even able to help some of his classmates. I was so proud!
My last day with Nikoline we spent at the library finishing off the rest. Afterwards, after class, we went to buy ice cream and sat down to talk. Nikoline had earlier told me that she was considering becomming an exchange student so that day we talked a lot about that. If she didn't end up going, she said that she would probably like some more tutoring and that they would like to have me as her mentor again in that case, which made me really happy.
Once I returned to my hometown I allowed myself to relax and spend some days doing nothing. That only lasted about 2 weeks because during that time, I'd been talking to Philip, who only fueled my urge to go abroad. I was looking for affordable flight tickets for days until one day I found a price, that I probably wouldn't be able to beat considering I would be flying out exactly a week later. I also found one of the cheapest hostels available and then, for the very first time, I flew out to stay in a foreign country completely alone. I'll be writing posts on this later on so I won't talk more about that for now.
On the 22nd on June I returned to Denmark. I spent some hours in my apartment with Chris and returned to my hometown in the evening. The next morning my grandparents and I went to Aarhus for a braces check and once we returned, I got in the car and drove to Italy with my family and siblings' two friends.
As of writing this post I'm lying on the couch in our caravan at Piani di Clodia, the camping site that my family always went to when my siblings and I were younger. I believe this is the 9th or 10th time we are here, the last time being back in 2011. The camping site is nice as always and they have upgraded a couple of things here and there.
It's nice being back and I truly feel like I know the place but at the same time I find myself restless. I'm no longer as interested in swimming, eating ice cream, and getting a tan as I used to be. I think I have just grown out of this vacation style. Instead of relaxing, I want to spend my time exploring. Hopefully I will come up with something to do soon.

Why I didn't enjoy J-Popcon 2016 + updates

I wanted to make an update on everything but seeing as I never did a round-up on my last post, I decided to write one such post first and afterwards make a new - actual update - one.

Jasmin has been away around 4 months now and she'll come home again either next month or the month after that. Maria and I talked about going there but Maria's exams kept her from doing so. I visited her this month though but more about that in the next post!

The test results from my grandma's last scan came back negative and since then she has been 100% cancer free so that has been a great relief for all of us! These days she's doing fine.

J-popcon came and went but wasn't as great an experience as I had been hoping for. I usually see myself as a tolerant person but these maids' and butlers' attitudes towards preparing for the con was as far from satisfactory as I could ever think of and I was just super disappointed.
First of all almost no one came to help sewing the outfits that we would be wearing so those of us who showed including Andreas, Emil, and Isa, who were our teamleaders and/or experienced with the maid café ending up doing all the work. I tried to go but couldn't help every weekend because of school work but they gathered every weekend - every hour of it! At first we wanted to sew our own Café Sweet Vanilla uniforms but the people in charge of the con changed their minds and said that we had to make normal black ones - that was a bummer too. We ended up with enough dresses but not aprons for the maids and had to share those during the con. That was fine seeing as we didn't all have shifts at once but Andreas, Emil, and Isa told me that some of the maids had complained about this last year. After such a lack of interest in helping us sew the uniforms, I was ready to go at the other maids if they even thought about complaining but luckily no one did.. at last from what I know of.
Also when it came to baking the cakes that we would be selling there was NO HELP AT ALL FROM THE MAIDS OR BUTLERS (except for like 2-3 of them). I came to help and told our leaders that even if I'd have to stay up all night like I'd done for the last J-Popcon and GEEKcore, I'd do it. But I hadn't even finished my own cosplay at that time and had to go home for a couple of hours to prepare for the con. When I returned I brought Chris and his friend with me to help. We finished late, like 3am, and had a third of the amount of cookies we'd planned to sell.
At last there is Café Sweet Vanilla - an idea I had supported from the beginning and looked forward to but which, disappointingly, will never be more than that, an idea. The people in charge of applying for fonds never did, the PR people did nothing, and some of them we couldn't get in contact with at all.
Now that we didn't get to attend as Café Sweet Vanilla, "outsiders" could become maids as well. As part of it though, I was prioritized but one of the conditions for this was that I got a hygiene certificate. It wasn't a requirement for the outsiders though. This resulted in all of ud with hygiene certificate (and maid experience) being forced to take kitchen shifts while all the outsiders got the serving shifts - shifts where they had to deal with costumers and which everyone wanted. Tl;dr everything was unfair and I was more salty than a Pringles chip.
This year's maid café brought many challenges but luckily I am friends with Andreas, Emil, and Isa so after (and during the con) we talked a lot about what went wrong. At least now we know what not to do next time.
Sadly our members' lack of interest caused so much stress to our leaders that Isa decided that she would have nothing to the with the maid café at the next con.

The con wasn't aaaas bad though. But I ended up with the worst shifts ever. I had the opening shifts, closing shifts and then the opening shift the next morning, 4 hour shifts in the kitchen, and had to take extra shifts because some of our maids got sick and none of the other maids wanted to help.
I got little sleep and was sort of grumpy as a result - mostly due to the maids though. Also, because of the time of my shifts, I only had time to cosplay one of the days for a couple of hours.
Whenever I was in the café though, Andreas, Emil, and Isa were good at taking care of me and they let me do a couple of things that the others weren't allowed to do. Let's not talk too much about that ^^;
However, some of the things I CAN tell was what happened Saturday. I randomly came to the café and the moment Andreas and Emil saw me, their faces lit up with happiness. Some of the higher ups had requested that we bring cake to one of the cosplay judges as it was her birthday that day and thus they needed a 'petite and pretty' maid to do so. They thought I fit that description well and since all the other maids were busy with their shifts anyways, I really couldn't have come at a better time. We bought flags, decorated the cake, and then went inside the locked room, in which the judges were doing some pre-judging on the craftmandhip contest, and sang her a birthday song. Right as we returned to the café I was hijacked for another job. This team of guys were doing a documentary styled sketch on J-Popcom amd had come to the maid café to do a scene where one of them got to experience being a butler and being training to be so by a maid (me).
Chris was at the con too with some osu! friends and his best friend Daniel. Chris wanted to make a Steve Irwin inspired funny documentary on J-Popcon and had filmed a lot of great things but to everyone's disappointment his SD card with the recordings and one of the lenses to his camera was stolen.
The Japan student, Nynne, who wrote a paper about cosplay in Denmark joined J-Popcon amd once in a blie moon when I had time, we met up and watched cosplay shows. She also came to the maid café and even cosplayed herself. She finished her paper and sent me the file but I have yet to read it since she sent it around the time I was having exams. I think it went well though!

We held the big international Korean studies event at our school and overall it went well. Although we informed the canteen that we would have a lot of people visiting, they forgot about it and were taken by surprise when they suddenly had to feed 65 additional professors from all over the west. The foreign teachers were impressed by how helpful we were and our own teachers were as thankful as they could be.

So this was a round-up on the things that happened some time ago. The next post will be on more recent events and will be up shortly~