Signe got a new job in Hamada, a city about 1 1/2 hours drive from our house, for two days a week. She also got her old job at Miyoshi High School back for another two days a week. That is great news for us here. The extra income will go towards our debts. The only downside to the new situation is that since Hamada is a good distance away, and she is teaching in the evenings there, she stays over in Hamada for one night each week. It's not so bad, but still a downside. Besides that we are just living life over here. We are both getting over a cold, so we didn't do much last weekend, but most weekends we hang out with people in nearby Unnan. Life is going pretty smooth for the most part.
Ever since the new school semester has started and I have classes to teach everyday, my rigid study schedule that carried me through the summer days has been thrown asunder. I am slowly getting back into the swing of things, but I sometimes feel overwhelmed with it all. I am working through a management textbook I bought, which is insightful, but only scratches the surface of the field. When I am reading the book, I can't help but think of how easy it is to become a bad manager. It takes a focused effort to manage well. I just hope I can rise up to that level. I am trying to read the news everyday as well. Before this summer I almost never read the news, with the exception of technology news or articles specific to something I was looking into. I have learned a lot about the world just from reading news sites like the Christian Science Monitor and The Economist, but I haven't made time to read them all the way through. I try to cover the major international news stories at the very least. My Japanese, though has been going to pot, though. Fortunately for me though, I just got the application for the 2005-2006 Shizuoka Translation Contest. The application has a lot of stuff to translate in it, so I have set off to dedicate part of my free time to working on that. I prefer to not work at home, so I try to do most of this at work, but sometimes that just isn't possible. In all honesty, I am quite lucky to have a job where I can afford to do so much, but I suppose that I will eventually have to develop a work ethic at home sometime...
Work is picking up. I visited the two local elementary schools this month for the first time since the spring. All the super cute little kids are still super cute and still packed full of insane amounts of excess energy. I love teaching at elementary schools, but it really works me to the bone. No free time there. Speaking of elementary schools, next year I intent to apply for a job here in Shimane where I would be teaching at elementary schools full time. It is a competitive position, so I am not sure I will get it, but I would love to have it. It would mean that Signe and I would be locked in for at least another two years in Shimane, which would be great. I know I could get another job outside the JET Programme, but I would rather stay in the Programme as long as I can, since the workload is small, and the pay is the best in Japan. Signe is trying for the Programme again this year, so hopefully she will get in, too. The JET Programme is a great thing to do if you want to get out there and change up your life. I highly recommend applying for it.
My computers are running as well as they ever were. Actually, I got a virus this month, and started using virus protection software for the first time in my life. This means one of two things: I am old or I have become technically inept. Unfortunately, it seems to be the latter. I was in class the other day and one of the English teachers wanted to use a projector connected to her laptop in class. Of course, I said it was easy to do, so we brought it and set it up, but I couldn't get it to display... I was SO embarrassed and ashamed. After class, the social studies teacher showed us al you have to do is press F10. The SOCIAL STUDIES teacher knows more about computers than I do. I am officially retarded. Three years of not programming has turned me into a luddite. It is quite annoying. Anyway, I have started playing Achaea, the text-based massively multiplayer online role playing game. I usually jump on and goof around for a little bit each night. Mostly it is just mindless fun, I enjoy taking my mind off things for a little while with it. If you want to play, send me a message when you get on. My character's name is Ilimlza. This month is a big deal for my blog. It has been one full year since I had started posting my journal in Japanese and English along with a Kanji-of-the-day on the web. I know very few people actually read it, but I feel that it has helped me keep up my limited Japanese writing skills at the very least. This month also marks the one month anniversary of my seldomly-listened-to audioblog! I am trying to improve my reading and speaking skills with it...and I am an attention-whore.
Thanks to the wonder that is BitTorrent (a peer-to-peer file-sharing program) Signe and I have been able to keep up with our favorite shows in the US. The first parts of Stargate SG-1 Season 9, Stargate Atlantis Season 2, and the most awesome Battlestar Galactica Season 2 just ended, and Lost Season 2 and Desperate Housewives Season 2 just started. That along with 4 shots of The Daily Show each week keeps our US TV addiction at bay. One thing I will have to do when I eventually return to the US for good is get back into anime. Join a club or something. That is something I really miss. It was always such a big part of who I was, I miss not having it.
Trev's One Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn some Japanese? That's great! Let's review how to conjugate i-adjectives:
present past +-------------------------- positive | STEM-i STEM-kunai negative | STEM-kunai STEM-kunakatta
So an i-adjective like ooki-i (big)is conjugated like this:
present positive: ooki-i
past positive: ooki-katta
present negative: ooki-kunai
past negative: ooki-kunakatta
Try conjugating these i-adjectives yourself:
chiisa-i (small), utsukushi-i (beautiful), urusa-i (noisy), tanoshi-i (fun), okashi-i (strange), kanashi-i (sad).
Keep up your studies and work hard! Japanese can be a fun and rewarding language to learn!
Well, that's about it for this time. Drop me a line sometime. I always enjoy hearing from you. Until next month, take care!