Monday, April 18, 2011


What I've learned so far...

you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for the rest of your life.

it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.

you should always leave loved ones with loving goodbyes. It may be the last time you see them.

you can keep going long after you think you can't.

 we are responsible for what we do and say, no matter how we feel.

either you control your attitude or it controls you.

heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of consequences(I'm looking at you, Fukushima power plant workers).

sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how many birthdays you've celebrated.

no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world doesn't stop for your grief.

our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.

you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.

two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. Perspective is a personal and an amazing thing.

even when you think you have no more to give, when someone you care about cries out to you, you will help.

credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.

the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

love really can change everything.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Self-teaching myself a new language.

Alright, so I really have to come clean right now. I've been living in Japan for a little over a year. I still only speak limited Japanese and can't read it. Correction, I can now read 20 of the basic hiragana characters. I don't know why. I feel like I've basically let myself down while living here so far.

I got all 3 levels of Rosetta Stone six months before moving to Japan. Yep, I've had it since September of 2009. Can we say wtf am I doing not speaking Japanese then? But in my defense, there were some problems with the tracking file in the program, so it would always make me repeat lessons I had already completed and wasn't tracking how far I'd gotten in the lessons at all. After a few frustrating phone calls to the Rosetta Stone customer service line, they reset the pin for the program. So basically. Uninstall, reinstall. Luckily for me, I didn't have to do any uninstalling since I was just going to put the reset program on my new macbook. Um....anyways. I just did that. Installed it on the mac. Like, two days ago. I've had this computer for, oh.....6 months. Haha. 6 months seems to be the trend in this story. But sadly, no. The whole one year thing is the trend. One year living in a foreign country, surrounded by it daily, and I'm still not speaking it.

Oh, a little off-topic rant. I've always hated when people in the US declare "Learn English or get out" or "I shouldn't have to press one for English, this is America!" Well, you know what. You all can suck it with that attitude. It's difficult living in a foreign country and not knowing the language. But you know what....I'm a foreigner in Japan. And maybe some of them feel that way, but to my face everyone is extremely accommodating for me, since I don't speak Japanese. I hope all of you that say that never, ever go on vacation or live abroad anywhere unless you are completely fluent in the language. But wait, even if you do, they should speak English for you, right? Because it's the universal language? Ha! Until you've lived it, you have no idea how frustrating, difficult, and embarrassing it can be when you don't know how to say something that you need/want to. I'm actually loathing going back to the states because of the rude attitudes everyone has in America. Seriously. Hate me if you must. But it's true. I'm going to have culture-shock upon returning because I'm not going to be used to everyone being such self-involved, unaccommodating twats all the time. (No, I know this doesn't apply to everyone in the US. But compared to here....a lot of people seem mean and self-absorbed.) Oh, and P.S. Unless you're Native American, someone along the line in your family was a foreigner in America, too. Just a heads up. *Steps down from the soapbox*

Phew! Sorry about that. Anyways. My mom got me these amazing self-teaching workbooks for hiragana and katakana for Christmas. I cracked one of them maybe twice before, but it was a half-hearted attempt. Well, I'm diving in head first. I've already learned and memorized 20 basic hiragana. From there I'll move to the basic 46. And then the derivatives of those. From there I'll move to Katakana characters. And then Kanji. And so forth. While also doing speaking lessons, so I can read, write and speak it. My goal is to pass the JLPT 2....sometime within the next couple years. It's going to be hard work. But I want it. Why? Because then I can work internationally. I could translate for people. I would be certified bilingual. Yes, there is a JLPT 1 test. Yes, I would love to pass it. I've heard it's extremely difficult. If I can pass 2, I'll be happy. And probably at least try to pass one then. By the way, there are 5 levels of the JLPT. Gotta start from the bottom at 5. I'm making it a priority to study everyday, at least for a little bit. You can't learn a new language without really putting in some effort, especially a difficult one like Japanese. But I want to speak it. I want to be able to write it, read it, type it....everything. And hopefully it will be beneficial to me in my life.

So....that's the news. Teaching myself Japanese. I'll try to update as I progress. Maybe even in Japanese? :]