Signe (http://www.signerose.org/ ) is working hard these days. She is an Assistant English Teacher (not with JET) working one day a week at the main High School in Miyoshi City (http://www.city.miyoshi.hiroshima.jp/ , the closest city to us here). She also recently got another job in Miyoshi City, teaching a weekly conversation class at the TRW (http://www.trw.com/ ) plant.
Signe's little brother had a good visit with us, and I am glad that he could make it. Her parents will be arriving this month, and we are looking forward to their visit.
Signe will be trying for the JET Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/ ) next year, so with any luck we will be able to have a double income in 2005 for one year, which will help with our student loans a lot, but it might entail living apart for a year, which is a prospect I am less in love with, but we will see how it all unfolded as time goes on.
Work is going great. Our English Conversation CATV Show (aired on Iishi Dream Net http://www.i-yume.ne.jp/yume/index.html ) is getting more and more fun these days. Kawashima-sensei, my co-host, and I have been doing skits to demonstrate new English, and they are really fun to do. I get to be kooky on camera. It's great fun.
September was the Sports day month. I went to four Sports Day activities and had a great time. Next is Culture month, which is coming up in November. We will have Culture Days for all the schools in town. A culture day is basically a day where the kids show off the stuff they made, to performances, and have a good time. I am looking forward to it.
In other news, the mid-year Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) Conference is coming up next month, and I volunteered top be a presenter at it. I will be doing a talk entitled, “Teaching the Best, Teaching the Worst.” It is about methods if teaching very high level and very low level students in the same classroom that I have found effective.
I am still looking to apply to the ALT Prefectural Advisor (PA) position in January, but something has come up. My town (http://www.town.akagi.shimane.jp/ ) and the town next to us (http://tonbara-shimane.wikiverse.org/ ) are combining to make a new town called Iinan. Because of this, my supervisor wants me to decide if I want to stay in this town for another year in November, instead of February, like most JET participants, because they only want one ALT in the new town (there are currently two, one in my town, and one in the town next to me). If I don't get the PA position I want to stay here, but if I do get it, I want to take it. I am a little stressed about it, but I am sure that it will all work out in the end. I'll keep you all posted.
The Nihongo Journal (http://www.alc.co.jp/jpn/learner/index.html ) has turned out to be a great help in learning Japanese for me. I am also working on my kanji (Chinese characters in Japanese) at work as well. There are around 1945 general purpose kanji I have to memorize, so I have a long road ahead of me.
I have been doing some translation though. I have started translating my web pages into Japanese (http://trevreport.org/indexj.shtml ) slowly but surely. My Japanese isn't the best, but I can only get better if I put my neck out there.
I have also been translating strings in FSF (http://www.gnu.org/ ) software into Japanese. I have finished translating gmult (http://www2.iro.umontreal.ca/translation/registry.cgi?domain=gmult ) and am now working on the strings in the nano text editor (http://www.nano-editor.org/ ).
If any of you are interested in translating programs, I found a great program that assists in translating .po files (which are standard translation files), called poEdit (http://poedit.sourceforge.net/ ), it's free (as in beer) and it works great in Windows XP. Which brings me to...
I did finish writing a simple version (http://trevreport.org/soft.shtml ) of robotfindskitten (http://www.robotfindskitten.org/ ), but besides that I haven't been doing anything but web programming. As I said, I am translating my web pages into Japanese. I also made a bunch of CGI scripts in ksh to aid in the process. I have an index.cgi script that detects if you are coming from Japan, and if you are, you are redirected to the Japanese site; otherwise you are redirected to the English site. I also made a button at the bottom of the screen that with take you to the Japanese page or English page using a script that automatically changes the name of the file to load. While I was at it I added a real back button at the bottom of each page as well. Man, I love shell scripts and CGI.
As for my home computer, XP SP 2 has been treating me well since I made all those tweaks to it (http://trevreport.org/ttr/tTR040908.html ) last month. Signe and I have basically been using the computer here solely to download movies from BitTorrents (http://bittornado.com/ ). We are currently downloading all of Stargate SG-1 (http://www.stargatesg1.com/home.html ). I was having a moral dilemma about downloading movies and watching them, but we always delete them after we watch them and we aren't selling them so I guess I shouldn't freak out about it.
And finally, if any of you like text adventures and math, I highly recommend "Beyond the Tesseract." You can find it at http://www.wurb.com/if/game/211 or telnet to sdf.lonestar.org and play it there. It is good times.
I haven't watched much lately. But I do still have the contest at AniKi (http://trevreport.org/aniki/wiki.pl?AniKi ) to see who can add the most content to the site by the 21st. So check that out. Greyface has been doing his part, thanks!
I haven't been watching too much stuff lately, the lack of anime-watching friends in the area has made me less inclined to seek it out, it seems, but there is an anime fan in me, sleeping and waiting to return to the surface one day.
Trev's One Point Japanese Lesson
So you want to learn Japanese, huh? Cool! How about family members!
Mother - Okaasan
Father - Otousan
Big Sister - Oneesan
Big Brother - Oniisan
Little Sister - Imouto
Little Brother - Otouto
Grandmother - Obaasan
Grandfather - Ojiisan
Aunt - Obasan
Uncle - Ojisan
Good luck with your studies!
Well, that is about it for this episode of the Trev Report. Drop me a line sometime. I always like hearing from you. Until next month, take care!