JLPT N2 Passed!

January 30th, 2014

JLPT logo-2

In Autumn of 2013 (March) I set myself a goal. That goal was to buy textbooks, study them thoroughly, take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test and pass it. I am very grateful, that I realized this so early in the year and had more then enough time to prepare for the exam which was on the 1st of December.  And now I got my results back, and guess what – I PASSED!

I had a lot of time to study and I spend countless hours on learning kanji, vocabulary and grammar. And it payed off! The exam was hard, like I don’t usually call exams hard and challenging as they are usually really easy for me even without studying, but this was. I put a lot of effort and I achieved the result I wanted. Usually I am not that excited for my success cause that is just the natural progression of things – I do not fail. But this time I was very very very happy to see my pass, as I know I had to put in a lot of work to achieve it, whereas normally it would just come to me anyway.

Kites at Centennial Park

January 28th, 2014

IMG_318926th of January – Australia Day. Its a day of celebration, aussie BBQs and kites! Drawing Circle and the Japanese Australian Students Society (JASS) had a joint event at Centennial Park which was a sort of BBQ / drawing session and kite making workshop. Around 20 people came and overall it was a great joint event, even though it was rather cloudy (with a chance of meatballs).  But that didn’t stop multiple groups of aussies gathering together with their family and friends to celebrate this day together.

For me though, it was a good opportunity to catch up with people who I missed and couldn’t see due to me being constantly busy with work. And so I did. Too bad my lovely girl couldn’t be there with me on this funtastic day, but I got to spend a whole day with her before for our 4 month anniversary. We watched anime, had lunch, went to Kino, and drank some good white wine.

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Happy Australia Day 2014

January 26th, 2014


It is now my fourth year in the land down under and the fourth time I get to celebrate Australia day with friends and (host) family. Last year I went to Melbourne to watch the Australian Open finals, and I can now say that they were much better then this years (I hope you are ok Nadal, I was rooting for you). This year I stayed in Sydney and went out with my friends from JASS and The Drawing Circle, which I will be making a blog post about tomorrow as some of my friends have yet to upload their photos.

Anyway, happy Australia Day!

E-klasse.lv, and the fight for justice

January 23rd, 2014


Currently all schools in Latvia are required to use this online grading system called E-klasse.lv which is run by the company DAEC. When I was still in high school (almost 4 years ago), all the teachers had to put the students marks and grades into both a paper journal and into this online system, but as I have heard from my mother, now they are only using this online system. Of course this has its benefits and make it easier to access to both students and their parents, but there are also obvious risks as well. Unlike UTS which uses a very complicated and secure system to store all the university students marks, e-klasse is not as big and I highly doubt it is as secure as what my university has to offer. Anyway, that is beside the point, what I want to tell you about it the absurd story that happened to one of our students (former student of Rigas 10th Secondary School) when he tried to improve the user experience when using this online grading tool.

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Steins;Gate Fuka Ryouiki no Deja vu Review

January 19th, 2014

Steins Gate Movie

Back in 2011 I wrote a review of Steins;Gate, a series that I really enjoyed watching and gave it a 10 straight away and I even said that it was the best time travel story told in anime. Now, 2 years later, 7 months after the movie came out in cinemas I ordered the Blu-Ray and today we had a screening with the anime clubs of UTS, USyd and UNSW. It was a grand event, around 50 people showed up to watch this awesome movie. Anyway to the review.


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Game Masters Sydney

January 19th, 2014

Game Masters

When Amy was in New Zealand there was an exhibition of video games happening there, but due to time constrains she couldn’t go. But now that it has come to Sydney she can! And we did! Located at the powerhouse museum, which is just a few blocks away from my place, we got to experience and relive the memories of the games that defined our generation. Games like the original Sonic the Hedgehog, or Legend of Zelda, a lot of old retro arcade games, the Warcraft series + other Blizzard games, Rock Band, Brütal Legend, Sims, etc etc.

It was a lot of fun and a very nostalgic experience for both me and my dear Amy. I wish I could show you some photos from this event, but unfortunately there was a no photo policy. I would highly recommend everyone who has at least played any sort of games in the last 20 years to go and enjoy this trip down memory lane.

Game of Thrones is back for more!

January 13th, 2014

6th of April is date,

please remember while you wait,

that game of thrones is back for more

with a whole new (wiener) in season 4

Why JamieJakov?

January 4th, 2014

I have been asked this question multiple times, and would always give a tl;dr version. Now I can finally tell the story in full.

So where did this obscure nickname come from? It all began a long time ago when I just started going to Klass English Language School back home in Riga. It’s wasn’t really me learning English, it was more of practicing it, so that I wouldn’t forget. Anyway, the real reason I got given this nickname is because of a peculiarity in pronouncing my name in English vs Russian. For English speakers, pronouncing my real name (Vadim) isn’t too hard, just a bit awkward as the name is unusual for this part of the world. For Russian speakers however, pronouncing my name naturally, in English, is very hard, as they are used to the Russian pronunciation. So as a result, they end up saying it with Russian pronunciation, and thus messing up the whole sentence due to the changes between Russian and English pronunciations. Thats when I realised that, I needed a solution for this.

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Did someone say Ghibli

January 2nd, 2014

Mononoke and Cat Returns

Remember in August I blogged that I got Porco Rosso? Well today my shipment of two more glorious Blu-Rays have arrived. This time its my second favorite Ghibli movie – Princess Mononoke and The Cat ReturnsThis was a present to myself for Christmas and New Years, and also for finishing last semester with good grades.

They have been added to my collection and will be re-watched in due time. As mentioned before, if you want to get me a nice present for my birthday (which I might add is coming up soon), you can always order one of the Ghibli Blu-Rays which I don’t have (these 2 + the 5 in the last post is all I got).

З.Ы. This is also my first post of 2014! What a great way to start of my blogging life this year.