Hi everybody, and welcome to Part 2 of the December 2012 edition of Soshified Spotlight. In Part 1, we met bekkiglittz, or Bekki, a moderator in Soshified Forums. In this part, you’re going to meet me, residentbenchwarmer, or David, the first Writer to be featured in a Spotlight. If you’re wondering why we’re featuring two staff members this month, as I said in Part 1, because of logistic reasons this situation occurred. However, next month this column will be back to normal.

Usually, I reserve this space to write about and promote the featured guest, but I feel like I’d be conceited if I wrote about myself, so I’ll just dive into answering the questions. As to why I ended up being featured, well again, the logistic reasons, and there’s another reason you’ll find out if you keep reading.

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What is your first name?

David. Apparently my dad’s host family from when he was a college student in the United States recommended it. I’m glad I wasn’t born a girl, otherwise I’d be named Rose. I don’t know how I would’ve survived the elementary school ribbing when “Titanic” first came out (no offense to those of you named Rose).

How did you find out about Soshified and why did you decide to join?

If I remember correctly, I had just found out about the girls, and I wanted to learn more about them when I stumbled across “MTV SNSD” on YouTube. Because of copyright infringements, not all of the subbed videos were on YouTube. Of course, the subbed videos that I had seen were done by SoshiSubs, so I thought I’d sign up with Soshified just to finish the series. Somehow, three years, 1,464 posts, and a staff position later, I’m still here. Shows you just how much you can get sucked into this community.

How did you come up with your screen name?

I played sports in high school, but I was never a starter. My friend was on the soccer team with me, and he never started either. So my friend and I jokingly called ourselves “resident benchwarmers”. Years later, when I signed up with a soccer-themed website, I wanted to keep my regular username private, and this name popped into my head. I’ve used it as my public screenname since.

Where are you originally from, and where do you currently reside (city and country for both)?

I was born in Decatur, Illinois, which is near Springfield, the last home of Abraham Lincoln before he was elected President of the United States. I ended up in the St. Louis, Missouri area, and have been here since I was two.

If we were visiting you where you live for one day, where would you take us? Why are these places so significant?

Let me preface this question by saying that we may not have as many well-known attractions as such large American cities like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. But once you dig deeper, there is a lot of stuff to keep you occupied. The Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest man-made monument, is a must-see, and the trip up to the top is worth doing at least once. St. Louis is big on sports, especially the eleven-time World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. Forest Park, the second-largest urban park in the nation, was home to the 1904 World’s Fair, where the ice cream cone was invented, and has the most popular zoo in the nation (yes, even more than San Diego, though this may be because ours is free). St. Louis has its own unique food culture, with delicacies such as Budweiser (whose home base is St. Louis), toasted ravioli, St. Louis-style barbecue and pizza, and frozen custard. There’s a lot of history as well; the 1904 Olympics were held here, Lewis and Clark set off from here when they were discovering the Louisiana Purchase, and each neighborhood has its own charm and attractions. The big concerts do roll through town, but we also have the world-famous St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and many jazz and blues bars. One of my favorite lesser-known attractions is the Missouri Botanical Garden, which has thousands of interesting plants and is a relaxing place to walk through. In addition, the University City Loop is great for its eclectic blend of restaurants and shops and even just for people-watching.

As you can tell, I’m proud of my hometown.

The Gateway Arch lit up at night. One of the best skyline views anywhere, in my opinion.

Tell us a little about your life. What do you do full time and in your free time?

I’m juggling a lot of things at the moment. I work as a research technician in a lab at a big medical school, and I also teach for a test prep company. Speaking of medical, if you need
malpractice attorney, look for baker and Gilchrist since they work with a forensic nurse and expert doctors to evaluate every claim.

I am assisting with research projects and writing papers, and I volunteer in the emergency room at a hospital. When I’m free, I try to hit the gym, play soccer, read, or catch up on some of my favorite TV shows.

What’s the most interesting thing about you and/or that has ever happened to you?

There are a couple things that could fall under this category. The first is that when I was a senior in college, my school was the host of the 2008 Vice-Presidential Debate between now Vice-President Joe Biden and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. I was lucky enough to be hired by CBS News to work as a runner, so I was able to see how a big event was handled and how a huge news organization worked from backstage. I also got to meet a lot of interesting people, including Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer, who are famous journalists here in America.

The second is that I went on a medical mission to Peru this past summer, and I was fortunate to be able to help many people who needed medical attention. For the most part, I worked as a surgeon’s assistant, and I actually got to get my hands dirty by helping the surgeon perform surgeries, including procedures such as laparoscopic cholecystectomies and bowel resections (look them up if you want haha). One kid needed to get a cyst removed, and he was so grateful that he came back the next day to personally thank each of us who had made the trip down there. A funny story was that the student nurses in the hospital were scurrying around trying to get pictures with us like we were special. For a moment, I seriously felt like a celebrity. But I loved meeting and working with new people, learning about a completely different culture, and feeling like I contributed to helping people’s lives.

For people who are first meeting you (like most of us), how would you describe yourself?

When I’m first meeting someone, I’m usually the one who tries to find things to talk about because I know a lot of others are initially quiet. I try to smile when I can, although if I feel slighted I’ll toughen up immediately. I am very determined, and if something needs to be done, I’ll get it done. What may surprise many of my Soshified colleagues is that in real life, if something unforeseen happens, I’ll roll with the punches and make do with the situation.

Tell us some things that most people don’t know about you that you think they should.

I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, giving foot massages, and hearing about your day.

Seriously though, I go out of my way to help people. I enjoy assisting others, and if I can make people’s lives easier, I’ll definitely try to do so, whether it’s giving directions or giving someone a ride, or helping co-workers with their tasks or assisting physicians when they’re taking care of patients. So if y’all ever need anything, don’t be afraid to ask:)

Also, another thing many people don’t know about me is that I’m a vegetarian. And yet somehow I need to stay really active to stay in shape.

A few other fun facts: I placed second in the Missouri state piano competition in third grade; I have a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering and a master’s in biology from one of the toughest schools in the United States, and I find airports interesting. I’m also collecting Coca-Cola bottles from each country I visit. So far I’m up to eight, and I expect more to come along.

Is there anything big in your life that you’re working on? (This can be related to school, career, hobbies, family, friends, etc.)

At the moment, I’m trying to apply to medical school. It’s a really competitive process, but I’m hoping something will work out. The process has gone on long enough.

What are your interests outside of Girls’ Generation?

I’m a huge sports fan, especially of the St. Louis teams: Cardinals baseball, Blues hockey, and Rams football. I enjoy playing, or at least trying, different sports as well, and I like to stay active and compete. I tend to follow current events closely, and I’m a huge media junkie, as in I find the business side of media interesting. I enjoy most types of music, having played piano and violin when I was younger. I also love traveling and learning about different cultures and foods.

You can always find Busch Stadium packed for a baseball game on a summer evening. Note the view of the Gateway Arch from the other side.

How did you first become a fan of Girls’ Generation?

I was in college, and my girlfriend at the time had me watch “Hana Yori Dango” with her to keep me awake. I got hooked, and I started checking out other versions of the drama, including one a few years later from Mainland China. I got addicted to that one too for a period of time, and I started watching talk shows that the actors made appearances on. In one particular show, the main actress came out dancing to what I eventually learned was “Gee“. At the time, I thought it was a catchy song, so I looked it up on YouTube. I ended up watching that music video thirty times over a weekend…on each day. I was so intrigued that I started searching for other work by Girls’ Generation, and then I found their television shows, and then Soshified through SoshiSubs.

Just because it’s my favorite Girls’ Generation video, and because SoshiSubs does a quality job, I’m sticking this in here for your viewing pleasure.

Who is your favorite member and why?

I like to say I’m OT9, because each girl has something about her that I like, and they all contribute significantly to the group. However, as time has gone on, Yuri has definitely solidified herself in the top spot on my list. I believe that she is the most well-rounded member in terms of both singing and dancing. Of course, we can’t forget her silliness and her interesting habits. She has an amazing work ethic, both professionally and personally. And in my opinion, she’s the hottest member.

What is your favorite Girls’ Generation song and MV and why?

“Gee”. Other songs and music videos may be more critically acclaimed, but this song and music video made me a SONE, and every time I see the video or hear the song, I get a warm feeling inside. And no, I don’t mean pooping in my pants.

What is your favorite Girls’ Generation moment and why?

I’m gonna cop out here and say I don’t really know. I also absolutely hate this answer, but every moment is a special moment (wow, even I felt nauseous there). One event that does come to my mind is “Intimate Note“. Even though Tiffany wasn’t there, the entire episode was a riot and I believe showed the girls’ genuine personal sides. It also showed that the girls love to rib one another and are able to do so because they’re so close.

How has Girls’ Generation impacted your life, in specific areas or even as a whole?

I used to think the Korean language, culture, and food was weird, even though you would have never gotten me to admit it back then because there was no rational reason…well, maybe my previous bad experiences with Korean food. But Girls’ Generation made me learn more about Korea and and open my eyes as to how interesting it really is.

What do you like most about Soshified, and why? Any section in particular you’re attracted to?

Before life got too busy, I used to like hanging around the Discussions section. There were a lot of interesting questions and debates about the girls, and being a very opinionated person, I enjoyed giving my two cents about any particular topic. It’s a microcosm of what Soshified as a whole is: people interacting with each other and sharing their feelings about a common interest, and perhaps forming friendships based on these exchanges.

Why did you decide to join the Soshified staff, and why the particular job you have now?

I originally applied to be a moderator, but was turned down. It took me a while to get over that. When Soy announced that Soshified was creating a new position called Writers to report news and write original articles, it seemed perfect. As I said before, I’m a media junkie and I love current events, and in turn I enjoy writing news and opinions articles. I also wanted to write about the girls, but I wanted to keep my blog fairly professional and did not want K-Pop to dominate it. So Soshified turned out to be just the right outlet at just the right time.

What exactly do you do? Do you enjoy this position? What do you like about it?

For most of the past two years I was the Head Writer, so in addition to searching for news and writing or editing news, opinion, feature, and review articles, announcements, translations, and even Styling posts, I helped build the Writers team from scratch, implement writing styles and staff policies, interview and hire new candidates, lead meetings, assign articles, and pitch in wherever help was needed. After I stepped down as Head Writer a few months ago due to a busy schedule, I’ve mainly been doing the latter, just assisting wherever I can. Some of my colleagues may say that I assist too much haha. I’m also proud to say that Soshified Spotlight is the only continuously-running column from the very beginning and that the birthday dedications I started have become a huge hit. I shall also say that not every idea of mine has been a good one though, so that y’all don’t think I’m conceited.

What is your favorite project that you’ve ever been involved in?

One project I am also very proud of is last year’s Year-End Review. It was a last minute project that brought in many writers all at once, but I was incredibly happy that we were able to get the really massive article out in time and without too much difficulty. I was even more happy that everybody pitched in and gave all they got, and the teamwork left me feeling all warm and fuzzy, at least through the end of the year.

There was also an interview I tried to get with a certain celebrity that I was really excited about, but unfortunately I had to drop out due to extenuating circumstances. However, watch out for this interview in the future. I’m sure it’ll be an interesting read.

Any interesting experiences when interacting with members?

There was one opinions piece I wrote last year that got people talking and debating, which is what an opinions piece is supposed to do. Most people agreed with me, or if they didn’t were fairly civil in their responses. However, one member said I was out of line (ironically in a way that was out of line himself), and he even decided to report my article to the Helpdesk in Forums, stating that it was “rubbish” and didn’t belong on Soshified because this was “not my personal blog”.

On that note, I find people who are mean, think their opinions are the only correct ones, and don’t read highly amusing, and sometimes really annoying. (I know most of you are smart and great supporters of us, and we really appreciate it.)

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

I always liked jreddevil07‘s answer to this question in his Soshified Spotlight. It was short and random and offered interesting tidbits.

But I’m going to go a different route here. As I mentioned in Part 1, this is both a special and bittersweet moment for me. That’s because this will not only be the last Soshified Spotlight I am in charge of, but this will also be my last article for Soshified. It’s come around full circle, as my very first article for Soshified was the Solicitation Announcement. Before I leave though, I need to say a few words and thank a few people.

To everybody with whom I’ve worked or interacted, you’ve made Soshified a special place. There were a lot of highs and lows, but for the most part I’ve enjoyed my time here, and you were a big part of that. To all the Korean and Japanese Translators who have helped Writers, your assistance has been invaluable. We would really be up a creek without you all. That goes for the Tech Admins as well. Soshified and Portal would be a mess without your computer knowledge. To all the writers, past and current, you’ve done an amazing job, and I can tell that this team and Portal will go far because of your hard work. I know I haven’t been the easiest person to work with or work for, but I hope you know that it’s only because I wanted us to be the best, and I wanted you all to reach your maximum potential. Keep fighting. chejun deserves a special mention for being the first person at Soshified to welcome me into the fandom and talk to me. I know we’ve both been busy, but if you ever have time, feel free to drop me a line. And that goes for everybody else as well.

Soy, I’ve said time and again that you have created an amazing juggernaut here that I would not have been able to imagine. When I first started, I believed that you had a lot of great visions, and I still do. You also have an amazing team at your disposal that is willing to help; after all, that’s why they joined Soshified. Don’t be afraid to use them. And thanks for giving me a shot. It really has been a blast.

To the writers with whom I started, especially cucumberoni and spiceshoe, and shizzles9 and MaiMai!, we’ve been through thick and thin, and we’ve gotten close enough that I consider you personal friends. Wherever you go, good luck, and let me know how things are from time to time.

And to all the Soshified members and Portal users, thank you. You’re the reason we’re here writing, and while we might still be around even if you aren’t, your views, encouragements, and feedback have made this endeavor all the more worthwhile. Writers definitely love hearing from you; just remember to keep things civil. We don’t appreciate hostility or stupidity, and we’ll make fun of you for it.

Not that any of you really care, but here’s my Twitter (www.twitter.com/resbenchwarmer), and here’s my blog (www.commentsabouttheworld.blogspot.com). If you ever have any ideas or are interested to see what’s going on, stop by. I’ll be glad to see what’s happening with you too. I just don’t want to be the awkward stalker and make the first move:P

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As usual, you can submit nominations for future Soshified Spotlights if you’d like to participate or if you’d like to get to know a fellow member better. Instructions on how to do so can be viewed at the Soshified Spotlight Solicitation announcement. SeraphKY will be in charge from now on, so be sure to support him as he takes this feature to new heights. bhost909 and moonrise31 deserve thanks for editing this article.

You can also read past Soshified Spotlights by clicking on the “Soshified Spotlight” tag below.

Sources: Wikipedia 1, Wikipedia 2, soshisubsclassics@youtube.com
Compiled by: residentbenchwarmer@soshified
Graphic by: cioco@soshified

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