Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wacom Tablet!

Yesterday the Wacom tablet that I ordered came in. I paid for it by COD. (Yeah, Japan does cash-on-delivery!)

The one I ordered is the medium-sized Bamboo Comic. While I was researching to figure out which one I should buy, I only learned that the Bamboo Comic comes with illustration software, and is only sold in Japan. Once I got my tablet and looked on the back of it, I learned another thing: It's actually a Bamboo Fun. The "Comic" part merely describes the tablet + software package. So to all of you out there wondering whether you should get a Bamboo Fun or go through the trouble of getting the Comic, I advise you to not go through the trouble getting the Comic (unless you live in Japan, then there's no trouble at all).

The other odd thing is that on Amazon (where I bought it), The Bamboo Comic is cheaper than the Bamboo Fun of the same size, despite the fact that the Comic has the illustration software AND came out last year, as opposed to the Fun which came out in 2009 (my guess is that there are no mechanical differences, one just comes with stuff and the other doesn't). But whatever. My tablet amounted to about 14,000 yen (about $170 USD), including the cost of COD service. The Bamboo Fun of the same size seems to be around 16,000 yen at the least.

I had fun playing around with it yesterday that I didn't even turn on my 360 to play Dynasty Warriors 7 (shocker!!). I've done some doodling and posted it in my DeviantArt scrapbook, and I also tried the Handwriting feature to write a few IMs to a friend. Of course when typing is faster it's a bit pointless to write, but it's fun to do anyway. It takes a bit of getting used to, but I'm very satisfied with it so far. Here's a little sample of some Kanji I wrote:

I didn't write the "Sooyong" or "SCHIZO-ALIAS," but you can see how the tablet enables me to make smooth strokes in the Kanji that resemble the font I used for that text.

I'm going to keep practicing, but I still prefer to draw on paper. However, this tablet will make coloring my images a lot easier and less tiring.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This blog entry is not about my apartment.

Sorry I haven't updated my blog in a while. I've been busy working on decorating the apartment, hanging out with friends, and adjusting to the new school year.

On the first of April, certain teachers leave and transfer to different schools (in most cases), and new teachers come in. I had a chance to meet and get aquainted with the new teachers at my Mon-Thurs-Fri school, but at my Tues-Wed school I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone because I wasn't there (I took last Monday through Wednesday off for a 5-day weekend). I also didn't get to see any new teachers until today.

At this school, hardly anyone left, but a lot has changed. The old vice principal is gone, as well as the school assistant (who made me feel comfortable only because she was often as clueless as I was about things) and saddest of all, one of the former 4th grade teachers who was also my English supervisor. She was really awesome, and teaching her class was the ONLY time that I did the job that I actually applied for; that is, an assistant language teacher and not THE English teacher. She led most of the class and called for me to serve as a demonstrator and English consultant, which is what middle and high school ALTs do. Of course, I didn't mind being THE teacher, but while I had to frantically think of what to do with each of my classes at different grade levels, I could at least rest assured that for the two fourth grade classes, I could relax and give the reins to my supervisor, who did a wonderful job.

She asked me at the end of last semester, "Do you have any advice for me?" and I told her, "Actually, I think you did a perfect job." I couldn't think of anything at the time, because all I could recall was how well her classes went and how much her students learned, even without me talking at them in English like I do with my other classes. I guess now that I think of it, she could probably let the ALT use just a little bit more English, but that's actually what SHE praised ME about. She said that she was very pleased that I would often say more in English than I was asked to say, which was different from other ALTs that she worked with in the past.

Anyway, she was really great, and from now for at least four months before I transfer in August, I'll have to carry on without her. I think I might know who my new supervisor is, but I haven't been told yet.

This blog was definitely supposed to be about my apartment interior decoration...I had it titled "My Apartment" and then realized I had been talking about my English supervisor for two paragraphs. Oops. So the apartment blog entry will come later.