Archive for February, 2009

JLPT Level 2

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

In December, I took the Level 2 JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), the government-sponsored test for Japanese proficiency. I finally got my results today, and despite all my doubts, I defeated the odds and by some crazy random happenstance, I passed! Woo


To quote the inside of the result form, “Level 2: The examinee has mastered grammar to a relatively high level, knows around 1,000 Kanji and 6,000 words, and has the ability to converse, read, and write about matters of a general nature. This level is normally reached after studying Japanese for around 600 hours and after completion of an intermediate course.” So I passed — even though I don’t actually know that many kanji. It would be nice if I did, though.

I guess this means that I’ll be taking the Level 1 JLPT (which requires 900 hours of study), in July. If I pass that one, I don’t know what I’ll do with myself. I mean, I don’t even know right now.

It’s my birthday!

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

So, woo! I’m officially 22 years old. Well, I guess it depends on how you cut it… technically I wasn’t born for another hour and a half yet, but I figured I’d post this while it’s still the 15th for both me AND America.

I didn’t really do anything today… we went out to eat okonomiyaki (if you don’t know what it is, check out the previous blog post about it), and the owners of the place gave me two apples. It’s a different place than the one we went to the first time that we’ve been frequenting recently. It’s tiny… it has enough seating for about 10 people, and the family that runs it is really nice.

Other than that, though, today was pretty uneventful, unfortunately. Oh well, normally I’m in school on my birthday. :P

Anyway, thanks to everybody for your birthday wishes! I wish I was there for my birthday, but I’m halfway done! So far, it’s been a lot of fun over here, and I’m sure the second half will be too, but I miss you all and can’t wait to see you again! :)

Kasahara Elementary English-Language Event

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Well time is certainly flying by. I have just under two weeks until I leave for Asuke – a town about two hours away – for a homestay and “cultural experience” trip. That trip just about perfectly marks the halfway point of my stay here in Japan, so suffice it to say that I’ve been having some mixed feelings – you know, basic half empty/half full stuff. It’s nothing too big, though, so don’t worry too much. ;)

In any case, I’ve started the work that I have to do for the trip – quite a bit of reading and three short papers. Starting on the 15th, I have to start keeping a daily journal of my thoughts regarding the trip – or something like that, anyway. So maybe I’ll share those entries with you all as well. :)

Okay, now that I’ve sidetracked myself for long enough, it’s time to get down to actual business. This past Tuesday, I went to the elementary school in Kasahara, a town in Tajimi City, which neighbors Kasugai City, in which I live. You may remember the name (though you probably don’t) from back in November, when I went to a similar “English-Language Event” at the junior high school in Kasahara, and did a homestay afterward. Ring a bell? Well, this time it was the elementary school, and there was no homestay, but it was still a lot of fun.

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I can break things from halfway across the world! [FIXED]

Thursday, February 5th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Just a warning… this isn’t really about Japan. It’s a bit of a departure from the norm, but it is about me, so I’m sure you’ll all still care, right? (I won’t feel bad if you don’t… I’m just using this as a scratching post for the moment) :)

So as you may or may not know, from my computer here I am able to connect to and manipulate my computer back at home to do whatever I want. I can see the screen, take control of the mouse… all just like I was sitting right in front of it. It’s a little bit slow, because the connection between here and there isn’t so great, but it works.

Anyway, about ten minutes ago, I was doing just that, freeing up some space on my hard drive back in the States, and I had just finished things up and was about to close everything down and put it back to normal when I broke the internet at my house.

Yes, from halfway across the world, I broke the internet at my house. All I was trying to do was do a tiny little change in configuration, and it ended up locking me out entirely. I’m willing to bet that back at my house, the internet doesn’t work at all right now. Yay! So when you’re finally able to read this, dear mother, know that I am very sorry.

If I were at the house this would be a rather simple thing to fix. All I need to do is reboot the server that controls our network… but since I can’t connect to it over the internet, I’m unable to actually do that. I assure you, it is immensely frustrating to know exactly how to fix something, but be entirely unable to actually do it because of such a trivial little thing. It’s like locking up your house, going to your car, and realizing you’d forgotten something inside. So you turn around, walk back up, but trip and accidentally drop your only key down into the sewer drain. Frustrating. All you need is for someone else to unlock the door, but unfortunately, nobody is home right now.

And, well, at the moment it’s 3am (give or take) in the States, so it’s not like I can make a phone call and have someone restart the server for me.


Anyway, that’s pretty much it. Pretty trivial, right? But I feel better now that I’ve complained about it. Sorry!

But thanks for listening. :)

UPDATE: I was just able to walk my mother through rebooting the server over the phone, so everything is fixed now! Yay!

Upgrading [DONE]

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments

I’m upgrading my blog to the new version of the software I use to manage it (WordPress), so it may be down for a short period of time. Sorry!

Update: All done. It seems there were no problems, so we’re all good to go again! :)

Tokyo, Comic Market, and New Years – Day 5: Sightseeing the right way and the wrong way

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Well I figured that since I missed a day before, I might as well just make it look like I was doing it on purpose by making a pattern out of it. I assure you that I didn’t just forget about it after having a long day spent at an elementary school in the next town over, being harassed by tons of small children at an “English-language event” they were holding. I also assure you that today, I didn’t hear how tall I was a million times, and I didn’t just realize exactly how tall young children perceive adults to be, especially when said children are about half the size of children of equal age in the United States.

So now that we’re clear on what did and didn’t actually happen (though I was becoming a bit unsure of it myself as I wrote that last bit), we’ve finally arrived at the tale of my last day in Tokyo. I’m sorry if I built it up too much, because it was really rather boring. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was a lot of fun at the time, but in retrospect, it was a lot of browsing through random stores, window shopping, and other similarly (fun at the time but boring in the retelling)-type stories (yes, that’s meant to be one word). So instead of just getting straight to the [not so] juicy part, I’m going to tell about just what I learned about sightseeing. To ruin a good (not really) story, good sightseeing is all about having a plan. Which of course we didn’t.

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Tokyo, Comic Market, and New Years – Day 4: Did you say “Maid” Café?

Monday, February 2nd, 2009 | Uncategorized | No Comments

Well I just woke up and I realized that I forgot to write a post yesterday, so I have officially ruined my streak of writing about Tokyo every day until I’m done. That is pretty lame. Oh well, I only have two more posts now, including this one.

So it was finally the last day of Comic Market, and like the first day, I went to it not really wanting anything, and not really getting anything either. I had pretty much bought everything I wanted on day 2 of the convention, which is good, because I certainly spent enough doing it.

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