has been happing here in Japan for Signe and me, so letfs get on with the
Signe and I are doing great! She has been very busy as of late. She has
ended her weekly cake-baking job to work as a part-time English teacher at
a local High School! One day a week she goes to the High School and helps
teach advanced English classes and corrects studentsf papers.
Signe has also picked up a hobby. She is really into sewing and wearing
kimono. She has already made one full kimono and she is working on another
one as we speak. You can see her finished works at
She is also selling some vintage kimono on eBay. So if you get a chance,
check her out there too. Her seller ID is gsignerose.h
Besides that, things have been going along as usual. Signe has discovered
BitTorrent, so we download movies from the Internet and watch them here,
which is nice when a theater ticket price is around 1800 yen per person.
Work is going great for me. As most of you know I have signed on for a
second year on the program, so we will be living here at least until
August 2005, but I full intend to stay much longer if at all possible.
Last week we had a three-day training conference in Kobe (near Osaka in
the Western part of Japan) and I picked up a lot of useful tricks and tips
on teaching there. I teach at nursery schools, elementary schools, and
junior high schools and there were panel discussions on all three at the
conference so I have come back with a lot of fun new ideas for teaching.
Another event at the conference was a speech by one of the original JET
Program members who has been living in Japan for about 20 years now. He
talked about staying in Japan for the long term and the trails and
benefits of doing so. I was very inspired by his speech and have asked for
a transcript of it. When I get it I will make sure to post it somewhere
The other big work related news is that I was selected to be a volunteer
at this yearfs Tokyo Orientation for incoming JET participants. There will
be about 6000 new faces, and only two people from each prefecture in Japan
were chosen to assist with the event. As many of you know I love manning
large events like this, so it is quite a treat for me. That is coming up
at the end of July in Tokyo.
I am also still writing a monthly article in Japanese and English for the
town newsletter. I write a one page article every month and talk about
different issues like diversity, teaching, and other things like that. I
will bring them to America to show off when I return in July.
My TV show has been on hiatus for a few months while we find new Japanese
hosts, but the search is over, and we should start up recording the
monthly show again this month.
Trevfs Vacation Time Fun!
Well, Ifm not the biggest fan of taking vacations but, when my best man,
Scott Francis came all the way to Japan to visit us, I just had to take a
week off to hang out with him!
Last month, Scott flew into Osaka, and he and I toured the Kansai
(western) region Japan. We went to Osaka and checked out all the cool
arcades, the famous gDen-Den Townh electronics district and went to many
shrines in the area. Then we went to Nara, the home of the Great Buddha, a
15 meter tall bronze statue in housed in the largest wooden building in
the world. It is a beautiful city full of very tame deer (you can pet them
and they eat out of your hand) and wonderful sites. We met up with Signe
there and then headed off to Kyoto for the day where we saw the famous and
always populated Shijo Street with itfs unique blend of old and new mixed
together like only Kyoto has.
After the crazy Kansai romp we all headed back to the sleepy town of Akagi
up in the hills of Shimane Prefecture for a few days of rest and
relaxation. There are many beautiful waterfalls in the area, so we took
Scott to see one. I even took him to one of my elementary schools to see
when a Japanese elementary school library looks like for his mom, who is
an elementary school librarian. The kids got a kick out of seeing a new
face in the hallways as well.
Our last day together we all went to the capital of Shimane, Matsue, to
see our local castle, Matsue-jo, it was fun seeing a real castle and Signe
and I hadnft even been there yet.
With that we sent Scott on his way and it was back to the old grind for us.
Many of you already know this, but we are coming home for most of July! We
will be in the Seattle area from June 29th to July 13th and in the Bay
Area from July 13th to July 18th, we are returning from Seattle to Japan
on the 19th. We are planning on attending Danielle and Johanfs wedding in
Olympia (they are friends from college) and Mike and Tinafs wedding in
Santa Clara where I get to be the best man!!! (Mike Chu is a good friend
from High School and we have grown closer over the years). I am really
excited about seeing everybody again. I am really scared that my Japanese
will go all the hell (which it will) but as they say in Japan gsho ga naih
which I like to translate into gwhat can ya do?h with a apathic shrug for
Man, it seems like my Japanese isnft getting any better. There is always
someone that is better than you, but I try my best everyday. Actually, the
only days I seriously get to speak in only Japanese is when I am at an
elementary school, nursery school, or at the board of education. I only
have those days twice a week. The other three days I work at the junior
high school where many ofhe teachers like to speak in English. So I mostly
communicate in English, which is great for the other teachers, and I am
glad that I can do that with them. I also speak nothing but English at
home with Signe as well. Her Japanese is improving like no onefs business
though. She is doing great.
I was recently discouraged a little when I noticed that an ALT in a
neighboring town who didnft have any Japanese knowledge when they came
here has improved to a level near mine. I was also put down when I was in
class and I realized that I started studying Japanese seven years ago, but
donft have all that much communicative skill to show for it.
Of course, I still write daily in my diary in Japanese, but the level of
my entries has stayed the same 3rd grade level for quite some time now.
I will continue to do my best though. I really want to master this
language, and I still find studying it fun and rewarding, so I will
I havenft done much on the anime front as of late. I have been playing a
few games like rRootage,
http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~cs8k-cyu/windows/rr_e.html , which is a really
great fan-made shoot-em-up (or shmup for the fans out there). Signe and I
both have been banging away at Yoshifs Island for the GBA as well. Ifm on
level 4 and Signe is on level 5. Dom got it for us as a present when he
came to Japan to hang out with us. That is a really fun and addictive
There are a few shows I really want to watch, but the last show I really
watched was Gundam SEED. I love that show, even though it is a rehash of
the original Gundam, they did a great job and the characters and mechs are
cool, especially the M1Astray. That is an awesome mech and by far my
I have also founded the AJET Anime and Manga Special Interest Group at
http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/AJETAMSIG/ . It is a group where we talk
about anime and manga and how we can use it to help teach kids English, as
well as a gathering place for fans of the arts.
The laptop is working great. We have it connected to the TV and watch many
TV shows/movies we download on it. We recently watched Dead Like Me, which
is a great show, among others. I have had the same background
(http://www.trevreport.org/images/background.jpg ) on my desktop for
years. It is accompanied by my figures of Yomiko and Nancy next to the
computer (http://www.trevreport.org/images/laptop.jpg ). Thanks to Robert
Loo for sending gthe girlsh to me all the way in Japan. I recently saw one
for sale in Kobe and it was pricier than the ones Robert sent me!
Actually I have been MUDding a lot lately. A MUD is a Multi-User Dungeon.
It is basically an online fantasy text-based video game, where many people
from all over the world come and play with each other. The MUD I am
currently playing is called Achaea (http://www.achaea.com/ ), if any of
you ever come on, my name in the Achaea is Ilimlza. I am a Mhun
(underground dweller) in the Jesters Guild. I really like the game, the
people are great and the environment is fun to play in.
I have been trying to relearn programming as well, but I am not too
inspired these days, so it is tough. I play around with coding every now
and again, but I am not doing any serious projects. It seems that my
computer science days and my multi-thousand dollar CS degree is going to
the wayside, but Ifve no regrets, I couldnft imagine being anything but a
CS major in college, if for nothing else, the friends I made through it.
Trevfs One Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn Japanese, huh? Well how about if you WANT something.
Wanting is easy in Japanese it is just g_______ ga hoshii desu.h So here
are some examples:
Ringo ga hoshii desu. I want an apple.
Bi-ru ga hoshii desu. I want a beer.
Kuruma ga hishii desu. I want a car.
Pretty easy, huh? Well keep up the hard work and I will see you all next
That is about it for this edition of the Trev Report. I hope you all
enjoyed it. I know I did. I am looking forward to visiting a lot of you
next month, so I see some of you then. For the rest of you, drop me a line
sometime. I always like hearing from you all.