12/31/2007

Brrr

It's pretty cold today. And I'm outside in my three layers of clothes and gloves seeing all these young girls in shorts and skirts, and I can't help but wonder, again, how they're not cold. Especially with the biting wind. I remember that I talked with Yo about that on our first radio show almost exactly one year ago. Hm.

12/30/2007

陣内智則

陣内智則って知ってるんだ?俺はあいつのコメディのスタイルがめちゃくちゃ好きなんだよ。

ってわけで、陣内智則のビデオをYouTubeで検索して見ていたところだ。下に気に入ったやつが用意してあるので、どうぞ見てみてね。



ええな。

小学校教科書クイズII

たった今、ほぼ30人の芸能人を集めて小学校の教科書から取られた問題に答えさせる『小学校教科書クイズII』って番組を見ている。一年生レベルの問題からスタートしたんだけどさ、その低いレベルでも僕がびっくりするほどの間違いがあった。

5人が「『出』って漢字は何画?」を間違えたし、「『まちがいにきずく』と『まちがいにきづく』とどちらが間違ってるか」とか、「『弓』は何画?」(16人も間違えた!)とか、「『とおか』と『とうか』とどちらが『十日』の正しい読み方か」とか、僕さえできるかなり簡単な一年生むけの日本語についての質問を間違えた人が案外多かった。本当にびっくりした。

この間の出会った日本人のおばさんとの話が思い出された。「現在の日本人は日本語を正しく使えなくなっている」って。(そのおばさんは特に「全然大丈夫」のような表現が嫌いだそうだ。)それがそうかどうかは僕には何とも言えないけど、アメリカ人も同じくらいだと思う。

でも、「区」という字の書き方とか、「音色」とか、いろんな役立つことを習ってるので、このクイズ番組はいい勉強になってるよ。

12/27/2007

日々

自転車のチェーンが折れたので、一昨日修理をしてもらいにASAHIに行った。途中で、友達のシカさんに会って、横断歩道の青信号を待ちながら二人で話した。性格のいいシカさんとの話のおかげで元気が出たので、ASAHIを出てから、彼女がバイトをやっている、であい屋台に食べにことにした。でも、その前はASAHI。

ASAHIで僕の自転車に合うチェーンがなかったから、自分の自転車を預けて自転車を借りることになった。その自転車は小さいけど、乗れないことはない。金曜日までのことだから、明日戻しに行く。

その一日中僕は一人っきりでいろいろなことで悩んだり落ち込んだりしていたけど、であい屋台のシカさんとミキさんのおかげでいい夜を過ごすことができた。ミキさんに二人のサラリーマンに紹介してもらって、4人で食事したりカラオケで歌ったりしてメチャメチャ楽しかった。ミキさん、ありがとうございました!これからもよろしく!(歌いにそのバーへ行くからね。)

でも、その夜、自転車に乗って帰ろうとすると、かぎを見つけなかった。僕が借りている自転車のかぎをどこかに落としたみたいだった。チクショー!って思いながらであい屋台の地面を探していたけど、結局見つからなくて歩いて帰った。心配していたけど、次の午後、太陽の下でまた見たら地面にあったんだ。よかったー!

この間三河おっさんと一緒に『レミーのおいしいレストラン』を見た。素晴らしかった、あれ!さすがPIXARだ!まだ見ていないならどうにかして見てくれよ!(笑)その後、一緒にカラオケに始めて行った。二人とも下手糞だったけど、すごく楽しかった。(面白いことに、三河おっさんがロックソングを歌い終わったら僕は「私のお墓の前で泣かないでください」って歌い始めてすぐに笑われて「空気を読んでよ!」ってからかわれた。僕らはそれをたくさん笑ったんだな。)

最近、あまり元気がない日があるけど、友達のおかげでいい日々を過ごしている。

So ... where have I been lately? Here and there. I've been kind of lethargic and behind on everything imaginable, really. I'm catching up, though. All I'm saying above is that my bicycle chain broke and so I'm temporarily borrowing one. I lost that bike's key for a little while after a fun night singing karaoke, but I found it the next day on the ground nearby. Also, I saw Ratatouille with Mikawa Ossan the other night, and it was as excellent as I'd been told it was.

I'll be in touch soon.

12/22/2007

Term seven clear!

Thursday marked the final day of my seventh term here. Not sure what to say that hasn't been said before. I'm really feeling the loss of friends at school recently, especially with the losses of Joaquin and On.

The ceremony was actually shorter than usual, which was a surprise considering that classes go all the way down to Q now (as opposed to N, which was the lowest when I got here). It's interesting being on the opposite side of things now. A year ago, my friends and I were in the lower classes and the first half of the ceremony was what I cared about (though I always turned an ear to the upper classes' folks to see how good they were). Now, everyone I know and care about is (or, were) in B and A classes and so we wait to the end. Which I think makes the entire process more interesting. Anyway, after that, we went out to eat at an all-you-can-eat restaurant at Wingtown. Sano-sensei and Sugiura-sensei joined us.

After that, I went to karaoke with my friends Ou and Panda (the latter of which is leaving soon—sigh) and Homasse and, for a while, Ohya-sensei, the school's resident otaku. It was my first time spending much time around her and, yup, she's as fun to be around as I figured—and she can sing surprisingly well, too. (We sang the old classic "Cotton Hankerchief" together. But you can't understand the awesomeness of that, though.) But I got pulled away when I found out that my friends Bell (who's already left Yamasa but remains in the region) and Yora (who's also leaving, @#$%!) were there too. Bell and I are old singing buddies, and I've been waiting to hit karaoke with Yora for months now. Good timing and great fun.

And now my final term lays before me. World eight.

アミゴの帰国

今日、朝0520時に家を出かける。去年4月から一緒に勉強してきた、兄弟みたいな友人のホアキンを見送りに岡崎駅に行く約束をしているから。いよいよスペインの帰国だ。

静まり返っている岡崎駅でホアキンとの最後の向い合っての話。その話が続くと、ひしひしと予想外の悲しみを感じている。

0545時の名古屋中部国際空港に向かうバスが来た。

切ないそのサヨナラ。

手を振りながらバスが消えるいくのをかすんでいる目で見つめている。

Hasta luego, mi hermano. またどこかで会えるに決まってる。 ¡Es verdad!

12/21/2007

死んでねえよ

ごめんなさい。最近、学期末活動とか個人的な事柄とかで忙しいものだけど、消えてないっす。

Sorry for the recent inactivity. Between the end of the term and other personal matters, I've been pretty occupied. Please stand by.

12/18/2007

カタカナ語はインクリースする一方

今日は、いよいよ最後のテストだった。今回こそいい点数を取れるように頑張ろうと思いながら、うまくいくかなと心配していた。でも、最近改善した勉強方法のおかげで、問題は特になかった。(ただ、作文は問題になった。だって、国際化と国際理解についてどう思いますかって突然質問されても簡単に答えようにないんだし。)この試験はどうやら今学期の一番いい試験だと見なしている。

試験の後、佐野先生にとても面白い『世にも奇妙な物語』という番組のエピソードを紹介していただいた。ストーリーの内容は、外来語をたくさん使う男性社員が居眠りから起きたら「外来語を使ってはいけない」という日本にいて、外来語を使わずにしなければならないという話だった。主人公が外来語を使うたびに、叱られたり持っているものを落とすほど周りの人をすごく驚かせたりした。ファックス・OHP・ホッチキスじゃなく、電話複写・文書機・紙綴じ針という言葉を使わなきゃ困った。ドーナツという言葉さえ和菓子になったほど厳しかった。ビデオの結末は言わないけど、本当に面白かった。

この授業で現代の日本語には外来語がどれほど浸透されているか、はっかりわかった。もし外来語をなくして残っている日本語は本当に日本語とは言えるかな。もちろん、外来語に左右され始める前に、前代の日本語もあったけど、そんな日本語は現代では足りないような気がする。特にパソコンとかインターネットなどに関する言葉がないと困るんじゃない?ある程度、「電話複写」みたいな漢語ができるけどな。さあ…複雑なもんだなあ。すまない、独り言しちゃって。

日本語をもっと深く考えさせる、そういう授業がとても好きで、もっとやりたい。(最近配られたアンケートにはそう書けばよかったのに…)

(ところで、「インクリース」というのは、増える(increase)という意味をする、僕に適当に作られた造語。いつか実際の言葉になる可能がないんじゃないと思えるな。)

Jumping into the realm of spaced repetition software

So I've been hearing about a method of learning called spaced repetition lately. The gist of it is that you study individual facts and, the better you can recall a certain fact when quizzed on it, the less often you study that particular fact. The result is that you're spending more time studying unknown material and only getting occasional reminders for things you've already gotten down pat.

The person to bring these systems to my attention was Khatzumoto. Frankly, it seems to be a decent system for building vocabulary. However, I think that it's also important to do it right to maximize efficiency, so I've spent some time thinking about (1) which software to use and (2) how to design my question-answer cards for it. (There are premade decks available, but I have found each one unsuitable—usually because they are chock full of English. Bad.)

As for the software, there were three big choices: Mnemosyne; Khaztumoto's own version optimized for cell phone usage, Khaztumemo, and Anki. I toiled with this one, but I've gone with Anki for the time being, as it seems to fit my needs best. It's still a young program, but it can be run portably (off of my external hard drive) and has a nice online component as well that syncs with your local deck. (In fact, I don't believe that the software is even necessary.) The software is a bit RAM-heavy and not the speediest sometimes, but you can't have everything.

As for my cards, I've decided up the following setup: The question is just the word on which I'm being tested; the answer section holds the readings of kanji words, brief definitions (often in just Japanese, but sometimes with both, if neccesary), and then good representative example sentences followed by any necessary notes about usage. For definitions and example sentences, I use WWWJDIC, the Japanese-Japanese dictionaries (大辞林 第二版 and デイリー 新語辞典+α) at Goo Dictionaries, and Eijiro at SPACE ALC.

Most of the words that I've got in my dictionary (over the past couple of weeks, I'm up to over 500) are words that I encounter in class. Thus, my intentions include not only the vague goal of building my vocabulary, but also the concrete goal of doing better in class as well. I've been using this software for several days now and I can say that I've seen a definite short-term improvement, and I managed to breeze through recent quizzes and this morning's test in a way that I've not breezed through one in some time. Which is quite nice, yeah, but do I know these words? Can I remember to use them? Can I at least recognize them in conversation?

To some extent, yeah. But it's only been a few days that I've been using this method, so I can't gauge yet just how effective it is. For now, however, I'm pretty pleased. It certainly beats the pit of near-inactivity that I have been falling in recently.

Of course, the hardest part about things like this is keeping up with it.

Check out the discussion about this post and SRS'es in general at Tae Kim's site too!

12/17/2007

温泉とパーティー | Onsen and party

あっという間に時間がずいぶん経ったな。すまなかった。学校やら台湾から来ていた友達との遊びやらで忙しかったもんでね。でも、面白い話がある。

それは、僕はやっと温泉に初めて行ったということだ。

友達5人と一緒に近くのある「楽の湯」という温泉に歩いて行き、仲良し3人と入り、日本の有名な温泉を体験した。短く言えば、予想より気持ちよかった。面白いことに、電気がついている風路に入ったんだけど、電気のことを知らずに入ったので、水に座ると流れてる電気を感じて「な、何だ?背中が引きつってるのか?」とやや心配した。その感覚って面白い。

Sorry for the disappearing act, there. Just one of those weeks. However, I have one interesting to share: I finally experienced the Japanese onsen. I went to a nearby place called Raku no Yu with five friends and hopped in (yes, entirely nude) with three of my good friends. Now that's bonding.

There was one pool with an electric current running through one part of it and when I, without knowing about said current, tried to sit down in it, I thought that I had a cramp in my back. I sat there for a minute or so but, despite the pleasant combination of water and electricity, I was getting weird feelings in my metal-laced bionic spine and hopped out. I want to try it again, though.

明日も試験。ったく。でも、今週が今学期の最期なんで、最期の力を出し尽くしたい。

Yet another test tomorrow. But it's the last one of the term, so I'll give it that old college try.

There was a get-together on Saturday evening with a small group of Yamasa-ites for the sake of those leaving at the end of this term (that is, this week). This party included DS basic-arithmetic battles (which were quite dominated by Joyce, though I was able to beat her once) and open-pot cooking. Interestingly, the party picked up again yesterday evening, and this second part was held at my place. It was the first time any party's been held in my room and it was pretty cool to host it. (We even had a Kaku Call. Heh.) Joyce cooked up something for us called Tāngyuán (湯圓), which is eaten on the coldest day of the year in Taiwan, if I understand correctly.

ヨウ、メロディー、さよなら。次の会える機会を待ってるぞ!

12/12/2007

作文:自分が外国人と意識するとき

この間、作文試験を受けた。僕が頑張って書いた作文をちょっと編集してここに書き込むことにした。テーマは「あなたは自分が外国人だと一番強く意識するのはどんなときですか」というのだった。

日本人でないアジア系の方は、日本人と似ている体と顔の特徴で日本の生活を送れるのを時々羨望してしまいます。なぜなら、私が長身の黒人なので、アジア系の方と異なり、どうしても目立ちますから、見つめられるのが非常に多いからです。ただ存在しているばかりで、人目につきやすいという日本の生活をしています。ある方はそういうふうに見られるのあまりに嫌ですが、私が思うように、人間というのは普通と異なるものを見かけると、ついに見つめてしまいがちな存在であると認め、気にしないようにしています。

しかし、「自分が外国人だと一番強く意識するのはどんなときか」と聞かれると、それは意外にも外見的なことでなく、言語的なことです。レストランで欲しい食べ物がうまく注文したり面白い映画の内容をスムーズに叙述したり日常会話が上手にしたりできないときには、私にとって最も辛くて「私はやはり部外者だね」とひしひしと意識します。

私はいくら外国人に見えても、日本語が上手に話せれば人間関係がうまくいけるように信じているので、そういったコミュニケートできなかったという経験をきっかけにして日本語力を高めようと私なりに精一杯勉強しているのです。


というのです。前半と比べれば後半は少し短いかもしれないけど。

Straight-up geekery (for my friends)

The word for "instrumentalization" actually popped up in class yesterday briefly. When I looked up the Japanese word for it and that popped up on my dictionary's screen, after wondering just why that class was heading, I thought of you guys back home. It was a moment. And the actual term "chidori" popped up yesterday. Another moment. And let's not forget about Akatsuki park right near the school.

That is all.

テストと話と似顔絵など

Today, there was another once-a-term school-wide placement test. Except for those of us in A class. Bwah ha ha! Sorry, but I've been waiting a while to be in a position to able to say that. Actually, the placement tests (which, as their name implies, is a factor in the next term's class placement, though not as heavy a factor as said name implies) aren't so bad—certainly nothing like the JLPT, in all its unholiness. They are good practice, in a sense. But I generally look at tests as review sessions anyway.

昨日、ある事情で僕は昼ご飯を食べなかったけど、食べなかったばかりに体力が足りなくて午後の会話テストに失敗してしまった。(先生とテープレコーダーの前で何もスムーズに言えなくて切ないもんだった。)でも、会話テストと違って昨日の作文テストはいつもよりうまくいったと思う。言いたいことを頭の中でちゃんと整理して書けたから。

Today, after class ended, I decided to go to the post office ATM and pull out some cash before heading to Seiyu for some foodstuffs. However, on the way to the ATM, I ran into no fewer than three very kind Japanese ladies that I know and haven't seen in a while—one after another and right in the same spot, at that. First, one stopped me and we chatted for a bit; then the second also approached and the three of us talked; finally, as soon as the first two left, the third one (the one I'm tightest with) pulled up in her car and invited me to karaoke tomorrow. (However, since my former classmates Yo and Melody are returning to Okazaki tomorrow, I likely won't be able to go.) It was nice, is all.

2時間目の授業が終わっているとき、あるクラスメートに「似顔絵は描けますか」と聞かれた。正直に「いや、できない」と答えたけど、描いてみればどうならかなと思って、教室の前に立っていらっしゃった黒田先生をあるプリントの裏面にこっそりを描いた。先生に見せる機会がなかったけど、せっかく描いたからアップロードすることにした。

F'real?!

The other day, I went to Fukatsu, a nearby used-CD store and was watching a trailer from the latest Harry Potter film, which is now on DVD. There were Japanese subtitles on it and I was pretty amused to see that when Ron exclaimed "Blimey!" in one scene, it was translated as マジで? ("f'real?!").

There was another scene where the new strict teacher on the Hogwarts campus, during class, cried out "This ... is ... a ... lie!" and the subtitles read "嘘です." Talk about not conveying the spirit of the scene. (Though, yes, of course, you can hear the intended inflections and such. I'm just saying it was funny at the time.)

12/10/2007

Music corner update

お待たせしました!ミュージックコーナー更新を発表します!音楽をアクセスするサイトがダメになったかと思ってたけど、結局大丈夫みたいだ。そういうことで、いよいよ新しい曲が入っているよ。今回はどの曲でもアメリカの昔の素晴らしいモータウンのやつだよ!よければ聴いてみてね。それに、おまけとして下に昔の日本の曲、酒井法子の『ノ・レ・な・いTeen-age』、そのビデオも(なぜか)用意してある。

I finally updated the Music Corner over there. I thought that I wouldn't be able to use that site anymore but I fixed the problem and loaded the corner up with some good old-fashioned Motown(-like) classics. There's also a short, classic Noriko Sakai clip below, for no other reason than that I like posting music-related videos with these updates.



(僕が今週のしゃべり場わいわいラジオ放送をすることになっている。)

Results of the second test | 第2試験の成績

バットジョンToday we got the results of our second test (from last Thursday) back. Things on the written test went as expected: I screwed up the sections that I expected to (I didn't really study except for the night before, see) but passed. Surprisingly, though, my listening test results were outright fantastic. Everyone's were, though, so it probably just means that this test was particularly simple. I am, however, rather weak with lists of numbers—especially those with decimal places—as I missed a couple of simple problems where I just had to right the numbers down. But when I hear sequences of numbers like rokujuunitenyon, it takes time to sort it out in my head. It's the same with telling time and especially so with large numbers (because the numbering system is different). I need more practice with numbers. But I was pleased to actually receive a very good grade on a listening test. It doesn't happen too often.

I intend to kick butt on the last test.

今日、第2試験の成績をもらった。筆記試験は予想通りまあまあだった(前の夜しか勉強しなかったもん)けど、意外にも聴解試験はとてもよかった。そんなの久しぶり!平均点数は同じくらいだったから、多分今回の試験がそんなに難しくなかったように示していると思うけど、なんといっても嬉しい。最期の試験に頑張るぞ。

12/09/2007

School's first integrated prom

Wow. In Ashburn, Georgia, high school students attended their school's first integrated prom. Yeah, true pioneers in the field of interracial relations, these folks. I mean, it's good that progress of some sort is being made, but where have these folks been for the past forty or so years? I guess it's easy to forget that progress hasn't been equal across the nation. This article—it's almost surreal. I'm also amused that there are apparently only two races of folks at this school.

12/06/2007

Norton Fighter | ノートンファイター

This rather made my night.
これってさ、気に入ったんだ。





They did a good job on it, I think.
よく作られたんじゃないか?

(I think the icing on the cake, for me, is that I wouldn't let Norton's software anywhere near my computer.)

English posts vs. Japanese posts

A small tidbit: since I starting adding language tags to my posts a few months back, I've made 163 posts in English and 161 in Japanese. Things are pretty even on that front, it seems.

That is all.

桑田佳祐の「ダーリン」

一晩中明日の試験のために勉強していてとても疲れた。でも、寝る前にさっきテレビで見た歌を紹介したいと思う。桑田佳祐の「ダーリン」という歌。僕はこの歌のスタイルがとても好きだ。

I've put in a true cramming session tonight, but before I collapse into bed, I want to post this video of a song that I just saw performed on TV this evening. I'm pretty fond of its sound.


もし上のムービーがなくなったら・・・


じゃ、寝ちゃう・・・

Update: He sings this song (link dead) too? Okay, he's officially on my "like list" now.

12/05/2007

またテスト | Another test

明日、またテストだ。クラスのいつも通りのテストだけど。だから、今夜勉強しなきゃならない。

Another test tomorrow—this time, a standard class test. Looks like I'd better study well tonight, as I need to do well on this one.

12/04/2007

スマブラのライバル

僕はニンテンドーの『大乱闘スマッシュブラザーズ』(スマブラ)というゲームからがとても好きだよ。僕の今までの一番好きなテレビゲームだと言えるほどかもしれない。だから、僕のニンテンドーゲームキューブをアメリカから持ってきたわけ。このゲームを楽しむに、1人だけではなく、2人以上が必要だけど、岡崎に相手はあまりいない。最近、クラスメートのホアキンが相手になってくれたけど、数ヶ月前に僕のスマブラのライバルがいた。その友達と勝負を山ほどしたものだけど、彼は僕の連勝が嫌いだったかアメリカに帰国してしまったんだ。

その友達はこのブログを読んでいるけど、ここに出る勇気があるかなあ・・・

お父様再誕生!

今日はすごくよかった。能力試験がやっと終わったからか、元気に授業を受けることができた。昔のやる気が改めてわいてきて気合を入れながら勉強に楽しく頑張れた。いい感じだなあ!授業が終わっても教室に残って勉強することにした。(久しぶり、それは!)僕が学業に飽きたと思っていたものの、結局その面倒くさい試験に影響され過ぎたように、今の僕は思っている。でも、試験の影響だったとしても、やはり僕自身も悪かった。その気持ちを乗り越えられるように努力を絶えず入れていれば、僕はもしかしたらそんなに調子が悪くならなかったかもしれない。だから、ある程度自分のせいだとみなして、省みながら反省しているわけ。じゃ、これからは精を出していきたいぞ!

あっ、そうだ!左側の絵のことだけどね、僕に渡した漢字総合試験の紙に、こういうものがくっ付いている。小松先生のプレゼント。(笑)

12/03/2007

JLPT level 2

So ... the JLPT is over. 能力試験はかなりうまくいったと思うよ!

A group of us gathered at Okazaki Station at 7:50(-ish) to be greeted by various sensei who had come to see us off, including Sano-sensei, my main sensei. (I swear, one day I'll find a way to translate 担任先生 into English without making it sound like I'm in sixth grade.) A ton of Yamasa students hopped on the 8:03 express to Toyohashi, which is two big cities over. There was some beautiful mountains in view on the way. In Toyohashi, we moved from JR and crammed into smaller train that didn't even have an automatic ticket-taker and headed three stations down. (I heard that it was hard to find the college where we'd be taking the test, but it was ridiculously simple, and the train basically stopped on the sidewalk right outside of the college.)

We were guided to the proper building by ladies holding signs along the various paths. The surroundings with quite beautiful, what with golden leaves scattered about the ground. It's really feeling fall-like recently.

I went to the room that I was assigned to and found that my assigned seat was in the very front row. Sweet. Yamamoto was in the room room as I was, but he was in the very last row. The most surprisingly thing to me was that about 90% of the test-takers seemed to be Chinese and Taiwanese folks. There are a lot of Taiwanese folks at Yamasa, but this was really something.

The test was remarkably similar to our tests at school, which, of course, makes perfect sense. First were vocabulary and kanji. This was my strongest section, though I made some mistakes (登山 as とうざん, misidentifying 生徒). I probably missed about five or six of these. Next was listening, which is not my strongest area. It went decently well, I think, though I know I missed a few. After lunch was reading and grammar. By about this time, I was feeling pretty exhausted, and the ten minutes that they make you wait doing absolutely nothing before each section starts only made this worse. The reading was pretty dense stuff and I didn't figure out all of the questions before time ran out, but the grammar will certainly save me on this section.

So I pretty much fully expect to pass, barring a ridiculous fluke. But I have to wait until February to find out.

After the test, a group of us went to hang out together in Nagoya. I very rarely go to Nagoya so it's always like a little treat for me to go. (Seriously, maybe I've gone about six or seven times?) Unfortunately, plans were fuzzy and we ended up just standing around Nagoya Station (pictured) for quite a while. I was tired and began feeling quite anti-social, so since our actual dinner appointment was shoved over an hour later (by someone who later abandoned the party, at that), I decided to just wander off on my own for a while.

I went to the bookstore up on the eleventh floor (above the station) for a brief time, then wandered around aimlessly for a while before (after almost, almost, just heading back home) heading to Sakae, where I was meet everyone. I sat near a fountain and entertained myself by watching some episodes of Futurama on my iPod. Oh yeah—I got an iPod. But more on that soon. The point is, Futurama really helped to put me in a better mood, so I went for yakitori with everyone.

We were there for three hours. One classmate had specifically planned to drink herself until she could forget about the test entirely, but I don't think she quite made it there (at the restaurant, at least). I also got to see Herve, an old schoolmate of mine who's got a good job and a nice girlfriend and is living pretty well in Nagoya it seems. (A bit embarrassingly, when it was time to calculate who owed what for dinner, I used my calculator and, without thinking, calculated it with tax down to the yen and, when it was my turn to thrown my money into the pot, I just turned the calculator toward Yamamoto to show him how much (504 yen) as I dug for coins. My drink-to-forget classmate called me a tightwad, and later, my friend M Girl laughed at me and said that I shouldn't do that. It was pretty funny. I was jus' tryin' make things convenient, man. But, yeah, I am a tightwad here because I'm not spending my money. I'm looking forward to not being so poor next year.)

And that's about it. I spent basically all today at home, since the school was kind of enough to give us the day off. But I have a test Thursday, unfortunately, so I can't quite rest yet. Consarn it all. But as for today, the most constructive thing I might have done is beat the Fire Temple in Ocarina of Time. That is in part, though, because I've had a pretty bad headache for most of the afternoon and evening.

Foreign exchange student in a drama, huh?

There's a family drama about (or including, at least) a Hungarian foreign exchange student on right now. I wonder if the actor's really Hungarian—I don't know the accent that well. I don't like his acting, though. I've been wondering if there are any dramas with foreigners in them. Maybe I should star in a drama myself someday. ('Cause it's juuuuust thaaat easy.) This show is pretty silly, like I think most dramas are, but one point for the short Uno scene.

Update: Actually, I think this is a movie, not a drama. Whatever the case, it's really pretty silly.

12/01/2007

いよいよ能力試験 | Advent of the JLPT

明日の朝、いよいよ豊橋で日本語能力試験を豊橋で受ける。

僕は一番難しい1級でなく2級を受けることにしたので、試験に落ちる可能性が低いものの、どうせ受けるなら自分の将来のためにいい点数を取れるように僕なりに全力を込めて頑張りぬきたいと思っている。

1級じゃないからといってあまり勉強しなくていいというわけじゃない。不合格する恐れがあるので、今日初めて図書館で文法の本を復習しておくことにした。そういった復習をするのは久しぶりでとても役立ったと思う。いろいろな人は「お父様なら1級ができるのに!」と、僕の日本語力不足を知らないかのように言ってくれる人は最近多いけど、力を抜くどころじゃないと僕は思っている。もし不注意で失敗したら、どれくらい恥ずかしいことか。



Tomorrow is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

I'll be taking the level 2 test (instead of the harder level 1) so I should have no real trouble actually passing, but I'm not going to take it easy. Many folks have been saying that I should be taking the level 1 test, but that's still a bit beyond me, I think. Whatever the case, this is, academically, by far the most important thing I'll do here in Japan, so I intend to go to the testing site tomorrow and throw myself into the test with the intent to destroy it. As best I can, I'm gonna annihilate that wretched test. (Now that I think about it, tomorrow ought to be quite the catharsis for me.)

So ... I'll be in touch soon.