It's been a while! Well, a week or so since I last wrote anything, and even longer than that since I've written anything really meaty. This week, I've been spending my time seeing a lot of old friends and spending time with my girlfriend. I've also been studying/practicing Japanese, and putting quite a bit of time into Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. My best friend was right: "Let me warn you. Once you start, you can't put it down." IT'S SO TRUE! What a fantastic game. And I can even envision a potential sequal to this game, which would tie it into the rest of the MGS games that star Solid Snake; it would basically be a remake of Metal Gear (the very first game, on the MSX2 and NES).
Last weekend I saw Toy Story 3 with my girlfriend. AMAZING! Well, perhaps not "amazing," but definitely a good movie! It certainly belongs in the "good sequels" category. Speaking of movies, though..."The Last Airbender" comes out next week. Everything about the movie seems really cool...EXCEPT THE CASTING CALL! But anyway, I won't rant about that today. I just request that you don't support the movie.
I realized recently that I never made a post about *why* I'm going to Japan. So I'll say that now, while it's still June. Going to Japan was something I've always wanted to do, since I was a teenager. I never knew that study-abroad was possible as a high school student. Then, again, my high school wasn't really fortunate enough to have big exchange programs (we've had a few exchange students here and there, though), so I never really knew about the opportunities. Anyway, I went to college, and I studied Japanese. Quite a few; rather...a bunch of friends of mine studied abroad there during our junior year. I really wanted to. I did. But I knew it would set me back academically, so I was thinking that maybe I would just limit it to one semester. But in the end, I never went through with it because I didn't want to push med school back. Well...I pushed med school back anyway because I wasn't (and still am not) 100% sure that that's what's right for me. So anyway! I worked at a hospital for a couple years and was trying to figure out what I should do next. After having met my girlfriend, and talking to other friends about it, I decided that I should try to go to Japan again! I had heard about various ways to get there, but teaching English seemed like the best thing. Plus, it would give me teaching experience and allow me to decide if being a professor and teaching classes is something I wanted to do. Long story short, I applied to the JET Programme, and here I am! Keep in mind that I also looked into other private companies, such as Altia Central or AEONet, but luckily, I got accepted as a JET ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) and didn't have to continue with other application processes.
I got a package in the mail today; it's a copy of a documentary I helped my friend make! It's a documentary about me as a martial artist. It was her class project, and she ended up submitting it to a local film festival! I hear the audience responded positively. :-) I'll do what I can to convert it into a video file and post it on Youtube or something.
I've also been trying to decide which phone service to get while I'm over there. Docomo, AU, or SoftBank? SoftBank is apparently pretty popular with the foreigners because they are the only ones with the iPhone. While I like the iPhone's capabilities, I would rather have a Japanese phone 'cause I'm in Japan. I can always get an iPhone when I come back to the states.
Lastly, should I be called ハロルド先生 or バギノン先生? (first name, or last name?) The last name garners more respect, but the first name garners "coolness points".
Word of the day: 先生 「せんせい」 "sensei." It is the suffix for "teacher". The word for a teacher is a different word: 教師 「きょうし」 "kyoushi", though one can still refer to one's teacher as his or her "sensei."