Saturday, August 23, 2008

Last fireworks festival of the summer

Fuefuki Fireworks Festival 8-08 001 I've been to three fireworks festivals so far this summer but this week's was the closest and best one I've experienced. On average I've driven up to 50 kilometers just to see fireworks displays in other parts of Yamanashi but nothing seemed to hit the spot till I experienced the Isawa Onsen fireworks festival. Go figure that the Isawa Onsen festival is only about a 30 minute drive from my home and also was the most interesting and accessible of the bunch.
Fuefuki Fireworks Festival 8-08 029 The Isawa Onsen fireworks festival takes place in Fuefuki near the river and attracts over 20,000 people yearly. It was quite a feat navigating through the sea of humanity to find a clear spot to stand and view the fireworks and even harder to get out of there when it was over.
So now my summer officially comes to an end and I am anticipating another new semester teaching. I can't believe its already been a year since I arrived here. I have already gained a lot of good teaching experience which may be a good point on a future resume but I still haven't really done anything about improving my Japanese level. What's even more upsetting is that I still don't have a clear idea what I want to do after teaching. I know I don't want to teach in my current job forever because it barely can support a single guy comfortably, and there is also no chance of pay raises or moving up within the ranks of the teaching company so I'd rather just finish my time and move on to something bigger and more secure.
Fuefuki Fireworks Festival 8-08 088 The topic of my future came up because Yuko and me were talking over dinner the other night and she squarely told me that I haven't done anything to improve my Japanese at all and I have absolutely no goal or ambition to get a better job. And you know what, she's absolutely right. I've been sitting on my hands for the past year when I could have at least gone out and asked her to help me study Japanese or something. Well, the time has finally come and I made a simple resolution to finally go out and pass the level two Japanese proficiency exam later next year. I could have passed it when I graduated from college a few years ago when my studies were still fresh in my mind but I really didn't know what to do with my self after graduation and wasted whatever I had at that time.
Fuefuki Fireworks Festival 8-08 057  So today Yuko and me will go out book shopping to start me on the right track. With all the free time I have in the afternoons, I think I can manage to get my Japanese back up to the level I had it when I graduated college. My real goal is to get it up to a useable level so I can actually promote that skill as an asset for any job I may apply for. Its not like a good job or opportunity is just going to fall in my lap because I'm a nice guy. I need to get stuff done for myself or at least get the ball rolling.

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