I’m currently in the process of updating the projects section of this site to include some of the older applications that I developed in the past but am no longer maintaining. Even though they were written quite a long time ago, they are interesting from a historical point of view and are sometimes useful as reference. The newly added projects are:
Firework shows in Japan tend to be very crowded; if you want to have any chance to sit down at all, you have to arrive several hours in advance. Last night we went to one in Enoshima, a local tourist spot within cycling distance of Shonandai. This was fortunate, as trying to get on the same train as everyone else to go back home can be a challenge. I took some pictures of the fireworks during the show, which lasted about 45 minutes. As most of these shows happen during the summer, it is likely that this is was the last chance to see fireworks this year.
Seeing as the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is all the rage here in Japan amongst professionals and seeing that my girlfriend is studying to improve her score on it, I decided to see what kind of challenge it would present to a semi-native speaker of the English language.
Although I have never taken it, the TOEIC is considered to be easier than its cousin the TOEFL (Test of English is a Foreign Language). Unlike the TOEFL, which is said to focus on skills needed in everyday conversation, the TOEIC is supposed to be all about “Business English” (read: Dilbert English). This is somewhat counter-intuitive as I would expect the English used in a corporate environment to be more difficult to master for foreign speakers than the casual expressions and vocabulary we use everyday.
The test consists of 200 questions total, divided evenly into listening and reading sections, and takes two hours to complete. The difficulty of questions varies a lot, but for the most part it did not pose a significant challenge and I was able to complete it with about half an hour to spare. My final score was 100/100 on listening and 97/100 on the reading sections; this translates to an overall score of 980 out of a possible 990.
While two of the mistakes I made were due to lack of concentration, one reason for the last error remains hard to grasp:
The correct answer is C, but the reason for why the other options (especially A and B) are incorrect remains unclear to me. This goes to show that textbook grammar is not something that even native speakers can treat lightly.
Now that I finally have a publishing platform that I’m fully satisfied with, I will transition from continuing to contribute content to Facebook (a service that doesn’t have its users’ privacy and interests in mind). The frequency of posts will probably vary a lot, but I’m likely to stick with it.