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    Happy New Year! I know I'm a month late on that, but it is still a pretty new year. We're on to February already, how weird is that?! I've been enjoying the snow a little bit, as you can see from the picture on the left. I look pretty good in that new gear, huh? It's actually really comfortable and warm, and of course I had to rock that turtle backpack on the way down as well. It not only matches my pants; it's also perfect for holding all my buddies' crap (and a little of mine, I guess).
    Anyway, I figured I'd just make a little quickie today and highlight a few plans and such for the next couple months, and we'll see if I can follow up on them to keep everyone in the loop. The first item on the list is of course to do a little bit of gloating. You see, I took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in December before I headed back to the states for a little vacation and my first excursion out of Japan since arriving a year and a half ago. Well, I finally got the results back, and I passed it! (Level 3, just to be clear.)
    Now, my score wasn't so great (100/180), but it at least gave me an idea of which areas I should focus on studying as I get ready to take the N2 at the end of this year. I wasn't surprised about vocabulary being a little low, since I felt it while taking the test, but I was surprised that my listening wasn't as bad as I thought, and instead, I didn't do so well on grammar. I felt pretty good about the grammar and crappy about the listening parts, but it turns out my feelings about it were wrong. Anyway, that just means I'll take a little bit more time for vocabulary each day, and maybe steer myself to a bit more of the grammar points. But my listening practice will not stop or falter! And of course, I still need to speak a bunch more. Unfortunately, the test includes no speaking portion at all, though I'm sure it wouldn't have turned out that well.
    The other thing I'm looking into is planning out a trip in the summer, maybe for a few weeks. I might have a few travel buddies, and I'd like to start up north and take it on down to Tokyo, but it's all very up in the air for now. I have very little desire to see Okinawa, which is in the South and is where everyone always wants to go. My preferences draw me elsewhere. Anyway, I'll keep y'all up to date if there are any new developments.
    Thanks again for the super long wait everyone. I'm a big ol' loserbrain, but I'll try to be better. And you can always feel free to pester me if I'm being too lax, or you just want some entertainment. I'm here to serve. ^_^ Until next time, take it easy.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention these other pictures (not the snowboading ones). They were actually taken not long after my last post, and I've just been holding on to them. ごめんね -_-;
 


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