Wednesday, March 15, 2006


...which means: "Oh yeah, that's right! I passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (Level 2)!" That was my big news a couple of weeks ago. I was fairly confident, but I had some trouble with the reading/grammar section, so it was a relief to get my certification.

Just wanted to brag a little...

久しぶりですね! 好久不見!

Or “long time, no see”. I know I’ve been really bad about posting since I’ve gotten back to the States, but things are pretty hectic for me right now. This semester is going well, but I’m having a hard time remembering ever being busier. My classes aren’t too hard this semester, but I’m also teaching, working, and looking for and applying for jobs. Spring Break is coming up next week, but it’s going to be a working vacation for me. I’m going to Washington, D.C. to try to look for jobs, hang out with old friends, and get some schoolwork done in the midst of it all.

Looking for a job is the most tedious task I have to right now. I’m planning on moving out to D.C. after I graduate whether I’ve found a job by the end of the semester or not, but obviously it would be better to get hired before making the move. Unfortunately, most of the interesting jobs require more experience than I have and the jobs that I know I can get don’t interest me much. The competition for the interesting international affairs research positions that I’m going for is intense, but I have a feeling something will come along eventually…

I’m trying to do all the job searching I can in the next couple of weeks, because I doubt I’ll have much time for anything after Spring Break. Since we’ll be in the last half of the semester, I will be working full-steam on my research papers, work for professors, and getting the 101 class I’m teaching ready for their comprehensive final. April will be an unusually busy month for us in the political science department; we will have at least three separate conferences on campus. On April 1 and 2, we are hosting a conference about Taiwan’s relations with the outside world (see: “Taiwan and the World” for more information). I will be driving some of our guest speakers around that weekend, which should be fun, especially if I get some Taiwan independence advocates in the same car with the pro-PRC scholars.

On April 11, I’ll be helping Dr. Olimat with a conference he has organized about America’s relations with the Middle East (“America, Islam, and the Middle East”). And from April 19 to 21, Missouri State is hosting a Public Affairs Conference that is drawing in a lot of well-known speakers for panel discussions and plenary sessions on various topics (see “Public Affairs Conference” for more information). This is the second year of the conference and I missed it last year, so I’m hoping to see as many of the sessions this year as I can.

I apologize if my writing lacks lucidity today. My brother left for an English conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL this morning and I had to wake up at 4:30 to drive him to the airport. He was accepted to give a presentation on research he’s done on a genre of horror writing (the name of the genre escapes me at the moment) and he’s staying for the whole week. Although he’s going to arrive a little sleep-deprived, I think he’ll perk up when he gets there and can attend the panel session on zombies! (Sometimes I think I’ve chosen the wrong field…)

See ya!