Thursday, September 29, 2005

I did it!

Last night I managed to finish book five of Harry Potter (fushicho no kishidan). As ther is sadly no Japanese translation of the sixth one yet, I have nothing left but to read it in English. Dave CC has kindly lent me his copy, and it is within reason that I could be finished tomorrow before the Tachibana festival. Reading in English is about three times faster than reading in Japanese.

Now that I am about 180 pages through the sixth, I'm not sure which language I prefer. I liked Snape and Dumbledore WAY better in Japanese because of how they talk, but I laugh more at the English. One of the benefits of the Japanese is that reading slow gave me more time to use my imagination, and the characters now feel a little bit more flat as I read in English. Less stopping and thinking about everything they say and just how they would be saying it, I guess.

Reading the Japanese was definitely a rewarding experience, and if I ever had doubts about whether a translation could be as good as the origional, they have been quashed. Languages being different, each language version will be different from the origional in one way or another, but they can have their own personality if the target language is used well enough. Again, very pleased with the Japanese translations. Makes me wonder about trying it in French some day, if I ever get my level up.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Successively Goodness.

I suppose I had better type something now before it is too late. I had an amazing weekend. Last friday promised to be a miserable miserable day, filled with paperwork and frustration. It had been a frustrating week before that, trying to work out stuff with the car. I needed to have the car in hand and own it by this past tuesday morning. The reason for that is this weekend I am going to Mt. Fuji and the car inspection (shaken) is due the following monday, when we have the English speech competition. But this week I had Tuesday and Wednesday off due to Culure festival (bunkasai) and Sports Day (undokai) being on the preceeding saturday and sunday. But I couldn't get the car before that Saturday because the person I was getting it had the bunkasai and undokai at her school that week, and a lot of running around to do that following friday.

So I sorted out that all i needed was a piece of paper, the Proof of Automobile Inspection (jidoSHA KENsa shomeiSHO, or "shaken sho") which it is unfortunately illegal to drive without. However a week ago Tuesday we worked it out that she could just drive with a photocopy of it, and if for any reason the cops pulled her over, she could just say that it was being processed. But neither of us had any way to meet up with the other (she lives an hour and a half by car from me, in Naruto) as she was super busy, and I had no car. What we did was this: she gave the shakensho to Brian, the ALT who works at Naruto High School. Brian gave the shakenshomei to his wife, Christine, who works at Tokushima Kita Super English High School, which is within walking distance of the place I needed to process the forms at.

On that friday, she had window between 11:30ish and 1:30ish in which I could drop by and pick it up from her.
So stress mostly resolved.

On friday my task was nonetheless not quite simple. I had filed for the proof of parking space in Komatsushima city, an hour bus ride away, and had to get that first. The bus ride was fun because a bunch of my former students were on it going to high schools, and we chatted. Got the parking space proof. Then I had a five minute window to run back and catch the next bus to get into the city to go to the dealership which still technically owned the car to get paperwork and sort out insurance. Missed the bus, was delayed 40 minutes. Feelings of frustration ensued, but were pushed away using my ipod. Handy. Got to the dealership by like 10, having checked train times on the way. Got the paperwork for the car right away, insurance took nearly two hours. But I made it to the school just as their lunch break was starting at 12:50. Nice. Chatted with some students, and it made my day. There are some really cool students there, one of whom was a former one of mine. ^__^

The office stuff itself wasn't so bad. They were very helpful. The proof of parking space had cost ¥2500, but the changing the name on the shakenshomeisho (which makes the car mine) only cost me like ¥550 and an hour or two's time.

I had all the time in the world to kill (well, from 3 until 6pm) before I had to catch my bus, so I met up with my friend Derek who was in the middle of a move to Wakayama (right near Osaka where his girlfriend lives) and he told me that he had written a proposal song. Cool. Little did I know that meant he would be proposing to her a mere two days later! She said Yes! Congrats Derek and Emi! Anyway, we went to Big Bros sandwich shop and had a good time chilling out and chatting. Then as we were waiting for my bus, ANOTHER former student showed up, too. And then all the same kids were on the same bus again! It was a fun ride back. It felt kinda like a good start to my last year here.

Inevitably, chatting to students makes my day.

The next day was our Culture festival, and I have written about what those are like before. Plays in the morning, class plays, club performances, etc. The highlight of the morning was the third years doing a traditional lively dance called a souranbushi. It was super cool. More former students came to the school to enjoy the festivities etc. Midday was food shops and game stalls around the school. Late afternoon was songs and gameshow style events. I was a sihouette in the "who's that silhouette" style of game, but my hair made me a dead giveaway. Boo. Ah well.

Sunday was the undokai (sports day) and we went to the elementary again for that. It was easily the best weather we have had for it in the three autumns I have been here, and I tanned really dark that day, for the first time all summer (only a little burnt on my nose). The third years performed their "kamikatsu soran" again and it was equally cool. One student, the frontsman, Kouhei Uehara, established himself as the coolest kid in school with his performance. In the team cheers stage after lunch, the white team came out all in skirts. That means that at least half the boys in the school were wearing skirts. It was really funny.

Incidentally, white team took the trophy at the end of the day, but it was oh so close this year. The teams were neck-and-neck right up to the end.

Monday I came to school briefly to get the next half of the Harry Potter book, read some, and then took the bus into town to crash at my friend Dan Trenowden's place, as he lives really close to the dealership where the car would be awating me the next morning.

Tuesday, I got the car bright and early at 8:30am and drove to the Unyu Jimusho again, this time to get the shaken renewed. This is something I knew could take up to two full days. However, three hours, a little bit of confusion, and ¥65,000 later it was done. It was made easy by the fact that the previous driver was docile and took really good care of it, and it needed absolutely no adjustments, nor replacements, nor repairs, nor anything that could have made me go to a garage. So I was done in time to go find some lunch, a full body mirror, and make my way to tokushima kita high school again, this time to enjoy lunch with some of the students. Nice. Swung up to chat with Christine on my way out, stopped by Dan's place once more to pick up the Nintendo64 he was giving me, and as I was there I bumped into Dave CC, who kindly lent me the sixth harry potter book. On the last leg home I also found the Zelda: Ocarina of Time game for only ¥880, a game which I have never played.

Yesterday I actually cleaned my apartment up and so forth, played some n64, read harry potter in japanese.
Today I had only one spare, and I had to prep for my conversation class this evening. Tonight I teach, pack, sleep, and wake at like 5:30 to leave at 6 am to get to Brian and Christine's to go to Fuji with them and two others: Jenna and Julie.

Oh and I only have like 360 pages left in the harry potter #5 book! That means like 18 hours of reading, I figure. Who knows, I could be done when we get back from Fuji!

And now I have a car again!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

shinobi no matsuei

shinobi no matsuei, originally uploaded by irodoramatic burnorama.

Monday, September 12, 2005

New post in shibui---->

The link is in the title. I ended up typing more that I was going to, as is often the case with me. Chatterbox.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

more student journals

These are some entries from Kazuki Nakamura's summer journals. He handed it in today; better late than never. But he didn't date any of his work. >:(

kazuki's journal, originally uploaded by irodoramatic burnorama.


I went to secret place.
It was very cool.
I play in it place, Big snake find.
It was poison snake.
Because, killed.
It was very interesting


I didn't homeworks.
I did homeworks.
It was very many homeworks.
I studied math.
It was very tiead.
I went snake kill.
Because it is interesting.
I was four snakes kill.


many bee was my face.
I think die.
But no a sting.
It was very happy.
I studied math.
I had a good time.
But very Bud Bays.


I suspect that the "bud bays" is meant to be "bad day." there is also an illustration of the bees all over the face like sesame seeds on a burger bun...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I do like rain...

Well it looks like the rain is not going to stop until tomorrow night or the next day. Why? It's a taiphoon coming. The winds are still yet to be felt in Kamikatsu. It seems like we haven't had one all year. Not that Japan hasn't had any, there have been some, but they have generally missed Tokushima. They say that Tokushima needs three taiphoons before the year is out. Kagawa, to our north, has been having water problems like crazy; they have no rivers. It's been a very dry year. Even our rainy season was an empty rainy season. Thankfully, the taiphoon that is en route right now looks as though it will be striking all of Japan.

Beautiful Downpour

Suddenly at 8:20 last night it started raining. It's been so long since we had rain in Tokushima. The reservoir has been at zero for quite some time. The sound of the heavy rain on the trees is as refreshing as the aroma of the clean damp air.

At the time I was quietly sitting playing some old school snes games, having been put in the mood for some Chrono Trigger by reading 1984. Don't ask me how that works... it was the first time I had read it, and somehow I was in the mood for some good ol' time travel afterwards. Hearing the rain made me wish I was reading a book, but I had kind of exhausted myself off of books by that time. I was unable to go to church because the lack of a car means I couldn't get back before monday at like nine (or later!), and school for me starts at like eight. So between Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning I was able to finish the Harry Potter book and read all of 1984. I had no more book energy left when the rain came, sadly.

But it did make playing the game just that much more pleasant. ^__^

So now it's Monday and it's the first REAL day of school in my opinion. Last week Thursday was just cleaning the school, ceremonies, and bunkasai/undokai practice. Friday was beginning of term tests and more undokai practice. But today, today is when the classes actually start and I properly get to interact with the students again.

While I'm here I may as well comment on reading Harry Potter in Japanese.
As some may have noticed, when I watch an anime or read a manga in English, I often ask aloud, "I wonder what that says in the Japanese?" This time I found myself asking a lot "I wonder what that said in the English?" I did enjoy reading it in Japanese. It was still as much of a page turner. In fact, maybe moreso. After I read book four the first time (in English), I kinda felt like, whatever, I don't need to read these anymore. I had lost intrest.
But now I want to read book five.
My problem is this: if I want to borrow it from someone in English, I need to wait until Saturday. But if I want to read it in Japanese, I can get it from the library today. What to do? One of the things that made the Japanese easier was that I had once already formed many of the images in imagination on the previous reading two (or three?) years before. So when I was having to imagine these things again, it was probably more digging up the old mental image than it was creating a new one. Which meant I didn't have to stress over every little word. I knew the basic plot line and where things were going, so I could just enjoy the interactions in the Japanese. Which leaves me wondering if I could hack the fifth volume in Japanese. Maybe I should try to track down an English one, but start the Japanese anyway and see how it goes. Yeah.

One more thing, I will be starting the process of getting my new car today. I have to go to my local police office and get a proof of parking space issued. That will be step one. Then I need to gather some other paperwork, and somewhere in the moderately near future lies a long trip up to Kitajima again to get all the forms filled out. At the office in Kitajima, they will fill it out for me for ¥1500 (about $15). The person I am getting the car from doesn't technically own it, the place she bought it from does. They also offered to do all the paperwork for me at the low low cost of ¥20,000. Yeah, right. I guess I should begin looking into what to do for insurance. But the first step is to get the car.

At the moment the rain is continuing, and we have the doors of the office open. The soft sound of the rain on the trees makes for a lovely working and study atmosphere. I love living here in the countryside.