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New pictures!

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/6/2004 10:09:22 AM
Today seemed to be rather busy, though it was actually more or less like any other Wednesday! Well, last Wednesday, anyway.

For the first time in a rather long time, the rain let up and I (along with everyone in this area of Tokyo) was treated to a very pleasant day. Got up, ate a varied breakfast (cereal, pizza toast, and assorted meats/vegetables/mushrooms... yes, I've found that I can actually eat Japanese mushrooms), caught a rather crowded train to Takadanobaba, and had a wonderful Science Fiction in Japan class. I always have a lot of fun in that class; it demands a LOT of reading, but the discussions are absolutely tops. The class is really helping me to look at ideas and concepts in new ways, which will REALLY help me should I ever continue the stories I've been writing for so many years.

I did not receive a notification in my mailbox as to whether I'm going to move up in Japanese or stay where I am. I'll just check tomorrow.

After class, two friends and I walked back to the Takadanobaba station and ate at a little noodle shop that was quite literally right under the station's bridge. The price was right and the food was great: I got some 天ぷらそば, which was absolutely delicious (I love soba noodles and I love tempura on said soba noodes!). After that I came home, talked with some more of Mama's adult friends (she has people over all the time!), and got busy with some homework. At 4:30 I stuck my computer's microphone outside to try and record that awesome tonal tune that permeates the town, but as it happens that's exactly when the wind picked up and drowned out the song. FOO! I like that song, too. ^__^ Later I ordered some books that I needed for my Sci Fi class from the Japanese Amazon site; first time I've ordered something online overseas before, I think! As in, ordered something online while overseas... from a foreign site... that's not really foreign now because I'm there... and... yeah. Yay for big savings! $$$$$$

I know there are some things I wanted to mention in this entry, but of course I conveniently forgot all of them! Instead, I'll humor you all with some new pictures. As always, I haven't been able to get captions for them yet... but I'm working on it, slowly. o_O

I'd better start thinking about going to sleep...
Photos: Assorted pictures around school and home 0 replies

Of getting my wish granted

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/7/2004 8:59:45 AM
--> 12:57 - Building 19, room 414, I think
Some things I forgot to mention:

- Two nights ago, Papa gave me a robe from his company. It's a little stiff still (since it hasn't been washed or anything, I presume), but it fits rather well and looks pretty cool. I'll have to get a picture of it soon.

- Last night for dinner I ate aloe. Yes, that stuff that's really nice on sunburns. *laughs* It was prepared diced up with other pieces of cut fruit, and it tastes awesome. I'm not sure how to describe the taste; I know I've tasted things like it before, but I can't put my finger on it. It almost has a starfruit-like flavor... but I really don't know.

- Also last night at about 11:40 or so, I was chillin' (well, actually, kind of steamin') in the tub when all of a sudden the whole house started to shake. At first I wasn't sure what it was, but pretty quickly I realized, "Oh, it's probably an earthquake." It lasted for maybe thirty seconds, just relatively gentle rocking sort of like I was on a wobbly boat or something. I didn't really want to jump out of the tub naked and run out shouting, "Eureka!" so I just stayed put. Had it been a bit more serious, I would have busted outta there and gotten to lower and safer ground. Though, really, the bathroom is probably one of the safer places to be... maybe...

Anyway, today as I was walking to school, I couldn't help but realize how BEAUTIFUL of a day it was. The sun was out, people were working in the fields, birds were flying around, and everything was relatively calm. Very awesome. I ate at the noodle shop I went to yesterday; I think I very well may go there rather often! Yum yum yum.

When I arrived at the school, I rushed up to check my mailbox, because I was about 99.9% sure there'd be a letter there. There should have been yesterday, but I didn't see anything when I went there the first time. Sure enough, there was a letter... and apparently I was so sit in on the Level 3A class today from 9:00 to 12:10! Meep! I ran over to the teacher office and met with Nakai-sensei (the language coordinator) and told her the situation, and fortunately it was okay. I'll just go tomorrow. There's a Kanji quiz that day, so I'll get a god litmus test of if I can handle Level 3 or not right off the bat. Unfortunately, this is going to put a kink in my classmates' groove, since I'm supposed to do an oral presentation with them. o_O Well... we'll see what happens, I suppose.

It's very interesting how things worked out. I fought so hard to get into Level 3, and now that I've been granted entrance, I'm not bouncing off the walls with joy. I think it's because I finally got the information I wanted about it, and now I'm not 100% sure I want to go there like I was before. However, as always, I'll just have to see what happens. There's a big kanji quiz I'm going to have to study for that has kanji from ten lessons ahead of where I am now, so tonight's going to be a kanji cram night (I NEVER like to use the word "cram," but seriously that's what it is). Fortunately, I already know a sizable amount of those kanji... so really it's just going to be a matter of recognizing the combinations I don't already know. It's pretty nice... at this stage of the game, you can show me just about any kanji and I'll probably be able to reproduce it correctly with the correct stroke order; the meaning, on the other hand, is quite another thing. *laughs*

Statistics class looks like it shouldn't be very much hard work, which is nice to know. I don't want to jump to hasty conclusions quickly, but it seems like I have a pretty good grasp of what's going on (for never having taken a statistics class before, no less), and the pace seems to be on the slower side rather than the faster side. Less work in other classes means more time available for Japanese, which is good. Now I'm really going to need it. *laughs*

--> 21:50 - Yoshitaka residence: my room
Beat my old high score in Tetris again: over one million points. *laughs* I'm going to break that game some day, I think. I've already found out how to exploit at least one bug...

Random observations:

- Everything (at least in Tokyo) has this very unified, "sameness" quality to it. And in a strange sort of way, it's comforting.

- People on the streets always want to give you all sorts of handouts. Sometimes you can score free tissues and stuff from them, so every now and then it's a good idea to grab the leaflets. *laughs*

Anyway, it's 漢字漢字漢字勉強勉強勉強 time right now (or kanjikanjikanjistudystudystudy time, for all you non-Japanese readers). Gotta go over about 200 kanji for my quiz tomorrow. Now that's more like it!
2 replies

I can see it now...
Posted by: UNFDAardvark 10/7/2004 2:02:05 PM
Gerf is biking down a road circling a mountain, with his bike at a 5 degree angle from the ground, repeatedly shouting 勉強勉強勉強勉強勉強勉強勉強勉強勉強!!! :)
0 replies

more resources
Posted by: badcheeso 10/8/2004 6:38:02 AM
have you given any thought to asking the older teens to help you with your kanji? it would be a good tool to "break the ice" .

as far as the earthquake, you stand in a doorway and say "OH,$^%^#$)&%^)"
0 replies

Good stuffs

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/8/2004 9:09:11 AM
Well what do you know? Level 3 really isn't that bad! Well, at least not this first class. It seems to be more or less like Level 2, except we're ten lessons ahead and do a little more reading, writing, and speaking. Works for me! I was getting very nervous that the class would be in this tiny room with uncomfortable seats with a teacher that was mean and expected perfect Japanese out of us. It was in a tiny room with uncomfortable seats, but the teacher (at least our Friday one, anyway) seems nice. And, as it happened, we ended up moving into a much larger classroom with more comfortable seats and windows everywhere. Sweet action!

So, in short, I think I'm going to do just fine in my new level. I'm quite sure I only missed one or two kanji on my two quizzes that were today, too, which makes me happy. It's just so nice to not have to worry about that anymore. Awesome.

Today at work I spent three hours transferring files from an old OS 8.2 iMac to a WinXP pro system. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, but not only were both computers in Japanese, but the only means of transferring files was through a thumb drive that Tom happened to have. Nothing else would work with the Mac... not even a just-purchased pack of CD-Rs! While I went to get the CD-Rs, though, I noticed outside the Co-op store that they were having this big Toppo sellout bash thing. Toppo is like inverse Pocky: the biscuit part is on the outside and the chocolate is inside. They had a TON of free Toppo sticks for anyone who walked by, and they were selling the stuff for just 100 yen a box. I ended up going there twice, actually, and buying four packs. Good stuff. When you bought one, you got a little slip of paper that was folded over and glued; if the inside had some mark on it, you won a cool prize. If not, you got two free packs of tissues. So, I made off with four boxes of Toppo, eight packs of tissues, and a Toppo plush doll (because I went there twice and was cool and stuff) for 400 yen. Now that's what I call quality!

Another typhoon is coming through, and once again the rains are coming down. Yesterday's immaculate weather was just a glitch in the Matrix. *laughs*

Well, now I've got a three-day weekend. I have to read Japan Sinks before Wednesday, plus study some Japanese grammar (the ten lessons I "skipped over"). Fun stuff.
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Of going to Ikebukuro

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/9/2004 7:43:07 AM
--> 16:14 - Yoshitaka residence: my room
Well, today was a very eventful day. And it's not done yet, either!

It all started off with me sleeping in two hours longer than I wanted to. Gah! On top of that, the family was going to go to Ikebukuro today at 10:00, and by the time I finished breakfast and got somewhat washed up, it was about 9:30. I had wanted to talk to some people today online/on the phone, but alas, that kanji cram (that ended up being completely unnecessary) caught up with me and took that away. Grr.

We all piled into the family's car and headed to the train station where everyone minus Papa and Saki-chan got out to head to the Ikebukuro department store. Dag yo, that place is huge! Four basements and at least eight stories... and there may have been more, too. Holy muggle. And the things there are VERY expensive. The average price for a necktie is more than $100, and there were a few handbags that were $300. Oh, and can't forget the fur hat that was going for over $1000. Mama bought a $100 umbrella among lots of other things. Wow. Bling. *laughs* I bought a few things, too... though their identities must remain secret for the time being. *sly grin*

We ate at a very non-Japanese place, too: a lavish buffet! For $16 and one hour, you could stuff down as much as you wanted of all sorts of types of very non-Japanese food, drinks (including WINE... though I decided not to have any), and desserts (including green tea ice cream, which has a very interesting flavor). It was interesting to see how much food the family ate... it was quite a lot! But then, I guess if you only have one hour to eat all this food you normally wouldn't get, why do anything BUT indulge? *laughs* It was great. The family seemed to be incredibly amused at my ability to bulge out my stomach, too. ^__^ After that we shopped around some more, and by the time we were done I was pretty tired. During this time, the new typhoon rains began coming down heavily; by the time I got home, it was an extreme downpour that is still going on now.

I also got a letter from home today, which actually was a small "package" with a bunch of stuff in it (on paper, of course). Got my final paycheck from home (whoo!) among other things, as well as a card for my host family. Papa could read the whole thing, which was nice; I don't think I would have been able to translate it all for him! *laughs* It's nice to get (and send!) stuff. And this airmail letter only took five days to get here. Sweet!

And I'll say it again: Japanese roads are NUTS. Not only are they skinny, but they spider EVERYWHERE. Seriously, if you didn't know the place or have a VERY detailed map, you'd get lost so quickly here. *laughs* The concept of a "block" just doesn't apply here. ;)

--> 20:28 - Yoshitaka residence: my room
Whew... today's dinner was, well, tough. *laughs* It involved a lot of seafood (both cooked and uncooked), and for the first time, I was actually kind of happy when I could "retreat back" to my rice, milk, and salad. I had sashimi again (raw fish), as well as steamed oysters and some sort of sea ceature that was steamed in its spiral shell. I personally don't really like seafood that crunches when you eat it, unless it's fried or something. o_O

The nice thing, though, is that people are talking more often in my presence, and I'm talking with them more, too. We're all getting along quite well, and I'm happy. ^__^ Yay for goodness.

Boy, I've got to read a lot... o_O
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Sports festival!

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/10/2004 8:36:41 AM
Today I got up early so I could go to Saki-chan's kindergarten 運動会 (sports festival), as today is a national sports holiday. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I must say it was fantastic. All of the kindergarteners wore their school clothes and hats, and they did all sorts of great exercises and activities, led by the teachers. There were dances, flat-out sprinting races (in which Saki-chan came in third!), and even the "Big Pants Race," in which a schoolchild and his/her mother or father would climb into this big pair of pants and have to race down to the end of the field, around a cone, and back. Several of the parents just picked up their kids by one arm and carried/dragged them along as they sprinted the course. *laughs* In Japanese we'd call that カンニング (kanningu, "cheating"). ^__^ It was an absolutely wonderful time. It was overcast, but at least the typhoon rains held up for the festival. The whole feeling of being transported back to the innocence of kindergarten brought tears to my eyes more than once during the event... I'm such a nostalgic person when it comes to things like that.

I talked at great length with Kristin on the phone after that, which, as always, was very wonderful. At the end, Saki-chan came into my room with a plastic tea set and I let her talk with Kristin. I translated what I could, though no matter how hard I try, four-year-old child Japanese will likely be forever out of my grasp. *laughs* It was incredibly precious, though. I'm going to have to get my Japanese family on the phone with members of my family. ;)

Set off for a walk to downtown Higashimurayama (or, as I know it, 東村山) after that, going a different way than I usually do. I thought I'd get lost a few times as the roads seemed to go off into nothingness when I was sure the main street should be there, but eventually I ended up just where I wanted to be. I checked out the bank and the post office, but they were both closed; I'll have to hit them up either this Wednesday (if I'm lucky and get home quickly) or Saturday. Went shopping at the huge supermarket/department store after that (イトヨカド, "Itoyokado") for some snacky things and more cereal, since my supply was starting to run low. I just seriously needed some things to munch on; every now and then I get a craving for crunchy, salty/sweet things. And OJ. As soon as I finish typing this, I need to grab some OJ... and pick some more up Tuesday, since I'm almost out of that, too, and they sell a really tasty 1000mL bottle for under two bucks at a grocery store nearby campus.

We had sushi and sashimi for dinner again tonight, which I've pretty much gotten used to. My host family found it amusing to hear that I thought rice and sushi were rather heavy foods, because to them they are extremely light. They found it very amusing, too, that I saw foods like french fries and bread to be light. *laughs* Yay for different food cultures!

I've almost finished with my novel that needs to be read by Wednesday, which is nice. Get it done early and then there will be more time for other things later. Tomorrow (which is a holiday!) I'm going to spend as much time as I can studying for Japanese, since not only did my upgrade from 2 to 3 entail immediately familiarizing myself with more than 100 additional kanji, it also entails familiarizing myself with ten additional chapters of grammar. Most of the stuff I already know, but nevertheless it's imperitave that I practice it again.

I'm going to try and get pictures up soon, as they're very precious.
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Study study study...

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/11/2004 7:50:42 AM
Well, today was just what I thought it'd be: a study day! Got up at a reasonable hour, studied Japanese, ate breakfast, studied more Japanese, ate lunch, studied more Japanese, ate dinner, and now I'm going to study more Japanese until I go to bed. Sounds like quite a holiday, huh? ^__^

Fortunately, I did SOME things other than study. A little after lunch, Mama came home with some Basin Robins ice cream (mint chocolate chip over here is called "choco mint"), which was very thoughtful (and tasty!). We all ate it and had a good time. Interesting note: when transporting cold things home, stores give you chunks of dry ice to keep everything cool. Now THAT is quality! After the ice cream was fully ingested, Soichiro and Saki-chan battled it out in the kitchen with baseball bats and badminton raquets... very funny!

Aside from that, though, the day was pretty much uneventful, except for lots of studying. I took a few breaks here and there to draw and play video games and check up with some online stuff, but for the most part, I was busy-usy-usy. I guess all there is left to do now is take a bath and finish reviewing my vocab and I'll be ready to tackle this third (and short!) week.
Photos: Goofing around in the kitchen 1 reply

Hi!
Posted by: Ned Carlson 10/11/2004 3:39:48 PM
Hi Greg, this is Ned Carlson here from 3DMM land. Neat little online journal you have going here! I'm starting my freshman year at the U of Washington this year, and wanted to take Japanese myself... but ended up taking Java instead. ^_^ Maybe next quarter.

Keep up the journal! Japan's a fascinating place. "Whad'ya mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan!"
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Tuesday

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/12/2004 7:10:47 AM
Rain rain go away, come again another day. At least when I'm walking to and from classes, anyway. *laughs*

Mama made me pancakes this morning, which was awesome. Instead of maple syrup, she gave me a big jar of honey. Anyone ever have honey on pancakes before? It's actually quite tasty. You should give it a try.

Japanese class was pretty good. The people in the class were going up to role-play this dialogue I hadn't even read yet, but I decided to go up and try it out even though I had only laid eyes on the dialogue a few minutes before. I'm surprised how well I did, and I think the teacher was, too, because she mentioned how I had just seen it and yet was still able to do it. That made me happy. Ooh, and I got a message in my mailbox that said I am officially in Level 3A now. Yay! Ooh, and I also got 20/20 and 19.5/20 on my kanji quizzes from Friday, and I think I only missed one word on today's vocabulary test. I'll find out tomorrow when I check my mailbox. Ee!

Other than that, though, today was quite uneventful. I realized during Ecology class that I only had one day left to pick up my alien registration card at the city office, which was somewhat of a shock because I thought I had another week for it. Good thing I randomly decided to check the paper that's all folded up in my wallet (something I'm kind of ashamed of... but at least it stays with me). Whew. I'll pick that up tomorrow on my way back from classes, since I'll be getting home nice and early.

Part of dinner tonight was a bowl of miso soup, which wasn't all that odd (since I have it just about every day or every other day), until I realized the only things in it were mushrooms. *laughs* I know my mom back home is going to love this, but yes, I have started eating mushrooms. I can put up with the Japanese ones, since there are so many different flavors and stuff... but the cheap white ones back home I probably still will pick out if I can. *laughs again*

I'm going to take a bath and head to bed nice and early tonight I think. I have just about done everything that needs to be done academically (except study kanji some more, perhaps), so I'm just gonna relax. I like relaxin'.
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Another job!

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/13/2004 8:01:09 AM
Oooh... today turned out to be an awesome day!

Today for breakfast, Mama laid out dish after dish of yummy food for me... biggest breakfast I've had here thus far! *laughs* First it was some curry rice from last night, then a bowl of mushroom miso soup, then a plate of やきそば (yakisoba, fried noodles) and sausage, then a cup with yogurt and fruit! Top that off with some OJ and you've got one full Gerf. *laughs* I had to kind of hustle to catch the express today because I spent so much time eating. It was worth it, though. Sci-Fi class was good as usual; got to do a lot of talking and thinking about the latest book we read, Japan Sinks.

On my way back home, I had to stop off at the city office to get my foreign registration card. The problem was, I had no idea where it was! I knew it was close to the station and I had a map of the city, but I couldn't read the kanji. However, I had a feeling the singular big circle that was labeled with the kanji for "city" was the right place, and I managed to get there just fine. Now I've got my "外人" card. Awesome! After that I dropped an envelope off at the post office. Apparently the business envelopes I brought from back home are about half a centimeter too large to go with normal mail, but the lady at the desk was kind enough to let me just fold the envelope over a little and tape it so it would fit the size restrictions and thus only cost me 110 yen, or about a buck. Sounds like a good deal to me!

I got home and was going to take a nap, but instead Saki-chan and some of her friends burst into my room and started hiding in my closet. *laughs* So, no nap for me today. But that's okay... that just means I'll get to go to bed earlier again!

What happened next was rather unexpected. I went downstairs and one of Mama's friends was there, Mrs. Onishi. Apparently, the two exchange students that stayed with the Yoshitakas last year and the year before had all worked part-time with Mrs. Onishi (actually, her sons) as English conversation tutors, and she asked if I'd like to do it as well. Sounds good to me! For those who don't know, English conversation is literally a part-time job here, one that pays good money, too. I don't know how much I'm going to get paid, but I'm not really worrying about that. Not only will this be a way for me to meet new people, but I'll be able to help spread English around Japan! *laughs* She explained that especially since this is a farming village in some respects, English-speaking people are very hard if not impossible to find, and everyone always wants to speak English. So... this should be quite fun! She even calls me Gerf. *laughs again* Our first meeting will be sometime this weekend; she's going to call me back on Friday.

So, I guess I technically have two part-time jobs now. *has to laugh* However, one is just a few hours on Friday and the other (this new one) is just an hour twice a week, so it's cool.

After that, I showed some clips of The Lion King to Saki-chan and her friend that happened to come into my room. MAN I love that movie!
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Nothing much today...

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/14/2004 8:37:57 AM
Hey, what do you know... not much happened today. ^__^

Mama made me a nice breakfast again this morning, complete with some pumpkin soup. It was from a can and was really thick, so it was almost like a hot pumpkin smoothie or something. Very interesting flavor; I couldn't drink it EVERY day, but I certainly wouldn't mind having it again!

The weather held up today, surprisingly. It was pretty nice in the morning but was supposed to rain later on; however, it never did. Cool beans. Japanese class was a little difficult today because we were going over some things I was finally learning for the first time, but it's not like I'm the only one that needed a few minutes to get used to some of these new things. *laughs* There's a kanji quiz tomorrow, so I need to study for that when I finish typing this up.

During lunch I started a survey some Japanese girl was doing for her thesis project that had to do with racial, gender, and social bias of certain slang terms. Very interesting, to say the least; however, I'm not going to divulge the details because that wouldn't be a nice thing to do right now. *laughs* I will say, though, that it was long, and I couldn't finish it until about two hours later because I had Statistics class in the way. Which reminds me of how I thought the second class started at 4:40, when in reality it started at 4:20. Whoops! Fortunately the teacher was just talking about a homework assignment that was going to be due in two weeks, so I didn't miss anything. After class I reiterated my apologies for being late, but she apparently had no problems with it one bit, because no matter how much I apologized in both English and in Japanese she said it was okay and there was nothing to worry about. So... I guess there's nothing to worry about!

Tonight over dinner I talked with Mama and Papa about the pronunciation of different U.S. cities. "Atlanta" was quite a stickler for them. So many English sounds are simply NOT in the Japanese language at all, which makes me feel kind of guilty sometimes because I usually don't have problems saying Japanese words... it's just I don't know all that many. *laughs*

Boy, I'm tired. I think I'm going to study some kanji, take a bath, and then go to sleep really early. Ooh, Papa just got out of the bath right now... maybe I'll do that first. Sounds like a plan.
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Of getting yet another job

Gerf
Gerf
Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 10/15/2004 9:13:44 AM
--> 10:25 - SILS Building 22, Room 502
Ooh, new breakfasts every day. Toast with cheese and ketchup, toast with strawberry jam, some sort of corn soup (like the pumpkin soup of yesterday, and also yummy), and apples. Oh, and OJ, of course. *laughs* I'm actually rather surprised I didn't get any of the awesome rice stuff we had last night... there was a good chunk of that left over. Maybe we'll have that tonight. I had to hustle to the train station again this morning because breakfast was so big. I think I'm going to have to eat faster or get Mama to cook a little earlier, because it may be hard to jog to the station during the winter. But we'll see.

Ugh, the trains today were the most crowded I've ever seen as of yet. Or, rather, felt. I was smashed in there so tightly that I was bent like a paper clip and had to hold that position for forty minutes. Oy. By the time I got out (more like spilled out), my back was sore and I was quite surprised that all my limbs didn't fall asleep. At least the weather is good; if it was raining or something, it would have been disasterous. I think I'm going to try and get into another part of the train that may be less crowded... I figured the tail end of the train would be, but maybe somewhere near the middle of the train would be better.

Kanji quiz today was nice again. I think I aced it, like I aced my last two kanji tests. ^__^ I got my composition back today and the teacher said "上手に書けました" ("jozu ni kakemashita", "You wrote this quite well!")... I guess I did pretty well! I think we're supposed to read it to our classmates next week; I'm going to rewrite it to fix the mistakes I made and practice it... perhaps with my host family.

Today is another work day, and later tonight I'm going to be getting a call from Onishi-san about the English conversation job. Coolness.

--> 18:20 - Yoshitaka residence: my room
Today at work I went through... eh, I'd say around 100 files and converted them from Claris Works to Word. Normally that wouldn't be THAT big of a deal, but the files were on a Mac running OS 8.2, so things were needlessly troublesome. So, I had to open every file up in Claris Works, save it as an HTML file, copy it onto a thumb drive, open the files up in Word on the Windows PC that was being migrated to, then save them as Word documents. Rinse and repeat for Excel spreadsheets. Fun stuff... three hours later I got the task done. Whew! During that time I signed up to help out with a program that involves Japanese students who went to Case over the summer. Sweet! I'll be able to connect with some folks from back home, in a very drawn-out sense. *laughs* The pay is nothing to speak of, but I'm more interested in the experience.

Almost missed my stop today coming home on the train. I got a seat and thus was able to sleep, but my Guardian Angel was kind enough to wake me up as we were stopped at the Higashimurayama station. I don't know how long we had been stopped there, but I know the doors were open and one of the poles that read "東村山" was staring me right in the face. I was like, "Wah!" and stood up really fast, smacking my eye on one of the overhanging hand rings (despite the fact that I was wearing glasses), but I was able to get out. A little after getting home, Saki-chan came in with a deck of cards and wanted me to build card castles. So I did. She's cute, but she barges in when I'm least expecting it. At least there's a lock on the bathroom door... otherwise I'd never be safe. o_O; *laughs*

--> 20:08 - Yoshitaka residence: my room
Got a package from home today! And a bill for my cell phone. *laughs* Getting all sorts of things, huh? The airmail came in a little less than a week, so that's cool. I constantly forget that Japan is much smaller than America, so mail gets around much faster. For instance, I bought a book from an independent seller on Amazon.co.jp on Wednesday, and it was at my house by Friday. Dag, yo.

Also, my new job officially starts tomorrow. The kids are really looking forward to meeting me, and I can't help but be looking forward to meeting them, too! Maybe I'll bring over some English stuff, like The Lion King and a book or two, to show them. Of course, Apsu is going too. Lots of English stuff there! ^__^

I think tonight will be another early to bed, early to rise night. I've got homework to do, but it's mostly in the form of projects that will be due later on. And, in all honesty, they seem MUCH easier than the things I have to do at Case. As in, daily assignments at Case are harder than the things I am given two full weeks to do here. o_O Not that I'm complaining, of course.
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