Thursday, December 1, 2011

Freedom from Want

My favorite English magazine is Reader's Digest. It features a variety of topics which are really interesting. I am going to introduce one of the good stories today.

There was a young girl who was really poor because her mother died from complications of AIDS and her father was housed in a shelter and was in no position to help her.Therefore, she lived in a stairwell.

However, she never lost hope. The happiest moment for her under the circumstances was to envision her bright future of getting into Harvard University. It was so vivid that she decided to take action. First, she managed to find a school that accepted her after years of truancy and studied diligently to get good grades.

At that time, her work appeared in a famous American magazine and people around her start helping by providing food, giving her heart-warming messages and so on. That kind of help encouraged her a lot and finally her vision came true.

Now she is working at an NGO to support homeless children. She says a certain amount of want is healthy since it isn't a hindrance but a catalyst.

My Opinion:
The story reminds me of the proverb "He can who believes he can".If you confront a painful situation, it isn't a good idea just to be patient. Taking action bears changes. That might be a positive impact or create trials but you can learn from it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My learning attitude

It has been nearly one year since I came back to Japan from Australia. I think I haven't studied hard enough as I always get tired and don't feel like studying after work.

Time has passed so quickly, I haven't accomplished anything this year compared to last year when I worked really hard to pass the final exam. As you know, you don't have to use English in daily life in Japan and under this circumstance, it's no wonder that my English ability is getting worse because practice is the most important thing for improving foreign language skills.

I am planning to go to an interpreting school next April to learn Medical interpreting. The reason for this is simple. The company I am working for now has so many employees who speak English fluently. Some of them are probably returnees and I have nothing on them as far as English fluency is concerned. Striking out on a different path from others will mean that I have strong expertise, and for me that would be Medical translating and interpreting skills, since I am quite interested in humans, not to mention English.

Hopefully, this new goal will motivate me more than ever. By the time the school starts, in nearly 5 months time, I will be back on course and sticking to the basics about my learning attitude.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My diet challenge!

As you know I am awfully fond of sweets, especially chocolate. It seems like I am putting on weight lately because I haven’t been able to change my bad diet habit of having a lot of sweets everyday.

In Japan, most young women’s clothes are tightly fitting. Every time I try on some clothes, I always think I am out of shape and wish I were slim like a model.
So, I have decided to go on a diet to lose weight and enjoy dressing up more! Actually I tried a variety of types of diet in the past, but I failed all of them as I am not a strong willed person. But I am very serious this time. I should turn failure into success!

The best way to reduce fat is to control the amount of food you eat and work out regularly. You also need to commit them to paper everyday. In my case, I am going to try to reduce my calorie intake to 1,200 kilocalories per day and do regular aerobic exercise after eating something. Well, lets see how it goes.

There are many people who are sensitive about their appearance in Japan. They seem to believe that slim women are considered beautiful, and fat women are considered unattractive. Maybe it is not true…But I am sure if I am successful with the diet, I will be more confident and positive.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!!

It has been nearly 1 month since I came back to Japan. I haven’t done anything special, but I went to Turuoka Hachimangu, which is a famous Japanese shrine in Kamakura for Hatsumode with my mother during the new year holiday. In fact, this is an annual event in my family.

※Hatsumode is the first visit paid on the New Year holiday to a shrine or temple. People pray for a long life and happiness for the year.

My wish was happiness for all the people who are supporting me! And fortunately, when I picked up Omikuji, I got Daikichi (=excellent luck) for the first time ever! I am sure the year 2011 must be wonderful for me.

※Omikuji are fortunes written on slips of paper. People buy them at shrines and, occasionally, temples. And tie them onto the branches of nearby trees in the hopes that a good fortune will come true or that a bad fortune will be kept away.

I started my job hunting and found it’s pretty hard to find a new job because at this point, I have failed applicant screening and job interviews several times. I am well aware that Japan has been under a recession for a few years, and I read an article that the employment rate of new graduates in 2010 was just 60%...that’s so disappointing. I hope the Japanese sluggish economy will be recovered in the near future!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good-bye Melbourne!

I left Melbourne on the 10th of December. In fact, it took a quite long time to come to this conclusion as I had been wondering whether I should stay there longer or not. But finally I made up mind to go back to Japan for good. In the next Advanced Diploma course, I need to study both translating and interpreting but I realized that what I really want to study is only interpreting. So I decided to go back to Japan, find a job and keep studying at an interpreting school…..hopefully that will be the best decision for me.

It has been nearly 2 weeks since I came back to Japan and I have become completely lazy like a couch potato. I know it’s about time to start job hunting but I actually don’t know what I want to do for work now… Maybe I should rediscover my feelings with the new year.

Looking back at my life in Melbourne, it was absolutely fantastic! I've got a wonderful experience I will never forget as well as many friends. I really appreciate the people who supported me while I was staying there from bottom of my heart. I am very happy to have had the chance of studying in Melbourne. Therefore, no matter what may happen in the future, I will never give up my dream.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The trip to New Zealand

I traveled to New Zealand from the 10th to 20th of November. This trip was a big challenge because it was the first time for me to travel alone! For all that, I joined a bus tour which took us to the southern island of New Zealand for 9 days.

There were 15 people in our group and most of them were from Europe. As they are young, probably early 20’s, they always got into any activities aggressively. I also had a go at some activities such as glacier walking, sky diving, jet boating and mountain biking.

One of my favorite towns in New Zealand is Queenstown. The town is very small but it has a big beautiful lake and many shops and restaurants for tourists. I really liked walking around the lake because the air is clean and the harmony of the lake and mountains is picturesque.

I saw heaps of sheep on grasslands by the mountains everywhere I visited. I have heard that the number of sheep is larger than the population in New Zealand. That’s amazing!

I was really impressed by the beauty of its nature and what I experienced there are great memories I will never forget.

Friday, October 1, 2010

My best friend came to Melbourne!

My best friend came to Melbourne all the way from Japan! I had heard she was going to stay here just for a few days, so I had planned a nice itinerary for her in advance!

The first day, we went to St.Kilda beach which is my favorite place in Melbourne. Luckily, when we walked along the pier, we found some penguins sleeping peacefully between the stack of rocks. They were so lovely! After that, we went to Victoria Market where so many various kinds of stalls are located.

And then, we looked around the Old Melbourne Gaol, which is a museum but used to be a real jail from 1851 to 1923. When I went inside a cell, I felt chilly and spooky…actually I wasn’t scared though.

The second day, we took part in a day tour of three famous sightseeing spots. Firstly, we went to Dandenon which is in the east part of Melbourne and we took a steam train called the Puffing Billy. The train ran through the mountains, so I felt very comfortable and relaxed! After eating lunch at a winery, we went to Healesvill Wildlife Sanctuary where we could see animals in a mostly natural state. We could see a lot of Australian animals there.

Thanks to my friend’s coming, I enjoyed looking around Melbourne again. I definitely had a great time with her. I hope she enjoyed this trip as well.