Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blackheart Reflects on his First Year as a Blogger

As the year 2008 rapidly comes to a close, I think it’s time to tie-up a few loose ends so I can begin the new year fresh-faced.

The first is the damned cold in the house. It turns out there’s a big red button behind the furnace that resets everything. Boy do I feel silly. But I get to feel silly and warm at the same time.

The second is all that writing that I still need polish and publish. I feel like I’m even further away from finishing anything since I first set my goal, but then again, goals change, and now I find myself back in school, immersed in literature I never thought I’d read, and learning Japanese, a language I never though I’d be able handle because of how different it is. And really, on all these aforementioned fronts, I’ve got a long way to go.

The third is Nurse Betty.

I found out a few days ago that she’s been angry with me for an entire month, without telling me. Apparently I blogged about some things that she felt were off limits, and that I said some things that were out-of-line. So instead of confronting me right away, she decided to harbor anger towards me for a month, passive-aggressively avoiding every attempt I made to talk to her, message her, or meet with her.

Of course, when she finally spoke up about it, it all made sense. Well, a little. I tried to apologize to her, because at first I thought perhaps I did genuinely say something that was out of line. I looked through the old posts, and found nothing, really. I made fun of her in one post, but not in any way I wouldn’t make fun of any other friend that did something silly, and the context behind it is one of affection, not of disrespect.

She also never expressly told me I couldn’t blog about her, but somehow, she feels there’s a universal tacit understanding that there are some things you aren’t allowed to blog about. News flash, Betty: there’s not. You may think that your particular code is the only code, but it’s not. It’s just what you think. And I have tried so hard to respect it, too. I tried to explain that I didn’t know you’d be so bothered by it, and that I never ever meant any harm. I even offered to take it all down. But no, you wouldn’t hear it. All you said was “this conversation is over,” like it was your trump card or something.

I sent her another message a few days ago, trying again to apologize. She simply ignored it.

So now, Betty, I’m done apologizing. I’ve thought about it more and I’ve concluded that the problem was never with me to begin with, but with you. You’re the one who refuses to talk this through like an adult. I did something that I had no reason to expect would offend you, and when I found out you didn’t like it, I apologized, and more importantly, I stopped. I even offered to delete it all. Somehow none of that was good enough for you. Don’t you realize it doesn’t get better than that? Is what I did, which, for the most part was pour my heart out into poems about how much I care about you, so unforgivable? How do you manage to keep any friends at all? Do you live in a magical fairytale land where nobody ever makes mistakes? This behavior, getting pissed off for an entire month over nothing, screams “high-maintenance.” Should I be relieved that you want nothing to do with me?

Or maybe this is your clever way of telling me that you’re not interested in me. You’re allowed not to be interested in me, you know; I still would have been more than happy to be your friend, no guilt attached. But instead, you tried to make this out like it’s my fault, like I blew it. So now, instead of simply feeling rejected, I find myself groveling apologetically, like the obedient dog you just kicked because the bad men who actually hurt you this year are out of your reach. I know you’ve had a rough year, Betty, I know that, but that’s no excuse to take it out on me. I wanted nothing more than to be your ally through it all.

Now I’m so wound up and pissed off back at you that I don’t even know if I want to talk to you at all anymore. I can’t believe that you would take our friendship and flush it down the toilet over nothing. Especially once you found out I’m in love with you. That’s just evil. I’ve been nothing but nice to you, and nothing but fond of you since very first we met. It makes no sense. You make no sense.

I’m posting all this for two reasons. The first, because this is where my friends are – people who actually care enough to read about my feelings. I see no reason to waste them all on you. The second reason is that I think this post expresses exactly what you need to see.

Now that that’s off my chest, I’m going to go make myself pretty for a semi-formal New Year’s party. Happy New Year, everyone, particularly to my die-hard followers Ema Nymton, Inkpot, my sister of course, and to Scarlet the Spy. You guys make this all worthwhile.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You suck, winter! You suck!

I suppose it’s about time I made a proper update. I haven’t put out anything other than poetry in awhile. So, here goes:

I woke up this morning at like 4:30 and it was so goddamn cold, I couldn’t believe it. Now it’s 7:30 and my feet feel like icicles, I’m wrapped in FIVE LAYERS and I’ve been drinking tea and hot chocolate intermittently ALL MORNING. And I’m still cold. I HATE THIS PLACE! It’s not even January yet, and I already feel like I’m getting frost bite on my stupid feet! Why did I move back here? WHY!?! I HATE WINTER SO MUCH!?!

I’ve had the house to myself for a few days, everyone else is away in Toronto. I forgot to let the dog out before bed last night, so as a reward, she laid a great big steaming turd in the middle of the rug for me to clean up, and I DON’T WANNA!!! NOOOO!!!!! WAAAAAAAAHHH!!! It’s a good thing she’s cute, because man...

At every meal I’ve been giving Yeti (my great big Norwegian Forest Cat) this pill, and now every time he sees me, he slinks away. What’s HE afraid of? I’m the one that’s getting bitten! I’m getting bitten because I’m basically putting my fingers inside his mouth to pry it open. And you really have to throw the pill down his throat too, past his tongue, or he’ll eject it from his mouth. He also foams at the mouth like he’s got rabies. I sure hope he doesn’t, because if he does, no so do I. So Ema, when you see me at new years, and I’m foaming at the mouth and trying to bite people, throw a net over me and take me to the vet. Or just shoot me and put me out of my misery. Pills for cats – what a stupid concept.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christian Evangelists

Stigmady, Pigmady
Christian Evangelists
Think they know all about
Forgotten lore.

Their “divine” deity
Is just the product of
And nothing more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unfinished Poetry

Unfinished poetry, under the knife.
Unfinished stories of solace and strife,

So many whims to which we cater,
We all delay so many things,
Somehow we think them best done later,
A promise that tomorrow brings.

Years go by, and nothing still.
So much to dream, so much to do.
Nothing’s come, and nothing will.
Make your time, ‘fore it makes you.

Unfinished poetry, under the knife.
Unfinished poetry, unfinished life.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Hickelby, Quickelby

Hickelby, Quickelby,
Nicholas Nickleby
Started to tickle me
At his first chance.

Made me forget myself,
Started to wet myself,
I need to get myself
Waterproof pants.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lear Essay

King Lear, like many of Shakespeare’s tragedies, revolves around the disruption of the great chain of being. In the great chain of being, every man, whether he be a king or a peasant, has his role to fill, and the success of the entire structure depends on how well everyone fulfills their respective role. In King Lear, Lear’s pride clouds his judgment, causing him to break this chain. It is in this way that Lear’s pride becomes his nemesis. Shakespeare uses nemesis to tell a moral tale about pride.

Lear’s pride is apparent in the first scene of the play. “Since now we will divest us both of rule, [i]nterest of territory, cares of state, [w]hich of you shall we say doth love us most?” (1.1.45-47). Here, it is inferred that the division of his kingdom is dependant on the quality of his daughters’ answers, though it is evident that the division has, in fact, already been made. (If he truly intends to base his final decision on the quality of their answers, he might more appropriately wait until he has heard from the other two daughters, before giving a third of his kingdom to the first.) It seems that he is getting his daughters to express their love for him verbally, largely as a superficial show of power.

Cordelia’s inability to wax eloquent about her love, or perhaps her desire not to cheapen her feelings with words, wounds Lear’s pride, and causes him to abuse his power during the final moments in which he retains them. In a rage, Lear casts out the two people who actually seem to love him best, Cordelia, and also Kent, for trying to speak out on her behalf.

Lear’s mistake here is that he has somehow confused frivolous formality with love, basing his decisions on hollow words, rather than deeds. His eldest daughters do not love him; they love his power, but Lear’s pride does not allow him to see this. The lesson is vocalized later by the fool, when he says, “fathers that bear bags, [s]hall see their children kind” (2.4.48-49). Friends are in greater abundance when one’s fortunes are high.

In act two, Lear continues to give undue levity to the frivolous things that his daughters deny him. It doesn’t seem to occur to him that he has given his power willingly away, and that now, he has to live with the consequences.

Still, he confuses the issue. “O, reason not the need” (2.4.258), he says, arrogantly clinging to his frivolous, self-indulging comforts. No one needs one hundred knights, particularly not when they do absolutely nothing but eat and abuse the staff. This is not an efficient way to run a kingdom.

In act three, Lear’s pride has diminished substantially, and he no longer concerns himself with the trifles that his daughters have denied him. For the first time, he seems to have genuine concerns for others. “How dost, my boy? Art cold?” (3.2.66).

The very act of giving his kingdom away disrupts the great chain of being. A king’s first duty is to his kingdom, and giving it away is not congruent with that duty.

His eyes open to the harsh elements of the world. He sees what he has truly lost, not only by giving away his kingdom, but by failing addressing its issues of poverty during his reign. “O, I have ta’en [t]oo little care of this” (3.4.33-34). Lear sees now that his pride had made him blind to the needs of his kingdom. Unfortunately, by this point, the seeds of his pride have already been sewn, and he can do little now but reflect on what he has done.

This sentiment is perhaps best mirrored by Gloucester with the line, “I have no way and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw” (4.1.19-20).

When Lear is reunited with Cordelia, his ordeal has finally given him the scope to appreciate her. Before this, he had not suffered enough to understand what is truly important to him. Once again, the fool, who acts as a mouthpiece for Shakespeare, says it best. “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise” (1.5.38).

It is important to note that, in many other versions of the Lear legend, whether written before or after Shakespeare’s adaptation, Cordelia is not slain in front of Lear. This is a portion of the story that is unique to Shakespeare’s adaptation, and is very much in tune with the concept of nemesis.

In the final act, Lear and his daughter are finally reunited, and it seems that Lear finally understands and appreciates the one truly important thing: a reciprocated love from his daughter. “Come, let’s away to prison. We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage” (5.3.8-9). This is meant to pull at the heartstrings of the audience, and Lear’s consequent entrance with the deceased Cordelia in his arms would have devastated Shakespeare’s audience.

“Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, [a]nd thou no breath at all?” (5.3.306-07). This question is perhaps best answered by referring back to the great chain of being. Animals, being lowly creatures, can live about their lives humbly while when a king falters, it comes at a high price, which in this case, is the life of his precious daughter.

The moral that Shakespeare intended to hammer home in King Lear is clear; Lear wastes his life in pursuit of superficial self-affirmations, and neglects his important duties as a king, and perhaps more importantly, (in terms of delivering a moral message to the masses), as a father. Lear’s nemesis, a force which he cannot overcome until it is too late, is his pride.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. King Lear. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Ed. Meyer Howard Abrams et al. New York: Norton, 1974. 911-94.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crunch Time! (English 1000G)

Hello, fellow English classmates. Thanks to our already overpaid, underworked, asshole public transportation workers striking, right in the middle of our exam period, I thought it might be more practical to set-up some notes online. I’m employing my blog rather than our facebook group because it’s the only quick way I can plug in all the hyperlinks I’ve included from my notes. For starters, I’m including a list of the 25 writers we’ve covered in class. If I’m missing anything, let me know. I’m going to try to include some basic points about each work over the 48 hours. If anybody wants to share their notes, or post a comment, by all means, go ahead.

Just to reiterate what’s going to be on the exam, it has two parts:

  1. Identify a quote (Pick any 3 of the 9 provided – 10 marks each)
    1. Identify the work it’s from
    2. Identify the author
    3. If it’s from Lear, identify the speaker
    4. Briefly discuss its significance.
  2. Essay Questions (Pick any 2 of the 8 provided – 35 marks each)
    1. Take a look at the essay questions in the syllabus for this term.
    2. Try re-reading your own essay for the term. The prof says there’s almost sure to be something from your essay you could re-use on the exam, unless you wrote a real stink-o essay.
  3. For one bonus mark, spell “parallel.” Apparently, the prof has actually written this on exams in the past, just to mess with people. That’s why we love him, right?

A (more or less) chronological list of works read in the fall term of English 1000G, by author:

  1. Aesop (620 – 560 BC)
    1. The Wolf and the Mastiff
  2. Petronius (ca. 27 – 66)
    1. The Widow of Ephesus
  3. Luke the Evangelist (0 – 84, supposedly)
    1. The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32)
  4. John Donne (1527 – 1631)
    1. A Hymn to God the Father
    2. Song
    3. A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
    4. The Flea
  5. Christopher Marlowe (1564 – 1593)
    1. The Passionate Shepherd to His Love (early 1590s)
  6. Walter Raleigh (1552 – 1618)
    1. The Nymph’s Reply to the Shepherd (1599)
  7. William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)
    1. Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
    2. Sonnet 29: When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes
    3. Sonnet 73: That Time of Year
    4. Sonnet 116: Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    5. Sonnet 126: O thou, my lovely boy
    6. Sonnet 129: The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
    7. Sonnet 130: My Mistress’ Eyes
    8. King Lear
  8. Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674)
    1. Delight in Disorder
    2. To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
  9. Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)
    1. To his Coy Mistress
  10. Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744)
    1. An Essay on Criticism
  11. Robert Burns (1759 – 1796)
    1. A Red, Red Rose (1794)
  12. William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)
    1. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
  13. John Keats (1795 – 1821)
    1. La Belle Dame Sans Marci
  14. Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)
    1. Sonnet XLIII: How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…”
  15. Robert Browning (1812 – 1889)
    1. My Last Duchess
  16. Matthew Arnold (1822 – 1888)
    1. Dover Beach (1867)
  17. Kate Chopin (1851-1904)
    1. The Story of an Hour (1894)
  18. Alfred Edward Housman (1859 – 1936)
    1. One and Twenty
  19. Stephen Crane (1871 – 1900)
    1. War is Kind
  20. Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)
    1. Mending Wall (1914)
    2. After Apple Picking (1914)
    3. The Road Not Taken (1916)
    4. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (1922)
    5. Dust of Snow (1923)
  21. Robert Graves (1895 – 1985)
    1. Symptoms of Love
  22. Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961)
    1. Excerpt - see the first comment in the comments section below. (Thanks, Becky!)
  23. Robert Hayden (1913 – 1980)
    1. Those Winter Sundays
  24. Anthony Hecht (1923 – 2004)
    1. The Dover Bitch (1967)
  25. Billy Collins (1941 – not quite dead yet)
    1. Introduction to Poetry


Our professor made mention of this essay in class, but we are not officially responsible for it. Still, if you haven’t read it, I recommend you give it a read, after the exam of course:

Politics and the English Language (1946) by George Orwell (1903 – 1950)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Unrequited Love

Kevin wanted Anna, whom he could never get.
For Anna knew she wanted Greg, ever since they met.
But Greg just wanted Sarah, who had a thing for Doug.
And Douglas wanted Chelsea, whose voice was like his drug.

Chelsea wanted Justin, who drove a fancy car.
Justin wanted Mary-Jane, who rocked at DDR.
Mary-Jane had known for years she only wanted Dave,
And David swore he’d take his love for Susie to the grave.

Susie was obsessed with Shawn, and had been for awhile.
Shawn just wanted Lisa though, awed by her crooked smile.
Lisa had the hots for Frank. Her life was in a rut.
‘Cause Frank could never get his mind off Tina’s sexy butt.

Tina had a crush on Brent, who had a way with words.
Brent had only eyes for Kate, who mended wounded birds.
Kate could never count the times that, over Mark, she’d cried.
For Mark had always dreamed of having Jessie by his side.

Jessie sadly wrote her note, to her beloved Kevin.
If she could only win his love, she’d be in seventh heaven.
Still haunted by the words he said that made her feel so crappy.
“If I can’t have the one I want, why should you be happy?”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sitting in an Empty Room

Sitting in an empty room,
Just me, alone, in hollow gloom.

I focused on what wasn’t there.
I rose, and saw an empty chair.
I sat back down. An empty floor.
No one knocking at the door.

You focus on the empty things,
The noise the silence always brings,
To see the world for what it’s not,
To wonder about things forgot.

An empty room, an empty heart,
I snapped, and tore the place apart.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Still Water (Haiku)

Sailing on your waters,
Which are still; I won’t force it.
I’ll wait for the wind.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why are We Still Friends?

It’s your birthday.
I’m coming to see you later.
I didn’t get you a gift this year.
Somehow it didn’t seem appropriate.
I haven’t seen much of you lately.
To tell you the truth, I’ve been avoiding you like the plague.

Is it any wonder?

We were best friends once.
Can’t say I know why.
It’s not like I ever gave you much of anything.
We just played lots of video games together.
And I never did anything bad to you.

But you…
You slept with my girlfriend and killed our cat.
How can I ever forgive you for that?
And somehow that’s not what I hate most about you.
It’s the fact that every time I see you, you make a conscious effort to argue about things neither you nor I understand well enough to have an informed opinion about.
The only thing you and I have in common is our past.
And I hate my past.

But today, I will come over, and say nothing of this.
After all, what are friends for?
That’s not meant to be rhetorical.
I seriously have no idea at all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Five by Five

There is a wall here,
Made up of your fear.
Not another tear.
I want it to clear,
And to have you near.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Depressia’s Scarves’ Haiku

Selling grandma’s scarves,
In a temple of old Jews,
What a waste of time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Christmas season, here at last.
My exams approaching fast,
Having reached the end of term,
I work one last day at the firm.

In video remand number five,
I wait for clients to arrive,
Scoundrels come up one by one.
With all the nasty things they’ve done.

But you rise above the rest,
And still, days later, I’m distressed.
Six of them, six of my sisters,
That you hurt, and my heart blisters.

I feel my heart go up in flames,
As the judge reads out their names.
You coward, you scum, you evil swine.
One of them’s a friend of mine!

Some were minors, says the clerk,
And leaving their late shift at work.
Their lives will never be the same.
Stranded, stunted, stained with shame.

To think the only goal that’s here:
To rush you out, with Christmas near.
What about their Christmas cheer?
There is no holiday from fear.

It’s not the system that’s to blame.
It’s men like you, who kill and maim,
And though they’re all alive and well,
Well, not well, their lives are hell.

A lawyer, I could never be,
With all the evils that I see,
The aftermath it all ensues,
I’d feel so helpless in those shoes.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I am Poet

I am poet, one two three,
Rhyming fun and fancy free,
Though I’m never one to gloat,
Here’s a poem that I wrote.

English is so easy for the kids to learn in school,
But difficult to master, with exceptions to each rule.
Look at all the words for “group.” Excessive, isn’t it?
Why bother with so many, when a single word would fit?

Crows come in a “murder,” which I’ve always found morose.
Owls come in a “parliament,” which isn’t even close.
There’s lions in a “pride,” which I find is more astute,
And penguins come in “waddles,” which is just so very cute.

You have a “watch” of nightingales, and a “herd” of cattle.
You have a “slither” of snakes, even those that have a rattle.
You can have a “school of fish” and a “school of whales” too,
Despite the fact that whales are mammals, according to the zoo.

You can have a “harem of cougars,” well okay, no you can’t.
That’s one that I made up to help the structure of my rant.
But now that I’ve considered it, this is a concern.
Now English seems to be the toughest language one could learn.

Still, I find it fun to rhyme with any word I can.
Something I’ll keep up, no doubt, when teaching in Japan.
Of all the words that I know, which one rhymes with English?
I don’t know, but this ends now, so finkle-fala-finglish.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Redhead on the Street

I passed you on the street today. I was sure you saw me. I can't be that easy to forget. You were on your way to your government job. I don't know what they pay you, but you're overpaid. I'm not sure exactly what you do either, but you're underworked. You're pretty though. I can't deny that. But still, you're really letting yourself go. Fatty.

I liked you, you know. I did. I thought we could make it work. Our sushi dates were enjoyable. I was funny. You were insightful. We didn't resort to the usual asinine conversations I have with most civil servants. Civil service - now there's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one. Most of you are braindead, or at least your brains are horribly attrophied from dissuse. I thought you were different.

You had the nerve to tell me that I didn't seem interested. For the longest time, I couldn't even figure out what that meant. Did I genuinely give off that impression, or were you just being arrogant and manipulative?

You said I didn't seem serious, since I was planning on moving away to Japan at the end of the year. Well, I'm not necessarily going, you know. My plans change all the time. And this was a plan I came up with before I met you. There is a reason why you and I are perpetually single.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the way I treat women. I'm always respectful. I never expect anything from you. I'm charismatic, without the arrogance. Well, I admit I do have a bit of sass, but mainly, I just want to entertain you. I want to hear what you have to say. And whatever it is, it's always entertaining. But somehow that just never good enough.

And you were right when you said that I wasn't interested in you. That statement alone made you right.

You're still single, because you tend to make excuses as to why a guy isn't right, and then you toss him back into the pond, reasoning that a better one will come along. What if this is as good as it gets? Did you ever think of that?

"This one's too messy," you might say, or, "he's too short. I don't like his hair. I don't like this one's face. This guy's too muscular. That guy's too scrawny. This guy has no ambition. That guy's a workaholic. This guy wears argyle socks." You'll always find something, because there always is something. Nobody is going to be perfect for you. No one. But by all means, keep looking. You know what you'll find? You know what happens next? You're old, and nobody wants you anymore. Men may seem to be in heavy supply now, but give it another five years. The illusion won't last, and when you're in your mid-thirties and you start to get desperate, don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What’s Important, Is what’s Inside it.

Look here, at this rock I found.
I’ve been looking at it all day long.
Can’t be worth much, but still, look.
What do you notice about its form?

Listen now, don’t make a sound.
Can you hear? It’s singing you a song.
No? Perhaps I was mistook.
We are strangers. All the sky’s a storm.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A poem a day keeps the proctor away.

That’s a play on words in a number of different languages. You take the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and doctor rhymes with proctor. This makes sense because it’s exam month. Also, in French, apple is pomme, and poem is similar to it, though not exactly. Why any of this is relevant is completely beyond me, as it’s a stupid maxim that doesn’t make any sense to begin with.

Anyway, the plan is to post a poem a day, for the whole month. If I miss a day, please feel free to relentlessly guilt-trip me about it. Since there are no classes in December, other than yesterday’s anyway, there’s really no excuse. And now, without further ado, here’s a seasonal limerick I wrote:

There once was a student named Sam,
Who panicked while at his exam,
He began to spew,
And the proctor said “Whew!
Looks like he just ate curry and lamb.”

Monday, December 1, 2008

Personal Aspirations in J-Pan, #2

Halfway through the school year, I feel like I’ve learned a lot, and yet, I also feel like I’ve learned hardly anything, as I peer ahead at how much of the language I haven’t yet tackled. I suppose it’s easiest not to think about where one is going, and just to focus on the here and now. So, I’ll take another look through my goals, and say to myself, “stick to the plan, man, just stick to the plan.”

Goal #1: Be able to have a simple conversation with my sister entirely in Japanese. I’m a little closer now. We can bat simple sentences back and forth now.

Goal #2: Play through a dialogue-intensive Japanese game, and actually understand it. Actually, I haven’t even tried this since my last Personal Aspirations paper. There really hasn’t been time, as scholastically, November tends to be a very unforgiving month. I’ve still got a lot more kanji to learn before I can even start to guess at what’s being said. I now know perhaps 28. Even after learning another 100, I’m not entirely sure how close I’ll be. I had an idea though – I might be able to get a transcript of one of my favorite games and work from that, looking up things electronically. Otherwise, I have no idea how to look up kanji.

Goal #3: Watch a Japanese cartoon, with no subtitles, and actually understand it. Again, I actually haven’t even found the time for this, which is strange to hear myself say, because normally I’m a fiend when it comes to the consumption of television shows. The last one I watched through, デスノート, (A.K.A. Death Note, which is based on a manga of the same name), was before I’d started Japanese class. I never quite finished the series, so I wouldn’t mind watching it through again to try to make sense of it.

Goal #4: Apply to the JET Programme, and teach English in Japan. Well, I’ve submitted my application. I can’t say much else on the subject though. I haven’t yet given any thought as to which prefecture I might want to teach in. I don’t really feel I’d be able to make an informed decision anyway. If I ask somebody from Hokkaido about prefectures, they’ll tell me I should teach in Hokkaido, because of all the wonderful people. If I ask somebody from Kyoto about prefectures, they’ll tell me I should teach in Kyoto, because of all the wonderful people. You get the idea. I’m sure I’ll be happy wherever I might be placed, but I will look into it a little, if for no other reason than to give a more impressive interview.

Goal #5: Write a short story in Japanese. I haven’t started on this yet either. I also hadn’t expected to. But perhaps I’ll get started over the Christmas break. Since the beginning of the school year, I’ve taken a shine to writing poetry, so perhaps I’ll start with a few short poems. They’ll be silly for the most part, but then again, so am I. Here’s a poem I wrote for my Japanese term test:

さけ すき です、 すし すき です。

うきと かぶきと たぬき すき です。

大学 すき です、 日本ご すき です。

いそがしい いそがしい いそがしい です。

In Romaji characters, for those of you who can’t read Japanese characters but want to share in the sound aesthetic of the poem, it reads as follows:

Sake suki desu. Sushi suki desu,

Ukito kabukito tanuki suki desu,

Daigaku suki desu, nihongo suki desu,

Isogashi, isogashi, isogashi desu.

Roughly translated, it means:

I like sake, I like sushi.

I like the rain, kabuki, and tanuki.

I like university, I like the Japanese language.

I’m busy, busy, busy.