Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hey gang, it’s getting closer to midnight here, but I felt compelled to write something before heading off to sleep. Been working on my upcoming translation a lot today, so now I’m feeling a bit tired haha. Translation is a long and time consuming process, but it’s a great way to advance my Japanese skills. Also, I just found myself rewatching some old Tokyo Swan episodes on youtube. I don’t watch my work often, but when I do it does fill me with an incredible sense of nostalgia. Even little things in the videos such as a quiet river, a busy road, various food- these little things trigger so many memories for me. Ahh, sweet, sweet nostalgia.

Next week is spring break. Truth be told, I’ve gotten everything I need to get done already finished this week, so I’m just sort of coasting through things now. A friend and I are going to see the new street fighter movie on Friday, so that should be pretty fun. Of course, I think the movie looks awful, but that’s why we are going heh. No plans for spring break, but I am looking forward to relaxing for a few days.

The new Depeche Mode single ‘WRONG’ is now on itunes, so I got that today. Brilliant track… and the music video is so creepy! Look it up if you get the chance. I’ve been following this new DM album so closely, I find myself glued to my chair in front of the computer reading a variety of fan forums trying to learn the newest information about the upcoming album.

Ok, well that’s really all I have right now haha. Just want to get into the habit of writing in here more and not abandon it like I did before. Time for bed. See you next time!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Depeche Mode: WRONG!

The new Depeche Mode single 'wrong' has hit radio and debuted in Germany yesterday for the Echo Awards. It's 3 minutes of pure anti-pop with Dave's vocals in fine form for Martin's darkly humorous lyrics. I've had the song on repeat all day, and I can't wait for the new album to come out in April. Anyways, enjoy the performance above!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

February Update.

Hey gang, I realize that it's been a while since I've written on here (or posted many videos hah), but I found some free time today to just update what has been going on. Where do I even begin?

1. School. Currently I'm taking two grad level English courses (romantic and renaissance literature) as well as an independent study for a translation of a Japanese short story I'm working on. I talked a bit about that in the last Swan Update video. Anyways, as you can imagine with such high level courses the workload is much greater than the standard undergrad courses and it is keeping me busy.

2. Translation. So yeah, one of my 'classes' right now is that independent study translation and so far things are going great. The story itself is 11 pages long, and right now I'm on page 7 of just going through the initial draft. For the end of the semester, I'm to turn in just the initial first draft (so everything will not sound as clean as it should) and the final draft will be submitted for publication next year. Those familiar with translation already know that it is a massively time consuming project, and so hours upon hours have been spent looking up kanji in the dictionary. I am working on the project with the head of the Japanese department here, and so I feel like I'm really gaining a lot of good experience and it's crazy to think I'll be a published translator in the near future!

3. Work-Writing Center. I don't think I've mentioned it on video or in print, but I've been working at my university's writing center since last August. I've gained a lot of great experience working with English as second language students, and in particular this has allowed me to make some Japanese friends in the process. I work one on one with students (undergrad and grad level) on whatever papers or projects they might bring in. I also work in the classroom as a tutor for the entry level English 1000 course, so as you can imagine this sort of teaching experience looked good on the JET application (more on that in a bit). I'll also be leading a talk on 'bilingualism in the writing center' at Purdue University in April, at the national writing center convention. Exciting times!

4. Work-Tutoring. A few weeks ago I accepted a tuoring job for a Japanese businessman in town. This has been a fantastic opportunity for me, as I've gotten even more teaching experience and I work with a really great guy. I prepare weekly English excercises for him, and so far things are going great!

5. JET. Ok, so like I said in my last video update I made it to the interview stage. Now, I have my interview in Detroit on the 20th (next friday!), and I'm pretty confident about things. With my experience in Japan, and the work I've done here, I know I'm a qualified applicant for teaching English in Japan. I was actually quite nervous about messing up the application, so I gave a huge sigh of relief when I heard I made it to the interview stage. I'll be preparing more for that as the week goes by, but in general I feel good about things and I'm excited for the interview.

6. Social Life. I've made some great Japanese friends here at WMU, and I'm happy that I've been able to still keep in touch with many of my friends from my time in Japan. I also tend to hang out with my close group of friends who all live in the same apartment complex here, so even though I've been busy with work and school, I've been able to relax and just enjoy watching movies or hanging out.

Wow, when I list it all out like that it does look like I'm quite busy these days! Hopefully that explains some of the reasons why my presence here and on youtube has decreased significantly. I'll be posting another update video next week after the interview though, so that's something to look forward to. As for now, I have to get going to work again, so I'll finish things up here. Hope everyone is doing well!

oh yes, and I'm still mega excited for the new Depeche Mode album in April. SOUNDS OF THE UNIVERSE!!!! I can't wait, and the new single is going to debut next week!