2008年12月25日

今週の漢字: 安心した

Relieved:
As you faithful readers have noticed, I haven’t updated for a month. It got way too busy and I was forced to move my blog onto the backburner. My production went up on December 13th, and boy, the whole experience has been a roller coaster.

I started everything around June. First I found the play that I wanted to do, which is Funny-Faced Ogre (ベッカンコおに). I contacted the translator for permission to do the play. He also acted as the middleman between the original playwright and me. It wasn’t too difficult to obtain their permission (for a fee of course). By July, I assembled most of my production crew e.g. costume designer, makeup artist, dramaturg, lighting and sound designer, and props managers. I still didn’t have a stage manager, which is an essential role in theatre. The stage manager communicates with all the aspects of the production including actors.

With no stage manager, I moved along into auditions. It didn’t go very well. There weren’t enough actors. Luckily, as time went by, most of the roles were filled. The only problem was the English version.

Let me take this time to explain the concept of the play. Here’s a copy of the play and production synopsis:

Funny-Faced Ogre is a simple story of an ogre with a funny face under the service of the mountain goddess. One day, the ogre accidentally kidnaps Yuki, a blind village girl with whom he falls in love, while her father is away hunting. Yuki’s father returns and notices that his daughter has been taken by an ogre. Filled with vengeance, the father sets out with a murderous intent for the ogre.
Each performance consists of the English version (in a more traditional approach) followed by the Japanese version (in a more modern approach). Can an ogre become a man, or vice versa? Together, the two versions explore what makes ogres and monsters.
This production was the most unique one I’ve ever done. It was all sort of backwards. Usually, all the production aspects (e.g. set, lighting, sound) are all done before acting rehearsals. However, most of it was accomplished within the month leading to the performance date. The week before the performance was filled with me sleeping at my friend’s apartment every night. I didn’t plan for it, but there were a lot of things that needed to be done.

Overall, I had a worthwhile experience even though it was a loss financially. I’m really proud of my cast and crew who put in so much of their time and energy. I probably will not direct or produce another production in Japan, but I’m glad I accomplished it. Putting on a show was one of my goals before coming to Japan. I wonder if I will put on a show back in the states in the future. I certainly believe it would be a lot easier.

To finish off this post, I’ll list some surprises:

1) It seems that renting a theatre here is more of a hassle considering each aspect is a separate cost. Back in America, if I rent a theatre, I usually have it all for the time allotted.

2) Acting isn’t as popular here. Mind you, I also had a Japanese version. It’s just not seen as spectacular, I suppose. It was easier to get a crew set up, except for stage manager.

3) This happens anywhere, but I was amazed how many people signed on and then backed out.

4) Lighting was ridiculously expensive (1st class at least… I don’t want to explain).

5) This isn’t a surprise per se, but I was touched with how much help people put in. Also, it was awesome how everyone supported my vision.

It’s Christmas already! Where did all the time go?! Well, have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!! =) I’m going to Shanghai, so I won’t update until the weekend after New Year’s. Stay tuned on the first weekend of January for another update!

En français:
Après le samedi de la représentation, j’ai dormi pour quatorze heures. Le dimanche, je suis allé voir futsal. Il était interessant. Le sport est semblable au football. Je pense qu’il n’était pas une bonne idée d’être allé parce que j’étais trop de fatigué. À 5:15PM, j’ai essayé prendre mon passeport au bureau de voyage, mais il était fermé. Alors, j’ai revenu chez moi et j’ai dormi plus.

今週の聖書の詩: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
- Luke 2:14 (NIV)

今週の写真: Pictures from performance day and from the cast/crew party. (Note: not everyone involved was able to go to the party)






2008年11月24日

今週の漢字:

Street:
I sometimes can’t believe that I’m actually in Japan. When I was first sitting in my Japanese class at University of Miami, I would never have thought that I would actually be living in Japan. It seemed so exotic—so amazing. Of course it’s great here, but I see where I am and it’s remarkable how easy it is to travel around the world. If only it weren’t so expensive and the fuel cost so high to travel!

There are many roads I could’ve taken, but I’m happy that I chose this path. Perhaps if I decided not to join the JET Program, I might have gotten some nice role or job in the US, but still… this was too unique of an experience to give up. As Thanksgiving approaches, an AET told me yesterday how she looks around and feels so lucky to be in the position she’s in. It made me think about my own situation a bit. In most of my time in university, I never thought about LIVING in a foreign country. I was content with the idea of traveling around on vacation.

I didn’t have many expectations with coming to Japan. I heard a bunch of stuff from people about Japan, and while some things are closer to the truth than others, there’s a lot more than meets the eye of a seasoned traveler.

This is an experience I recommend to anyone who can do it. When I talk to some new JETs, I remember my excitement when I first came last year. I really feel more at home now instead of the initial shock and awe. I’m still very much excited about my time here, but I’m glad that Japan is a part of my life, not just another destination for a hopeful seasoned traveler. I turned onto a truly unknown path with no understanding of it, but now it’s a clearer road.

Wow! I’m amazed with how I inadvertently promoted the JET Program. Stay tuned next week for another update!

En français:
Je suis content avec ma vie ici, mais je pense au sujet des candidats pour ce programme. Il y a beaucoup des personnes qui veulent habiter dans le Japon. Pourtant, le programme m’a accepté. Les étudiants me posent quelquefois: «Pourquoi est-ce que vous venez au Japon?» Je dit: «Parce que je m’intéresse à la culture japonaise!» Il n’est pas faux, mais il n’est pas seulement cette culture. Cette sorte de la occasion d’être un AET était la première que j’ai entendu.

今週の聖書の詩: “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

今週の写真: The week after Toyohashi Festival, I went to Miya Festival. They are known in this area for their old pageant wagons.





2008年11月19日

今週の漢字:

Plate:
There is definitely so much on my plate these days! I feel like I’m slowly clearing it, but my effort goes nowhere. When I get really busy like I have been lately, my blog and e-mailing are the first to get the shaft. I love e-mails and I’ve been happy to share my experiences and weekly happenings to whoever cares through my blog.

So what has Justin been up to that keeps him away from the blogging world? For starters, there’s teaching. I’m glad that I’ve been given more freedom and responsibilities this year. It isn’t surprising, for I feel like I’ve earned it, but more work couldn’t have come at a worse time. Don’t get me wrong! I love what I’m doing. The students are lots of fun and I’ve been getting closer to a few teachers. Of course there are problems here and there, but isn’t that all part of life?

Theatre takes up a large chunk of my plate. As usual, I love and hate it. Theatre takes much sacrifice, but it’s always a thrill. I’m directing and producing a play in my area. It’s truly difficult, not just the language barrier, but the administrative side seems so frustrating in Japan. It’s possible my problems are unique to my circumstances and the theatre I reserved. After the play has been performed, I plan to write more on my directing and production duties that have swallowed me up. The performance date will be December 13, 2008.

I feel like I’ve been getting out a lot too. I don’t know why, but it seems like every year at this time, I do lots of stuff including playing host or going to different social functions. (I can’t believe I actually typed “social functions.”) Maybe hosting get-togethers is something I got from my family. I mean my family hosts Thanksgiving dinner for my mom’s side of the family every year since a few years after my sister was born.

I’ve been amused by what the students are focusing on recently… the opposite sex! You might be wondering, “Why now?” That’s a good question. Well, from what I’ve gathered, the thought of Christmas nearing makes them all content if they have a boyfriend or girlfriend. For those who don’t, they get all flustered and worried. As I wrote about Christmas last year, Christmas in Japan is a time for couples to rule the streets.

Now, a bunch of students ask me questions about what kind of girl I like, if I like Japanese girls, and/or if I have a girlfriend. I tell them that I don’t have a girlfriend mainly because I don’t know where the people my age are. It’s funny how often I get nods and gestures of understanding. Do they know something I don’t? I’m not actively seeking for a girlfriend, but it would be nice to at least meet more people around my age.

Getting back on topic, I foresee my schedule opening up big time after December 13th. First, I have to put more emphasis on the second trimester finals, which are fast approaching. Then, I can really put more into the play. After that, it’d be much easier to deal with social gatherings. I count social life activities on my plate, because I have to sacrifice a bit for them. I wonder when I can see most of the bottom of my plate again.

This is actually a double-stuffed post to make up for the past two weekends of no updates. Stay tuned the end of this weekend for another update!

En français:
Il y avait deux problèmes la semaine dernière. Il était un temps mauvais! Mon téléphone mobile s’est brisé et je suis tombé de mon vélo. Après l’accident, j’ai continué aller en vélo. Quand je suis arrivé à la gare de Toyohashi, je suis allé aux toilettes à vérifier que ma tête était bien. Ma tête a saigné! Il n’y avait pas beaucoup de sang, mais je me suis inquiété. J’étais content qu’il n’était pas un accident sérieux.

今週の聖書の詩: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
- Matthew 6:25-27 (NIV)

今週の写真: I went to the Toyohashi festival about a month ago. It’s the small city closest to my town. I hope you like the pictures and video, especially the picture of the minced WHALE I ate!






video

2008年11月3日

今週の漢字: 恥ずかしい

Embarrassed:
Halloween is always an interesting time in Japan: all the marketing with nothing coming to fruition. Well, it’s slowly changing. I have heard that wearing costumes has been sort of spreading. I wore a costume again this year, but instead of choosing to be something cute like I did last year as the sorcerer’s apprentice Mickey, I decided on something on the scary side. I love horror, so it was great this year.

I searched on the internet starting in July for a store that would ship to Japan. There were some sites with shipping and handling charges that I considered outrageous. Many stores did not ship outside of North America. It was rather frustrating. Luckily, I finally came across a site at the end of August that seemed legitimate with a reasonable shipping cost to Japan. I chose the headless skeleton costume and included a skull prop. The hard part was over.

I spent the last two weeks doing a special Halloween lesson. I tailored something specific for each grade. The first years watched a short clip from the Friends Halloween episode followed by a powerpoint on Halloween. Then, there was a game based on my powerpoint. The last activity was for the students to start on their masks. I informed them that if anyone wears a mask or does something unique on Halloween, he or she would get some candy. The second years started off with the same game that I used for the first years, because they already heard about Halloween from me last year. I proceeded to show short clips from two different scary movies, which didn’t go so bad. For the one third year class I teach, I showed the majority of the class an entire episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I also created a worksheet that accompanied the episode. Students who didn’t want to watch Buffy watched the Halloween episode of SpongeBob SqaurePants.

For all the classes, I encouraged wearing a costume, mask, or anything that people wouldn’t ordinarily wear outside of their home. I was hoping for English teachers to also take part in wearing a costume. One by one, I witnessed the teachers rejecting the idea. For some of them, the idea of wearing a costume is ludicrous because of their status as a teacher. I didn’t agree and told them that it would just make them all the more appreciated. Usually, this was when it was more apparent that it’s about the embarrassment of wearing a costume than any other excuse. Did many students wear something? Not really. Only a few handfuls actually wore at least a mask. I still gave candy to students who tried to do something different on the spot. For example, there was a kid who wore his jacket like a stray jacket. There was another kid who took my skull and pretended to use it as a bowling ball. I was overall more pleased this year compared to last year’s lackluster effort. Here’s to next year being over the top (although I don't expect it)!

Stay tuned next week for another update!

En français:
Je suis allé à une fête d’Halloween. Aichi JETs l’ont organisé et il était très bon. Quand j’ai attendu pour le train, des personnes me posent pour une photo. J’ai vu que les autres personnes m’ont regardé. J’étais comme une célébrité. Il était intéressant, mais quand j’étais dans le train, il y avait une fille. Je n’ai pas voulu elle effrayer. J’ai caché le crâne. Il était bon qu’elle ne l’a pas vu.

今週の聖書の詩: “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
- Luke 11:13 (NIV)

This verse really spoke to me. It’s amazing how all we need to do is open our hearts and be filled with the Holy Spirit. This isn’t about the spiritual high people may get from worship service or fellowshipping. It’s about something infinitely greater.

今週の写真: Considering Halloween just passed, it’s only fitting to include some pictures from Halloween. 1) A student in a costume. I have another picture with a bunch of other students wearing costumes, but some of their faces are not covered. So, I don’t think I can post it; 2) AJET Halloween party; 3) I’m the headless skeleton. Unfortunately with the flash, you can see me. Most people can’t actually see me through the shirt unless under the right circumstances.



2008年10月26日

今週の漢字: 無事

Safe:
How perfect a word for what I want to talk about this week! Again, this kanji comes from playing Dragon Quest IV. Students have been amazed when they see my DS and really nice DS pen on my desk. I play in school sometimes during my downtime when the kiddies are in class. Anyway, my actual time in Tokyo during the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) weekend was great.

The beginning wasn't so good, but it was certainly interesting. I wanted to book a night bus to Tokyo, which would have been perfect. I started searching about three weeks before the trip. The bus starts in Nagoya and stops in Toyota (home to the car company) and Toyohashi. Out of the five other people I needed to book for, two live near Nagoya, two in Toyota, and the fifth person in Toyohashi. As for me, I live close to Toyohashi. Unfortunately, the night bus was already booked. The funny thing was that only the day that I needed was fully booked. My friends and I joked around that everyone who reserved the bus must also be heading to TGS. Most of us purchased the night train tickets, which is called the moonlight nagara. We heard stories about how “ghetto” it is. Oh my… it was definitely interesting. It felt like we were in the tropics with the bright lights shining down on us, ridiculous humidity, and hot temperature. What was just as bad was that the ticket agent gave us the wrong tickets. As it was the night train departing after midnight from Toyohashi, the technical date was October 11 (Saturday). We had tickets for the 10th, but the ticket agent said that the tickets were for arriving on Saturday morning. It wouldn’t have been so bad if they were non-reserved seats, but we paid more for reserved seats. A train agent moved us to some other part of the train and kicked some people out of their seats in the non-reserved section. We felt bad, but it all happened so fast. The train ride there was by far the worst part of the trip.

I booked us for a hostel in Tokyo called “Khaosan Tokyo Ninja.” The reviews were good, and I was intrigued by the name. We were all happy with it, and I think I’ll go back there whenever I go to Tokyo again with friends. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind staying in hostels. Best of all, it seems very safe. I actually stayed in that area in February, but it wasn’t in a hostel. The area might not be the best in Tokyo, but the hostel itself felt very safe. Each guest has a comfortable bed space that can be locked. It’s sort of like a wooden capsule, but it’s even cheaper than most capsule hotels. It’s not good for someone with large suitcases, but it’s perfect for someone with something like a duffel bag. The bathroom and showers were clean. Each bed space also has two outlets, and the hostel has free wireless internet. You can see pictures below.

Stay tuned next week for another update!

En français:
Nous sommes contents d’être otaku. Nous sommes allés à Akihabara (Akiba). Je pense qu’il n’est pas spécial parce qu’il y a Animate dans Toyohashi. J’y vais quelquefois. J’ai une carte d’Animate. Quand j’achète des choses, j’obtiens des pointes sur ma carte. Je n’achète pas beaucoup parce que je ne veux pas trop des choses du dessin animé dans mon appartement.

今週の聖書の詩: “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
- Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)

今週の写真: Part 2 of Tokyo Game Show 2008 and pictures of Khaosan Tokyo Ninja











com
2008年10月19日

今週の漢字: 返事

Reply:
Do you want to go to the Tokyo Game Show held at Makuhari Messe, a huge convention center just outside of Tokyo?! OF COURSE! Is that the only reason why this week’s kanji is “reply”? No, I’ll explain about it later on.

Last week was awesome. It was loads of fun. Some of you know, but last year, I went to the Tokyo Game Show with two of my friends. More people went this year with me, and I hope there’ll be more next year. MWAHAHAHAHA! Anyway, I’ll try not to let the gamer in me come out in full force, not that I am the most avid gamer out there. I am far from being such a dedicated gamer. I used to be more hardcore, but ever since I went to University of Miami, my gaming habits were not as extreme. I had my short bursts of gaming, but there were months between as breaks. In Japan, my bursts have been fewer and futher apart. Well, I don’t think so anymore. My gaming side has been reinvigorated by all the exciting games and displays that were at the convention. I know not everyone is into games, so for the rest of this blog instead of writing every little detail about the convention, I’ll talk about the games I played or the trailers I watched in a nice list.

Biohazard 5 (a.k.a. Resident Evil 5) – AMAZING! I love horror stuff. Although I haven’t played all of the RE games, I am excited to get my hands on RE5. After playing a demo of the game and watching the trailer, which was incredibly cinematic, I want to get a PlayStation 3. Why not get the Xbox 360 instead? Well, I want to play Final Fantasy Versus XIII when that comes out, which is exclusively for PS3. Another reason is because it would double as a blu-ray player.

Street Fighter IV – Lots of fun! It looks gorgeous and plays well. The SF4 area was well organized. There were four rows that allowed for 4 players. However, you fight against the player opposite you. If you win, you get to play against the next person on line. After five wins, you can get a really nice Street Fighter IV cap. Without a doubt, Capcom impressed me the most this year (Square-Enix takes the cake for last year).

Silent Hill: Homecoming – Creepy! It was very interesting. I haven’t played any of the past Silent Hill games, but I decided just to give it a try. The controls weren’t the most comfortable, but it wasn’t bad either. The part of the game I played didn’t really call for much action. I was running around trying to figure out what to do, while hearing babies crying and seeing lots of dead bodies.

Naruto something something (for the Wii) – I don’t remember the name at all. It was entertaining, but certainly not a game I’d buy. The gameplay is a tad awkward.

Cooking Mama 2 – Entertaining! This is another game I wouldn’t buy, but it’s fun to play for a couple of hours with friends. I just loved the expressions in the game. I can see the game selling very well.

Little Big Planet – Looks nice! I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about in the gaming world. It’s not the game for me, but it’ll sell well for sure. It’s fun to customize your own sackboy.

Dragon Quest IX – WOW! I want it! I want it now! I can’t believe it’s coming out on the DS instead of any of the next gen systems. There wasn’t a demo available, but the trailer was exciting. As a friend says, “Like everyone in Japan has a DS, Square-Enix will make a ton of money.”

After returning from Tokyo, I’ve been playing Zelda for the Wii. I’ve also been playing Dragon Quest IV in Japanese for the DS. As I play, I jot down some kanji that seems rather important in the game and try to learn them. Hence, the kanji I chose for this week. The reason is as simple as that. Next time, I will focus on my time in Tokyo. Stay tuned next week for another update!

En français:
L’année derniere, j’ai regardé beaucoup des videos à Tokyo Game Show. J’ai joué Naruto et Dragon Quest IV. Tokyo Game Show 2007 était plus de passionnant que cette année parce qu’il était mon premier. J’ai ramassé beaucoup des brochures l’année derniere, mais j’ai joué plus cette année.

今週の聖書の詩: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.”
- Titus 3:1-2 (NIV)

今週の写真: Part 1 of Tokyo Game Show 2008








2008年10月15日

今週の漢字: 自転車

Bicycle:
This weekend’s post will be focused on the Tokyo Game Show. As for this post, I want to write about my biking experiences. As some of you know, I learned how to ride a bike only a month before leaving for the JET Program last year. I wasn’t actually comfortable enough to deal with Japan’s streets. Those of you who have read all my posts know of my biking woes in Japan.

When I first came, biking to the school was a struggle. I rode on the main roads, and the cars scared me as they passed me nearly hitting me. I suppose I was thinking too much about it too, which caused me to have close calls of falling onto the cars. There’s also a sharp narrow turn to a street close to my apartment. It’s right after the train tracks, so when I turn, it’s a slight downward slope. Last year I crashed into a pole by that street a few times. Every time I crashed, I would stop and act as if something was wrong with my bike. In fact, nothing was wrong. I was just too embarrassed to get back on my bike and ride on.

Anyway, I have found some back roads to school that are much more suitable for bike riding. As I walked to school, I noticed some kids coming out of certain small streets. It didn’t seem to make sense, but I had to keep in mind how the design origin of roads in most of Japan is indiscernible. When I knew traffic wouldn’t be so congested, I took to the streets on bike and tried different ways to the school. I’m happy to have found a few routes. Since then, I’ve been basically biking to school. As the saying goes, “It’s better late than never.”

Stay tuned this weekend for another update!

En français:
Je regarde les étudiants quelque fois quand ils vont à vélo. Il est incroyable quand ils traversent une rue sans de regarder s’il y a une voiture. Il est étonnant quand une personne va à vélo pendant qu’il tient un parapluie. C’est très dangereux!

今週の聖書の詩: “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
- 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)

今週の写真: Some pictures from the Culture Festival





2008年10月6日

今週の漢字: 嬉しい

Happy:
Everything is going well. I’ve placed aside my worries and fears. Well, those worries basically were about self-validation: “What do others think of me?” As an actor, I always think about it, but I have been practicing to stop thinking such thoughts. My acting has gotten back on par, because I have freed myself from the binds of my own instability.

I am reminded of so much from my NYU days when I went through the rigorous acting training. I need to live for the moment, and I need to keep my focus on my goals and ambitions. When I directed it more toward what other people think of me, I started trying to please them. Similarly as an actor, I should not be acting for the audience but for my character, to stay true and honest to myself. There are moments every once in a while when I seek that self-validation. I think I went through it in the past five months.

You may be thinking, “Of course you shouldn’t care about what other people think,” but you know what? It’s so much easier said than done. Haven't you ever been concerned about what others think of you? I’m pretty sure you must have at least a few times. Well, I hope you find a way to throw that away and just let you be you.

I won't be posting around my usual time next week. I’ll be going to Tokyo for this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Do you remember my post about it last year? Stay tuned some time next week for another update!

En français:
Je deteste quand quelque personne me dit: «Pensez pas au sujet des choses que les personnes disent!» Est-ce qu’ils pensent que c’est un bon conseil? Il est ridicule. Je n’aime pas quand les personnes me commandent et ils pensent qu’ils me donnent quelque conseil. Pourquoi est-ce qu’il y a beaucoup de personnes qui sont très insensibles?

今週の聖書の詩: “From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church. When they arrived, he said to them: ‘You know how I lived the whole time I was with you, from the first day I came into the province of Asia. I served the Lord with great humility and with tears.’”
- Acts 17-19a (NIV)

What are you an example of? It’s great to just be yourself in every situation and every environment!

今週の写真: Yay for culture festivals! I just wish that next year more students wouldn’t resort to selling juice. I think I had at least 8 cups of different flavors of juice this year. So instead of a picture this week, here’s a video of the taiko drums special performance. It was amazing. One of the teachers is a member of the group. I was pleasantly surprised to find this out about her.

video

2008年9月28日

今週の漢字: 変わる

Change:
I recently looked back all the way to elementary school. This isn’t something new. I think about the past once in a while. What got me thinking about it this time was how much I have changed. In one of my classes, we taught some English sayings, and one particular saying reminded me of my own beliefs: “A leopard can’t change its spots.” Since middle school, I have believed that people can’t change much. I still mostly believe in it, but I have modified it a bit.

I don’t think people can completely change unless there’s some extreme push. Without such a force, people change slightly as their environment changes. I think everyone moves together, so a relation between two people would be different from one point to another.

I am still myself and what defines me hasn’t changed too much. However, I have noticed some differences compared to who I was as a high school student. It wasn’t even that long ago, but there are things that have developed more or things that I do now I wouldn’t have done then. I find myself taking more leadership roles these days. I wouldn’t have readily chosen to undertake the amount of responsibility that I do now like what I choose to tackle at Mito HS or the production I started up on my own.

My attraction toward dark topics has developed fully now also. I have embraced my love for it. I had this pull since elementary school, but I never totally gone into the dark side. I tended to mix dark with whimsy even in high school, which I know is an odd combination. Surprisingly, sometimes it worked, but most times it exploded in my face. I have retained a whimsical sense, but I know when it’s best to separate the two polar opposites.

What about you? How have you developed during the past 10 years? I think it’s always good to reflect on your own identity every once in a while. Stay tuned next week for another update!

En français:
Quand j’étais dans le lycée, je ne finissais jamais mes devoirs en avance. J’attendrais jusqu’à le jour avant de la dernière limite. Je m’appelais le roi de temporisation. Pourtant, je finis mon travail rapidement maintenant. Je pense que c’est une grande difference.

今週の聖書の詩: “We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”
- 1 Corinthians 2:6 (NIV)

今週の写真: This will be the last week for pictures from my sisters’ visit to Japan – Osaka






2008年9月22日

今週の漢字: 性格

Personality:
Last year I didn’t really show my true self except for a few friends with whom I have most in common. I am allowing my true personality to shine this year. I am no longer holding back. Why would I hold back in the first place? I knew you might be thinking that. I like to talk a lot, and there are a few topics I like to focus on. Unfortunately, there are many others who don’t have much in common with me. Plus, there are certain types of people I don’t want to associate with. For example, I tend to disassociate myself from arrogant people and big party people. Then, there are people with whom it’s always a struggle to find a fitting topic. I think these really limit it to a few handfuls with whom I can bond well.

I used to feel bad when I talked to teachers for more than about five minutes, because I felt like I was always bothering them. I’m just going all out these days. I speak whenever and however long I want. Of course, I am not just blabbing away 24/7. I do have manners, you know (I hope you do know). It has definitely changed the relationship with teachers. At least for me, it’s getting to be a more comfortable atmosphere. I suppose this being my second year helps too.

I am also more open this year with expressing my likes and dislikes. I suppose it has always been clear with my choice of anime, video game, or Disney pictures that I use on my worksheets, but I am actually talking more about them now. I speak mainly whatever is on my mind, and I am not worrying over trivial matters like I did last year.

Stay tuned next week for another update!

En français:
La semaine dernière, j’ai oublié écrire le français. Alors, j’écrirai plus de français cette semaine. Il est très difficile pour rencontrer avec quelque personnes qui sont mon âge. Où vont-ils? Je ne sais pas! S’ils vont aux bars seulement, je ne pourrais jamais leur rencontrer. Je pense qu’ils travaillent dans les grandes villes de Japon. C’est malheureux parce que je veux leur parler en japonais. S’ils aiment les memes choses aussi, il serais super!

今週の聖書の詩: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
- Romans 12:9-11 (NIV)

今週の写真: My sisters and I at Himeji Castle