Preparations for Japan – Part 1 (Cycling)

February 20th, 2014

jitensha

If you want to enjoy living in japan for more then just a few weeks, then you need a bicycle. Bikes are the most popular way of transport in Japan and definitely the most convenient, especially for both Amy and me. Amy will be going to Saga and I will be going to Kagoshima for our In Country Study (ICS) this year. Both of these cities aren’t giant metropolises like Tokyo or Osaka, their population doesn’t even reach a million. So while living in the countryside (as we like to put it), it is essential for us to know how to ride a bike.

And that is exactly what we did. We went cycling! In Bicentennial park (next to Olympic Park) they offer bike hire for $20 per 2 hours, which is a rather good deal for Sydney, I’d say. It was a great afternoon, we had a lot of fun riding around the park. Would recommend to all my friends!

The Wind Rises Review

February 16th, 2014

KazeTachinu

When thinking of the works of award winning director – Hayao Miyazaki you would normally think of his amazing fairy tale type movies like My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away or Howls Moving CastleThey are all similar in the sense that they are set out in a somewhat realistic world with elements of magic and mystery and these become the predominant aspects of the story, which create the unforgettable feeling of a Studio Ghibli Movie. The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ), however differs from the tradition fantasy genre and is based on a true story of a Jiro Horikoshi, an aerospace engineer, who’s dream was to create beautiful planes that would surpass the German designs in both speed and power. Even though the setting is in real life World War I and then World War II Japan, this touching story of a young boys dream, dedication to work, search for perfection, love and despair is one of the best works of Director Miyazaki. It really shows us, just how fragile a human life really is.

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Sochi 2014

February 9th, 2014

sochi 2014

The 22nd winter Olympic Games have just begun in Sochi Russia! For any country hosting an Olympic Games is a great honor and Russia hasn’t had a chance since the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow. Its been tough on Russia, they had to building all the venues and hotels from scratch, spending an amazing 51 billion dollars on infrastructure, new stadiums and hotels. But they managed to get all of it done on time (almost) and they Olympics have officially begun a few days ago with the amazing opening ceremony, which showcased the history of Russia with beautiful ballet and performances.

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My 21st – such Madoka, much Ghibli, wow

February 3rd, 2014

Birthday_2014

This year I have officially become an adult (in every country); I turned 21! Every year up until now I got to spend this special day with my 2 most special people – my mommy and my daddy, but this year we did not get the chance to meet up to celebrate it together, but nevertheless I had a great day with my friends – yay!

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Blumenkranz

February 3rd, 2014

Blumenkranz

Blumenkranz – in german it means a wreath of flowers (ring of flowers) and that is what normal german speakers would think if they heard anyone say this word. Well if anime fas, who are watching the show Kill La Kill hears this word, they will undoubtedly think of the second best track from the OST (Original Sound Track) which bears the same name – Blumenkranz.

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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

Australia-Day

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

e-klasse

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.

**** CAUTION SPOILERS AHEAD ****

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