Wow, another year has gone by, huh? 2012 was the first year that I have been in Japan in its entirety (well, mostly) and I’m pretty happy with what I have done so far. Of course, there is always room for change. Here are a few things I would like to try out for 2013…I suppose I could call them resolutions but that’s a scary word.
1) Continue studying Japanese and increase the intensity: I have forgotten a lot of Japanese ever since I graduated from college. However, ever since I started seeing my tutor last February, my comprehension has been improving quite a bit. I’m catching more on what people are saying and able to read a lot more kanji than back in my college days. However, I’m still not the greatest when it comes to speaking it; I always freeze up while I’m trying to think about how to say something. I think the main problem is my lack of vocabulary. This year I’m planning on focusing on that a lot more as well as implementing the grammar I learned into my daily conversations with people. I’m really happy that I’m studying a little bit everyday nowadays compared to when I was barely doing anything when I first got here. As long as I can focus just a little bit more with my studies, I should be okay.
2) Travel more: I love to travel. The problem is that I like to travel with people; traveling on your own can be a little lonely or depressing. I might not have a choice though because planning a trip with a group is very difficult and can be frustrating. I have already had a couple of group plans that have fallen apart completely. A lot of my friends are paired up too so they like to go out with their significant others when they travel. I think I just have to suck it up and start going places on my own. It might suck, there are still a lot of places in Japan that I want to see. If I have to do it on my own, then so be it.
3) Write more: I’ll be honest: I wrote next to nothing last year compared to 2011. It’s sad too, I am on the cusp of finishing my current book and not much progress has been made ever since I completed NaNoWriMo in November of 2011. This year I definitely want to finish my second novel (or novella) and start revising my first novel. This is easier said than done though. I still have lots of ideas and thoughts lurking inside my head and I need to put them on paper before I forget them all!
4) Work on photography: I like taking pictures. In August, I bought a nice camera in order to practice my photography more. I’m slowly learning more about it and would like to continue the trend next year. This shouldn’t be tough to follow through as long as I travel.
5) Expand my cooking repertoire: I’m lazy, I don’t really cook that much. Cooking isn’t even that hard though! After going over to my family’s during winter break as well as visiting some friend’s house, I’m realizing that I just need to get in the habit of cooking more because for the most part, it isn’t too hard to do as long as you follow the recipe. I suppose it’s like writing: I have to “sit” myself down and just start doing it in order to get accustomed to it.
6) Put more effort in teaching: I think I do a pretty good job at teaching but I can definitely improve. I don’t use that many materials and I would like to implement more of that next year. I think I’m going to start making my own materials such as flash cards and grammar points rather than relying on the school’s because frankly, some schools don’t have a lot of English stuff in their staff rooms. It will be time-consuming but I think it’ll be worth it.
That should do it. If I can accomplish at least three of these things this year, I’ll be happy. 2012 was a great year but I think I can make 2013 even better!