About my own life

Happy New Year! The year 2007 has come.

It will be a very important year for me; I have lots of matters to decide and determine this year. They range, say, from what occupation I should be engaged in and what sort of music I play to what kind of philosophy suits me.

If I should put them into one single question, it will be like this: "What kind of life do I want to live?" I'm not interested in earning much money, becoming a big name, or having a head-turning wife. What I believe I want to do in my life is to improve and make use of my ability in some social way, to love a few people and be loved by them in the deepest (but not too close) way, to lead a modest but pleasant life with them, and so on.

From the view of the whole world, the existence of me is hardly important. But that doesn't matter for me. It's enough for me to be an important person for and be respected by a few people, especially people whom I respect and who are important for me. What a happy life it is! I cannot hope more.

Here comes my favorite season

We still had high humidity but it was rather cool yesterday, and I felt at last autumn had come. It's my favorite season. Though I myself don't fully understand why I'm fond of autumn, I can name several reasons. It's more comfortable than summer or winter; I can enjoy a lot of delicious foods; I can wear various clothes because it's not too hot or too cold, and so on.

But the most important reason is as follows: when I see a variety of leaves turn red or yellow and then fall, I can't help feeling a bit lonely. Many of you might think of loneliness as a kind of negative feeling, but I don't think so. At least it's far better than feeling nothing - actually, it's not bad for me at all. When I feel lonely, I want to love somebody and I want somebody to love me, and then I can realize again how important love is for me. I cannot think this is a bad thing. In other words, I believe in loneliness, so to speak.

A slight fever

I've been sick with a slight fever since I got up this morning.

I took five days off work from Aug. 12 to 16. During the first two days, I stayed at my father's parents' home with my family and relatives. We had a very good time but I got tired, and yesterday I did almost nothing. Now it's the fourth day today. I guess it'll take me two days or more to get better. Then my vacation will be over. Oh no!

Perhaps this fever came from air-conditioners. While we were traveling, the car we got on was air-conditioned and sometimes too cold, and so was my room, where I spent most of yesterday.

I decided not to use air-conditioners today. I'll sweat heavily and get thirsty, but that's far better than suffering from summer cold for a long time. I'll have to work again from the day after tomorrow.

I wanna use English

Though I've been studying English for roughly 15 years, I can neither speak English nor understand spoken English very well. I think this is partly because English education in Japan makes too much of reading skill, not writing, listening, or speaking.

I don't mean I'm not to blame. I may not have been very enthusiastic about studying English. I studied it hardest at high school, but at that time I had to study not only English but also math, Japanese classics, world history, chemistry and so on. I studied them equally and evenly. I must admit I was not eager about English.

But still I think the way of teaching English in Japan is another factor. For example, entrance exams that I took required reading skill the most. In most English classes, I always had to read textbooks and translate them into Japanese. To put it simply, here is the result: I can read enough but cannot speak or listen enough. When I take TOEIC tests, my reading scores are better than listening scores, though it is said that the listening part is easier than the reading part in the test.

I think the problem is that I have studied and read (and even taught) English but I've hardly used English. That means it has not been necessary for me to use it. Why not? Japanese was enough to live. All of my friends have been Japanese, or at least good Japanese-speakers.

Now I realize it's important for me to use English. This diary is where I try to use it.