Tuesday, August 3, 2010

One year

As I write this, I have now completed a full year in Japan. I can't believe it has been one year today since I arrived in Japan.

Ros, Heather and I celebrated by taking the day off and exploring the town where Ros (pronounced Roz) lives. We slept in (still catching up from HEC camp), went out for lunch, tried lots of omiyage (sweets to return with and share with those who didn't go on a trip with you), had cake at an amazing bakery in Ros' town. It was great.

What has happened over the last year?

  • My Japanese has improved. I'm now studying for the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) New 4. I can keep up with simple conversation and can read most simple things.

  • Made some amazing friends who have come from all over the world to teach in Japan.

  • Still working on making good friends in town and am slowly making more and more friends.

  • Gotten to use my teaching skills to teach a few times and have had the chance to be a human tape recorder even more. Also, have been frustrated lots of times by the state of English teaching in Japan.

  • I'm learning more and more ways to cook with the ingredients I can actually find here.

  • Lots of chances to see Hokkaido and parts of Japan.

  • Started a master's class, which I should be able to use to renew my Oregon teaching license.

  • Successfully lived on my own for a year. Boy do I miss my family and roommates.

  • Took the test twice and got my Japanese drivers license.

  • Taught an English class for grown-ups

  • Learned to snowboard

  • Tried skiing

  • Drove on snow for the first time

  • Joined a choir

  • Ate Natto

  • Paid off my small student loan

I've done lots of other things not included in this list. Keep reading my blog to see what other things happen in my time in Japan :)