11/30/2006

Punctuation

The other day, I asked Hiroe-sensei about Japanese punctuation because, since I arrived here at Yamasa, I've seriously heard barely two words about it at all. Even my textbooks don't have anything to say. His answer was fairly shocking: there are basically only two rules. These are:

1. Use periods.
2. Use the comma between conjoined sentences (...が、...)

Other than that, it just depends on the person writing and on common sense and flow of the sentence.

Man. Well, that's one less headache, at least.

Playing Go with Kaku: the first match

Today, I played Go with my classmate Kaku for the first time. I discovered the other day that she played Go everyday for six years when she was an elementary school student and she was quite happy to come play with me today. I told Lee, who I normally play against, about her today and he was totally shocked. I was so excited before the match that I could scarcely pay attention to the final hour of standard class. How strong would she be? Unfortunately, Lee couldn't come to watch today, but Yo was able to. (Daphne came for a little bit as well.)

Finally we arrived at the Go classroom, set up, and began our match.

Jonathan vs. Kaku: Round One


Playing black, I was able to start out strong, like I did last week.

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


I quickly made two strong formations in the lower right corner. At this point, I figured that I would probably be able to take it a bit easy after all. She complimented me several times. But then ...!

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


Kaku caught me being sloppy in the upper left and captured three of my stones and her first territory as well. It was a wake-up call. Indeed, as the game progressed, she became stronger and stronger and began capturing more and more areas. It was all coming back to her! She made me get serious. And worried. It turned into quite the war. Here's how the final board looked:

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


We started at the lower right, moved toward the lower left, then to the upper left. I captured most of the lower half of the board but she ending up dominating the upper left and center strip because I focused all of my energies on the upper middle, an area that Kaku owned and seemed untouchable but that I eventually won. The upper right was mine as well.

Toward the end, the main Go sensei started checking in on us. He's a kind upper middle-aged gentleman who gives Lee and me advice from time to time. In the middle of a game, I generally prefer that he not interfere in the middle of games since his advice, while helpful, changes the flow (or perhaps, the purity) of the game. But today, his appearance was extremely welcome.

You see, we've been playing Go incorrectly all of this time. Just a bit. We thought that you couldn't play within an area surrounded by the enemy's stones when, in fact, you very much can but it's generally not recommended to do so without good reason. Well, shoot! And you don't always need to take the enemy's stones to have them count in the end. And on top of that, we've been determining the winner of games totally wrong. Lee and I always just went by whether it seemed black-owned areas or white-owned areas seemed more populous. Wrong. To determine the winner, you have to rearrange things a bit.

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


I've seen this sort of thing before but had no idea how to do it. I saw it done and I still don't, really. Just a bit. But what seemed to be a tie game to me before turned out, somehow, to be my victory by 58 moku. Apparently, my large area in the upper middle and right helped a lot even though I'd thought that it wasn't worth it. (Shoot. Now I wonder who actually won those games I played with Lee until now. Well, it's unimportant.)

Kaku played quite admirably, and I didn't do too shabbily myself. I pulled off some pretty good strategy, I think. When I play Go, I'm half-experimenting because I wonder what will happen in this case or in that case. Today, when there were occasional delays, I was just dying for the next move to be made so that I could see the results of various ideas, especially when I was fighting for the upper middle.

I like Go.

Kaku wants to play a lot more, so it seems that I have another Go partner. Next, I've gotta get Yo playing. He seems to be learning a lot just by watching.

Update: I'd like to thank the fine folks at Go Discussions for helping me to figure this out. I posted a question about this game there and have received some very useful responses. One particular interest was this image that the poster "oenava" created using one of my images above:

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal
RED dots are dead stones; PURPLE dots are Black's points;
the YELLOW dot is neutral; and GREEN dots are White's points


Looking at this, I can much better understand what happened and how I was able to win. Killing those white stones in the upper middle, something that I fought hard for and sacrificed area in the left middle, turned out to be a very good move after all. I am pleased by this. I can't wait to tell Lee all of this and play against him again. But maybe I'll let Kaku and Lee play today. But can I sit there just watching the whole time, though? ("Oo! Lemme do it, lemme do it!" Heh heh.)

11/29/2006

日本語能力試験2級文法選択授業最後

今日の日本語能力試験2級文法選択授業は最後だった。あの試験が今週末だから。いい授業だったから、残念だ。今年、僕は2級を受けないが、日本語では特に文法に興味がなんとなくあるから、2級文法の選択をとることにした。役に立ったと思う。

今日、とても面白い文法を勉強した。「っけ」ということだった。すごいよね、これは。多分聞いたことがあるが、全然分からなかっただろう。

ありがとうございました、小嶋先生。また先生に教えていただけるようになるといいと思う。

その時に:「お名前は・・・こ~・・・小嶋先生でしたっけ?」

(English synopsis: I'm just going on about this day being the final class of my JLPT level 2 grammar class. I thought it was interesting and helpful and I like Kojima-sensei a lot.)

テストの後で

今日のテストは惨事(さんじ)だった。書くテストは最後まで大丈夫だった。最後のセクションの4番目の質問に起こらせて、その時から集中できなかった。聴解テストも残念だった。書くテストの怒りがまだあって、本当に難しかった。でもラジカセの前に座っていたので、会話の人の声が初めてはっきり聞けた。それはよかったが、テストの内容では分からなかったところがだんだん多くなったし、話をなかなか覚えられなかったし、会話が複雑(ふくざつ)で長くなっちゃったので集中できなったし、つらかった。

残念だけど、あまりかまわないようにしている。一番大切なことはほとんどの教えていただくことを覚えていたり使えたり頭の中によく置いておいたりすることなんじゃないかと思う。ミスもまだ多いし、忘れちゃうことも多いし、日本語の能力はまだ弱いし、自信にあまりよくないね。でも、だれだって試験に失敗したことがある。試験に失敗するのに、それは日本語が下手だと表されていないと思う。関係があるが、そんなに強くない。テストはパズルみたいんじゃないか?

しかし・・・日本語を中心に自分のことを大切に考えたほうがいいじゃん。僕は聴解は問題だと思う。今、それを考えている。実際に、今学期中、いろんな問題ができたが、ゆっくり考えて直す時間やエネルギーはあまりなくなってきた。スランプみたいだね。大丈夫だ。確かに、「あきらめたい~」気持ちがある。でも、僕が死ぬまでに、しちゃダメだ。それは変かもしれないのに。今までは7ヶ月ぐらいしかないね。

ああ、長くなっちゃった。もう遅い。それじゃ、また!

香嵐渓へ!友達と!

土曜日、たくさんのスクールメートと足助町の香嵐渓へ行った。バスで行くことにしたので、午前8時に12人ぐらいの人が集まって自転車で一緒に東岡崎駅へ行った。距離は分からないが、行くのは1時間ぐらいかかった。僕のクラスメートのホアキンさんに隣に座っていた。ホアキンさんと話す機会はちょっと少ないから、たくさんしゃべっていて、楽しかった。バス内の外人はちょっとうるさかったけどね。うるさすぎるようになると、ダフニさんにしかられるかもしれないようになった。よくできた、ダフニさん。ヘヘ。

The other day, a large group schoolmates took the bus to a famous (and not too far) place named Kourankei to look at the fall leaves around the mountain and river. I sat next to Joaquin on the bus and we had a nice long conversation for the first time in a while.

でも、バスが香嵐渓に近づき始めたら、道が込んでいた。ダフニさんや山本ブライアンさんとヨウさんが急にバスを降りて、歩道を歩き始めた。僕も降りて歩きたかったが、バス運転手はドアを閉めてゆっくり続けた。どうしようかなぁと思っていた。その3人を見て、歩いたほうが速いような気がした。それに、バスの中は本当に暑かった!それで、物を集めてバスの前を行って運転手に「私もこちらで降りさせていただけませんか」と聞いてみた。Jクラスの先生はいらっしゃらなかったのに、当時先生がなんとなくうれしくなったかもしれないと僕が思う。ところで、運転者は降りさせてくれた。敬語大成功!!(先生と言えば、Jクラスの瀧川先生も別にいらっしゃったのに、出会わなかった。出会えばよかったのにね。)

As the bus neared Kourankei, the road got crowded, so Joaquin, Daphne, and Yo got off the bus and just started walking up the road. I wanted off too but I was a bit slow and the bus driver closed the door, so I asked in the most polite way if he'd open the door for me as well. He found himself unable to resist me.

僕は香嵐渓へ行ったことが2,3回あるので、かなり知っている。でも、紅葉(もみじ)を見に行った人が大勢(おおぜい)いて、本当に新しい経験だった。もちろん、紅葉が多くて、きれいだった。ヒューストンには山も全然ないけど、日本へ来てから、山がとても好きになった。たくさん色の葉がある山って、すばらしいんじゃないかな。

I've been to Kourankei two or three times but that was during summer time when there were no fall colors and no people, so it was a pretty new experience. I've come to really like mountains a lot.

でも、香嵐渓以外って車がなければ何があるの?僕たちなら分からないので2時ぐらい岡崎へ戻ってきた。でも、帰るのは2時間かかってしまった。それに、知らなかったおばさんに隣に座っていた。でも、すぐすやすや寝た。10回起きたのに、毎回もう一度すぐ寝た。聞いた話によれば、本当のスクールメートが寝ていた。僕はね、バス内にとても寝やすい。

We only toured the fairly small main area before deciding to head back. I slept the whole way back, except for waking up a good 10 times because I was worried about missing my stop (as if the others wouldn't have woken me up).

岡崎に着いたら、みんな別れて色々場所に行った。僕はヨウさんと山本ブライアンさんとダフニさんとローダさんといいインド料理を食べに行った。山本ブライアンさんが連れて行ってくれたが、着いたら、1回そこで食べたことがあるのを思い出した。いいレストランだといい始めた。僕は胡桃(くるみ)ナンだけにした。おいしかった、それは!レストランの名前を忘れちゃったのに、もう一回そこで食べに行きたい。

After this, Brian, Yo, Daphne, Rhoda, and I ate at an Indian restaurant in town. I'd been there before once and like it a lot. I ordered the walnut nan, a new item, and it was delicious.

最後に、以下の写真はあの日の一番面白い写真かましれないと言われている。

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal
ダフニさんはホアキンさんとアイスクリームを分け合ってあげた。
Daphne shares her ice cream with Joaquin.


以上だよ!

11/28/2006

PSA: cheating

Just FYI, the Japanese word for "cheating" is cunning—or rather, kanningu.

Love and Berry comes to DS

You know that princess-y video game that you often see young girls rabidly slamming on the buttons on at Seiyu? That game, Love and Berry, is coming to DS, reports 4 color rebellion. This was a good move by Nintendo, given the apparent ferventness of girls' adoration for this game. There were reportedly over one million preorders for it. (If you visit the site, check out the amusing comment by Ebina-Nick.)

I just thought it was some dumb grocery store game. But I was wrong, as it's some dumb grocery store game on the Nintendo DS.

Which I still don't have, for the record.

11/27/2006

たくさん勉強

たった今、家に帰ったところだ。授業が終わってから、英会話の学生と一緒にAEONのフェスタガーデンという食べ放題レストランで食事したりしゃべったりしていた。学生にごちそうしてもらった!ありがたいことだったから、授業の時間を少し延ばしてあげた。

学生と別れたら、学校へ戻って、二階のベンチに座って、ずっと宿題をしていた。そこに座ったら、いろいろな先生が会えるようになるから、いい勉強になるかもしれないと思う。でも、渡辺先生からの先週の宿題を全く忘れちゃった!遅く出しちゃって、何回も謝った。本当に、バカな間違いだった。何となく、渡辺先生の授業ではバカな間違いがたくさんあって、僕があまりよくない学生と先生が思っているはずだ。

今晩の勉強をしている時、廣江先生に「しなければならないことの重大を考えて、順番にするの("organization")は日本語で何と言いますか」と聞いたけど、僕が思っていたよりも難しい質問みたいだった。廣江先生と羽田(はだ)先生と小柳津(おやいず)先生が一緒に相談して「計画性(けいかくせい)がない」に決めた。ありがとう、先生。

羽田先生と言えば、何か面白いことがあった。羽田先生が近づいてきたら、左手の薬指の指輪に気がついた。「先生、もうすぐ結婚する予定になったんですか」と聞いた。でも、本当は違う。普通の指輪と言った。羽田先生はきれいだから、もしかしたら薬指に指輪をしたらあまりナンパされないようになるかもしれないね。(笑)

小嶋先生に聞いたんだけど、最近Yahoo! Japanで広瀬香美(ひろせこうみ)の歌がダウンローダしたりできるそうだ。そごいだよ。是非、ダウンロードしてみたい。ところで、小嶋先生が近づくすぐ前、広瀬香美の歌を聞いていた。「甘いお話」はステキだね!

佐野(さの)先生に悩みをつい少し伝えて、いいアドバイスをいただいた。その後、僕が「マツケンサンバⅢ」という歌を聞いていた時、ちょっと座って踊り始めると佐野先生が通って、見ちゃって、ちょっと恥ずかしかった。でも、その歌をきくと、つい踊り始める。歌の名前を教えたら、先生がびっくりして、笑い出した。面白いって言った。それは、ありがとうね。

夫馬(ふま)先生にも質問を答えていただいた。夫馬先生にはまだ教えていただいていないのに、「推測」の読み方を教えてくださった。多分、先生の部屋に戻ってから、廣江先生に「あの変な学生に質問をされてしまいました」と言ったかもしれない。(笑)

今週の水曜日、今学期の二つ目のテストがある。ちょっと復習するといいかなぁ。でも、それは明日する。今、とても疲れている。

Notice

You know, the other day in class, we had a brief a discussion on e-mail etiquette. Hiroe-sensei asked which kind of subject line everybody preferred, something like "Notice" or "Notice: Tuesday's meeting moved to Thursday," and half of the class said that they preferred the former, even in a business environment. I was horrified. There's certainly nothing objectively wrong with such a thing, but if someone sends me an e-mail with a subject line saying just "Notice" outside of a casual environment, I reserve the right to smack you upside the head.

11/26/2006

Oops

I just realized a while ago that I prepared for the wrong lesson for a while today. Shoot. Well, when we reach lesson 11 next term, I'll be set.

酒井法子・・・テレビ・・・しまった!

I apparently missed seeing Noriko Sakai on TV today. I am displeased.

今日の午後、酒井法子はテレビに出る予定だったが、たった今知ってしまった。

CX 「あっぱれ!!さんま大教授」
放送日≫11月26日(日) 13:10~13:35


くやしいー。

「おなか、すいてる[の[か]]?」

中級の日本語学生へ、

30分ぐらい前に、「おなか、すいてる?」と「おなか、すいてる?」と「おなか、すいてるのか?」についてJRefというフォーラムで聞いたの。役に立つかなぁと思えば、ちょっと見てね。(説明は英語で書いてあ~る。)

11/25/2006

廣江先生とクラスメートのヨウさん、相談中

Image © 2006 Jonathan's Japan Journal


『ピタゴラスイッチ』という子供の番組を知っていれば、分かるはずだ。ハハ~!

11/24/2006

Menkui, Go, and Asuke

Most of the first hour of class today was sooooo dry and boring. But fortunately it picked up after that and ended up being a fairly interesting day.



This appeared in class today during a second-hour game. This is immensely amusing because Mikawa Ossan just explained the second option, menkui, to me just last night on the phone and so I was able to score a point. Thank you, Mikawa! Ha! Sometimes the universe just comes together, y' know?

My game with Lee today went well. The opening was terrible for me, as I allowed him to get two strong territories on my lower-right side. But I followed up with a large area at the upper-left. The game proceeded very well. We're well matched.


僕は白。Leeは黒。 I played white. Lee played black.


Not bad. Though we kind of proclaimed it a tie, I think that he got a slight lead over me. (He played black.) Thing is, this match was exciting—for both of us. I can totally see why people get into this game so much. The strategy and suspense was quite a rush for both of us. The disappointment of losing an important stone and the thrill of capturing an important stone—there's something there that I've not experienced in a board game before. Plus, I learn a bit each time. It's fun trying out new strategies and seeing what works and what doesn't.

囲碁を打つのは本当面白いと思う。今日、もう1局を打って、楽しかった。僕は白、Leeさんは黒だった。エキサイティングゲームだった!Leeさんは実に強い。それなのに、僕はあまり弱くないよ!1時間以上打っていた。石がたくさん置いてあるようになれば、とても複雑になる。それは一番難しいと思う。囲碁はすばらしいゲームなんじゃない?相手の石をとる気持ちも、相手に石をとられる気持ちも、特別な経験だろう?もっと打ちたい。もっと強くなりたい。

Well, tomorrow, a fairly large group of us is taking a trip to the town of Asuke tomorrow. I've been with Mikawa Ossan a couple of times before, when there were no people around; but this time, the fall leaves will have attracted tons and tons of people, so it will be more beautiful and much less tranquil, I imagine. Takikawa-sensei is actually going with her boyfriend, she said, so maybe we'll run into them. That'd be fun.

明日、スクールメートと足助町の香嵐渓へ行く予定になった。三河おっさんと2,3回行ったことがあるけれど、明日は紅葉を見に行った人が多いだろう。今回の経験は違うはずだ。瀧川先生も行くそうだから、先生に出会うかもしれない。出会えるといいね。

By the way, I asked Hiroe-sensei about Japanese punctuation today after class. There's been nary a word about it since we got here. He said that, basically, there are no set rules outside of the period a couple of comma cases. Other than that, it's personal preference. Now, maybe he simplified that for my sake a bit or something, but that's pretty interesting. But it's about what I'd figured as well. Still, whenever I see "、、、" I just can't help but cringe a bit inside.

Homeless attacks in Okazaki | 岡崎での路上生活者襲撃

Schoolmate Brian Yamamoto points me to a Mainichi newspaper article about youths who are attacking homeless people here in Okazaki.

スクールメートの山本ブライアンは毎日新聞の記事。岡崎市では、中学生か高校生に路上生活者が襲撃されたそうだ。

11/23/2006

授業に間に合わなかった | I was late for class today

今朝、0858に起きちゃった。両親に電話が鳴らなかったら・・・。授業を20分遅れちゃった。初めて!

I woke up at 8:58 this morning. I only woke up then because my father happened to call. I was 20 minutes late for class this morning. The horror!

One more day under a cold, gray sky

It's cold and gray day. Kimochi ga yoku nai ne.

Today, we played a bingo game and I won the prize, a box of candy mushrooms. I won by means of strategy, the same strategy that I'll use to beat my classmate Lee in Go tomorrow after class. (Third time's the charm!) Toward the end of the assignment, I noticed that the little grid representing a bingo board that Hiroe-sensei had drawn on the whiteboard reminded me of a Go board, so I took one of the round black magnets on the board and placed it on the board. Lee followed suit. Eventually, we got a nice little setup going.


Thanks for the shot, Daphne.


After class, I looked an English conversation book that my classmate Kaku bought at Daiso the other day. Very interesting, to say the least. From these books, Japanese folks learn such useful phrases such as "You are too stupid!" and "Will you ask me out on a date?" and "Star Wars directed by George Lucas" [sic] and "I get really excited when I watch soccer on television" (maybe a little too, my friend). There was one more good one, probably the best one, that I'm forgetting. I'll update this post with it later. Update: Got it. "You good for nothing." [sic] If there was an ellipsis, maybe ...

Later on, I played basketball with Daphne over by Aoi Hall. We saw her playing by herself from the fourth floor balcony of Yamasa II and I ran over to get some shots in. Andy joined us a bit too. Man, I can't believe how much I suck now. I guess ten years without touching a basketball will do that to you.

In my conversation class, we were asked one-by-one to offer a decent example of consoling or encouraging someone. As Nose-sensei went around the room, there were pretty typical answers. But for some reason, this is what I ended up saying: "I believe in you, and so no matter how difficult is, don't give up and continue walking this long road!" Of course, I said it a wee bit dramatically. You know how I am. It went over well, though. Nose-sensei said that it was like a scene out of a movie, but because of that, it could feel a bit "cold" to the one I'm speaking to. But it was fun doing that. Have I mentioned that I took acting classes back in the day?

今日の会話選択授業ではのせ先生は慰めたり励ましたりしている例文を言わせた。学生は「ガンバレ!」とか「大丈夫!」とか表現を言っていた。僕はね、「あなたを信じているので、大変でもあきらめないで、この長い道を歩き続けてください!」と言った。おかしいなぁ。のせ先生は、俳優みたいな話し方だったので、相手に寒く感じるかもしれないって言ってくださった。気をつける。楽しかった。

Right now, school-bullying–inspired suicides are a national problem in Japan. I rather feel sorry for the teachers at this point.

11/22/2006

14-Year-Old Mother

I'm watching the drama 14-Year-Old Mother right now. Zoe informed me that it was on. It's my first time watching it though I've heard of it. The biggest thing I noticed is that it's got my boy Namase Katsuhisa in it. This joker's in, I swear, like half of all the popular dramas that air.

I think I might download the raws for this drama and give it a watch. I suppose I'll download the available subtitle files as well to verify my understanding.

オーストリー and Japanese kids' supposed unhappiness

From Japanese blogger Mari:

It's very difficult for me to understand this. I hope it makes sense to you. The Commercial Section of Austrian Embassy in Japan released an official statement that they will change the phonographic writing of Austria from オーストリア(Austria) into オーストリー (Austry) in Japanese. Why? Because people confuse Austria with Australia in the southern hemisphere、they said.


Oookay.

Also, according to one survey, young Japanese folks are the most miserable in the world. (I can believe it.) Young Indians are the happiest.

アンケートの結果によれば、世界中の若い人で日本人は一番うれしくないそうです。皆さんはどう思いますか。

おはよう~

たった今、何となく早く起きちゃった。なんでって聞いたも、答えが来てくれない。それで、「いいよね」って思った、ベッドを出た。もちろん、一つ目の活動はEメールをチェックすること。

11/21/2006

ローダちゃんは大人になったらしい~

今日はクラスメートのローダちゃんの誕生日だそうだね!
ローダちゃん、2X歳になったのは、おめでとう!
特別な日なので、ビールを7本以上飲んでもいい。

Recap time!

Okay, I've been a Wii—er, wee bit quiet recently. Here's a little something to bring you up to date:

Saturday



I attended a concert organized by the Okazaki International Association and held at the Okazaki Civic Center. The performers were as follows: a piano and clarinet duo; two Yamasa students, Gabrielle and Noriko, on piano and guitar, respectively; a harmonica expert with his wife on piano; and a pianist. Gabrielle and Noriko (who sang as well) did very well. I was pretty impressed with them. The song that Gabrielle composed was quite beautiful.

The absolute highlight, though, was the harmonica player. This guy was amazing. He was a Japanese guy but he had lived in America for some time and spoke excellent English and wasn't going back and forth between English and Japanese the whole time. He brought along about a dozen harmonicas, which were set on a little table right beside him. He played many interesting songs of varying natures and could make his harmonica sound like a violin or a mandolin and spent most of the time playing two harmonicas at once and, at various times, played two at a time from a set of three to five, switching several times during the song.

As I sat there watching him, one word to describe this popped into my head and, even now, it's the only word that I can think of to accurately describe his performance: he was pimp. Now, that's not how I generally express myself and I'm not sure that there is precedent for using that word as an adjective like that. Yet ... that gentleman and his performance were straight-up pimp. Awesome.

The lady after him was just as engaging, I felt, though others disagreed. She played the piano and sang. Her performance and her music was very much in the style of musicals, so of course I rather ate it up. Her voice was very strong. I liked her songs a lot.

So after the performances, we were crammed into a small room for after-concert snacks and conversation. It was ridiculously crowded in there. There was a long series of tables taking up most of the room, and as people took food, they stood in front of the tables as they ate, blocking others from the food. Man, that was the most annoying thing. That, and I didn't feel like speaking Japanese that evening. I was in one of my unsociable moods. And of course, I was forced to speak to the musicians. Like I had much to say to them. "This is Jonathan. His Japanese is very good" was how I was introduced, but it sure wasn't that night. It was embarrassing and frustrating.

I decided to leave with Brian, Yo, and schoolmate Chin. But I lingered around a bit too far and ended up being trapped as a guitarist introduced himself, rather making my exit a bit difficult, since I was standing very near him. By the time he was done, I found that those three had already left me behind and headed for home. Cold, man. So I sat outside for a new minutes wondering what to do. Ultimately, I decided to head back inside and stick around.

Best decision of the night.

I got back inside and spoke a bit with one of the younger Japanese folks that I kind of know, and that helped me relax a fair amount. Soon thereafter, the party started wrapping up and I helped rearrange the room into its standard conference room appearance. I got a lot of leftover food—ham, crackers, orange juice, lettuce, rice, and more. Sweet.

After that, we went to karaoke. Watanabe-san and I finally got to sing Noriko Sakai's "Aoi Usagi" together. I sang a variety of songs, from Madonna (not my selection, but I joined in) to MISIA to Kohmi Hirose (I think she's my favorite singer) to "Friend Like Me" from Aladdin (if you know me, you know that I put my heart into that one, and my performance was very well regarded, I'll have you know). It was quite good.

Sunday



Nothing. I chatted with my friends back home, including Shark Bait, who needs to know her face more often. It rather breaks one's hearts not to be able to play on the Wii together with them. Of course, Twilight Princess isn't exactly a party game. But watching my friend Eien Kunan play games is always entertaining.

I also saw my first Go and sumo programs. But I wrote about that, didn't I?

Monday



Yesterday evening, my class, including four of our five sensei, got together for dinner at Festa Garden, a buffet restaurant in Aeon that I ate at once at the end of my first term here with M class. In terms of seating, we were essentially broken up into two groups. I was lucky enough to be seated with the ever cute Kaku to my left and highly adorable Takikawa-sensei to my right. Unfortunately, the view to the front was less than appetizing, but you can't have everything, I suppose. Only Asama-sensei and classmate Attila didn't make it.

Speaking of Takikawa-sensei, I have to relate one story. During dinner, we began talking about Halloween costumes and little green men, mainly in bad Japanese, of course. (This conversation was comedy gold, by the way.) Daphne and I start talking about costumes and I start a sentence by saying that Halloween is a day on which you people don't wear normal clothes. Takikawa-sensei whips toward me with this look of surprise and mild horror. "You don't wear clothes?!" she asks incredulously. She asks this with such earnestness and Takikawa-ness that the humor value is multiplied a good two- or three-fold. Daphne's all like, "I don't know about your Houston Halloweens, but things are a bit different in California." Poor Takikawa-sensei is just falling apart from laughter (as am I) and probably embarrassment as well. If you know Takikawa-sensei, you know what a priceless moment this was.

Everyone's been going on about how I'm from space too. (I think it's a ruse by schoolmate Ultraman Tik Ka, who actually is from space.) By the way, if you look up the word for alien in some electronic dictionaries, the definition is "alien; little green men."

J class photo


Update: Also, I accompanied Kaku to get her bike and we returned to the nearby bike area to find that everyone had already left ahead of us. Well, fine! Kaku and I enjoyed a nice ride back and even stopped at Seiyu for a bit of shopping. After escorting her home, I too went home.

By the way, I felt very good all day Monday. That hasn't happened for a while. Usually I burn out by the end of the school day, but I actually felt better and better as the day went.

Today



Well, today was a pretty good day. I woke up at 8:48 this morning and still managed to make it to class on time. I'm so awesome. I was helped out by the fact that we met in the first-floor library instead of our fourth-floor classroom. This was because we had our first speaking test today. I wasn't all too worried about—in part because I'm worrying a lot less about tests recently (due to their lack of meaning in the big scheme of things and accurate skill-measuring capacities) and in part because speaking tests aren't a big part of our grade anyway—and managed to do fairly well, I think. Good enough for me, at least.

So ... that's about it.

(Except to say that I want a fiber drink.)

11/20/2006

足助観光協会など

来週、友達と足助町の足助観光協会へ行く予定です。三河おっさんと2,3回行ったことがありますけれど、初めてクラスメートと行けるようになりましたね。楽しみです。

明日の夜、Jクラスの先生と学生はみんな夕食を食べに行きます。それも楽しみですね。

「以心伝心」と「一期一会」

YouTubeにアップロードしてあるNHKの「くらしの漢字」という番組を観たところです。トピックは「以心伝心」と「一期一会」という日本語の表現でした。いい勉強になったんじゃないかと思います。長時間結婚している夫婦はよく以心伝心でコミュニケートできますね。

11/19/2006

Ka-chow!

A surprising amount of Japanese-speaking folks have found my blog by plugging in "ka-chow!" in their search engines. I shall now briefly attempt to explain this term, from the recent Pixar film Cars, in Japanese to these poor souls.

ジョナサンのとつげき英会話!

ピクサーの「カーズ」という映画を観たことはありますか。あれば、「Ka-chow!」という表現を聞いたでしょう?それは、分かりましたか。実際には、この言葉は無意味で、本当の英語の言葉ではありません。更に、別の英語の言葉に似ません。「カーズ」で謳い文句として使われました。その上、チック・ヒックスというキャラクターの「Ka-jigga!」という表現も同じですよ!しかし、「Ka-jigga!」はなんとなく「Ka-chow!」より気持ちがよくないようです。チック・ヒックスと同じようですね。


良い勉強になったら、ぜひ言ってください。

不満足です

僕は日本語能力進歩の焦りと不満をコントロールしなければいけないのです。

囲碁番組! | Go TV show

ワーッ!テレビの囲碁テレビ番組を見つけたばかりだけど、見ているところだ。プロの勝負。

I just found a Go television show and I'm watching it now. It's a pro match.

修正:もう終わった。今、「carry」と「bring」について教えている番組が放送されている。日本語学生にも役に立つそうだ。

Update: It's over. Now there's a show teaching English on. I hear that these are useful for us Japanese students too.

11/17/2006

今日の囲碁の一局

今日、授業が終わったら、囲碁教室へクラスメートのリーさんと打ちに行った。クラスメートのヨウさんも見に来てくれた。勝負は1時間もかかった。はじめには、僕の白石が強かったのに、リーさんの黒石なんてだんだんつよくなっちゃた。結果は僕はリーさんにまた負けちゃった。でも、リーさんは一生懸命戦わなかったらね。本当に楽しかった。僕はね、「今まではテストだった!来週から、スーパーお父様として打ち始めるぞ!」って言った。その上、見ていたヨウさんは「ワーッ!スーパーお父様の囲碁のやり方は複雑(ふくざつ)だが、すばらしい!」と思ってくれたかもしれないよね。

これから、先学期のクラスメートの山本ブライアンのアパートへ遊んだり食べたりしに行くところだから、ちょっと失礼するね。

11/15/2006

At school until late, but not 'cause of detention (this time)

Just got back from school. Yes, it's almost eleven o'clock. After classes, I came home to rest, eat, relax, and catch up on a few e-mails, then I returned to the school around 8:30. It's nice studying here late because it's totally dead and you get to talk to the occasional sensei as well. (Now that's conversation practice.) Tonight, I sat next the stairs on the first floor, which gave a few sensei a shock (especially Yokozawa-sensei, who was typing on his cell phone as he walked down and didn't notice me). Boo.

I intended to stay a bit longer because I've yet to prepare for tomorrow's classes, but I was forced to leave by some older guy who was shutting down the place (though a couple of sensei, including Hiroe-sensei, were still around). I thought he'd asked me to turn off the lights when I was done, but he'd asked me to wrap up by the time he was done and seemed a bit upset to see that I wasn't packed up when he was ready to go. I was a bit annoyed at this and at him a bit, but outside, I apologized to him Japanese-style and he softened up and asked where I was from. Ah, a good place, he said when I answered. Be careful going home, he said amicably. Well, that ended up good.

My neighbor is leaving soon and is apparently wrapping up a fairly loud get-together next door. It's rather annoying having all these SILAC folks talking outside my door but I'll just chalk this up as us getting even.

What foreign country would you like to visit?

I just discovered the results of an interesting little questionnaire entitled "What foreign country would you like to visit?" Italy is popular and America is especially popular with the boys in that class. Hm.

More toilet-related goodness

Last night, I discovered that Yamasa's first floor restroom has a western-style toilet with a heated seat. I've said it before and I'll say it again: happiness is a warm toilet seat.

Yeah, I'm going on about toilets again. But it does seem that Yamasa students like to blog about toilets ...

11/14/2006

勉強だけの一日

疲れている!夜10時までYAMASAで一階の教室で一人で勉強していたから。初めてだった。実は、楽しかった。それに、よくて、役に立つ勉強だった。電気を消して暗い教室で勉強していたので、教室の前を通っていた人は僕があまり見えなくて、2回廊下の電気を消してしまった。「あの、すみません。」

Man, I'm pooped. I studied at school until about 10 PM tonight so that I could be and feel more caught up on everything. It was quite enjoyable. I sat in a darkened classroom and studied alone. Many people didn't even see me and a couple even tried to turn out the lights in the hallway outside, which left me totally in the dark.

ある時、渡辺先生に宿題を出しに先生の部屋へ行って、敬語を使う機会だと思った。それで、よござわ先生に「渡辺先生はもうお帰りになりましたか?」と聞いた。よござわ先生はびっくりして、僕の敬語をほめてくださった。うれしい!

I went up to the sensei's office once looking for Watanabe-sensei or Hiroe-sensei or any other J class sensei but they were all gone. I asked Yokozawa-sensei if Watanabe-sensei had already gone home, but I used keigo and he seemed pretty shocked and pleased by that and complimented it as well. Sweet.

別の時、教室から外で困っていた学生課の川北さんを見た。ビルの後ろにある自転車乗り場が狭くて、自転車がとれないようだった。速く外へ手伝いに走った。この話はあまり面白くないけど、走り方は面白かったから、これを書いた。じゃ、僕だけわかるはずだ。

Later in the evening, I could see Kawakita-san of the gakuseika trying to dislodge her bike from the amalgamation of bikes outside the classroom that I was studying in, so I rushed outside to help her. She apparently lives close-by. How convenient. You wonder why this is worth mentioning? Well, the way in which I dashed to assist her was quite amusing. But you had to be there.

おやすみ。

11/13/2006

Random thoughts

You know, furigana very often seems to be on the words that I do know and missing from the words that I don't.

よく分かっている言葉にはふりがながついているけど、よく分からない言葉にはふりがながあまりないように気がついた。クソッ!

Today, all we did was cover a whole lot of grammar and vocabulary. I loved it. It was just nonstop.

今日の授業では、ずっと文法と語彙を勉強していた。とても好きだった!とまらなかった!

My English student is very happy with my lessons but wants to decrease them to once a week instead of twice because of another weekly appointment that's popped up.

僕が英語を教えている学生は、レッソンが好きだが、1週間2回より1回にしたいと言った。別の予定ができてしまったそうだ。

After my English lesson today, I returned to school and talked with Brian and Yo for a little while, then I obtained some help regarding today's lesson from Takiwaka-sensei for a little while.

英語の授業が終わってから、YAMASAに戻って、ブライアンさんとヨウさんと話していた。その後、瀧川先生に今日の授業について質問を聞いて説明していただいた。

I had a headache most of the day today.

今日の授業、ずっと頭痛がしていた。

Today's keigo class was enjoyable. Rhoda to the left of me and Andrea to the right. I did the group work with Andrea so it was very enjoyable.

今日の敬語授業は楽しかった。左にクラスメートのローダさんが、右に友達のアンドレアさんが座っていたのに、よかった。

I ran into Daphne in front of Aeon today.

イオンモールの前で、クラスメートのダフニさんに出会った。

Schoolmate Brian Yamamoto is on to me! He'd better watch himself. Heh heh.
友達の山本ブライアンさんは、何かに気がついたようだ。気を付けたほうがいいなぁ。ヘヘ。

11/11/2006

Navigated by the cooking software ads

For some reason, I'm entranced by the music in the Nintendo DS Cooking Navigator ads. There's a kiosk at Jusco that plays about five of these commercials in a row and ended up half-hypnotized by it and longing for more each time they ended. (Well, the commercials were quite entertaining too, as is the software.) It's like a drug. An aural drug. That you get for free. Even online.

土曜日の手話の番組

今、手話を教えてくれるテレビ番組を観たところだが、観ると興味がなんとなくたくさん付いた。どういう意味か、考えはじめた。もしかしたら、日本語がやっと上手に話せるようになったら、手話の勉強を始めるかもしれないと思う。子供の頃、母とアメリカの手話を少し勉強した。まだ興味がなくならなかったようだね。この番組の練習をしてみて、面白かった。

番組は「みんなの手話」という。今晩、第6回の「僕はカレーが食べたい いい?」というトピックだった。「僕・私」や「カレー」や「食べる」や「~たい」という意味の手話を教えてもらった。

その上、その番組の後で、短い「ワンポイント手話」という番組も放送された。「分かる」とか「~しやすい」とか「みんな」とか「そう言われます」という表現を教えて説明してくれた。

やはり、土曜日の夜9時の番組は手話を勉強するのにけっこう役に立つようね!

Not learning kanji, learning how they work

I've been studying here at the school since about one o'clock today and I'm nearing the end of my stamina. The topic that I'm studying today is that with which I have a love/hate relationship with: kanji. (Mostly love, though, probably.)

I have decided that the best way to get kanji to stick in my mind is to learn more about its mechanics, the governing systems behind everything. I think that the best source for this so far has been Wikipedia's article about Chinese character radicals. Even there is it written:

Learning to write Chinese characters, even the most complicated, means mastering the fundamental graphic components of characters and then learning which ones are used in particular characters and how they are combined. This is much easier than learning to write each character as a whole through pure memorization.


So I've been working on this approach for a while and have learned a lot already.

GMAN's Windows XP Japanese Input is a very useful guide to making the most of Windows's excellent IME.

寝る前に

今朝、浅間先生の授業で授業に集中できなかった。でも、一時間目の後の休憩で、一緒にしゃべったので、もっと元気になった。それなのに、間違いが多かった。ちょっと恥ずかしかったが、先生が分かってくださった。廣江先生の4時間目で気分が悪くなってしまって、外に立ちに行った。先生の大切な「それ」と「あれ」という言葉の説明をほとんど聞かなかった。難しそうだから、ちょっと困っているようだね。

I performed like crap this morning in Asama-sensei's class. I just couldn't focus and my mind was all over the place. But during the first break, Asama-sensei and I chatted for a bit and that helped raise my spirits and focus my mind a bit. During the fourth hour, I suddenly started feeling terrible and had to leave the class for a bit. I think that I just hadn't eaten enough lunch (I got wrapped up in conversation and didn't finish my McChickens). But the class was about a very, very tricky point that I ended up missing most of the explanation of. Not good.

授業が終わったら、幼稚園の最後の予定があった。みんなにサヨウナラと言って、ちょっと悲しかった。写真を1枚もらった。

After class, I had my final volunteer session at the kindergarten. I'm a bit sad to leave the kids behind but I got a nice photo of me with a couple of the kids and also a couple of presents from the kids themselves (a scribble and a foot-and-a-half-long paper spear-like instrumental).

それから、クラスメートのリーさんと囲碁教室へ囲碁をやりに行った。初めて一緒に一局をやった。僕たちのレベルは同じぐらいだから、面白かった。いい一手と悪い一手も多かった。本当に一局だった。リーさんは終わりに強い一手をして勝った。次回に楽しみにしている。

After that, my classmate Lee and I went to the Go classroom and played each other for the first time. We are very well matched, it seems. My best move came in the opening when I set up a nice trap and capture some of his stones. (It even elicited an "Oooo" of pain from the two sensei that were watching, which was really cool.) The sensei gave us some tutoring as this point and I felt that because they interfered with the game, it wasn't "pure" from that point. After they left and we resumed our game on our own, Lee started taking a lot of my stones and, eventually, the victory. I have trouble processing when there's a lot of data to take in and I miss a lot. (This is a serious problem that's directly related to my frequent typos and mistakes on tests, I think.)

その後、ブライアンさんのアパートで「Cars」というPixarの映画を観た。とてもよかった。先学期のKクラスの友達と今晩会ったIクラスのチンさんと観た。

After that, I went to watch Cars with a bunch of folks from last term's K class and also special non-ex-classmate Chin-san (from I class), with whom I got along fetchingly. When I saw the trailer for Cars, I wondered how they'd make it engaging, but they managed to do so. That's Pixar for you. Kachow!

After this, we listened to Yo fervently praise everyone's Japanese, especially Daphne, who's, by the way, very smart. Really. She's very, very smart. Ask Yo for more details.

11/10/2006

漢字4~6

廣江先生に聞いたんだけど、YAMASAでは過去で漢字4~6って選択授業があったそうだよ。今では、漢字1~3だけが選べる。学生に漢字4~6が人気がなくて、1人で漢字を勉強したほうがいいって思ってた人が多かったんだそうだ。僕は漢字選択授業が好きで、役に立つと思うのに、幹事4~6がなくて、とれない。ちょっと残念だと思う。

11/09/2006

Shocked by Bikkuri Donkey

Man, my visit to Bikkuri Donkey (a nearby hamburg restaurant) just now pissed me off pretty well.

First, I didn't understand one of the first things that was asked when I walked in even though it was just a smoking-section question. He asked in a specific way that I hadn't expected. And he didn't understand when I answered because I was mumbling a bit. I think I'm losing confidence, as I've started talking a lot quieter recently, even in class.

Second, after dumping off my food, nobody came to check on me or to refresh my water for over 15 minutes, so I got up my own @#$% self and got some water from the nearby pitcher, which I hoped they'd be horrified by. Considering that the water glasses here are already too small, they need to keep up with this sort of thing. The size of most water glasses continues to be a thorn in my side.

But anyway.

I'm going to be up for a while studying. I took a nap when I got home today and lost a lot of time. I don't feel very rested either, so I think it was a mistake to take that nap. Well, ganbarimasu.

野瀬先生は僕にいいプレゼントをいただいた

野瀬先生の今日の授業はすばらしかった!よく使われる話し方を教えていただいた。その上、グループワークがすごくよかった。僕はグループワークが大抵嫌いだけど、今日参加していた人は7人だけいたから、先生は僕に一人でワークをやらせてくださった。それに、会話練習は先生と直接やられていた。なんとなく、その練習が大好きだった!とっても役に立ったと思う。僕はプライベートレッソンという授業がとれないから、今日の選択授業が特にとてもよかった。僕はなんてナードだね。

出来るだけ、一人で勉強したり練習したりしたいんだけどね。

成績やアメリカの政治 | Grades and American politics

今、4時間目の授業が終わったばかりだ。たった今ダフニさんに聞いたんだけど、ドナルド・ラムズフェルドが引退したって。これ、本当なの?まだニュースを見てないんだけど、見たい。僕は政治があまり興味がないのに、ラムズフェルドなんて要らない人だね。ブッシュもね。

I hear a lot is happening in American politics right now, with some sort of, shall we say, voting going on right now. Rumsfield has retired, I heard from Daphne today. Fo' real? Well, America doesn't need him or Bush.

もうすぐ6時間目の会話1って授業がある。野瀬先生の授業は楽しくて、役に立つと思う。

おとといのテストの成績をもらったが、僕はまあまあだった。書くテストは115点で107点だった。もちろん、いつものバカな間違いがあった。ヨウさんとシンシアさんは114点を取った。ホアキンさんもよくできたと言われていた。廣江先生がクラスの平均は101だったって言って、ちょっとびっくりした。すごいだって思った。聞くテストは31点で24点を取ったけど、がっかりしたのに、びっくりしていなかった。僕が言うとおりに聴解がちょっと弱いね。(でも分からなかった言葉もあったし。)

The first test's results came in today. On the writing test, I got 107 out of 115; and on the listening test, 24 out of 31. I would have liked to have done better but I concern myself a lot less with test results these days because they aren't an accurate measure of anything and are only Yamasa's placement tool, basically. I used to worry about tests a lot when I first got here, but now, not quite so much. I still aim to do well, of course, but as long as I'm passing well enough, that's all that's really important. Part of my problem, too, is that I always make a few stupid mistakes on test. Still, I'm aiming for another A at the end of the semester, so I have to be a bit careful.

英会話学生から連絡がまだ来なかったから、授業があるかどうか、まだ分からない。

I might be meeting a new English student today but I haven't heard anything from her so I suppose that I likely won't be.

11/08/2006

忙しい男性 | Busy fellow

今日、いい一日だった。杉浦先生は「スーパーお父さま」と書いてある名札を始めてみて、とてもびっくりした。杉浦先生には聞いたことについての文法を教えていただいた。「によると」や「ということだ」や「○○さんの話では」などと「~そうだ」と「~ようだ」と「~らしい」。クラスメートはみんな面白い例文を作って発表した。

僕の作った文:
①日本ではお茶の代わりに油を飲む人が多いらっしです。
②ダフニさんは今、北海道で旅行中らしい。(ダフニさんは今朝いなかった。)
③廣江先生の話では、ヨウさんは来学期、Mクラスで勉強しなければならないそうです。
④専門家の話では、2009年6月15日に岡崎で大きい地震が来るそうです。(こわい!)
⑤Jクラスのケルビンさんから聞いたんですが、ビルさんは先週末、結婚したそうだよ!
⑥カクさんは台湾でモデルとして働いていたらしい。

面白い文を作ったら、もっと面白くて、覚えやすくなるんじゃないかと思う。他のクラスメートもそう思うようだ。みんなの話で、スーパーお父さまは宇宙人で、本当のスーパーを持っているそうだね。そうか~。

瀧川先生の授業では、聴解練習をさせた。というか、聴解練習をした!実はそんなに難しくなかったけど、ちょっと複雑だった。ヤマサのテープレコーダーは古くて、くぐもった声がいつも出てきている。この3時間目で、Kクラスへ行って、前のクラスメートのゾーイさんと一緒に練習した。短い期間でも、もう一回有滝先生の学生になった。4時間目の授業は、瀧川先生と自然な話し方を勉強した。特に、「しておく」が「しとく」になるふうの言い方は難しいが、先生は日本人によく使われているそうだと言った。「直しといてもらう」は言いにくいな!

その後は児島先生の2級文法授業だった。「の代わりに」や「に応じて」を勉強してが、「に応じて」を大切に復習したほうがいいと思う。

3時に僕の英会話学生に会いにある店へ行った。58歳の優しい男性だ。今日、彼にほめられた。僕は英語も分かりやすいし、優しい人だと言ってくれた。聞いて、うれしくなった。彼はそう思わないのに、本当に英語が上手だよ。明日でも新しい学生に会う予定が出来るかも。

それから、家へ帰って、炊飯器に米を入れて、学校へ勉強しに帰った。2回の先生の部屋の近くの椅子に座って勉強していた。なんとなくそこに勉強するのは家より教室より気持ちがいい。いろいろ先生に出会えるし、静かすぎないし、いい場所だと思う。一回、廣江先生が通っていた時に、質問を聞くのを頼んだ。あるプリントには知らなかった文法が書いてあって、「これはどういう意味か」と聞いた。実は、まだ勉強していない文法だった。それはよかった。分からなかったので、ちょっと心配していた。Jクラスのアレックスさんもいて、1回の教室で勉強していた。よく遅くまで勉強しているそうだ。まじめ~。

Hey, folks. Super Otou-sama in the house. I suppose you'd like to know what all that squiggly stuff up there means. Well, most of it is just going on about the grammar that we learned about today. In particular, we studied ways to express that something is one of various levels of hearsay and we had a lot of fun making interesting sentences about each other during class. (Hey, it was more constructive than it sounds.)

After class, I met with my new English conversation student, who's a kindly 58-year-old gentleman. He complimented me and said that my English is easy to understand and that I'm a kind person that's easy to get to know. (Wha—?) Well, shucks. His English is very good but he wants to improve a lot more. He's pretty much just the sort of student I've been searching out. And he treats me to nice drinks at the restaurants we visit. I might be meeting another new student tomorrow. I'm a busy man.

After this appointment, I went home to start some rice cooking and then went back to the school and sat in my former favorite spot on the second floor near the sensei's office. For some reason, it feels good to study there—certainly better than it does to study at home or in a classroom. It's nice to interact with passing sensei. And once, Hiroe-sensei happened by and I asked for his help with a problem. My classmate Alex was studying downstairs as well. He apparently often stays pretty late studying. Impressive indeed.

11/07/2006

アッティラさんにハンガリーを紹介してもらえる

今学期のハンガリー人のクラスメートのアッティラさんはステキなウェブサイトを作ったよ。ハンガリー旅行というサイトだ。全部上手な日本語で書いてあるから、ぜひ読んでね!

11/06/2006

勉強中なのに、音楽の話が出る

まだ勉強中。最近、Forest Radioというインターネット無線局をやや聞いている。日本の1970年時代や1980年時代の音楽が好きだから。今日、酒井法子の歌を聞いていた。今日、敬語選択授業の原田先生に言って、先生がびっくりした。よく会う渡辺さんといつかカラオケをする予定があるけど、僕たちは『青い兎』という歌を一緒に歌うつもりだ。

この meaning が doesn't exist

今、明日のテストを合格するために勉強しておいているところだ。
Right now, I'm studying for tomorrow morning's test.

たった今、何か面白いことを言った。
Just now, I said something interesting to myself.

"This 意味 is ない."

電子辞書で『相当』を調べていた時には、探していた意味がなかったんだ。
I couldn't find a certain definition for "soutou" while checking an electronic dictionary, see.

ブレーンはちょっと・・・
My mind's a bit messed up.

スーパージョン先生さま?

たった今家に帰ったところだよ!今日、本当の英語の家庭教師になった。楽しい1時間だった。僕の学生は一週間で2回会いたいと言った。いいね。今週の水曜日にも会う予定だ。それに、木曜日、別の新しい学生に会う予定だよ。僕の学生のために、頑張る!よろしく!

でも、明日、今学期の一つ目のテストを受ける。今学期の教え方に慣れるのは時間がかかったので、ちょっと緊張している。これから、晩ご飯を食べて、勉強する!

I had my first one-on-one English lesson today. I had a pleasant chat session with a 58-year-old gentleman who wants to meet twice a week. And Thursday, I'm meeting a young lady who's interested in my English services as well.

But as for now, I'm worried about my test tomorrow. It's the first one of the new term, and since it took time for me to get used to the new method—or approach, if you will—I'm worried that I'm missing some details. Well, I'll be up late working. First, a bit of dinner, though.

もう1つの教えたいことがある。最近、クラスメートのローダさんの話で、僕は「お父さん」になった。先週、「お父さま」になった。クラスの机に黄色い紙に書いてある。浅間先生は初めて見た時にびっくりした。今週、「スーパー」を付けて、「スーパーお父さま」になった。みんな言うよ!正しい呼び方だから。(笑)今日の授業で瀧川先生にも「スーパーお父さま」という呼び方で呼んでいただいた。面白かった!みんな笑っていた!

Okay, so recently, capitalizing on a joke that somehow got created by my classmate Rhoda, I started being called "otou-san" (a respectful way to address one's father) occasionally. Last week, it changed into "otou-sama," which I think we all understand perfectly well. I actually updated the name card that sits on my desk to read such and Asama-sensei actually called me that once or twice after glancing at it in surprise. This week, I appended "super" to the beginning because ... well, if you know me, you know exactly why. So now I'm "Super Otou-sama." And on top of that, Takikawa-sensei took note of that and actually called me that during class. (Just tell me being addressed by your cute, shy sensei like that isn't a sweet deal.)

11/05/2006

この休みも、ほとんどつまらない。しかし・・・

今週末、何もしなかった。というか、少し勉強したけど、足りなかったと思う。

木曜日の晩、ブライアンさんというクラスメートのアパートへ晩ご飯を食べたり遊んだりしに行った。ティカさんとゾーイさんとブライアンさんにすばらしいご馳走を作ってもらった。本当においしかった!ティカさんはプロみたいだった。今週の金曜日に一度みんなが集まる予定なんだけど、楽しみにしている。今週はピザだそうだと言われている。

今日、ボランティアとして岡崎市国際交流協会の事務所へ日本人と英語で話しに行った。本当に、いい経験だったと思う。その上、二人の日本人は僕と英語が勉強したいようだ。いいね。実は、最近、英語の学生を探し始めたから、都合がいい。それに、僕はあのセンターの人に人気がちょっとあると荻野さんは言った。あれ?なんで?前のスピーチ大会に参加した人がいると答えた。え?!

最後に、他のヤマサっているクラスメートも以下のビデオがちょっと役に立つかもしれないと思う。とても変なのに、二人は敬語を使っているから、面白いね。



ボーナス:日本の警察はすごいね?

11/03/2006

Nasty neighbor?

We had room inspections the other day. After mine, a group of a sensei, including Sugiura-sensei, gathered at the room next to mine. My neighbor wasn't home and there had apparently been some confusion over which key opened his door. During this time, I got to chat with Sugiura-sensei. She's pretty cool, I think.

When they finally opened it, no one entered. Apparently, a rancid odor was emanating from the room—one so bad that none of them dared to enter. I wanted to ask to smell it too but figured that it might be a breach of etiquette. Still, what the heck?

A brief and geeky aside

Right now, my schoolmate Brian is somewhere that I'd really like to be right about now. That bastard! Maybe I should have gone. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing some Super Smash Bros. Brawl footage and play. But I've never been a convention type of guy and I didn't want to stand in lines all day. (Today's a national holiday too, so there are probably tons of folks there.) Still, it would have been an interesting experience.

Also, I read that a Tokyo museum will be using Nintendo DS'es as portable guides. That's pretty cool. And yes, I still want one of them suckers.

11/01/2006

句読点・祝日・やせた僕

ヤマサっている学生や他の日本語の学生、日本語の句読点について、知りたい?機会だよ!

金曜日の祝日に楽しみしている。祝日じゃなかったらいいけど、今週末たくさん勉強したいと思っている。やっと今学期に慣れてきたようなのに、もう少し勉強しないと。

最近、僕がやせたのに気が付いた。友達もよく会う日本人の男性もそう言う。どうしようかな。だが、このままにしてもいいね。ほとんどきちんと食べているよ!それは心配しないでね。

Recently, I and a couple of folks I know have noticed that I'm looking thinner these days. Hmmm. What to do, though. Maybe nothing, since it happens to everyone. I'm not starving myself or anything, though, so don't worry about that! But of course I'm not eating as much as I did in America either.