The bloggings of an Upstate NY-born Tokyoite. Now with 20% more verbosity!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Official Hiatus

if you didn't see it coming already! Sorry to those who follow the blog regularly or were hope to see me reeling off the 'ole yarn of tangents for a few paragraphs. To fill the time gap, let me briefly state the last few months: sweat, hokkaido, more sweat, pased JLPT2 with an 80% (nearly 20% improved from last December), sweat again, finally it's feeling like Fall.

Lately my writing fuel has been going into poetry - I've got two readings this month, which I'm both very nervous and excited about. On top of that, work school and prepping for the JLPT level 1 are all quite time-consuming. Then of course there's my new left hand - I mean iPhone 4. Oh how it glistens. I used it to read H.G. Well's Time Machine, I play a scrabble clone with friends abroad as well as ex-pat locals, and I get near-hd streams of NFL games among other things (also getting big into NFL again this year... go Bills? :(). I'm enjoying being nerdy and on the techno-band wagon. Also been reading a lot as well, this "The Best American Non-required Reading" book Nick gave me is pure genius. I stuck a fork in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" around 800 pages in, its repetitive nature and lack of an exciting plot just got to me. Maybe I'll finish it, some day, but there are better things to read.

Exciting things on the horizon:

-Going to Thailand this Christmas. Going it alone. It's going to be a growing trip, for sure, assuming I come back with both kidneys intact. (j/kj/k, Mom, don't make that face)
-F.I.D. (my band) is doing something big, it's outside of Japan, and it's in January of next year, but I can't give details until everything is confirmed!!
-Several F.I.D. shows in Tokyo which are always fun
-Summer next year is the deadline for my studying Japanese formally at a "fulltime" rate - currently doing 200+ flashcards a day, 10 new words everyday, plus grammar workbooks reading activities and my two classes a week. I'll take the JLPT1 in December, and when I fail it (which I will, this is a benchmark kind of thing) I'll go for the gold in July of next year. But that's it. Because a year from now, fall of 2011, I will 100% definitely be enrolled in Grad School. The plan is to do on-line courses and score a Masters in TESL, while still continuing my current job, band, and lifestyle. Japanese classes will most likely come to an end, so I'll make the most of the next year to become a master of the Japanese language, or as close to a good imitation of one as I can manage.

One more thing. Your or I or both of us may wonder why I've put so much time and energy into the Japanese language (over 4 years now) - what's my goal? The truth is I still don't know. Translation looks interesting but very tough, and the gigs I've seen that I'd be eligible for next year with the right qualifications are 40-hour 9-5 office-type jobs (with an inevitable helping of overtime, probably unpaid if it's a Japanese company). I don't know if I'm cut out for cubicles, or the arguably worse Japanese equivalent, long, narrow community-desks. Shudder. I like teaching, so I might just stick with this kind of work, in one incarnation or another, for the long haul. But for every day I stay here, I wonder if I'll ever be able to make the plunge again, to start anew and submerge myself in a different international city, to learn about the language and the people while teaching English for bread, housing and booze. Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Bangkok, who knows. There's so much out there in Southeast Asia that has little to do with Japan or it's culture, and I want to experience that too.

OK, that's the last of the report - and I'll be damned, tangential it did become. I think a break is good and spirits willing you'll see a new, re-energized "Escape From New York" in 2011. All the best my fellow netizens!


Oni said...

i'm going to grad school for TESOL at hunter this spring semester :) stops copy me!!

Benjamin L. Belcher said...

I thought this response would be about Ayn Rand lol. Go for it Oni!!