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Virginia Beach, VA, United States
This blog (or 日記 if you will) is intended to chronicle my experience in Japan at the Yamasa Institute in Okazaki, Japan from July to August, 2012. I have always wanted to have a journal, though, so I will try to get into a habit of writing frequently about the things important to me in my life. Besides, I plan on returning to Yamasa to participate in the AIJP after I get out of the Navy! These are the Espelancer Chronicles. Erica is also blogging about the trip, and you should totally check it out. It is The Marvelous Misadventures of Schneewittchen link over on the sidebar.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Return from Sea, Playing Catch-up

That's me, studying Japanese on the boat.
   Well, I am now back from an 11-day stint out at sea (even though it felt like a month), and it feels really good to be home.  The underway was pretty uneventful, and pretty much consisted of me standing watch, going to training, and doing a lot of studying.  With my trip to Japan coming up in only 2 weeks, I need to sharpen my vocabulary and grammar so that I can perform as well as possible on the Yamasa placement exam.  Hopefully I'll be able to place around lesson 40 in みんなの日本語 (Minna no Nihongo, this is one of the textbooks I use and the textbook Yamasa uses up to the intermediate level classes).

   Now that I am back, though, there were a lot of things that needed to be done.  That is how life in the Navy is when you are attached to a sea-going vessel as part of ship's company -- your life completely stops for those few weeks while the rest of the world keeps revolving.  Deployment was the same way, but I was actually OK with that since you make plans for such a long term absence that you don't normally make when you are only gone for a few weeks.

   First on the list was my calculus class that I am taking online through Excelsior College.  I had planned ahead and took the mid-term prior to going underway (which was a week ahead of the actual mid-term date), but I still had a week and a half worth of homework covering integration due this weekend that I stormed through last night.  It is nearly impossible to do it on the boat since the internet connection at sea is so horrible.  Also, with the next term coming up, I need to apply for TA and register for classes so that I can start on them when I return from Japan (I am planning on taking 3 classes, probably Calculus II and Reactor Plant Materials through Excelsior, and Japanese 2002 through Georgia Tech if they accept my application).  I have to finish that BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology before I get out -- you need a bachelor's degree to participate in Yamasa's graduate diploma program and also to apply for the JET Programme, which are both in my 5-year post-Navy plan.

   Then, there are details that I need to take care of before I leave for Japan.  There are the usual end-of-month stuff like my mortgage and condo fee, bills, and that water bill that sneaks up on me because they bill every 2 months and don't do automatic drafts (it's 2 weeks late because I forgot about it... I should really open my mail more often), but there are also small details that need to be worked out for the trip.  Since my Tokyo weekend is pretty much mapped out, I reserved a hotel in Nihonbashi for July 27 and 28 near where the JDK band will play, which is also a relatively short distance from the Sumida River, the Japanese Imperial Palace, and Akihabara Electric Town.  I need to look into getting train tickets from Okazaki to Tokyo that weekend, but I'll work on that later.  I have no idea what to do for Kyoto, though -- all I know is that I want to go there during one of the weekends.

Now, we just need Namco to bring us Tales of Xillia!
     Well, that is all I have time to write tonight.  Before I head off to dreamland, I have one bit of exciting news that caught my eye yesterday.  In my previous write-up about Ni No Kuni DS, I did not think that the DS game would ever be localized in part due to the luscious "Magic Master" tome that comes with it, but I was wrong (at least partially).  Ni No Kuni DS is still not being localized, but Namco Bandai announced a "Wizard's Edition" for the PS3 version coming in January 2013, and it is available for pre-order at Namco's website.


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