新年あけましておめでとうございます！本年も宜しくお願い致します！ Happy New Year from Simple Gaijin to all my students, fans, and haters! I'm looking forward to working with my students this 2021, as well as expanding Simple Gaijin even further. 2020 has been a rough year for everybody, so let's forget about this past year and look forward to a much brighter, albeit uncertain 2021.
I have some announcements for 2021. They are mainly goals that I have for myself, but also for SG has a whole. These are in no particular order, but Goal 1 is the biggest goal for myself and SG this year.
That said, here are the 2021 Goals for Simple Gaijin Japanese Services!
Goal 1: Getting Ayaka to Texas by the end of 2021.
Originally, the plan was supposed to be for 2020 (we got engaged in September 2019), but a scorned Chinese "ex-girlfriend" named Corona decided not only to screw up our plans, but the entire world's plans as well. While this is certainly not what we planned, it did manage to buy me some time in getting my career more settled, my education more updated, and helping me find my path after me making the choice to leave the Japanese automotive industry (which, in retrospect, was the right thing to do, as my former Japanese employers have either closed their doors or are on life support at the moment).
With my day job slowly starting to go the right way for me, and with Simple Gaijin now starting to go in the right direction as well (those business and coding classes I took through Dallas County College are now starting to pay off now) and with me getting full-time work starting to slowly become a reality for me, the time is now right for me to get my fiancee, Ayaka, over to Texas now.
We are planning on getting legally married in Texas first. One of my closest friends, John, will be the official for our "courthouse" marriage. But once Covid-19 goes away, we will be planning a real wedding in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex at some point in very late 2021 or 2022. There is also a small possibility that we might have a small wedding in Japan for just her family and mine. Details will come over the next few months.
Over the course of the next year, I will also continue writing my long demanded series "愛ラブ優・アイラブユウ・I Love You", the story of how Ayaka and I met, fell in love, and our crazy misadventures around Japan, Texas, Ohio, and Florida (especially when we went to Trump National Golf Course to attend Lil Gaijin's wedding). I would love to hear from my fans what sort of content you want to hear from Ayaka and I, but remember, nothing about our sexual escapades please.
In addition, due to my move into a supervisory role at my day job, work has also provided me a new "Legal Benefit" that will be helping me with the immigration paperwork as well. I will be making a decision soon on which lawyer I will hire, but I think it might also be for a good article to talk about the immigration paperwork process as well. While I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice, it might be a good thing for people that might be in the same position as me.
Goal 2: Increase student numbers to 5 students before the end of the year.
At the moment, I got three regular clients that I see on a weekly basis. It's also possible that I might get one more in the near future. But I think to start the year, getting five regular students would be a nice thing to accomplish.
The quality of the students that I have is amazing. One high school boy that wants to go to Japan in the future (he honestly reminds me of myself as a teenager), an aspiring Japanese teacher in Oregon looking to get her ACTFL certification has she goes through her master's program, and a future Air Force Officer that shows a lot of potential learning Japanese. I am proud of all of you with your progress and each one of you do have the potential! But remember, language learning is an ongoing endeavor. It takes little by little to master this language, and you will get there.
Goal 3: Increase Twitter / Facebook / Online Presence (Bring on the Haters!)
In the beginning, yes, I did get a lot of haters. And I know why. Because I am a non-Japanese male teaching Japanese. Not exactly the most typical of Japanese teachers, but who cares? That's what attracts people to me. And I love it when I get fan mail, but I love it more when I get hater mail though.
Now I am not afraid of going on social media for Simple Gaijin. So I am ready for you Japan Circle Jerks on Reddit (Here is their link, if anyone needs a good laugh)! Keep giving me that free press when you post about me on your page! And keep on posting too! Your stuff makes me laugh and feel good about myself!
One more thing... I am also a regular commenter on your page. Good luck trying to find me though!
Now that shoutout is out of the way, I would like to try and start writing a short article every week over many different topics. But of course, I would love to hear what my fans want me to talk about. Given that my peak season at work has come to a close, I think that this might be doable.
Goal 4: Pass the JLPT N2 with at least a 100/180 score.
Assuming that C-19 is eradicated by December 2021, I do plan on taking the JLPT N2 in Houston or Fayetteville. I haven't taken the N2 since 2015, but I do think the time is right. If you have (or have not) read my article "A Tale of Two Japanese Tests - JLPT vs. ACTFL - Japanese", to pass the N2, you need a minimum of 90 points to pass (19 point minimums per section, so 30 points per section).
Vocab + Grammar Section: Not worried about Vocab, but grammar could use a little more work, though getting better.
Reading: I dread this section not because I can't read, but mainly because I hate reading to answer questions, and the topics usually bore me to tears (Psychology tends to be a recurring trend for topics here).
And to make you guys laugh, whenever I do a JLPT Reading section, this normally pops into my head.
Listening: Not worried at all. I listen to NHK radio every day at work, and watch NHK w/o subs at home.
Goal 5: Achieve an Advanced-Low or Above in Speaking and Writing for the ACTFL - Japanese Test
Since I can take this test online, I can take this test at any point. Still need to focus more on Oral Japanese with mechanics and fundamentals, but the textbook that I use for my ACTFL classes definitely helps.
Goal 6: Travel to Japan (Maybe Tokyo Olympics)
Again, assuming that Japan is not closed off from the outside world at the IOC doesn't cancel it, I would love to pick my fiancee up in Japan and take her home to Texas after one more trip around Japan.
Maybe go back to Akkeshi to give them the business, and finally confront the mayor and the BOE about me "not amounting to anything if I left my ALT position". You know, I still wonder if they ever figured out that it was me doing the Slenderman prank I did shortly after telling the BOE to F themselves. Hey, it worked, no one bothered me at my apartment ever again after one guy freaked out.
Or perhaps I need to visit Asahi again. Lots of good memories there, and I think it would also be a good idea to drop in on my old Eikaiwa (if it is still there) and maybe give them the business too, saying that "I'm making a big mistake leaving us". But all I really want to do there is just drop by, grab some sushi at the ol' Hamazushi and perhaps catch a movie at SunMall.
Or maybe Ayaka and I just need some ALONE time together and travel to a new part of Japan I haven't been to yet. Kyushu and Shikoku come to mind.
Or maybe you guys might have a suggestion that I have never thought of.
Goal 7: Increase Simple Gaijin's Website Content and Apps
After looking at some of my competitors and rivals, I've noticed that I got to stand out a little more in terms of interactivity. So I will be rolling out some new apps on the website. Most of them will be used to gauge student and prospective student's potential in learning Japanese, and see what Simple Gaijin courses and services would be best for them at that time. The code wasn't hard to learn or come up with, but I will be releasing it at some point in the spring.
And that will wrap it up for this article! Enjoy your first weekend of 2021 and keep safe folks!