I may have mentioned previously, but I am not drinking alcohol this month. Just wanted to take a break.
I would have thought that would immediately kill my social life, but as you've seen from prior entries, I have been having a great time.
Last weekend I went back to Miyajima to camp on the same beach as before, but this time with my touch rugby team and we rented out a sweet cabin! The night I got there we jumped in the ocean and this specific beach has amazing blue bioluminescent plankton that only light up when disturbed. That means every time you wave your arm or leg through the water, little particles of glow-stick blue light up all around you, starting from your skin and sending a chain reaction out to the plankton around them. This has the effect of making you feel like a wizard. For the nerdier crowd, it is a lot like the kiss scene in the water from Final Fantasy 10, but I guess more people would understand if I said "It's like the planet/moon from Avatar."Of course, I was in the water the whole time so I don't have any pictures. Oh well, I got to live it and that was one of the best experiences of my life that I didn't even know I had been missing out on!
Back at work, I had to translate 4 pages of English into Japanese. Normally all of my translations are Japanese to English. This is easy because it is all about reading, comprehending, and repeating in my native language. But English to Japanese is much harder because, as we know from speaking our native tongue, there are a hundred ways to say the same thing, but in a foreign language, it is much harder to think of all those different ways, understand their meaning and context, and choose the most appropriate way. For example (this translation was about training teachers), "training" could be said as 訓練 (kunren), 育成 (ikusei), or 養成 (yousei), and by the end of 4 pages I had used each of them a hundred times. Luckily, mine was only the rough-draft portion so a native speaker then went over my chicken scratch and made it pretty.
Last night I mailed in the first of my 6 book correspondence course on teaching Japanese. Luckily I only had to mail in the five key problems from the lessons, because the book contained a month worth of work, but since I was so busy with my job, the first package sat un-opened on my desk until two weeks ago. I did plow through it all though and now I have a full month to properly take care of book 2. Between the course work and the Japanese translation at work, I have been writing (by hand) in Japanese much MUCH more than usual, and sure enough the more I do, the faster and better I get at writing kanji, such as the Chinese characters making up the three Japanese words in the previous paragraph. You would think that living here, typing and reading them constantly would make them easy to write, right? NOPE! At least, not for me! Reading kanji is easy after you've seen the character a few times, but writing a kanji that has more than 4 or 5 strokes in it is impossible for me unless I've looked it up and written it several times recently.
That's about it for now. Boring entry I guess. This weekend I am going to take it easy and next week I will be fleshing out my horror film script I mentioned before for the short-film festival.
love, peace, and chicken grease,