Crimson North Films

Stepping Up My YouTube Game

One of the reasons I hadn’t been blogging in recent weeks (months) was the sudden uptick in video making. Videos take a considerably longer time to produce, and they leave little time available on the weekends to do a blog entry. Of course, this year I didn’t do as many videos either, thanks to my […]

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Checking My Privilege

My life has dramatically changed in the past seven years. Living in Korea has allowed me to see certain perspectives through a lens of detachment. I’ve been able to reassess decisions, reactions, and personally held beliefs in a way that probably would have been impossible in Canada. Divorcing myself from my own society meant I […]

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What Was EPIK?

By now, word has filtered out about the massive budget cuts, and EPIK’s epic downsizing. Gangwon-do was one of the last bastions for the programme, after the other provinces cut most of their foreign teacher positions in the previous years. Funding has fallen through, however, as the province is having difficulty paying for the 2018 […]

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It’s Chuseok and I Have a Car

Sorry for the lack of updates these days. Have things been busy? Does that question really need to be answered? Of course, they’ve been busy! I’m now in the midst of my final full semester here in Korea. I’ve got a lot on my plate, but it’s manageable. The lack of writing is more due […]

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What is the Summit for the World Alliance of Religions (WARP Summit Seoul 2014)?

1) In Which Scroozle Almost Gets Suckered Into Attending a ‘Cult’ Activity2) Mannam- A Follow-Up Investigation3) Mannam Part 3- The Unintended Trilogy4) 2012 Shinchonji Olympiad5) Is Shinchonji Actually Using Mannam to Promote Itself?6) Mannam- The Statement and the Apology7) Mannam, Shinchonji, and the World Peace Initiative (WPI)- Thoughts Around the Web8) The Curious Case of the Disappearing Article9) Shinchonji Sincheonji Shinchunji 신천지10) The Book of […]

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English Pop Song Concert

While I was with my coworkers, enjoying a birthday meal of pumpkin duck, it was suggested we hold an English pop song concert. It was a random announcement, a week before the semester’s final exams. The suggested date was a mere two weeks after my birthday, which didn’t leave much time to organize it. After […]

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Blackface and Skin Lightening

Blackface on Korean TV isn’t as rare a thing as you might imagine. Quick. Go do a Google search for it. You’ll see there’s a cycle of it appearing on TV, followed by outrage, and then (MAYBE) apologies for the crass behaviour. It’s been going on for decades, but despite the apologies, sometimes the exact […]

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The Many Faces of Shinchonji- Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL)

1) In Which Scroozle Almost Gets Suckered Into Attending a ‘Cult’ Activity2) Mannam- A Follow-Up Investigation3) Mannam Part 3- The Unintended Trilogy4) 2012 Shinchonji Olympiad5) Is Shinchonji Actually Using Mannam to Promote Itself?6) Mannam- The Statement and the Apology7) Mannam, Shinchonji, and the World Peace Initiative (WPI)- Thoughts Around the Web8) The Curious Case of the Disappearing Article9) Shinchonji Sincheonji Shinchunji 신천지10) The Book of […]

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June 2014 Donghae EPIK Workshop

I’ve been tapped for this Friday to give a presentation to my fellow EPIK teachers at the Donghae Office of Education. I was originally supposed to do it last year, but it was rescheduled for February, and then rescheduled again for June. The amount of time I’m supposed to be speaking for is around 50 […]

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What Is the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG)?

1) In Which Scroozle Almost Gets Suckered Into Attending a ‘Cult’ Activity2) Mannam- A Follow-Up Investigation3) Mannam Part 3- The Unintended Trilogy4) 2012 Shinchonji Olympiad5) Is Shinchonji Actually Using Mannam to Promote Itself?6) Mannam- The Statement and the Apology7) Mannam, Shinchonji, and the World Peace Initiative (WPI)- Thoughts Around the Web8) The Curious Case of the Disappearing Article9) Shinchonji Sincheonji Shinchunji 신천지10) The Book of […]

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What Kind of Students Do You Have?

I’m often asked the above question when I am discussing the lessons I regularly give my middle school students. It is often voiced in an incredulous tone, as if it were impossible to have students in that age group be well-versed in more advanced areas. As the EFL teacher at the school, I enjoy challenging […]

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Korea’s Sports Heroes

In recent years, there have been a number of Korean athletes making it big in international sporting markets and events. Their success has been pretty equally split along lines of gender as well, and these athletes have become role-models to many an inspired kid. Schools across the country have a fairly robust PE system, and […]

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What Is This New Sorcery?

If you got here by clicking a link, and it spat you out to an undesired location, I suppose I have some explaining to do. Late last year, I started the arduous process of moving my sites over to WordPress. CrimsonNorth.com made the move to WordPress.org, while two of the smaller sites went to WordPress.com. […]

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Over-Reliance

One of the things I like to joke about with friends, is that when I return to Canada for good, I’ll have a hard time adjusting to the internet. This point was driven home in January when I was at my parents’ and I inadvertently went over their 60 GB monthly cap. It didn’t take […]

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North Korea and the Problem of Accountability

Picture a petulant child throwing temper tantrums at predictably regular intervals, and you already have a good sense of North Korean foreign policy. Imagine these tantrums stretching out over a period of decades, and you can better understand why most South Koreans have decided to ignore the antics of their northern cousins rather than be […]

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Advice to the Incoming EPIK Teachers

Your first semester in Korea starts in March. Don’t worry; you still have some time to prepare yourself accordingly. Did you have orientation in Seoul? Are you wondering how useful those taekwondo lessons and hanbok tutorials will be once you’re staring at the faces of 30+ students in class? Sorry to break the news to […]

Behind Enemy Lines

For those not in the know, I’m currently on vacation, and rather than heading to a sunny location, I am currently enjoying –36 degree temperatures in Ottawa, Ontario. The Polar Vortex has returned after its brief absence, and it definitely feels a tiny bit colder than Gangneung. Travelling here, I took the faster flight direct […]

The Odious Dennis Rodman

Rodman’s mug has been plastered all over the internet, because he is once again in North Korea paying his respects to his good friend, Kim Jong-un. There are many, in a righteous outrage, decrying the purpose of the visit and calling Rodman out on his attention whoring. Others chastise the aforementioned outrage, and point out […]

Winter English Camp 2014

How has 2014’s intro been to you? Well, I hope. We in Korea are gearing up for the winter camps. At this time, some students return to their school’s English departments to partake in English camps. My school’s camp starts tomorrow, and the students are pumped for it. They were so pumped, that they had […]

Onwards to 2014

With the 2013 school year now officially complete, I can look towards 2014. There was a lot I accomplished this year, but resting on my laurels isn’t going to get me anywhere. In fact, there were quite a few things I was dissatisfied with in my lessons, and I need to correct these failings for […]

The EPIK Life

This is the second year EPIK has decided to run its video contest. The video contest was split into two different categories: Co-teaching, and the EPIK life. I had originally shot an entire lesson for the former category, but rather than falsely jazzing things up but making very selective cuts, the entire video was uploaded […]

Sexual Aggression as a Form of Intimidation

Back when I was a teenager, and a member of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet programme, I received training concerning harassment and abuse (emotional, physical, sexual, etc). It was your run-of-the-mill training aimed at teens. It gave you the lowdown on how to identify harassment and abuse, as well as the distinction between the two. […]

The Most Demanding YouTube Video Thus Far

[Link for RSS peeps] I think it’s fair to say I’ve made some progress in the video-producing department. Here was the effort from 2011: Oh, no! 4:3 aspect ratio, and standard definition! [Link for RSS peeps…Again] And here’s the video from 2012: Mistakenly shot in SD. [Link for you people, again] The one from this […]

The Ultimate Teaching in Korea Video

Are you someone who is interested in coming over to Korea and applying for a public school teaching position? Have you been furiously searching all over YouTube for examples of what it’s really like to teach in a classroom? If this sounds like the situation you now find yourself in, then do I have the […]

Updating the ol’ YouTube Channel

Bobblehead courtesy of the GoPro [Link for RSS peeps] I spent much of Hangeul Day 2013 (an actual holiday this year) making the above video, and completing the Creator Academy YouTube course. I didn’t learn a whole lot from the course, but it nudged me into finishing up tweaking my YouTube channel. I doubt I’ll […]

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Gangmun Beach 강문해변

Link for RSS viewers. I shot that yesterday. I had wanted to make a video of one of the beaches here since 2011, but I always wanted to avoid the whole “white guy takes his camera to beach to take shots of Korean women in their swimsuits”. To get around that little issue, I thought […]

Global Youth Leaders

Nearly half a decade ago, folks working for Gangneung city decided to fund a programme that developed the leadership skills and helped instil civic awareness in third year middle school students. The programme’s name was Global Youth Leaders, or GYL for short, and ran in tandem with the Inter-City Intangible Cooperation Network. Activities are usually […]

The Hagwon Alternative(s)

With money being as tight as it is, not everyone can afford to send their kids to a private academy for further study. Yet with hagwons so firmly entrenched in the latticework of the Korean educational system, denying your kid access to one could set them back. With competition being what it is in South […]

The Introverted Korean Experience

Articles or videos on introverts seem to be in vogue these days. A month rarely goes by without something new popping up on social media feeds. The stigma of being labelled an introvert is slowly dying, but it still crops up every now and again. It’s particularly pronounced in societies such as Korea, where extroverted […]

Sunset Timelapse

Link below for RSS peeps Clicky. I haven’t made a time lapse video since my winter vacation in North Gower, so I figured I would screw around with my GoPro Hero3 again. That’s a view of my neighbourhood, as taken from the windows at my “new” place. There’s a girls’ high school where those trees […]

Get More Scroozle

In case you weren’t already aware, there’s another blogging project of mine starting up. I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly mentioned it in here, although sharp-eyed readers might have noticed the tab up top. Scroozle’s Sanctuary deals with the Korean aspect of my life, and the Korean-orientated thoughts racing around my mind. That isn’t going […]

The Existential Expat Crisis

There must be something in the air these days other than the godforsaken heat and humidity. Many of my friends, and non-friends, seem to be suffering from the same contemplative curse. It’s the curse of the “What If” question. “What if I went back to my native land and gave up the expat life?” is […]

The Nearly Forgotten War Criminals

Last week I decided to go see The Wolverine, which, for the uninitiated, is a comic book-based movie. The film opens (spoiler alert!) in Nagasaki, during the second world war. Our man Logan, the aforementioned Wolverine, is a POW being held as the atomic bomb goes off. I saw this movie as the flag incident […]

A Korea Long Gone

I’m in a bit of a 1930s and 1940s cinema kick these days, thanks to Abbott and Costello. Out of curiosity, I wondered if there was any film footage of Korea dating before the 1950s. If there was, it would have to be of Korea under the Japanese Occupation, which would be interesting from a […]

Must Be Camp Time

I’m outputting videos on a daily basis. Making some Bajoran hasperat. [Vid link for RSS peeps] My hasperat recipe (a food from Star Trek Deep Space Nine) had to be Home Plus compatible, so here’s what went into ‘em: TortillaCream cheeseIceberg lettuceSalsaSliced hamDill pickles Some of the students were a bit too liberal with the […]