Signe just found out that she is an alternative for the JET Programme. That means if someone doesn't want to go onto the JET Programme she is on the list of people they draw from next. She isn't told where on the list she will be, so we might wait as last as August to know for sure, but I have a feeling that she will get a position pretty soon. Here's hoping.
Besides that, we are doing great. We just got back from the 2005 World Expo ( http://www.expo2005.or.jp/en/ ) in Aichi Prefecture ( http://www.pref.aichi.jp/index-e.html ). It was really amazing! Emily ( http://modernemily.blogspot.com/ ) came with us as well and we had a really awesome time. There were lots of crazy robots, wild buildings, and tons of people. Signe's pictures from the expo are at http://flickr.com/photos/jumex/sets/213674/ and my report of the show is at http://www.trevreport.org/blog/2005/04/another-world-expo.html .
This is the month of downtime for most ALTs in the JET Programme. April is when the new school year starts and we have 2 weeks of spring vacation, but to take the day off, you have to take paid vacation days, so I have just been going to work everyday and playing around on...
In my eternal boredom I have tweaked my homepage ( http://trevreport.org/ ) a lot. I think the design is really kickin' now and I'm pleased with my XHTML/CSS/Perl skillz. It all started with wanting to make my pages more accessible ( http://www.diveintoaccessibility.org/ ), and so while I was at that, I made the site look better. It is really cool in browsers that support CSS 2 (i.e. anything NOT Internet Explorer) since I made it so that the sides and top bar don't move, only the main content thanks to a suggestion from Signe. I also did a few other computer projects mainly revolving around my SDF account ( http://sdf.lonestar.org/ ), like opening my mail directly after I log in, etc. What I didn't do is study a lot of Japanese, which I am slightly ashamed of. Whenever I have a computer in front of me, it seems that I can always find one more thing I want to do on it.
Speaking of Japanese, I AM still working on the CLAIR Self-Study Course, but I am only doing about 1-2 pages a day, and it doesn't seem to get absorbed as well. In good news, I am feeling more confidant in my speaking and listening skills, and writing a daily journal in Japanese for the last two years or so has helped me a lot when it comes feeling unabashed about writing things in Japanese down. I'm not at an employable level in my opinion, but I will just have t keep at it until one day I am. One thing that demoralized me this month was that I was at a Japanese party with the ALT in a neighboring town who didn't know any Japanese before they came over to Japan, and at the party they were speaking, understanding, and even writing way better that I do. I was a little bummed at myself for not being up to par, but I just have to keep the faith that I am improving, albeit at a slower pace than others.
Trev's Art Committee
The JAGS Committee is coming along well. I feel bad since I didn't make the last meeting because I went to the World Expo. I was mistaken about when the date of the next meeting was. I think I was in a bad mood as well, since there was some hassle about getting the JAGS website ( http://www.shimaneart.com/ ) up and running. The next big event for the committee is going to be a bake sale at the Kisuki Town Wine Event. I will do my best to work hard at that event. I seem to be having a hard time getting excited about the committee, but I'll do my best as long as they will have me.
Trev's Anime, Sci-Fi, and Games
I haven't watched much of anything new lately. I am working through "Golden Sun: The Lost Age" ( http://www.nintendo.com/gamemini?gameid=m-Game-0000-1277 ) for the Game boy Advance ( http://www.gameboyadvance.com/ ). And recently, I was playing a GREAT game called "Another Code" ( http://www.nintendo.co.jp/ds/anoj/ ) on Emily's Nintendo DS (http://www.nintendo.com/systemsds ). It is all in Japanese, but it is pretty simple Japanese, so I can understand it pretty well. "Another Code" is an adventure game, like the Sierra SCI games or the old LucasArts games. It is like a rebirth of the adventure game genre for the portable platform. I really hope it takes off in America as it has in Japan.
As for Sci-Fi, I am still waiting excitedly for season two of Battlestar Galactica ( http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/ ) and to a lesser extent the Stargate shows as well (SG-1 and Atlantis http://www.gateworld.net/ ).
As for anime, I am getting in the mood to watch something new, but I don't know what yet. It is tough to get excited about it when there isn't anyone else around that can really be pumped about watching stuff, but we will see.
I really want to get a new board game for us to play here. I have heard of a lot of really cool sounding board/card games out there that I want to try, but I just haven't gotten around to buying them.
Trev's One-Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn Japanese, huh? Great! How about negative past tense for verbs.
Here are a few verbs for us to work with:
tabemasu - to eat
nomimasu - to drink
ikimasu - to go
shimasu - to do
OK. Remember last month? Do you notice something similar in all of them? They all end in -masu. To conjugate a verb in Japanese, all you have to do is change the ending of it! So we will be changing they verbs into the past tense, this is how you do it: Change the -masu at the end of the verb to -masen. That's it!
So, let's look at our example verbs:
tabemasu becomes tabemasen deshita
nomimasu becomes nomimasen deshita
ikimasu becomes ikimasen deshita
Can you guess about kaerimasu?
Until next time, keep up your studies! Japanese can be a real fun language to learn and speak!
Well, that is about it for the Trev Report for this go around. I hope you all enjoyed it. If you want to read more drivel about me, you can check out the blog at http://trevreport.org/blog/ . If you have time, drop me a line, I always like hearing from all of you. Take care until next time!