Signe has had a great month. This was the month we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary and for it I got Signe a nice watch, and she got us a really cool lamp for the living room. She also went off to Kyoto for a 5-day Kimono Workshop and Shopping Tour that was organized by a kimono buyer in America. She made a lot of great friends and had a wonderful time.
Signe also hosted her annual garden party to a smashing success. Many people showed up and the weather was good, so the garden was showcased well. Way to go, Signe!
I'm back into the usual routine here at work. I teach anywhere from 2-4 classes a day, and I am starting to go to elementary schools again as well. I will begin recording my CATV English Conversation Class (http://www.trevreport.org/eikaiwa.shtml) again starting this month. That is always fun and challenging.
I am still planning on getting my TEFL certificate (http://www.onlinetefl.com/) so I will have a better chance of getting an English teaching position come Fall 2006. This summer I will also start to study for the Foreign Service Written Exam in hopes of (eventually) getting a Foreign Service Officer position with the State Department (http://www.state.gov/). As I have stated before, my plan is to continue taking the exam until I get in. As long as I can get a job in the interim here in Japan, I'll be OK.
The worksheet was to be used with a song, there was the lyrics of the song on one side in English with some words left blank to be filled in by students, and the Japanese translation on the other side with some words underlined to be used as hints. I often make these worksheets and reuse them, but I thought wouldn't it be neat if I could make a web application that could do it for me and all I would have to do is select the blanked out words and print it out. So I made it. A Lyrics Worksheet (http://www.trevreport.org/lyrics/). It works great. I am still populating the database with songs I have lyrics and translations for (which is great for practicing kanji), but it has already provided very useful. I really like creating useful things and I hope that a lot of people can utilize this application.
I finished the JET Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/) Advanced Self-Study Japanese course, and I'm pretty sure I passed it. I have applied to take the course in Translation and Interpretation next year, but it is very high level and I might not pass the entry test. We will see.
As for other things. I have been translating things in my free time, like The Legend of Ban Ryu Gorge (http://www.trevreport.org/trans/kami01.htm). Ban Ryu Gorge is a place we went camping at in a nearby town a few weekends ago. Of course, I am also studying by entering in lyrics into the lyrics database as well. And the Galactic Pharmacy (http:// www.trevreport.org/blog/2005/03/galactic-pharmacy.html) translation project is coming along well, as well.
Trev's Art Committee
The JAGS (http://www.trevreport.org/JAGS/) Art Show was this month and it was a smashing success. I was there for setup, the opening, and break down at the closing. For the one week we were at the Shimane Prefectural Art Museum we had a little over 1,200 guests viewing the artworks on display by the foreign population of Shimane Prefecture. I had a great time with the committee and look forward to being involved with it next year as well.
Signe and I recently finished watching the first season of Lost (http://www.4815162342.com/) and I have to admit it was awesome. I am very much looking forward to the next season. Speaking of next seasons, the new season of Battlestar Galactica (http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/) is coming out in the next month or so and I'll be looking forward to watching that on a weekly basis as well.
As for movies, I recently watched "Napoleon Dynamite" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0374900/) and highly recommend it for its quirky humor value. I also watched Episode III (off the Internet) and both Signe and I are really looking forward to watching it on the big screens here in Japan when it comes out next month.
I have been reading the Night's Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton (http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk/) lately as well. It comes highly recommended by many people whose taste in science fiction I greatly respect, and I am loving it so far.
I haven't watched any anime at all lately, and in fact I recently cancelled my subscriptions to Newtype (http://pc.webnt.jp/index.php) and Afternoon (http://www.afternoon.co/jp/) to save money, since I wasn't reading them al that much anyway. I'm sure I will get back into anime sometime in the future when I live in a place with an anime club that I can get involved in.
The big thing I have been doing lately is going camping on the weekends. A few weekends back I hiked to the top of Mt. Kotobiki (http:// www.iinan.jp/kanko/mt_kotobiki.htm) with Matt from Kakeya and Rebecca from Kisuki. And the next weekend we went to the Ban Ryu Gorge in Misato with Matt, Rebecca, Signe, and Emily from Nita. It was wonderful to get out and hike and swim in fresh water, and just play in the nature. It is very refreshing, especially when most of your days you are sitting at a desk behind a computer.
Trev's One-Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn Japanese, huh? That's great! How about looking into some adjectives!
There are two types of adjectives in Japanese. "i-adjectives" and "na-adjectives," or Nounal Adjectives. Let's look at the first type again.
i-adjectives are called that because they all end in "i." For example:
utsukushi-i - beautiful
tanoshi-i - fun
ooki-i - big
omoshiro-i - interesting
To conjugate these i-adjectives into the negative form is really easy! All you have to do is change the "i" into "kunai:"
utsukushi-kunai - not beautiful
tanoshi-kunai - not fun
ooki-kunai - not big
Can you guess what the negative form of omoshiro-i is?
Until next time, keep studying and work hard!
Well, that's about it for this edition of the Trev Report. Feel free to drop me a line sometime. I always enjoy hearing from you.