Keeping Score

Score Check

In early December I took the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) for the first time. After moving to California and taking a few Japanese classes, I often thought about signing up for the test just to see how I would do. But somehow, I always talked myself out of it. I knew that I wasn’t very good at listening comprehension, and grammar was still very challenging for me, so didn’t think I could pass. After a few months of participating in our language exchange, though, I began to reconsider.

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Thanks 2015, Hello 2016!





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Talking Turkey!

cartoon-304650_1280パト: Happy Thanksgiving, エリ!

エリ: サンクスギビングですね。

パト: Are you cooking a turkey this year?

エリ: この前両親が日本からテキサスへ遊びに来て、その時にターキーを焼いたから今年のサンクスギビングは近所のレストランで料理を注文したよ。

パト: So you had your turkey dinner a little early. I’m not having many guests this year, so I’m just cooking a small turkey breast.

エリ: 家でサンクスギビングのパーティーをするの?

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私が受験をしたのは、テキサス州オースティンにある「Texas Intensive English Program」という会場でした。こじんまりとした建物で、普段は英語の授業が行なわれている語学学校のようです。道も分かりやすく、建物の敷地内に無料で駐車することができました。

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セコイア&キングス・キャニオン国立公園 旅行記③/Hello from Sequoia and Kings Canyon vol.3


The sky was clear and blue in Sequoia National Park this morning, but only for about an hour. Right after breakfast clouds started covering the mountains again. My first stop of the day was Morro Rock, a granite dome that looks out over the Great Western Divide, a mountain range in the Sierra Nevada. The path to the top of the dome is steep and narrow, but not too long. Unfortunately the top of the dome was completely covered by clouds and I couldn’t see the valley below.

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セコイア&キングス・キャニオン国立公園 旅行記②/Hello from Sequoia and Kings Canyon vol.2


I woke up this morning to the rumble of thunder and the sound of heavy rain. Fortunately the weather cleared up a bit after breakfast and I was able to see more of Sequoia National Park.

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セコイア&キングス・キャニオン国立公園 旅行記/Hello from Sequoia and Kings Canyon


Hello from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These two national parks are located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, south of Yosemite National Park. The entrance to Kings Canyon is about 50 miles east of Fresno, California. On the way to the park you climb from an elevation of around 1,000 feet to over 7,000 feet above sea level. I drove through a few clouds along the way.

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バイリンガル ブッククラブ/Bilingual Book Club



This time we’re going post something a little different. It’s a conversation that エリ and I had about the reading class that she is taking at Austin Community College. She recently finished a short story by the author R.A. Sasaki that might be of interest to people studying Japanese or English.

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Yeah, right.

YeahRightSometimes I get a song stuck in my head for days. I listen to it over and over and can’t stop humming it throughout the day. Lately, I’ve been listening to the song “Yeah Right” by Toro y Moi, a recording artist who lives in Berkeley, California. He has released albums in several different musical styles, from electronica to indie rock. The name Toro y Moi is a blend of Spanish and French. Toro means ‘bull’ in Spanish and moi is French for ‘me’, so the name translates to “The Bull and I”.

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