It’s that magical time of the year for Native English Teachers at Korean public schools to do absolutely nothing but sit at a desk. This sweet time is known as Desk Warming Season.
That’s when schools have their teachers sit at their desks, doing literally nothing. The reason is, in our contracts, all NETs have to teach summer camps during their school’s vacation period. However, not every school has summer camps for the entire six week break period. In the past, some schools would let their teachers go on extended vacations because they had nothing for them to do at the office.
The teachers who did have teach for the entire summer got angry and complained to the Office of Education. So now, the education system has simply uniformed the entire EPIK program. No going home early when you’re done teaching, no coming in late and no free days off. A lot of people hate this time, some relish it. This “Downfall” parody and blog post of the situation succinctly describes it all: (via The Waygook Effect).
To pass the time when I’m not teaching (which is five of eight hours each day), I’ve been reading, doing a bit of writing, watching movies and going home for lunch. Earlier this week I spent the bulk of my desk warming time editing video.
The hours I am teaching, I show students the difference between American and Korean school systems, play Scrabble and have scavenger hunts. Hard stuff, I know.
A few months ago, the band Ratatat posted a “music video” for their then-upcoming release of “LP4.”
The video is for their song “Party With Children” and featured a white parrot in front of a green screen. The video was mind-bogglingly posted in 1080p HD. After not having touched Adobe After Effects in several years, I decided to jump back on the train by remixing the video. It’s more or less and attempt to get my creative juices flowing again. There’s no real cohesion to it. Try not to have a seizure while you’re watching, please.
I had a short online discussion with my friend Steve, who lives in Daegu, about the video and why I did it:
Does this get the juices flowing again? Are you warmed up?
I guess. I realized that I could make any effect that I want, but I have to be in a situation to necessitate it.
OK that’s fair.
Then I realized, I need to create some sort of narrative for my next video. That way I could think outside the box more for my effects.
Just be careful not to use effects for using effects sake.
Right. I feel like this video was the only case where its acceptable.
Basically, the point is, my next video won’t be so psychedelic and involve a repetition of a bird cleaning itself. It will have a story.
John is a Technical Success Manager at WP Engine. Before moving to Austin, John lived in South Korea and China for the better part of four years. His life as an amateur Chinese web censorship expert, traveler, map nerd and beer geek can be found on this site.