10/31/2006

Japan: 100% safe!

You know, every now and again I'll hear a student here be surprised at the idea of locking their bicycle or at taking care that they aren't pickpocketed when they're in a crowd and they'll something like, "What? But this is Japan!"

I just wanna smack 'em.

遅かったね | A bit slow but here it is

先週の金曜日、囲碁教室は行って、先生に教えていただいた。話は全部日本語だったので、分かりにくかった。だが、役に立つことを習った。あそこに働く女の人とちょっと話した。何年間日本語を勉強していると聞いたら、僕は日本では半年だと答えた。あの女の人はすごくびっくりして、信じられない!と言った。アメリカでは?って。一人で少し文法だけを勉強していた。「え~?!」これは気持ちがよかった。

Last Friday, I went to the new Go classroom and got a bit of free training from a sensei there. His explanation was entirely in Japanese so it was a bit hard to follow (what with the detailed stuff he was demonstrating) but I learned a bit of useful stuff. I spoke with a lady that works there and she asked me how many years I've been studying Japanese. Uh, six months here and a bit of grammar study back in America. She was totally blown away. I've been asked that question before and the folks are always rather surprised, but this lady just totally was in shock. It seemed sincere, though, and was a nice ego boost.

土曜日、三河おっさんと英会話学校のハロウィーンパーティーでボランティアしてあげていた。まあまあだった。若い子供のためのパーティーだったが、簡単な英語でだけ話せた。基本的に、その先生の道具として僕たちがいた感じている。ハロウィーンやクリスマスの時、外人はそんなエベントに誘われているそうだ。これから注意をする。

Saturday, I went to an English conversation school's Halloween party for some of their kids. It was so-so. The kids were really young and we were only allowed to speak with them with extremely basic English. "Hello!!!" and "Good job!!!" and "High-five!!!" for example. We were instructed to excitedly give high-fives to everybody and to give out plenty of the stickers that we held to everybody. We were essentially the "token gaijin"—mere tools and I wasn't comfortable with that. Fortunately, it was just for an hour. I'm told that around Halloween and Christmas, I need to look out for invitations to these sorts of things. I really don't like giving the kids (mainly four- to six-year-olds, I'd guess) such a ridiculous impression of foreigners.

でも、パーティーが終わったら、三人の家族は僕を寿司屋に食べに連れて行ってくれた。いろいろ面白い物を食べて、みんなとテレビのフィギュアスケートを見て、店員に日本語のコンプリメントを言ってもらった。それから、あの家族の家に連れて行ったもらった。30分ぐらいで座ってテレビを見たり話したり果物を食べたりした。最後に、家に連れて来てもらった。楽しかった夜だったな。

But after the party, I was treated to sushi by the main family. We drove to a sushi bar deep in the city and sat at an actual bar and ate—believe it or not!—actually sushi. We watched some figure skating on TV for a while. A trio of popular Japanese skaters were performing. (They dominated the parts that we saw.) The shopkeeper (who undoubtedly has a dark past) complimented my Japanese quite heavily. In particular, he said that my speaking is very kirei—a word meaning "beautiful," basically—and made it clear that he was not just flattering me. That was pretty nice. After the sushi, I visited their house for a while and then returned home. It was a good evening.

パーティーの前に、岡崎駅前で杉浦先生に出会った。三河おっさんもいたので、先生に彼を下手に紹介してさしあげて、三河おっさんに下手に先生を紹介してあげた。三河おっさんは日本人以上ほど日本語が上手だから、ちょっと先生と僕について話していた。何が言われたか、あまり分からないけど、いいことのようだった。(笑)

Before the party, Mikawa Ossan and I ran into Sugiura-sensei in front of Okazaki Station. I clumsily introduced them to each other—it occurs to me that I'm not sure that we've ever covered introductions before in class—and they shared a couple of comments about me in Japanese that that I didn't quite understand but that seemed like good things, at least.

昨日の授業、とてもよかった。更に、今日の授業もよかったと思う。

Yesterday's class was good, as was today's.

昨日の授業で、「私はパイロットになりたかった。だが、両親は強く反対した。」という文がプリントに書いてあった。僕は読み上げると「パイロット」というのが英語の「pirate」(パイレーツ)と思っていたけど、本当は「pilot」だった。まあ~。その後、Jクラスのみんなは「ことクラスの一番顔が広い人はジョンさん」になんとなく決めた。例文だけだったね!

Yesterday, there was a certain sentence printed on a worksheet. In rōmaji: "Watashi wa pairotto ni naritakatta. Da ga, ryoushin wa tsuyoku hantai shita." It means "I wanted to become a pilot, but my parents strongly objected" (or in more casual terms, "... my parents weren't havin' none o' that mess"). Thing is, I read pairotto as "pirate." Hilarity ensued in class, of course. Later on, in another exercise, everyone voted me most "kao ga hiroi," or, I think, "most well-known." That's the second time that I've been used for such a thing. Am I just the automatic go-to man for this sort of thing? It's all well and good until we start voting for "most flatulent" or something.

敬語の選択授業の先生は原田先生だ。先週、最初の授業が行われたが、その日にはプレイスメントテストだけをした。残念だけど、今学期新井先生に初めて教えていただけなさそう。しかし、原田先生は優しいい先生だと思うから、知らない先生と知り合うためにこのほうがいい。今週の敬語授業はほとんど復習だった。その後で、アオイホールでのおしゃべり場サロンへ行って、いた日本人の女の人に「お頑張りします」と言ってみて、正しくないって言われた。少し説明していただいて、今よく分かる。

My keigo class with Harada-sensei (a sensei that I've had no contact with until now) is progressing well. I was hoping to be with Arai-sensei again but it'll be good to learn from sensei that I don't know as well.

今日、廣江先生に使役受身形を勉強させられた。というか、廣江先生に使役受身形を教えていただいた。(笑)とても面白かったのに、使役受身形は作り方も複雑だし、言いにくいし、それで丸で面倒くさい動詞の形だと思う。だけど、大切だから、上手に使えるように頑張って勉強している。

Today, we covered the causative-passive verb form. Fun, that one. Just to give you an idea, "was made to eat" is "tabesaseraremashita." And don't even get me started on "was made to work," "hatarakaseraremashita." Good grief. But it's pretty interesting and I'm glad that we're covering it. Important stuff this. It's a rather unwieldy form, though.

今日、ヤマサの前に、先週末のスピーチ大会に参加した学生が「おい!スピーチ大会の買った人!」と言って僕を呼んだ。(本当は英語だったけど。)びっくりした。実は、いろいろな人はなんとなくそのことを知っているようだよ。

Somebody today called out to me by saying, "Hey, speech contest winner!" Somehow, a number of folks that I wouldn't expect to know about that know about that.

あっ!渡辺先生の授業はとても面白くて、役に立った。初めて、本当の僕を見せた。難しい文章を読んだり問題を答えたり話したりよくしたと思う。やっと、渡辺先生の授業で。成功!よかった。

My class with Watanabe-sensei today was particularly good. I performed very well all around. This was important because I've been sucking in her class until now, I've felt. But today was a success. Finally! Of course, to be fair, today's assignment was the first group assignment that didn't make me want to rip my heart out and stomp it into the ground also. Well played, sensei!

長いポストを書いて、勉強できないほど疲れている!ガンバレー!

I wrote such a long post that I'm too tired to study! But I've got to give it that old college try.

今週の金曜日は文化の日って祝日だね。でも来週の火曜日、初めのテストがある!

By the way, Friday's a national holiday but our first test is on Tuesday of next week.

10/30/2006

Blogger trouble

Lately, I've had a lot of trouble updating my blog due to certain Blogger issues but hopefully these have cleared up.

Bloggerは最近ちょっと壊れていたので、あまり書けなかった。けど、あの問題が解決されたようだね。

Unfortunately, I have to study right now.

残念だけど、今勉強しないと。

10/29/2006

新たな旅が今始まるって

今週末、なぜ今学期でいろいろな問題が急に出たか、大切に考えていた。今、よくわかると思う。

新しい教科書は「ニューアプローチ」という本。さらに、今学期のアプローチも新しい。春学期と夏学期の授業と比べると、ほとんど違う。僕も変わらないと。前の勉強方法が足りないようだね。それじゃ、変えるよ。しょうがないな。

今日、一生懸命もう勉強した漢字を復習していて、まだやっていなかった宿題を全部やった。それに、今は寝る前に今週の授業を予習しているところ。今学期では、今までこれほど勉強したことがなかった。最近、元気もあまりないし、心配していた。でも、もっと強く感じている。

でも、明日僕が起きるときには、元気があるかどうか、分からない。なくても、頑張るつもり。

日本語を説明をもらった

最近、僕の一番好きなJREFの”Learning Japanese”というインターネットフォルムで面白い質問を二つ聞いた。

一つ目は「他」と「別」について質問だった。言葉の意味はほとんど同じそうだから、意味の違うところについて聞いた。説明はほとんど英語で書いてあるだけど。しかし、あの説明でよく分かった。「他の人と約束がある」と「別の人と約束がある」って意味が本当にちょっと違うね。

二つ目は「絶対に」の質問だった。その表現は肯定文で使ってもいいか、聞いた。うん、いいよ!って答えてくれた。でも、その上、「全然」+肯定文って話も書いてあるようになった。NHKのウェブサイトには日本語での短い文章が書いてあって、面白いと思う。でも、僕ならこの文法を使わないほうがいいかな。先生にしかられるかもしれないから。

それに、この間、いいサイトに気が付いた。Gooで「気」を付けて使われる日本語の表現が書いてあるので、すごく役に立つ!こんな方法で言葉がたくさん習える。

10/26/2006

会話1の一日目

のせ先生の「会話1」という選択授業が今日始まった。とっても好きだった!先生が自然に日本語を話すアドバイスを教えてくださった。いい授業のはずだと思う。僕はほかの学生と話すだけの会話授業が全然欲しくなかった。

The last dinner with Marie-tachi | マリエたちと最後の晩ご飯

This evening, the remaining students from April's legendary M class once more gathered to bid farewell to one of our own. This time, it was Marie-san, our Brazilian classmate, who's heading to Australia for five months to study English. Oyaizu-sensei, Sano-sensei, Kojima-sensei, Willem (our supposedly adopted classmate from that time's class N), and the rest of us went to the same restaurant that we seem to keep going to recently. I wasn't happy about this choice because I thought it'd be expensive but I ate pretty well for only 600 yen. Sweet. And I had my first extended conversation with Kojima-sensei, my new JLPT 2 grammar sensei.

After dinner, the sensei left to catch their trains and we students stood around outside saying semi-formal goodbyes to Marie and taking a few pictures. But if I'm lucky enough to be here next April, we'll meet again.

今晩、4月の伝説なMクラスの残っている学生と先生3人は一緒に晩ご飯を食べに行った。クラスメートのマリエさんは明日オーストラリアへ英語を勉強に行くから。だんだん前のMクラスの学生は少なくきているようだね。みんなが(やっと)選んだレストランは高いと思っていたのに、そんなに高くなくて、600円だった。それに、初めて小嶋先生と長話をする機会があった。

晩ご飯の後で、先生はみんな駅へ行ったけど、学生はレストランの前でマリエさんと話していた。みんな「さようなら」「楽しかった」「英語、ガンバレ!」「日本語を忘れないように」「楽しんで」と言ってあげた。マリエさんの予定は5ヶ月のなので、また会えるかもと思う。

じゃ、マリエさん・・・英語、ガンバレ-!

10/25/2006

Happiness is a warm toilet seat

Doing a bit of homework before bed. Not too much to say. Just tired. Want to read about Japanese toilets? I haven't encountered many of the awesome ones, but the family of a buddy that I used to hang out with had a pretty sweet one. The seat was warm and everything. That mess felt good too.

10/24/2006

Kanji 3, session 1 | 漢字3の初日

最近、日本人の27歳の女の人は、彼女より僕が日本人のような人だと言った。(あ~、それは書きにくかった!)面白いね。やっぱり、僕は普通の奴じゃない。

Today was my first level-three kanji class with Matsumura-sensei. It was all around good. I'm very glad to have these classes again, to be honest. After it ended, I stuck around and practiced for a while. She gave us homework but I was able to whip it back to her before she left and she was kind enough to mark it up for me right here. (Sixteen out of sixteen, baby.) I remembered how much I do like to study kanji. It saddens me that this will be my last kanji class at Yamasa. (There are no higher levels. It's all self-study from here on out. Dang.)

今日は漢字3の授業の初日だった。先生は松村という女性。授業はまるで面白くてよかった。漢字授業が始まってうれしい。漢字の勉強は最近ちょっと少なくなっちゃたけど、今日の授業では漢字を勉強するのがとても好きなのにもう一度気がついた。今学期の漢字授業は楽しそうと思う。松村先生は宿題を出したけど、僕はすぐやって、先生が教室を出る前に出した。松村先生にすぐ親切に宿題をみていただいた。(16分の16が正しかった!)今学期の漢字授業はヤマサでの最後で、ちょっと悲しい。来学期から、自分で勉強しないと。

David Chart gets married

Former Yamasa student David Chart recently got married. (おめでとうございます。) He's an Englishman who married a Japanese lady. If you check out his blog, you'll see that he started out basically in the same situation as I did, arriving in Japan not knowing much Japanese. But now he's basically a full-fledged member of Japanese society (as close as I suppose a foreigner can get).

Makes me wonder about myself and my own romantic future and if it will be here in Japan or not.

10/23/2006

My listening comprehension sucks

I noticed today that some of the simplest things are the toughest for me to say in Japanese. For example, there was a traffic accident near the school today and, at the conversation salon after class, I was trying to explain a few of the details of it and found it really difficult.

My weakest area overall, though, is definitely listening comprehension. I'd thought it was speaking, but ... no. I have a lot of trouble understanding people sometimes, and even though it's often just due to a lack of experience and vocabulary and such, it's always, always annoying. Today in Takikawa-sensei's class, we listened to this really confusing monologue on CD and I totally couldn't get any of it and it seemed that I was about the only one to have this problem. (Of course, even in English, I'd have had a bit of trouble remembering it all.)

It pissed me off, really, and in doing so, it sapped up my already low energy reserves. But at lunchtime, I did what I usually do when I started feeling like this: I came home to refresh. I intended to nap a bit but I really needed to eat. Plus, I ended up in a Gmail chat with my good friend "Shark Bait" from back home. (Where's the comment love?!) By the time I got back to school, I was feeling a better. But I did get pretty tired soon.

10/22/2006

"歌詞"? (Plus, a loan question in the comments)

たった今、ベッドに横たえて、教科書と電子辞書でちょっと勉強していた。急に、電子辞書で知らない言葉があらわれた。「歌詞」だった。始めに、全然分からなかったけど、大切に考えてみはじめた。「『歌』の訓読みは『うた』だが、音読みは『歌手』の『か』。『詞』は『動詞』の『し』かも。もしかしたら・・・『かし』?」辞書で調べて、見つけた!成功!気持ちがよかった。それだけの話。つまらなかったね!

Just now, as I was reclining in bed studying, I came across the word "歌詞" on my (borrowed) electronic dictionary. "Hmm," I thought. "What could this mean?" At first, I just chalked it up as an unknown kanji. But I took the time to look at it a bit more and saw that it was made up of two kanji that I have passing familiarity with. The Japanese reading for "歌" is "uta" and it's chinese reading is "ka." Likewise, the Chiense reading for "詞" is "shi." (I don't know the Japanese reading.) Leaning heavily towards the Chinese-derived pronounciation, I tried looking up the word in my paperback dictionary and found it: "kashi." (It means "lyrics.") It was another small victory to add to the day's accomplishments.

Not just any speech | 普通のスピーチじゃなくて

Well. Today's speech turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected.

As I said before, I was to give a five-minute speech in Japanese about "America" in front of an audience before a musician was scheduled to perform. My Spidey sense was going off somethin' fierce, though, as I felt that there would be something more in store for me. This has a way of happening over here. And I was totally right.

This morning, I was to meet a lady named Tsuzuki-san and her daughter Ryouko (who I'd met before at Hiroko's place) in the Denny's parking lot at 9:15 to get a ride to the university at which everything was taking place. In my nice clothes (with tie), I was jogging there from my nearby apartment for a 9:16 arrival only to run into Watanabe-san in her car at a close-by intersection. (This is the second time this has happened.) Originally, she wasn't going to today's event, but there was a change in plans as she would be there for a while, so she offered to drive me instead. We met up with the Tsuzukis and headed out in two cars.

The event was held at the fairly nearby Aichi Sangyou University, which sits nestled snugly on a low mountaintop. Nice location. We arrived and I quickly discovered some very interesting information: I was to be participating in a speech contest. And not only that: speeches had a 10-minute time limit. I had prepared for five minutes and I also had barely practiced.

I wasn't too happy about this. But, oh well. I was there and it was just little contest—nothing big or anything. About maybe 70 people were present, including six judges. Several Yamasa students showed up to watch too, including my new classmate this term, Attila-san from Hungary. So I decided to make the best that I could of what I had, knowing that I was at a fairly large disadvantage.

I was the fourth student in line. The first guy was the only one not to use any notes but he was also by far, I think, the choppiest of us as well. The second and third people, I don't really remember much because I was preparing myself. Soon, it was my turn.

I took the stage, adjusted the microphone, introduced myself using keigo. I immediately followed up by saying that I've only studied a bit of keigo thus far and, for the duration of the speech, I wouldn't be able to use it. (A Japanese lady in the back nodded sympathetically. She knows what's up.) I then went on to talk about America and Houston—the Space Shuttle (of course), the Rocky Mountains, trains, sports, racial diversity, and such. Nothing too special. At the end, I thanked everyone (suddenly using keigo again) for listening to my "boring words" (this elicited a laugh, thankfully), stepped down, and took my seat. At last, I could relax. I looked at my speech outline way too much.

From here, though, there were about three or four more speeches that I had to sit through. There were some interesting parts but my interest was low. I hadn't wanted or intended to sit through a slew of speeches, after all. Finally, the contestants had all gone and the day's special speaker, a lady from Armenia, took the stage and talked for a good 15 or 20 minutes.

After this, they began announcing the winners of the contest. A student from Yamasa's E class—whose name I've forgotten despite hearing it however many times today and despite it being an English name as well, I believe—won first place. There were two second places. The first one was taken by a student who came dressed in her native garb (yeah, I forgot the country) who actually ran out of time during her loooong but excellent speech; the other was ... holy crap. Me.

Yup, I snagged one of the second-place slots. (I'm pretty sure. It's possible it was third, but whatever.) Unbe-freakin'-lievable. The three of us took the stage and bowed and we were each given very large certificates to mark our achievement. On top of that, I got the money that I was expecting for the outing—over five-fold. I was expecting about 1,500 yen ($12) but got 5,000 ($45) (!) and a 3,000-yen ($25) convenience store gift card.

Yes indeed. Not bad considering my near lack of any preparation.

Then, after this, we ate lunch. Watanabe-san had to leave, so Tsuzuki-san, Ryouko-san, Attila-san (who was adopted into the group), and I wandered around the campus for a while, as there was some large student event going on and the area was littered with vendors, games, and events. At 1:00, we watched the scheduled musician in one of the university's large auditorium classrooms. I have a flyer but I can't read his name nor do I know the name of the instruments he was playing. But it was quite entertaining. I'll try to dig up some good information.

On the way out Tsuzuki-san's car, I saw an interesting-looking building at the top of a nearby mountain and wondered aloud what it was. I was told that it's a temple named Ichihatasan Yakushiji (一畑山薬師寺). 'Oo, I wanna sometime,' I said. Right then, Tsuzuki-san took us, so I got a great tour of a very large and popular temple as well. We looked around, rang the huge bell, watched a ceremony in progress, and sat for tea and odango as well. After this, it was time to come home.

Man, today turned out to be a fantastic day. And I won second place in my first-ever speech contest. I think I'm going to be looking around for more of these.

今日のスピーチについて、知りたいの?教えてあげるよ。日本語がわかる愛読者と英語がわかる愛読者と、どちらも大事な人なんだよ!

今日、愛知産業大学で5分のスピーチの予定があった。でも、本当はスピーチコンテストだった!「え?!」それに、スピーチの制限時間は10分だった。これを聞いて、びっくりして、くやしくなっちゃった。僕のスピーチは今朝に準備しおわったばかりだし、5分だけの話が書いてあったし、心配が増加しちゃった。

でも、頑張るしかなかった。僕は4人目で、待ちながら準備していた。いよいよ、時間になった。ステージへスピーチアウトラインを持って行って、マイクロフォンを高さを調節して、話しはじめた。「私はジョンと申します。アメリカから参りました。でも、敬語は少ししか勉強していませんから、これから敬語を使わないで話さなければならないと思います。すみません。」それから、アメリカのヒューストンのいろいろことを話した。スペースシャトル(もちろん!)・ロッキー山脈・電車・人種多様性・スポーツ。終わりごろ、「このつまりない話を聞いてくださって、ありがとうございました。」と言ったら、みんな笑ってくれた。その後、座った。やっと、リラックスできるようになった!渡辺さんは「カンペキ!」と言ってくださったのに、本当は違うと思った。

特別なアルメニアの女性のゲストのスピーチの後で、だれが勝ったか、発表されはじめた。信じられなかったけど、僕は1人の女性と2位入賞をもらった。「どうやって…。」すごくびっくりした!別の勝った人とステージに行って、スピーチコンテストのサーティフィケート賞状をもらった。写真も撮られたので、できれば、もらってほしいんだけど。でも、全部で8千円ももらったよ!うれし~い!

何しろ、すごくびっくりして、うれしかった!準備はあまりなくても、なんとなく勝ったぜ!もうすぐ、別のスピーチコンテストに出たい。

午後に、都築さんという日本人の女性・娘さん・Jクラスのクラスメートのアッティラさんと一緒に一畑山薬師寺を見に行った。もりろん、それもよかった。都築さんと娘さんはアッティラさんと僕にいろいろ案内してくださった。とても面白かった!

Speech contest certificate


出来た、出来た!

10/21/2006

Jusco trip recharges the spirit

I've been feeling pretty crappy for most of the day and got pretty much nothing done. (However, there was one milestone: I read a chapter of Naruto entirely in Japanese for the first time and understood about 95% of it, with the help of a kanji dictionary, of course.) This evening, I decided to ride to Jusco and wander around the electronics department.

While I was there, I ran into Leonardo, a Brazilian friend of Marie's, again and he recommended a better place to shop for games and such. He's a very nice guy and it was a pleasant encounter. I watched the interesting DS kiosk, especially the interesting-looking interactive cookbook software. (I bet you'd like it, Elddonnemar.) After that, I ran into my friend Hiroko, my language-exchange partner, walking her family's dog while I was on the way home. She's leaving for Tokyo for a couple of months tomorrow, so we chatted for a few minutes. That was a great mood-lifter too.

Tomorrow, I'm giving a (supposedly) five-minute speech about America before I don't know how many people and it seems that it's going to eat up most of my day as well. (It's a paying gig, though.) I was dreading it fairly heavily better but I'm rather looking forward to it at this point. I'm just gonna do my best.

Man, I am so money. One day, I'll take that to heart.

わらび~もち

Following the lead of my Internet pal Kyoko_desu, I decided to create my own audio blog for uploading the occasional sound to. For example, last month I recorded the loud announcement of a truck selling warabimochi that sometimes passes through my neighborhood. Finally, I've posted it online. I've always been interested in audio presentation, so perhaps I'll have a little fun with this. (There's nothing like YouTube for audio that I've found. The closest thing is GoEar but it's not quite up to par, I feel.)

Kyoko_desuというインターネット友達がしたとおりに、僕もオーディオブログを作っておいた。たまに、面白いオーディオファイルをアップロードをするつもりだよ。先月、家の後ろの道を通っていた車から大きい声が出ている時には、コンピューターで声を録った。簡単にアップロードできるようになったから、今アップロードしてあるよ。

10/20/2006

パステル・「まあまあ」

(Now with English!)

授業の後で、もう一回近くの幼稚園へ言って、子供たちと話したり遊んだりしてあげた。それから、マリエさんが来週オーストラリアへ英語を勉強しに行く予定なので、前のクラスメートと一緒にパステルで食べた。みんな来て、とてもよかったよ。特に、マリエさん・ダフニさん・ホアキンさんと話していた。ホアキンさんも翻訳者になりたいと言った。これまらも、頑張ろう!ダフニさんは今学期が終わったら、帰るつもりだと言った。もうすぐ、もう一度友達に「さようなら」と言わなければならないようになる。でも、僕はいつまでここで勉強できるか、まだ決めていない。けど、まだ2年間勉強したい。

Today, I once again visit the kindergarten and messed around with the kids. After that, I went to Pastel for goodbye party for Marie-san, who'll be leaving for Australia next week. Everyone from the old M class—and Willem from that nasty ol' N class—came. I spent most of the time talking to Daphne and Joaquin. Daphne says that she's leaving Japan at the end of this term. Soon, it'll be time to say goodbye to yet another classmate. I'm not sure how long I'll be here, but if it's possible, I'd like to say for the whole one and a half to two years.

今日の授業で、広江先生はいろんな面白い副詞を教えてくださった。一番面白いのは「まあまあ」という副詞だったかも。いつ使ったらいいか、説明の時には、こういう例文が作られた。

(A)最近、彼女と仲がいいですか。
(B)まあまあです。

でも、本当でも、本当じゃなくても、使えると教えてくださった。僕はすぐ手を上げて、「でも、それは答えじゃありません!」と言った。しかし、日本では本当の気持ちをはっきり言わないほうがいいから、そういう言葉がよく使われていると広江先生は説明してくださった。失礼のようなのに、失礼じゃないって。え~、面白いね。

Today, Hiroe-sensei taught us a lot of adverbs. It was awesome. I think the most interesting one was "maa-maa," which basically means "so-so." He gave us this sort of sample sentence:

(A) Are things well between you and her lately?
(B) They're so-so.

But whether things are indeed very well or not so well with her, it's common to use "maa-maa" as a soft way, as I understand, to avoid directly answering the question. (How Japanese.) I raised my hand and said that this wasn't really an answer at all, but he said that even if it seems a bit rude, it's not. I admit that it seemed a bit more odd at the time than it does now, so I think that maybe I'm forgetting some important part of his explanation of the word. Ah well.

今、すごく眠い。

I'm so tired right now.

10/19/2006

聴解練習の間違い

廣江先生の授業で、聴解練習をした。僕は聴解が下手だんだよ。今日の問題はそんなに難しくなかったのに、間違えちゃった。実は、問題は僕が思ったほど、そんなに難しくなかったんだよ。本当によく分かったけど、問題を聞いて、答えを考えて、「たぶん、これよりもっと難しい」と思って、しどろもどろになっちゃった。今度、自信をつけて、頑張るよ。

2002 umbrella stabbing

I found a rather interesting article from 2002 about a Japanese man that got stabbed to death over a minor social misunderstanding.

Tomorrow, I have another appointment at the kindergarten. Our time there has been extended to one hour, I noticed.

Speaking of noticing stuff, I've been noticing that my energy has fairly consistently been running out around the fourth class. Hm.

一緒にヤマサろう!

今日、杉浦先生の授業の内容は面白い分からない言葉だった。学生はみんな一つの難しい言葉が書いてあった紙を選んで、先生の部屋に言って、いろんな先生に言葉の意味を説明していただいた。僕の選んだ紙には「癒し系の人」と書いてあった。全然分からなくて、山田あや先生に教えていただいた。僕が4月に日本に到着した時に、山田先生は僕にインタビューをなさったのに、その時から話す機会があまりなかった。

先生が説明してくださったのは、大体「こんな人と一緒にいると、安心できる」という説明だった。(そんな人に会うと、いいなぁ。)ありがとうございました、山田先生。山田先生と杉浦先生はヤマサの一番気安い先生のようだと思う。でも、瀧川先生についてもそういうようの感じがあるね。

とにかく、その後で、Jクラスのみんなは教室に戻って、いろんな言葉の意味を発表した。特に、「マクる」と「モスる」というのは作り方が面白かった。杉浦先生がほかのそういう言葉を知っているか聞いた時、僕は一つも分からなかったので、「ヤマサる」を申し入れた。先生が笑って、認めてくださった。

それで、「ヤマサる」という動詞は作ってある。これから、使ってみよう!(笑)

10/18/2006

チンさんとの話・選んだアメリカの表現

今晩、6月に帰国したチンさんとインターネットで話した。4月のすばらしかったMクラスの台湾へ帰ったクラスメートだった。チンはとても元気だ。よかったね!本当に、インターネットは世界の友達と連絡するのに便利なことだね?その上、ヤンさんには返事をもらったよ!ザヤさんとアキさんはまだ。(えっ!チンさんはたった今アキさんと電話をしていた!僕は3週間ぐらい前にメールを送ってあげたのに、返事がまだもらっていない。でもチンさんによると、アキさんは元気で、働いているそうだ。それもいい!)

この間、クラスでは、自分の国の表現を発表した。僕の選んだのは「You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar」という表現だった。日本語では、「蜂蜜は酢より蝿を捕まえるのに役に立つ」。よかったら、小さな作文を読んで:

私の国、アメリカでは、面白い言葉があります。今日はそれを紹介したいと思います。

友達とかに「優しくしたほうがいい」と言いたかったことがありますか。そんな時、アメリカ人は「ハチミツはスよりハエをつかまえるのに役に立つ」と言います。「優しくしたのがいい」というのより、やわらかい言い方なのです。

みなさん、私の国へ遊びに来たら、機会があれば、是非この言葉を使ってみてください。


どうだった?

I just wrote a little paper explaining the English expression that you see above. "You see, it's a softer way to encourage people not to be jackasses," is the gist of the paper.

日本語能力試験2級文法1が始まった・カタカナで書いている

今日はよかった一日だった。生活をするのに役に立つ文法を勉強すると、うれしくなる。変な奴だね、僕は?その上、5時間目の日本語能力試験2級文法1という授業が始まった。(今年は受けないつもりなのに、習いたい。)初めてこじま先生に面白い日本語の文法について教えていただけるようになったね。でも、本当は先学期の学期末のカラオケには、こじま先生もいらっしゃった。今学期、こじま先生といろんな文法を勉強するのは楽しくて、役に立つはずだ。

昨日から、なんとなくカタカナをたくさん書きだした。いい練習だけど。大勢の学生によると、カタカナを覚えるのは大変だそうなのに、そんなに難しくないと思う。だって、たまに練習したがよくなるね?

Today was a solidly good day. I started my JLPT level 2 grammar elective class (which I'm taking even though I'm not taking the JLPT this year). Looks to be a very interesting and useful class. I'm pretty excited about it. My sensei's name is Kojima. She's never actually been my sensei, but she was there when we did the big karaoke outing at the end of last term.

Also, I've begun writing a lot in katakana in the past few days for some reason. Just keeping my skills sharp, I guess.

10/17/2006

Terrible start, decent finish | 気分が悪かった、だんだんよくなった

Today started terribly for me. Just terribly. And it lasted like that until the beginning of the last period, at which point it picked up considerably, mainly due to sheer force of will. I was so miserable than I almost skipped the last class but didn't do it. Attaboy. After that, I showed a few classmates to the Go building. We didn't play today but Elias apparently has played so I'm looking forward to playing moves against him that are neither the best nor the strongest. (I'm so very sorry. I'll stop already!)

今日はほとんど大変な一日だった。4時間目まで、気分がだんだん悪くなってしまったんだ。「家へ帰ろう」と思いだしたのに、頑張って耐え忍んだ。授業の4時間目はよかったから、うれしくなってきた。今日、僕はあまりよくない学生だったので、先生に謝ってさしあげた。授業がおわったら、ブライアン・ヨウ・エリアスさんに囲碁教室を案内してあげた。1曲もやらなかったけど、エリアスはやったことがあるので、彼とやらたくなった。

I found an interesting article about advertisements in Tokyo train stations. I'm pretty fond of the frame-at-a-time movie idea. I've ridden the subway in Nagoya but never saw anything like that.

10/15/2006

Jidoushi and tadoushi

I'd just like to say that I'm quite the fan of sci.lang.japan FAQ's chart of transitive and intransitive verbs. It's just beautiful.

三学期の4日、囲碁、など | Day four of term three, Go, etc.

あれ?まだ生きてるよ。亡くなってないんだぞ。でも、もう4日になってしまったね。実は、先週の授業の後で、くたくただった。でも、元気だ。

Whazzat? I'm still alive. Haven't died yet. But it's been four days, huh? After last week, I was a bit tired. But I've been fine.

木曜日 | Thursday



もちろん、よかった。午後には、面白い「伝言」というゲームをみんなでやった。一回目では、僕のチームが全く間違えたけど、だんだん上手になって、3回目をかった。楽しかったよね!あの夜にはブライアンさん・ヨウさん・渡辺さんという友達とブライアンさんの訪ねていた彼女と一緒に晩ごはんを食べに行った。しゃぶしゃぶで、おいしかった。複雑でも。その後で、FM岡崎へ聞きに行って来た。僕は日本語がすごく下手でも、みなさんがしゃべってくださった。

Of course, this fourth day of class was good. For listening practice, we played a telephone game. The first round was terrible for team (our message went from 'talking with someone' to 'borrowing money at the hospital' or something) but the third round was almost perfect. That evening, I ate dinner with Brian and his visiting girlfriend, You, and our language-exchange partner Hiroko. It was shabu-shabu (hot pot) and was good even though it was so freakin' complicated. I miss doing this with Elddonnemar-tachi. After that, I went to the radio station and listened to the broadcast and spoke with the personalities after the show. They kind to speak with me even though my Japanese sucks.

金曜日 | Friday



ヤマサの休み!なぜか、まだわからねー。

A holiday from school! Why? Still dunno!

最近造られた囲碁教室へ遊びに行った。先学期、一回アオイホールで囲碁教室へ行った。僕はストラテジーが多いゲームが下手で、あまり好きじゃないのに、あの日には2局をやった。ずっと負けたのに、楽しかったと思った。だから、もう一回行こうと思ってた。

I decided to visit the recently-constructed Go classroom near the school at two in the afternoon. I suck at strategy games and don't care for them too much overall (mainly because I suck), but I played a couple of games at Aoi Hall once, when the classes were held there, and even though I lost, it was fun. So I figured I'll check it out.

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


新しい囲碁教室はヤマサの近くの場所なんだ。見たと、「ステキー!」と思った。和風の建物で、すごくきれいだ。それに、かなり静かな場所に造られている。

When I saw the new building, I was impressed. It's pretty awesome-looking. I'll have to take more pictures of it. It's a traditional Japanese-style place with tatami floors and everything. And it's in a fairly quiet area too (though Okazaki is not exactly the loudest city around).

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


入った時には、人が2人しかいなかったけど、だんだん人が来てくれた。僕が到着した時の同時に、最近ヤマサへ来たアメリカ人も到着した。彼は日本語が少ししかわからなかったので、僕がちょっと翻訳してあげた。え?いつ、だれかの先輩になったの?僕も下手なんだけどね。

When I got there, there were only two people present, but gradually more folks came. Some American student got there at the same time that I did and since he's new here and doesn't now much Japanese yet, I translated a few things for him, though my Japanese ain't so great itself.

囲碁のやり方はよくわかった。なのに、あのアメリカ人とやってみた。第1局は彼がかなり早く勝った。(クソーッ!)第2局は面白くて、長かったよ。始めに、僕が強くやりだして、勝ちそうだったけど、急に彼がいい一手をやって、心配しだした。でも、頑張って、痛快無比な勝ちをした。怪我勝ちじゃなくて、本当の勝ちだったから、気持ちがとてもよかった。全部3時間だった。もうすぐ囲碁をやりに行きたい。新しい趣味になるかもよね!

I partially understood the rules but decided to start a game with my American acquaintance, who quickly one the first game. (@#$%!) The second game, though, was awesome (for greenhorn-level, at least)—very interesting and very long. At the beginning, I played very strongly and created formations that my challenger himself called invincible. But he had a strong comeback for a while and I started to worry. But I managed to out-strategize the opponent and won. Because I won it fair and square, it was very satisfying. I ended up there playing for three hours and I plan to go back. This might become my new hobby or something, huh? (And, yes, I consciously thought to myself at one point, "What?! This ... this isn't the best move possible ... nor is it the strongest!" as dramatically as I could. Ha! I'm such a geek. I love it!)

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal
僕が黒だった。 | I played black.


週末 | The Weekend



土曜日の午後、刈谷へ三河おっさんと遊びに行った。一緒に2つの『スタートレック』の映画を見た。久しぶり!遅くなったしまって、日曜日の午後に帰った。いい奴、彼は。たまに。

Saturday, I took the train to Kariya to hang out with Mikawa Ossan. We ended up renting and watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (since we saw the previous film a couple of weeks ago or so) and Star Trek: Generations (which didn't have nearly the intergenerational mingling that I wanted to see). It got pretty late, so I stayed the night and came back today. That Mikawa Ossan's a decent guy. From time to time.

今 | Now



宿題をしている、もちろん。遅いけど、よく勉強しておいて、難しくないと思う。もうすぐ、晩ごはんを食べるよ。

I'm now doing homework. It's a bit late to be doing so, but I studied the lesson pretty much and the material's not that hard, so it's no problem. Soon, I'll be eating dinner.

10/11/2006

休みって、いつ?!

月曜日は祝日だったのに、ヤマサは休みじゃなかった。けど、金曜日はヤマサの休み。なぜ?全然わからない。授業の後で、小柳津(おやいず)先生に出会って、説明を頼んだ。今週の授業はまだ4日だから、なんで休みは月曜日じゃなくて、金曜日か、教えてほしいんだけど。でも小柳津先生もわからなかった。だれかが決めたのか?!

でも、変なのに、いいと思う。4日の授業が終わったら、今週の授業とか勉強の方法とか考えられる時間もあるし。それに、漢字の練習が出来る。

三学期の3日目 | Day three of term three

Today was a fine, if not fairly unremarkable, day. The weather turned cold, cloudy, and rainy, unfortunately, and I didn't eat much this morning, so I was really dead for a while in the morning, but I came out of it. It was Sugiura-sensei's first class and that went well. She looks and is very pleasant. We actually briefly met at the end of last term when I interviewed her for an assignment in Aritaki-sensei's class (I think).

I've selected my four (up from two!) elective classes for the term: kanji 3 (the final one, unfortunately); conversation 1 (useful everyday expressions, apparently); keigo (polite Japanese—I'm insane); and JLPT level 2 grammar 1 (which I changed to from listening comprehension). I have two additional classes this go 'round.

今朝、朝ごはんを食べないで学校へ行った。それに、天気は、かなりすずしくて、くもりになって、雨が降った。だから、元気が出しにくかった。でも、だんだん元気が出せた。杉浦(すぎうら)先生に会って、初めて教えていただいた。実は、先学期の終わりごろには、クラスのアサインメントのために杉浦先生にインタビューした。有滝先生の授業だったかもしれない。

選択授業が4つ選んである:漢字3(最後のヤマサでのレベル)・会話1(生活をするのに役に立つ日本語)・敬語(僕は頭が変だから)・能力試験2文法1。先学期と比べて、今回の授業がもう2つある。

10/10/2006

三学期の2日目 | Day two of term three

今日の授業も楽しかった。はじめには廣江先生に教えていただいたけど、3時間目に知らなかった渡辺という先生がいらっしゃった。渡辺さんは面白いけど、先生の話によると、一週間に1回だけ教えていただけるそうだ。今学期、クラスの先生が5人いらっしゃる。聞いて、びっくりした!今まで、いつも4人だった。

Today's class was good too. First was Hiroe-sensei's class, followed by a teacher that was new to me, Watanabe-sensei. Her class was pretty interesting but she's a part-timer and will only be around once a week. This term, we have five sensei, as opposed to the normal four. I was surprised to hear this.

渡辺先生はみんなに3人のグループで読み物を考えさせた。チャレンジのために、わからない言葉を辞書でしゃれべないでって。でも、本当にわからなかった漢字が多かったから、ちょっと困っていたのに、頑張った。僕はグループのアサインメントが嫌いなんだけど、今日はよかったんじゃかいかと思う。(僕の1つの書いてあった答えを見て、「カンペキ」と言ってくださった。やった!)Jクラスのことは今まで全部よかったから、うれしい。

Watanabe-sensei had us work in groups today, considering a write-up that she'd brought. And, to challenge us, she instructed us not to use our dictionary to look up unknown words. There were a number of such words but I did what I could. I really dislike working in groups. But ... today's group work was pretty good and enjoyable, I think. (When Watanabe-sensei looked at an answer that I was unsure about, she said it was perfect. That was nice, man.) J class has been good up to now.

今日、授業が終わった後で、少し一人で今週の漢字を勉強した。しかし、少ししか勉強しなかった。

After class ended today, I studied this week's lesson's kanji alone in the classroom for a little while. But not much.

今、選択中。この後で、昼寝をしようと思っているんだけど。

Right now, I'm doing laundry—or more appropriately, I'm waiting for the washing machine to complete its processes on my laundry. After that's done, I think I'll go down for a nap, though.

What once was lost but now is found


あった!あった!僕の好きな辞書!

I found it! I found the dictionary that I'd lost. It was, ahem, in my computer bag. Heh heh. Whew. I'm seriously glad to have this back in my arsenal. ("Let's never separate again, baby.")

朝ごはんを食べる前に

二日目だけだけど、早く起きるのにまだなれていない。近いけど。

本当に、前のMクラスの友達は少なくなってしまった。残念だね。でも出来るだけ、連絡してあげる。6月に国したチンさんとたまにEメールで話す。これから、もっとEメールで連絡しなければならない友達がふえた。

今、時間がない。朝ごはんを食べないと。じゃ、また。

10/09/2006

3学期の一日目 | First day of the third term

今、うちへ帰ったところだよ。今日は本当によかったと思う。

僕は今学期でJクラスで勉強する!MからKまで。それから、KまでJまで。だんだん上手に日本語を話せるように頑張ってるよ。

今学期の先生はみんな今まで日本語を教えていただいていない先生だよ。担任先生は廣江(ひろえ)先生。実は、春学期のMクラスで勉強していた時、一日廣江先生に教えていただいた。話すスピードははやいので、少し心配してるけど、いい練習だと思う。頑張る。廣江先生はよさそうな先生だね。それに、瀧川(たきかわ)先生も来て教えてくださった。たきかわ先生もとてもやさくて、好きだ。

クラスメートは11人ぐらいいる。前のMクラスの友達でホアキンさんとダフニさんだけがいる。(でも、今日ダフニさんはいなかった!)また、先学期のKクラスの友達でヨウさんしかいない。クラスで友達以外はみんなヤマサの新しい学生だそうだね。でも、みんな日本語が上手だと思うよ。やさいい人しかいないから、今学期の勉強は楽しそうよね。(リーさんも『女王の教室』がとても好きだ。彼はセンスがあるなぁ。)みんなが僕にこの日記のアドレスを教えさせちゃったけど。Jクラスのみんな:僕の下手な日本語に注意したほうがいいよ。こんなバカな話って少しわかったら、ラッキーだ。

今学期、学生は多くなった。4月には一番下のクラスは僕のMクラスで、7月にはNクラスだった。[修正:間違えちゃった!本当は4月にNクラスもあったよね!]今学期はQクラス!え~!あまり信じられない。学生が多くて、学生課のみなさんが困っているだろうね。実は、学生課のほしのさんによると、近くのアオイホールでもAIJP授業が行われているそうだよ!

たきかわ先生の授業には作文を書いた。勉強方法についての作文だったけど、僕は勉強方法があまりないと思う。でも僕は特に会話アビリティが弱いと思うので、話す時には自分の話を考えすぎないで話して見る。いつも「この文法、いい?」とか「正しい言葉?」とか、考えている。だが、こんなことは日本語で話すのに不便だ。それは僕の場合。だから、リラックスしたほうがいいね。

じゃ、読んでくれたKクラスのみんな、どうずよろしくね。一緒に大切に日本語を教えていただいたり、いい思い出を作ったり、いい友達になったりしよう!これから、英語で書かないと。僕の日本語が話せない友達は今泣いているかもしれないから。ハハ!

Well, I just got home from day one of the new term. And things went uniformly well, I'm pleased to say. I've been assigned to J class this term, up from K class last term and M class before that. But the letters don't really mean that much. It's all relative. Some classmates from last term also moved up a level but are still in a class labelled K. While there's no substantial differences between our lessons, there is something nice about being able to say "J class." The number of students here has grown so much! The lowest class when I got here in April was M class, which, of course, I was in [Correction: Actually, there was an N class]; the next term, it was N class; and now, it's freakin' Q class. Man.

I met two of my sensei today: Hiroe-sensei (my tannin-sensei) and Takikawa-sensei. Though I know neither of them, Hiroe-sensei actually taught my old class for a couple of hours one day back in M class. (In fact, I blogged about this way back in April.) He's still a fast-talker but says that he'll slow it down when explaining important stuff. Whew. Takikawa-sensei is new to our program and is obviously a bit unsure of herself, but she'll be fine, I think. It seems that all of my sensei this term are one's by whom I've never been taught. Those bastard friends of mine in K class get Arai-sensei and Aritaki-sensei. (Why do I suddenly feel like I'm discussing the sensei like they're trading cards or Pokémon or something? "Oh my god, I got a super-rare Tou-sensei card!") That's all right—our new sensei look quite promising.

We wrote a paper today about our preferred study habits. I rather don't have much in the way of studying habits, so I just said that I try not to focus too much on myself when I'm talking because it makes me nervous. (I am indeed a rather self-conscious mofo, I'll tell you what.) Also, sometimes I stay after class and study and finish my homework. I wrote on the entirely of the provided paper (two half-sheets) and felt good about that since I felt a bit out of my groove the entire day (understandably).

I'm feeling pretty good about now.

Adventure Stage: Yamasa Institute (Press Start)

Well, here I am on the cusp of a new term. And, you know, it's really cold in my room this morning. I'm using my heater for the first time in months. I'm going to start getting my breakfast ready soon. Even though I'm nowhere near as anxious as I was at the start of my first two terms, I am pretty eager and fairly excited. It feels like something of a fresh start for me. So let's hop to it.

Wish me well.

10/08/2006

Strong nuclear force, weak nuclear force, electromagnetism, gravity, and Go

I started watching the animated series Hikaru no Go during this break and, I must say, it's not a bad show. I'd seen a couple of clips a few years back, but now that I'm watching it, it's managed to stay interesting and has raised my interest and knowledge in Go, as it's done for many folks. (It started a Go boom, unsurprisingly.) I hadn't planned on watching the entire thing but I will.

Because the fansubbers did a fantastic job with the onscreen notes about Go and, also, at the end of each episode, there is a brief Go tutorial presented by a Go professional (Yukari Umezawa, who, it turns out, supervised the production of the series), I've learned a bit of basic information about the game. There is actually a biweekly Go club at Yamasa that I attended once a couple of months ago. Maybe I'll check it out again. I don't think Go is my "thing," if you will, but I do find it interesting nonetheless.

Another thing that I like about the show, and one of the things that pulled me into it, is the drama that is attached to the game. I swear, you watch this show and sometimes it's like Go is the most powerful force on the freaking planet and that the continued survival of our species depends on mastering this power, lest it destroy us all.

This short clip from the first episode illustrates my point to some extent:



How can one not be endeared to that?

ごはんを待ちながら

おなかがすいているが、作られているごはんを待ってるところだから、まだ食べられない。くやしい~!

村下孝蔵という歌手って知ってる?僕は彼の音楽が好きだ。

今日の天気は晴れて、よかった。どこへも行かなかったが、うちでいろんなことをしていた。ちょっと古いメールを送ったりした。気持ちがいいから、よかった。明日から忙しくなるから、今日ちょっとゆっくりしたほうがいいと思った。僕は健康もいいし、生活もいいし、いい友達も多いし、それでこの人生がすばらしいよね。先週の無駄な悩みを脱ぎ捨てておいて、僕の明るい未来へうれしく歩きだす。

行こうよ。

A reevaluation of longstanding photographic techniques in order to better accommodate the feelings of others

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


This is a shot that I took at the bowling alley a couple of weeks ago. I'm very glad to have this borrowed digital camera. It's allowed me to unleash the photographic side of myself that's been on vacation since I worked as a photographer, like, five years ago. But with that renewed passion has come a problem.

My preferred style of photography is photojournalism and, thus, I have a strong predilection towards unstaged, unposed photographs—when we're at a get-together, catching friends as they are, taking photos to remember what was happening at that time. (I dislike seeings dozens and dozens of peace-sign–making smilers.) But to get these sorts of photos, though, you have to become kind of ninja-like—seeing but not being seen, in a sense. A bit underhanded, even, I've come to realize.

I picked up this habit when I began shooting weddings, and it worked quite great for that, but I should really try to lay off of that stuff in the real world. Ever since I briefly discussed it with a friend of mine last week who expressed that that was rather rude to take photos of people in this way, I've been mulling it over in my head a bit and, yeah, I suppose it is—even if you show the folks the pictures you took. I mean, personally, I don't care if we're at a party (or some other event) and friends take pictures of me when I'm not looking now and then, especially if they show them to me later, as I do, but that kind of thing does bother some folks (a lot, sometimes) and I should be more considerate about this from now on.

Due to over a year of training in wedding photography, I came not to think of this sort of photography as anything unusual or invasive. I was trained and paid to be, as I mentioned, rather like a ninja at weddings—to move around wedding chapels silently, drawing a little attention to myself as I could, to take whatever photos I could without being noticed. Buuuut I think don't think that this is the sort of thing that puts you on people's good sides in the real world. More sensitive folks probably get weirded out by things like this. So for the sake of the , I'm willing to lay off some.

This is why I think that it's important to be able to communicate with people and tell them (politely, of course) if you think they're being a jackass. If my friend hadn't mentioned that to me, who knows when I might have taken notice of it? (Thanks much for that, too.) I'm the sort of guy that likes to be told this sort of thing. Then, if indeed I am acting in a manner more befitting a jackass than myself, I can be all like, "Ohh snap, man! You right, you right! Dag, yo. Sorry, man, I was straight-up trippin' up in here! But, fo' real tho', mad props for lettin' yo' man know!" (Oh, yes—in times of contrition, my speech pattern changes to a more urban vernacular style.)

Shooting weddings will mess you up, son.

Precursor to schoolwork

Hey ho! It's another K/L/M class group photo!

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


Tomorrow, I'll be starting my third term at Yamasa. It doesn't feel like it, though. I wonder what class I'll be in, who my classmates will be and what they'll be like, who my sensei will be, what studying in New Approach will be like ... Well, I'll know soon!

As I've said recently, this break was, on the whole, not very well spent. But despite that, I had some very good times talking with my friends back home (not enough of that!), chilling out with Andrea-tachi, volunteering at the kindergarten and middle schools with Tik Ka and Zoe, hanging out with Eri, watching some classic stand-up with Mikawa Ossan, and playing Melee with Alex, etc.

Well, I've got preparations to do today. But I'll start with some breakfast.

10/07/2006

Chillin' with Mikawa Ossan and Chappelle and Murphy too

I have returned to the cave. Alfred is missing.

I intended to catch a 3:04 PM train to Kariya, but even though I got to Okazaki Eki at 3 o'clock, there was no such train. However, an announcer came over the loudspeaker system and was ... announcing ... something. Either the train was late or I somehow misread the online schedule. So I ended up waiting for a while. I took a seat on a bench but vacated it for two very grateful elderly ladies. Finally, like 15 minutes later, the next train arrived.

Mikawa Ossan and I hung out at his apartment for a while. He's had to go through a lot of re-registration for various things lately and he was explaining to me how ridiculously difficult Japan makes it to get things done sometimes. Organizing around the red tape sounds like quite the nightmare. What I found particularly bizarre is that banks in Japan close at three o'clock during the week and are not open on the weekends. That's inhumane.

We ended up watching some old stand-up routines, actually, at his place. We saw a Dave Chappelle routine called "Killin' Them Softly" from 2000 and then listened to an audio-only presentation of a circa-1980 Eddie Murphy routine. We rounded it off with Abbott and Costello's classic "Who's On First?" routine. Classic. It was all quite good. Some of the things Murphy says ... you could just never say those sorts of things today and make it big. The social climate has changed too much. (Interesting Wikipedia quote: "Murphy's comments about gays and AIDS in his standup routines were considered so vicious that some years later he apologized for the remarks.") Also, I liked The PJs.

After this, we went to a Sri Lankan restaurant where I ate beef curry and nan, the latter of which I first ate an Indian restaurant a couple or so months ago with a bunch of classmates. It was good. The kindly gentleman there gave me a 250-yen periodical named Asahi Weekly for free. I like it because it's bilingual and I can understand much of the Japanese as well.

After this, Mikawa Ossan dropped me off at the train station, where I had to wait for a train for about 20 long minutes. (Good thing I had that Asahi Weekly, huh?) I was a bit confused about which train to take but I boarded the right one. (This hasn't been my day for train times.)

When I arrived at Okazaki Station, I was surprised to see a couple of young guys with guitars (one of them with a harmonica around his neck) performing in the main lobby. I hung around for one of their songs and was very impressed with them. I was across the walkway from them, but I saw them hand a paper of some sort to a couple of girls that were there, so I walked over and asked them, in Japanese, if I could get one too. The guy nearest me seemed fairly surprised to hear me speaking Japanese and seemed really grateful, as did his companion.

The paper itself is handwritten Japanese and, thus, is a bit tough for me to read, even with all of my new Awesome Intermediate-Level Powers. They have a website but it's all Japanese, so you might not find it very helpful. But I think that I might like to listen to this group, named 第2グラウンド (Second Ground), again.

Other that this, I went to Seiyu and bought some food and came on home. I'm in a good mood at the moment so I'm going to pleasantly relax a bit and go to bed. Ahhh. But, you know, I found out today that going to Gamagori by train only cost 320 yen. I'm really hankering (oops, my Texanness is showing!) to head down there again, so I might have to do that soon. If I end up going alone, maybe some seaside study would be relaxing.

日本語へのスイッチタイム!

今日、三河おっさんと遊びに刈谷へ行った。駅まで迎えに来てくれてから、彼のうちでアメリカ人のエディ・マーフィーとデーブ・シャペールという有名な三枚目のパフォーマンスを観たり聞いたりした。面白くて、たくさん笑った。その後、スリランカの料理(ビーフカレーとナン)を食べた。おいしかったよ。

岡崎駅へ戻ったとき、駅のロビーで二人のギターを弾いていた男の人がいた。歌を聞いて、とっても上手だと思った。あの二人から情報の紙を1枚もらった。名前は「第2グラウンド」と書いてある。紙は日本語だけが書いてあるので、僕はあまり読めない。しかし、ウェブサイトはもっと読みやすい。コンピューターで読むのは漢字を調べるのに便利だから。じゃ、チャンスがあったら、ぜひ彼らの歌を聞きに行ったほうがいいよね!

New Approach photos

While my rice is cooking, I'll give you a brief introduction to my new Yamasa textbook, New Approach Japanese Intermediate Course. Yes, at Yamasa, I am now considered an immediate-level student. Got my grizzled appearance, eye patch, and peg leg now.

今、ごはんが作られている。僕は待ちながら、今学期の『ニューアプローチ中級日本語』という教科書を少し見せてあげる。うん、これから、YAMASAで中級の学生だよね!

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal




I don't need to steenkin' English!
英語?全然要らないんだぞ!ハハハ!

And here's a little something that I did at the end of the previous term.
最後に、先学期の終わりの絵。

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


You're dang right it's a P-Wing.

今日はよさそう | Today looks good

遅く寝て、遅く起きた。今日、2週間ぐらい会ってなかった三河おっさんと遊びに行く。彼は忙しいので、僕ははやく帰らないと。帰ってから、何をやるか、まだわからない。今日、晴れて、美しい太陽が光っている。僕の新たな元気やいい気持ちとこのきれいな天気・・・すばらしい!

I went to bed late last night but had a good long sleep. Today I'll be hanging out with Mikawa Ossan, whom I've not seen for a couple of weeks, for a little while. After that, who knows. Maybe some studying or something? (Tonight? I doubt it.) I'm really glad that it's sunny out today. It's a perfect complement to feeling rather renewed. Sure is windy, too.

By the way, I fixed a small typo in a recent post. The friend that stopped by during Melee was not the one that lent me Phantom but was the one that lent me Ninja Scroll. Whoops! My bad.

It's ... it's kind of like finding a Heart Container, y' know?

Man, right now, late on this Friday evening, I feel better than I have all week long—probably since last Saturday evening hanging out with my friend Eri, and the group get-together at my friend Andrea's apartment before that. Even though there were other good times during the week (e.g., the middle school, the kindergarten, Melee with Alex), they were engulfed by soooo much emotionally-draining, insane-making dead time that it's almost like they never happened at all, in terms of relaxation and net pleasantness. I didn't handle it very well at all, and I can't do this sort of thing again. I've also had various concerns weighing heavily on my mind all bloody week but I feel that I've finally sorted it all out fairly effectively. It's such a good feeling. I've been feeling kind of crappy all week, really. What a relief to be feelin' good again. I am the man.

Image © 2005, 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


Hi, Matt! Why you gotta be trippin', man?
アメリカ人のマットという友達!

10/06/2006

「マツケンサンバ」と「B-Dash」

僕は松平健の「マツケンサンバⅡ」と「マツケンサンバⅢ」という歌がとっても好きだよ。それに、たった今、トンガリキッズの「B-Dash」というのを初めて聞いた。歌の名前を聞いたことがあったけど。前のスーパーマリオブラザーズの音楽が入っていて、面白いふうを思う。その上、歌手がはっきり歌ったから、言葉が少しわかりやすそうだと思う。

バスケットボール大会の写真 | Basketball ball tournament photos

僕、おそ~い!おそすぎた!ごめんなさい。しかし・・・前の僕が出たバスケットボール大会を覚えてるの?あの大会の写真があるウェブサイトを知ってるよ!教える!実は、1ヶ月前ぐらい、羽田先生が教えてくださってのに、ちょっと忘れちゃった。この写真は全部おやいず先生とすぎうら先生がとってくださった。ありがとうございました!はやく見たほうがいいようね。

Ohhh man, I was slow! Too slow! However ... remember the basketball tournament that I participated in a while back? Well, let me present to you the official gallery of pictures taken by Oyaizu-sensei and Sugiura-sensei! Thank you, sensei! Get on over and check them out!

Minor middle school student revelation

One more thing regarding the middle school that I went to recently: I discovered that one of my students is hard-of-hearing and that's why she had so much trouble understanding my English during my visits. That does explain it. Well, it goes to show that you just never know what issues people are dealing with.

"New Approach"! Kindergarten! Cram schools!

買ったよ!『ニューアプローチ』という次のレベルの本を買ったところだよ。この本は『みんなの日本語』と比べて、大切な違うところがある。英語の本もないし、ふりがなも少ないし。でも上手に日本語を読んだり話したりするのに、役に立つと思う。でも、ある学生は「ニューアプローチはあまりよくないぞ!」と言うことがあるから、本当にいいかどうか、少し心配している。そうかもしれないのに、がんばる!本を買って、ちょっとうれしくなった。元気が戻ったようだ。知りたい、知りたい!英語がないことはちょっと不便だけど、いいことだと思う。また、学生課の山本さんが「縁」という言葉について教えてくださった。「ご縁」と「5円」なの?面白い。それに、新井先生と羽田先生と彦坂先生と有滝先生を見た。彦坂先生と新井先生とちょっと話した。(ところで、最近のバスケット大会の読み物を見つけた。)

Well, I bought New Approach, the next series of books in my quest at Yamasa, today. There are no English translations and kanji readings are rare. Some students think that New Approach is pretty crappy, it seems, which I'm a bit concerned about. But, hey, I'm going to use the book as best I can. I'm pretty excited about it and it has recharged my batteries a bit. I must master this book. Though the lack of an English translation is inconvenient, I think it's a positive change. Also, Yamamoto-san in the Student Affairs Office explained a bit about the Japanese word "縁" (en, kind of meaning "personal connection") and its relationship to "5円" (go en, five yen), but she used a few words that I didn't know so it was tough to understand, so she recommended that I check with my sensei. I also saw Arai-sensei, Aritaki-sensei, Hada-sensei, and Hikosaka-sensei today and got to chat with Hikosaka-sensei and Arai-sensei. Cool.

それに、幼稚園の予定はよかった。今日、26人の子供と話したり、歌ったりしていた。また、英語を少し教えてあげた。4歳の子供だから、みんなすごく元気で、やさしかった。(1人の男の子はずっとおこっていて、木のいすをなげた!それはちょっと…。でも後で落ち着いて、謝ってくれたので、大丈夫だ。)僕を登ってみたり、少し殴ったり、1回カンチョウをしてみたりした。でも人気がたくさんあると思うよ。2週間前の初めて会った時と僕の名前を覚えていてくれた。いいなあ。次の日は2週間後の金曜日。

My time at the kindergarten went very well. Today, I was in a class of 26 four-year-olds, with whom I talked, sang, and danced a bit as many of their mothers looked on. I taught them a bit of English, too. Being kids, they were all very energetic, but more importantly, they were all quite kind. (One boy was pissed the whole time. He kicked the caretaker's electric piano a few times and, a bit later, threw a small wooden chair. Not cool, but later on he apologized, even to me, so it ended up all right.) The kids tried to climb me, hit me (playfully) a few times, and attempted a bit of kancho." It was interesting: one of the girls surprised me with a kiss on the cheek, which was fine, but she then tried to go for my lips as well—twice (I bet the look of shock on my face was priceless); one of the boys insisted on burying his face in my leg or attaching himself to me a lot of the time; many of the kids kept insisting that I hold their hands and let them flip off of my legs (which led to other kids wanting the same thing); another boy kept shooting Dragonball Z "kamehameha" attacks at me (I pretended to get hit but then started deflecting them all dramatic-like); and I had a number of simple conversations. So it seems that I'm quite popular and have been accepted into the tribe. Many of them even remembered me (and my name) from when we met two weeks before. At the beginning of this arrangement, I was wondering how they'd react and now I know. I'm pleased that they feel comfortable around me. It was fun. The next visit is in two weeks. Looking forward to it.

Writing about this reminds me of my second trip to the middle school when we discussed Japan's cram schools a bit. I knew nothing about them except that kids went there to study more after school. It seems that most schools' classes are from about seven to ten in the evenings, several times a week. Man. Some kids decide not to attend cram schools (and their parents don't force them to), since it's hardly necessary. I've heard that Japan's education system focuses more on memorization than true understanding of the presented material, but I'm not sure how true that is. If it is so, then I guess I can certainly see the need for cram schools. (The English name itself—cram school—has a feel of jamming as much information in heads as possible.) For the record, none of those kidss like cram school. (Well, one kind of did, but not much.)

Playing with the kids, for the kids

Well, today, I have my second volunteer gig at a nearby kindergarten. (My first one was a couple of Fridays ago.) It's a bunch of four-year-olds but it's only for 30 minutes, so I think it's manageable. I'll be teaching them a little bit of English. Part of the reason I signed up for this (and the middle school thing as well) was to help manage my nerves about such things. Well, wherever I've gone, I've been pretty popular. i am t3h roxxorz!!1 (Ahem, sorry.) My success, though, has made some very pleasant experiences. And I do like pleasant experiences.

Later on, I'll visit FM Okazaki to help celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Ohiraku radio show, which is the one that I usually go and listen to. I hope it's not raining too much or anything, though. A couple of weeks ago when we were all talking outside after the night's broadcast, they vaguely mentioned something about putting me on the air for a little bit. My Japanese is too weak for much actual conversation, though, so they mentioned that perhaps we could play some rock-paper-scissors (janken) on the air. Hey, I'm down for it. It was just an idea, though, and don't expect it to happen. Still, though, I'd best be prepared.

Last night, I was up very late with my buddy Alex and my other buddy, Melee. It was good. A neighbor of mine (the one who lent me Phantom of the Opera Ninja Scroll) stopped by for a while, as did Mark (former of L class).

10/05/2006

The Circle of Life continues

Another day, a Thursday, is upon us. Us in the East, at least.

I've got various things to get done today, including my weekly afternoon English-Japanese exchange appointment, which actually will probably be ending soon, due to one of the primary people in it leaving for Tokyo for a while soon. I cleaned my room a bit yesterday, especially my desks, so it's looking a bit better in here than it has been recently. Since I also plan to get some studying done today, that's a good thing.

But it's cloudy again today and I'm pretty tired. I'm also kind of worried about a friend of mine that has been a bit ill recently. Despite efforts to get in contact over the past few days, I wasn't successful at all, so I'm going to just totally back off and wait for my friend to contact me instead because I'm sure that I've probably been a bit annoying over the past few days. I'm concerned that something deeper might be wrong, though. [On second thought, bump that squadoo. I'll put forth some more effort.]

And then I also need to buy my textbooks—probably today. I'm surprised that I haven't bought them already. Argh, I need to review some more before Monday.

The Yamasa Institute, Summer 2006, class K and class L bowling party in Anjo


Since everyone else that I know at school with a blog has posted it ... here's a group photo of the joint Yamasa summer 2006 term AIJP K and L classes putting aside our copious differences and standing outside the bowling alley at which we bowled on the 20th of last month. Notice how we act like we can stand each other. Ha! I kid, I kid.

10/04/2006

It lives!

After about a week and a half of lethargy, my energy is beginning to return to me. I'm studying more and learning more. Thank goodness. I need to get up to speed before I start school on Monday.

Yes, even though Monday is a national holiday, I have to go to school! Not only that, apparently next Friday is a school holiday. If I understand this correctly, Yamasa might be smoking some seriously moldy goods or something. There go those perfect holiday plans.

Ninja Scroll again | もう一回、獣兵衛忍風帖

You know what I just did? I watched Ninja Scroll for the second time. A neighbor of mine lent it to me. I first saw it with my friends in America a few years ago but I went all fuzzy on the details of it. An interesting and well-made film, isn't it? Via Wikipedia, I found a potentially interesting analysis of the film as well. (I'm a bit annoyed with its lack of actual Japanese characters in the Japanese character explanation near the top, but it looks quite useful.) Apparently, a sequel will soon be released. (But is it one of those "12 years in the making" things or one of those "Bambi 2" sorts of things?)

獣兵衛忍風帖』という映画を観たところだ。親切な隣人が貸してくれたんだ。初めてじゃなくて、第2回目だった。2,3年前、アメリカ人の友達のうちで初めて観た。でも時間が過ぎて、映画の出来事を大体忘れちゃった。だから、朝11時ぐらい、観るのを決めておいた。面白くて、上手に作った映画だと思う。それに、ウィキペディアによると、今でも続編を作っているそうだね。

10/03/2006

琉球諸島

まだヤマサにいるよ。

インターネットで沖縄県について読んでいるところなんだ。沖縄県の歴史と文化は面白いね。正しくわかれば、琉球諸島の文化は日本の文化にだいたい変わったということだね。それで、最近、名前も「南西諸島」に変わったと書いてある。その上、本土に住んでいる日本人は時々「琉球諸島人は本当の日本人じゃない」という意見もあると書いてあるけど。あまりよくない考え方だと思う。

琉球諸島へ行ったことがあるの?

(こんな話は日本語で難しい!)

さようなら | So long, kids

最近ボランティアとして近い中学校で学生と話していたけど、今日は最後だった。一緒に話したり、歌ったりした。今日、いろいろな所の先生が遠い所(北海道など)から見に来たから、ちょっと心配していたけど、大丈夫で、安心した。今ちょっと悲しいけど。

Today was my final day volunteering at a nearby middle school. We talked and sang together ("Ebony and Ivory," I kid you not) and had some fun talking (though I talked a bit too much today). Today was also significant in that teachers from all over the country (even Hokkaido!) came to observe the school today, including our class. I was a bit nervous but things went quite well. And I'm a bit sad to leave "my kids" behind.

I'm actually at Yamasa's computer lab right now, having returned here by taxi and paid my rent. I'm very reluctant to return home due to negative effect on my mood and habits being there has had on me for the past several days. When I've got something kind of heavy weighing on my mind (as I do right now), when I'm there I just can't stop dwelling and dwelling and dwelling on it and it drives me absolutely batty. Not to mention that my room is not particularly exciting or appealing in the first place, of course.

So maybe I'll try to spend the day out and about a bit. Today's a somewhat special day anyway.

今日、6ヶ月 | I've reached the six month mark!

Today marks exactly 6 months that I've been in Japan. I have to say that it's been a very good half a year. I've learned a lot of Japanese, made a number of friends, and had a lot of very good experiences. A hearty THANKS! to all of you that have helped made this trip possible and worthwhile. And a big MISS YOU! to my parents and friends back home.

今日、僕は6ヶ月かっきり日本にいる日だよ。この半年はとてもよかったと思う。たくさん日本語を教えてもらったし、友達を大勢作ったり、いい経験をしたりして、みんなに大きい「ありがとう!」と伝えたい。また、アメリカに住んでいる両親と友達には「MISS YOU!」だ!これからも、よろしく、みんな!

(My April blog archive brings back good memories. If you want to check it out, read from the bottom. I was so green back then, I tells ya.)

4月の日記のアーカイブを少し読んで、いい思い出を思い出した。よかったら、下から少し読んで。でも英語だけが書いてある。日本へ来た時、日本語が少ししかわからなかったんだね。)

10/02/2006

All play and no school makes Jon something something

I just returned from some pleasant Japanese study at McDonald's and I'm in a pretty good mood. I didn't feel so great yesterday but I've been feeling better throughout the day today. Thank goodness. I've been going positively stir-crazy over here.

マクドナルドへ勉強に行って帰ったところだ。今日、だんだん元気になった。昨日はあまり元気じゃなかった。雨が降っていたし。今日はいいよ!

UPDATE 1: I learned the other day that, here in Japan, people watch TV with the lights on because they feel that watching TV with them off is bad for the eyes. I didn't explicitly know that, but yet, I've seen enough anime that cautions viewers to do just that, so it makes sense. It probably is bad to sit in a dark room watching that stuff, but I don't know.

UPDATE 2: I'm fairly fond of this graph and think the site as a whole is an amusing, if not repetitive, exercise.

The Phaaaaantom of the Opera is theeeeere... here on my bloooog

I still need to eat breakfast. But I wanted to mention that I watched the recent film version of Phantom of the Opera the other day. I've never seen any adapation of this story, so it was a real treat that Eri let me borrow her DVD. It was quite good. I recognized a lot of the music because I heard the soundtrack once while riding with my American friends to the beach a while back. The Phantom himself was a bit less of a sympathetic character than I expected. And for the record, I watched in English with Japanese subtitles.



朝ごはんはまだ食べてない。でも、食べる前に、この間に初めて2004年の『オペラ座の怪人』という映画を見たのが言いたかった。あの時まで、映画とか、ミュージカルとか、全然見ていなかったけど、とても面白かったと思う。エリが貸してくれて、よかった。(どうもありがとう。)アメリカで1回この映画の音楽を聞いたことがある。すてきな歌が多いね。

One more thing ... dictionary woes

I can't find my paperback Random House Japanese-English/English-Japanese dictionary. I'm quite perturbed by this development and haven't the foggiest idea where it might have disappeared to. Even though it's begun falling apart, that thing's my buddy, man. I brought it from America and it was probably the first Japanese-related purchase that I ever made. Alas.

But all is not lost, for, you see, several weeks ago, I began doing a language-exchange thing with a kindly lady that I know here and her adult daughter. At the first or second such meetings, I was told that I could borrow this:

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


... for the duration of my stay in Japan. Giggity! I've been wanting an electronic dictionary for a while now, and though this one's a bit old, it's been serving me pretty well for the past few weeks. However, for me, it's only useful for its Japanese-to-English capabilities. In English-to-Japanese mode, the explanations have too much kanji and not enough furigana (kanji readings). For those times, I turn to my paperback dictionary.

Or, at least I did until a week or two ago. Where'd you go, baby?

Concerned about my laptop

I think my laptop's monitor is dying on me. I've got this gray streak going horizontally across half of my screen from the right. Fortunately, right now it's not too dark and it's also in a location where it's usually not all too visible (right beneath the title bar on maximized windows), but it does cause me worry. If this thing dies, I'm pretty much stuck.

Good afternoon, world

Well, I think today's looking to be a good day. I've got some "homework" to do for my final middle school volunteer day, which is tomorrow. I need to get that done today, of course. It's really cloudy and intermittently rainy but I think I'm gradually feeling better than I felt yesterday, which wasn't so hot. Embrace the grayness of the weather, people!

This is my last week off from school. Last week had a couple of very high points but was overall pretty slow. I barely even studied. It's time to get myself together for next week. This term is going to be tougher than the previous two. I'm a bit nervous about that, but I'll try my best. I hope I can keep up with everything.

You know, I haven't eaten anything yet and it's past noon. I should grab something soon. Also, I think today's going to be one of those days where I really should get out of my room. In America, I'd have plenty to do but here in Japan, when school is taken from me, I just don't know what to do with myself sometimes.

10/01/2006

正座 | Seiza

床に座る時、僕はいつも独りでに正座をする。
でも30~45分後ぐらい、足がすごくいたくなる。
なんで正座をする?わからない。

Whenever I sit on a floor, I automatically assume the formal "seiza" posture.
But after about 30 to 45 minutes, my legs start hurting a lot.
I'm not sure why I do that.

雨しかない。

今日は雨だった。それに、雨が降ってる時、少し自転車に乗った。僕は雨が好きだけど、傘がない時には自転車で出掛けるのは大変だよね。でも、そうなのに、楽しかった。今日、つまらなかったんだよ~。しかし木曜・金曜・土曜はとてもよかったから、大丈夫。

(前の修正について:日本語が下手ですから、本心がよく伝えたか、あまりわかりません。すみません。もしかしたら、後で英語の説明を読むかもしれません。)

うどんと映画

今晩、エリという友達と一緒とおいうどんのレストランで晩ごはんを食べた。僕は肉うどんを食べた。おいしかったよ!それに、ドライブも楽しかった。それから、「モンスターズ・インク」を見た。僕が思ったとおりに、エリはあの映画が好きだった。もちろんだね。PIXARの映画は本当に面白い。映画は英語だったけど、日本語の字幕があって、映画を見ながら字幕を読んでいた。時々字幕は英語の対談と全然違ったよ。でもいい練習だったと思う。



いいよね。