Tag Archives: friends

Birds and Bikes

Softbank difficulties aside, it’s been a good couple of days. Yesterday, we visited a family friend’s house and their new birds. Check them out.

They have chickens, turkeys, and peacocks. I got to see a couple eggs, too. There was even a turkey egg. The chicks were pretty cute. When holding them, they kind of vibrated as if they were purring. But they’re not cats.

Today, after going to an interview, I took my daughter out for her first real ride on a bicycle. But first, more birds! A couple Canada geese sitting next to the pond.

And of course, my daughter riding a bike.

She started off pretty shakily. She couldn’t get any speed, and she had difficulty starting. But she got the hang of it pretty quickly. She’s a fast learner! She won’t need those training wheels soon, I think.

But tonight, back to trying to figure out the Softbank problem.

English Language Development of My Japanese-Canadian Daughter

A brief update on how my daughter is doing with English. After a week in Canada, she’s still speaking mostly Japanese, but she’s been using more English. She speaks a lot of Japanese with other kids, and they just don’t understand her.

Her first time at the nearby playground, the kids mostly just ignored her. She couldn’t get them to listen to her because she kept speaking Japanese. But because of some time alone with my mom and sister, she’s been forced to use English, or at least try.

Today, we went to the playground again, and she actually managed to start playing with three other little girls her age. While she still used Japanese with them, she did attempt some English. They also didn’t mind her not speaking much English.

Although it’s not much yet, she does seem to be trying to use English. She’s said some surprising things, like “Speaking English daisuki (I love speaking English)” and “I can’t see it.” She’s finally figured out “me” and “you” and uses them correctly.

So, how long do you think it’ll be until she speaks English fluently? Remember that she understands English. Let me know in the comments below.

Saying Goodbye

Today, it felt like everything was real. The move to Canada feels more real than ever. You see, I had to say goodbye to some students I’ve been teaching for several months. And this isn’t going to be the last time. It’s just beginning.

Whether it’s only a few months or several years, I have a lot of people to say goodbye to. I didn’t really know how I would feel about this, but now I do. It doesn’t feel good. It was difficult to say goodbye. I’ve met so many wonderful people in my job teaching English, and there are many I’ve been teaching for five and a half years. There are also some I have known longer, but haven’t taught recently. I won’t have the chance to properly say goodbye to them.

I’ll be saying goodbye to more coworkers, friends, and students over the coming four weeks. I’m finishing at one school next week, but I’ll be at four others next month. I feel some regret that I won’t be able to say goodbye to the students I’d taught for more than five years on Saturdays. But I’ll try keep in touch with some of them.

Eleven years in Japan is coming to an end soon. It’s such a strange feeling. I know it’s real, and it’s feeling real. I’ve been doing the same job for a long time now, so looking for another job is a daunting task. I know what I want to do. I have four jobs I want to go for, but I’ll have to see what’s available. I made a video about this. Watch it below.

Finishing this job and looking for a new one is pretty bittersweet. I started teaching English with a feeling of nervousness. I had no idea how to handle children. Now, it’s not an issue. I actually enjoy teaching kids now. I originally planned to stay in Japan for a year or two, but as time went on, I really enjoyed my job. My personal life changed a lot, but my job was constant. But with the end near and so many goodbyes to be said, this is the worst part of leaving Japan. I’m going to miss it. I’ll miss a lot of people.

I hope to someday see some of my old students again when we visit Japan. There are some old students I need to see before we leave. There are friends and coworkers I need to meet. I’m pretty sure I’ll see them again, someday.

This chapter of my life is coming to a close, but there’s an exciting new one starting soon. But I’ll never forget my amazing time in Japan. More than a quarter of my life. It’s a very large part of me now.

Other Authors – Friend or Competition?

Are you in direct competition with other writers? Or do you prefer to be friends with them? Is there a benefit to both? This is something some authors have trouble with. One way can make things go smoothly, while the other can create bad blood.

I think it’s best to be friends with other authors. Sure, they may be competition, but it’s not that simple. You may compete for sales, but if you’re writing in the same genre, the same readers will buy both of your books. Isn’t it more mutually beneficial to support each other’s writing? If you share your friend’s books and they share yours, both of your sales should improve.  Isn’t that right?

But then, what if you’re sharing everyone’s writing, and all of your sales increase? Your Amazon rankings might not change. Well, I doubt that’ll happen, since you can’t share thousands of authors’ writing. But think about this, if you share another person’s writing, and they share yours, their readers will discover you. They will then talk about your books to other people, and they will also buy your books. Your sales increase.

Isn’t it better to be friends? I’ve seen so much fighting between authors on platforms such as Goodreads. They’re only hurting themselves, as they’re seen as vindictive and not worth supporting. Be friends, get along with your competition. They aren’t really competition after all. They may be your best marketing tool, and you theirs.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

High School Reunions

My twenty year high school reunion is happening this weekend at a golf course I used to work at. It’s on the other side of the world. It’s just six months too early. I would have loved to have gone.

People change, and I’m quite interested in seeing how people change. A lot of the people going to the reunion I’m in touch with over Facebook. After we move to Canada, I’m hoping to meet up with a few of them, catch up, actually talk with our mouths using our vocal chords to make sound. That would be quite the novelty. Facebook is great, but there’s nothing better than seeing old friends, and even old acquaintances, in person.

I wonder how much they think I’ve changed. I used to be this skinny, shy, quiet, geeky nerd. You know the type, they’re always in those high school movies. Well, except I wore a t-shirt and jeans, and never wore glasses. I was into Star Trek. I was painfully shy about dating, so never went to the prom. If I went to school with you, do you remember that’s the way I was?

How have I changed? Well, since I can’t attend the reunion, I’ll tell you. I’ve filled out a bit, though I guess you could still say I’m thin. I’m not shy anymore. I’m still somewhat quiet, unless I get into a conversation with you. Geeky nerd? Yes! I still am. But I’m also very active outdoors, often walking very long distances, hiking, and doing a lot of nature and urban photography. I still wear a t-shirt and jeans, but I also wear a suit to work. Still don’t wear glasses. I’m also still into Star Trek, but haven’t really watched it in quite some time. I don’t need to date, since I’m married, and I have a three-year-old daughter.

So, how are you doing? Who wants to meet up for lunch or drinks or something next year? I know I’m looking forward to it. And I hope there’s a 25 year reunion. I’ll be there!

When Writing Becomes Difficult

I’m sure most writers have writer’s block.  Well, sometimes, the writing just won’t come out for other reasons.

In my life, I tend to have problems writing because I can’t concentrate on anything at home at times, mostly due to my daughter.  It’s difficult to write when she’s around.  When she sees me on my computer, it’s her cue to come over, point at my computer, and shout, “Anpanman!”  It’s her favourite TV show and she loves dancing to one of the songs.  I can write after she’s gone to bed or while she’s napping, though.

But another thing that makes it difficult is when someone you’ve known for a long time passes away.  I learned this morning that an old high school classmate of mine passed away from skin cancer.  She’s a mother of two young children, so I’m also thinking about them.  Robin, you were too young.

We weren’t close, but it still makes me stop and think.  I may write another post tonight, if I have the time.  I’ll probably work on Journey to Ariadne during my break at work, though.