Signe and I have been doing a lot of stuff together recently. In fact we just got back from the Tottori Sand Dunes (http://www.east.tottori.tottori.jp/e/see/place/e_sakyu.htm), which are the only sand dunes in all of Japan.
We have been doing many other things as well. It seems that we are out and about every weekend seeing the local sights. A few weekends ago we went to see some beautiful flower orchards and Signe bought some lavender flowers for her garden in the backyard. We don't have an excess of spending cash at the moment, so we are finding lots of fun things to do that don't cost a lot of money!
Now that class is back in session, work is starting to pick up. That is to say, I have more classes to teach. The great thing about the JET Programme is that the work isn't hard at all, and even on busy days, there is a fair amount of free time to do whatever you want. At least in my situation this holds true. I have heard that high school assistant language teachers and coordinators of international relations have more work to do on a regular basis.
I have been doing a lot of thinking recently about what I want to do after my term in the JET Programme is over (which will be July 31, 2006), and I have decided the following course of action. I will get a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate and look for another English teaching job within Japan, for example, with Interac (http://www.interac.co.jp/recruit/). Concurrently, I will study for the Foreign Service Written Exam (FSWE, http://careers.state.gov/officer/join/examguide.html) in order to get a job with the US State Department as a Foreign Service Officer (http://careers.state.gov/officer/). If I fail to pass the exam, I will try again the next year until I eventually am able to secure a position for myself in the Foreign Service. Signe, of course, will be trying to get into the Foreign Service as well.
In any case, that is the plan. As plans tend to do, I am sure it will change over time, but I feel good about this one, and will give it my all.
I am always writing little web applications to suit my needs here and there. For example, I recently wrote a web app in Perl (http://www.perl.org/) that produces a remind (http://www.43folders.com/2005/02/guest_mike_harr.html) file with my weekly schedule on it so I can have it emailed to me everyday (http://www.trevreport.org/soft/weekly.shtml <-- makes the remind file, http://trevreport.org/soft/showthisweek.cgi <-- the Perl script that sends my schedule to my email everyday).
Besides my endless web and UNIX tweaking, I have also gotten a bit interested in GameBoy Advance programming and am currently studying some tutorials (http://www.loirak.com/gameboy/gbatutor.php) on the subject. I don't know if anything will come of it, but I have been getting the programming itch for a while now, and this seems like a good way to scratch it.
My Japanese study comes along as slow and steady as ever. I am on the 6th and final book of my JET Programme Self-Study Course. After I finish it, I think I will start to tackle some translation projects I have been thinking about doing. Anything to keep up my skills will be helpful, in my opinion. And, of course, I will continue to write in my journal (http://www.trevreport.org/blog) as often as I can.
Trev's Art Committee
The JAGS (http://www.shimaneart.com/) exhibition will be coming up this month and things are stating to get pulled together with the committee work. We are a bit short on money, but I have a feeling that we will make it through the opening, etc. Wish us luck!
Trev's Anime, Sci-Fi, and Games
I haven't been doing too much in this category lately. Signe and I have been watching Lost (http://www.4815162342.com/) as it comes out, and I really am liking it. We have also been following 24. We recently finished season 3 and are watching season 4 now. I'm not the biggest fan of the show (I think it is misogynistic, http://www.teevee.org/archive/2004/06/14/, among other complaints), but nonetheless I enjoy watching it.
Emily (http://modernemily.blogspot.com/) taught us a fun game to play with UNO. It's called "bartalk," and the rules are simple. You just play UNO and then the winner of the first game gets to make up a new rule for the game, and you play again. The second time the next winner makes up another rule, and the third game you play with both new rules, etc. It is really fun.
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.
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 past tense is really easy! All you have to do is change the "i" into "katta:"
utsukushi-katta - was beautiful
tanoshi-katta - was fun
ooki-katta - was big
Can you guess what the past tense of omoshiro-i is?
Until next time, keep studying and work hard!
Well, that's about it for this edition of the Trev Report. I hope you are all doing well and having a great time in life. Feel free to drop me a line, I always like hearing from you!