Sunday, 8 January 2012

First post of 2012

New Year's Eve was fun. A British friend from my time on JET had come back to the UK for Christmas - he's still working in Japan on JET - and he came up to Sheffield for a friend's house party. As he was in town he wanted to meet up and invited me to the party. I hadn't met the girl whose house we partied at before, but she'd studied at Kobe University the year after me and is working as an English teacher in Kobe now. That meant we'd lived in the same halls and had some mutual friends. It really is a small world when it comes to British people in Japan. A few of the other people at the party had some connection to Japan, and there were a couple of Japanese people there as well.

It was good to talk Japanese and talk about Japan for the first time in a long time. Since coming back from Aomori in August I haven't spoke much about Japan. To be honest, talking about it on NYE got me itching to go back. There was one guy at the party who's starting an English teaching job in Osaka this month, even though he's never been to Japan before. He's gonna have a great time. As for my Japanese ability, it's still there but it's very rusty - I had to think for a second for words which were once second nature.

Preserving my language ability is one reason I'd like to go back. I always remember when I was in Kobe us exchange students went on a trip to a college for older folks and we all got to talk with the students there for quite a while. They gave us some advice on life, and one of the guys told me about how he used to be fluent in English but he stopped speaking it and now he can't speak it anymore. I don't want that to happen with my Japanese ability, and I don't want to lose touch with Japan. It's been an important part of my life for the past few years and if I were to never use my understanding of the country or my Japanese skills again I'd be losing something I've worked these last few years for. So 2012 started with me thinking of returning to Japan.

For now I have my masters to deal with, and this past week I made a start on the essay for a module called Ethics and Regulation. It's as boring as it sounds and I attended less than half of the lectures, so it's been strange writing an essay without having learnt much on the subject. I've done quite a bit of reading though, so the essay's turned out OK. Once it's done I'll start revising for the law module - I have two exams on law - then the new semester begins again at the start of February.

Living arrangements for the coming year are still up in the air - I don't know where I'll be living come February but I'm gonna have to find something soon.

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