Friday, April 22, 2011

Part ④ [Tour Cube]: A day in the life of a Cube trainee

Now that we’ve gotten a deeper glimpse into what makes up the foundations of Cube Entertainment, the tour takes us back to Cube’s training room.

One of the biggest questions raised by the public is the actual education of these trainees. With such intense schedules, do they actually have the time to attend classes and complete their coursework?

Trainers answered, “It’s a complete misunderstanding by the public. They think that trainees live a more comfortable life compared to students who must prepare for college entrance exams, but that’s completely wrong.”

So what’s in a day for a Cube trainee?

◆ 6:00 AM

Like any other student their age, trainees wake up at 6 AM to prepare for school. They attend classes right alongside their classmates, but use their breaks wisely by studying and listening to music to prepare for their weekly evaluations.

The mission for this week is creating your own rap. The trainees are given a specific beat and must come up with their own rap lyrics to present before their trainers. In order to fully immerse themselves in the mission, the trainees busily listen to every hip hop track they can get their hands on every chance they get.

After lunch, they’ll practice choreographies in the auditorium or go up to the school rooftop to practice singing. Unlike their peers, trainees don’t get a minute of rest at school, since they use every minute they can to make up for what they lack.

◆ 5:00 PM

After attending all of their classes, they say goodbye to their friends and head straight to the Cube building. Earphones never leave their ears even on the bus ride over, and some can be seen murmuring the lyrics to their mission rap as they anxiously wait for their stop.

Once they arrive, they enter the building after a fingerprint scan and turn in their cell phones and diaries. Cell phones aren’t allowed inside of their training rooms since they’re seen as a distraction, and are promptly returned once trainees leave the building.

Before they begin training, they get their meal tickets and head to the cafeteria. Although they’re fed a wide variety of side dishes, they’re careful with what they eat. Trainees who eat dinner at the company usually order fresh chicken salad.

◆ 6:00 PM

This is the busiest time for trainees, as they finally begin their training day. As mentioned before, trainees divide into their respective groups (preparation trainees, trainees, and project trainees) and follow a set time schedule.

Vocal lessons are held on a one-on-one basis with their instructors. There are only two vocal instructors, so they’re able to catch every mistake and improvement with each trainee. Since it’s one of the most basic trainee courses, they’re careful not to slack.

Choreography lessons are given in one hour intervals. Even if the instructor is not present, trainees are still expected to fulfill their hour.

Foreign language lessons are centered around Mandarin-Chinese and Japanese. In each classroom, there’s a white board and set of desks that look no different from any other academy. There’s a list of names on the white board under the title, ‘Retests’.

Saturday is one of the more interesting days. Depending on the time schedule, trainees participate in character training, sex education, health education, and sometimes depression tests. Once every two weeks, trainees are told to collect the garbage around their neighborhood. Once a month, they take part in more rigorous volunteer and charity work.

Because time schedules vary from day to day, there are hours where nothing is scheduled. Female trainees will usually head to a yoga class while male trainees head to the company gym and work out. Some use the time to catch up on their foreign language lessons while others head into booths to practice their singing.

◆ 10:00 PM

All training ends at 10 PM. For those trainees who live close to the company, it’s a quick trip home, but for those who live further out, they don’t get home till past midnight. It’s not lost time, though, as they’ll recount dance steps in their heads or memorize lyrics on the bus.

◆ 1:00 AM

After going over their weekly evaluation missions one last time, they write their feelings, thoughts, and other concerns in their Cube diaries. The diary is divided into lesson sections, and by the time they’re done filling all of those out, it’s already 3 AM. Finally concluding their day, trainees briefly nestle in their beds before they wake up to another cycle the next day.

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