Signe has returned from her part-time job teaching English in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Unfortunately, she is currently unemployed, but she is working on some ideas that will bring in some extra money for us. There is no big rush, though. We are not in any desperate need for cash these days.
Just in the last week, things have been picking up at work as the 2nd term of Junior High School is beginning. During the long summer vacation, I came to work everyday and spent my time studying various things for the Foreign Service Written Exam. I finished studying about the 43 presidents of the US, and have made some inroads on studying the many countries of the world. Much of my time has been spent reading various news sites, though. I have found that a very good way to learn about world events and history is (shock!) reading the news. The main news site I read is the Christian Science Monitor at http://www.csmonitor.com/ , although I also read the Economist ( http://www.economists.com/ ), and some others at times as well. I am getting quite used to reading text on a computer screen for long periods at a time. That was something I was never very good at before. I was always impressed with people that could read ebooks for long stretches. I have always preferred paper books, but I could be convinced to make the change to ebooks now.
In any case, with school picking back up, I am finding it harder and harder to make time to study at work. Work, of course, must take a front seat. I will continue to fit it in when I have time, though.
Trev's Science Fiction
Both Signe and I are really into Science Fiction. We have been following shows like Stargate, Battlestar Galactica (the current favorite), and The 4400, which recently ended its 2nd season. We are able to watch current US TV shows because of BitTorrent and tracker sites like http://www.mininova.org/ . It is nice to be able to watch new episodes every week.
We just finished watching Dark Angel, as well. I thought the 1st season was good, but the 2nd and final season was mind-numbingly horrible. We also watched all of Tru Calling, which could have been good, but they took way to long to find a good non-episodic plotline to follow before it was cancelled. Currently we are working through Futurama, which is a really fun show to watch.
I am still reading the _Night's Dawn Trilogy_ by Peter F. Hamilton. I am almost finished with _A Second Chance At Eden_, his series of short stories set in the past of the Confederation universe (the Night's Dawn book take place in 2611). I really like these books, they are a real fun read, but I sometimes feel like I should be reading news or history instead. I haven't really put a great effort into turning my living room into a place conducive to studying though.
All the new people in Unnan are great. We hang out with them often. In fact, last weekend we all went to a BBQ party in Daito. I really feel as though my network f friends has grown since my first year. That first year Signe and I really didn't put forth too much effort to make a lot of friends in the JET community, but since then I think that we have made some really good friendships. I will truly miss the day I have to depart from Shimane.
I have been working hard to keep up my blog at http://www.trevreport.org/blog/ and http://trevmex.livejournal.com/ . I am trying out an idea I had a while back and am making an audioblog. That is, I am speaking my blog after I write it and I post an MP3 file of it for download. I find it a good way to practice speaking Japanese, since my studies have petered off some since I have been focusing on studying for the Foreign Service Written Exam.
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.
na-adjectives are called that because they all end in "na." For example:
kirei-na - clean
hen-na - strange
suki-na - like
kantan-na - easy
To conjugate these na-adjectives into the past tense is really easy! All you have to do is change the "na" into "deshita:"
kirei deshita - was not beautiful
hen deshita - was not fun
suki deshita - was not big
Can you guess what the past tense of kantan-na is?
Until next time, keep studying and work hard!
Well, that's about it for this month. If you want to read (or listen) about my daily goings on in English OR Japanese check out my blog. Drop me a line sometimes. I always enjoy hearing from you.