Trev's Love Life
Signe just got a new full-time job! It turns out that the Assistant Language Teacher in a town very close to ours had a trauma in the family and had to leave her post early. This left her schools in a bad situation and Signe has a friend in that town's board of education that put in a good word for her. They interviewed her and she was a perfect fit! She quit her old jobs at the cram school two hours away in Hamada and the nearby high school and will be teaching at two junior high schools that are about a half an hour from here. The salary is the same as a JET participant's so we will be able to make a lot of headway on our debts and loans. She won't have to travel so far as well, which is an added relief. To celebrate we both got mobile phones, if you want our numbers or phone email addresses email me.
Work is going fine. Teaching junior high school and elementary school kids is more fun that I ever imagined it would be. At the end of the second term we had a year-end party in Hiroshima. It was a real good time. I usually dislike company parties, but I had a really good time at this one. I really like the staff at the junior high school. They are good people to hang out with.
Trev's Winter Vacation
I spent most of the winter break relaxing at my house doing nothing much. For Christmas Signe and I went to a party being held in a town nearby for little kids that are part of a local English conversation school. I always like playing with kids, so I had a great time. We had some friends over for a few days and we just hung out watched movies and played games. Signe and I also went down to Hiroshima a couple times, which is rare for us, but it was necessary since she had to change her visa from a dependant (spouse) visa to a full working visa. So from this point on she can work in Japan as an instructor for the next three years before she has to renew her visa. After we got her visa we spent an entire day wondering around downtown Hiroshima having a good time. The snow has been crazy up here. In early December there was a huge snowstorm that dumped a lot of snow on us, a rarity this early in the season, so we spent a lot of time shoveling snow as well. On an up note, the sledding is great. Last weekend we went sledding up in the mountains with some friends and has a real fun time. All in all it was a good albeit uneventful vacation.
My computers continue to chug along. We recently bought an iPod for the car and for Christmas Signe's parents got us some gift cards for Apple's online music store, iTunes. It has been fun listening and buying new music from the US. Our favorite science fiction shows have started up again, so we will once again be using our computer to watch US TV, for better or for worse.
I am still trying to beef up my knowledge of all things worldly for the upcoming April Foreign Service Written Exam in Osaka. I am starting to get nervous about it, but al I can do is to continue to keep abreast of the news, study US law and history and try my best to improve my essay writing skills. Which is something I am seriously lacking right now. I recently subscribed to The Economist, which looks like it will be helpful for slightly more in-depth world news coverage.
As for my Japanese study I haven't been doing much. I didn't write on my Japanese journal over the break, so I might have become a bit rusty, but now that I am back at work I will get back in the habit of writing in it and posting it online, as well as practicing at least one new kanji (Chinese character) a day. I'll do my best!
Trev's One Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn Japanese? That is great! Last month we reviewed the polite form of verbs. Let's now tackle the short-form or dictionary-from of Japanese verbs. There are three types ru-verbs, u-verbs, and irregular verbs. Today let's talk about ru-verbs.
ru-verbs are called such because they all end in 'ru.' Some examples are tabe-ru (to eat), mi-ru (to see), and ki-ru (to wear).
To turn a ru-verb into the polite form that we previously learned all we have to do is replace the 'ru' with 'masu.' For example, tabe-ru becomes tabe-masu.
Conjugation of ru-verbs are pretty easy, too. The rule is you just replace the 'ru' as follows. Past tense ru becomes ta, present negative tense ru becomes nai, and past negative tense ru becomes nakatta. Here is an example:
Present positive: tabe-ru
Present negative: tabe-nai
Past positive: tabe-ta
Past negative: tabe-nakatta
Try conjugating mi-ru and ki-ru yourself.
Keep up you studies. Japanese can be a fun a rewarding language to learn!
That's it for this time. If you have time, drop me a line. I always like hearing from you. Until next time, take care.