With my decision not to extend my teaching contract another year already a month past, I have recently been considering what my goals should be for my last 5 months in Japan.
I received word that I passed the third level of the JLPT a week or two ago, so that's one thing that I wanted to accomplish out of the way. I won't be around for the next testing time though, and the second level is pretty advanced. Level three's description is "the examinee has mastered grammar to a limited level, knows around 300 kanji and 1,500 words, has the ability to take part in everyday conversation and read and write simple sentences." It doesn't look very impressive now that I'm looking at it, but it did take a bit of work. The second level involves "1,000 kanji and 6,000 words" which is pretty beastly. There's an article here that discusses the possibility of the Japanese government using the JLPT as a factor in the granting of work visas. Not too shabby. Maybe I should turn my attention back to the US and start looking over the GMAT?
Many ALTs on their last stretch travel the country a bit, but I think I have that taken care of at the moment. I've dealt my to-see in japan list a fatal blow.
I'm still reading whenever I have time. At the moment I am reading Norwegian Wood, a novel by Haruki Murakami. I guess its a love story, but its one that I can really get into. I am also reading The Turn of the Screw, a spooky novel first published in 1898. Its age means that it has returned to the public domain, and I can read it for free online. Hurray old stuff! Both books are on the shelf at my Google Book Library, if you are interested. I suppose reading is more of a hobby than a goal, but it has the added benefit of keeping my reading level from getting rusty. Surely that will come in handy professionally.
I just don't want to waste the remainder of my time in Japan. Any suggestions?