Nov 292005

Wow. You ever have one of those days when everything seems to come crashing down all at once? I have.

But first a little background. Lately, I’ve been struggling significantly in keeping up with A-Class Japanese. I was offered the option of dropping to B-level and turned it down so it’s no one’s fault but my own. Still, it bothers me that no matter how hard I try I just can’t quite seem to keep up.

It reached the point that I was so busy trying to get through all of my schoolwork that I failed to complete the JET application by the deadline. I can’t say that I really would’ve ended up spending the next year doing JET, but it would’ve been nice to have the option. I’d obtained one of the two letters of recommendation and completed half of the essay by the time the deadline passed. I was pretty bummed.

Another issue, significantly more important, that’s been weighing on my shoulders a lot lately has to do with my visa extension. Due to a technicality in the immigration laws and the fact that I originally came to Japan under the sponsorship of Kansai Gaidai University and not Ritsumeikan, there was a good chance that I’d be DEPORTED before my program finishes – forcing me to default on my apartment lease and lose all of the units that I would’ve acquired this semester at Rits. Not to mention eat the huge cost of a last-minute plane ticket home.

Then I decide to give my bank a call to find out what’s up with the replacement for my expired ATM card – it was taking significantly longer than usual to arrive. They mailed it to the wrong address. Meaning that until they get me a new one, I have no way to withdraw money except for credit card cash advances. Wallet: flush…

Next I receive an e-mail from Yahoo. Because my e-mail address is linked to my ex-roomates’ broadband account back in San Diego, when they moved out I lost access. Translation: instead of preparing a 15 minute speech that was due on Monday, I spent almost all of Friday changing my contact information with banks, car insurance, phone company, credit cards, etc.

But that’s just background. Now for the real rough times.

This Saturday my laptop hard drive crashed without warning. And when I say “crashed” I’m not talking about accidentally downloading a virus and being unable to get back into Windows. I’m talking about a physical drive failure so severe that even the various data recovery programs I’ve used to pull data off of dead drives in the past couldn’t recognize it. My last back-up was several months ago. Every picture I’ve taken, every vocab list and grammar sheet I’ve made, all of the work I’ve done on the geosurveying software, and all of my e-mail records for the past several months have joined my poor childhood pet Kutya up in doggy heaven.

Clearly Saturday was the low point…but thankfully, from there things started to turn around. After two full days of morning-to-night data recovery attempts, I managed to get almost everything back off the drive. I also received a notice that my visa extension was approved and I would indeed be able to remain in Japan as planned. Mega-relief!

Plus I have a trip to Gifu this weekend to look forward to (which I’ll tell you about next time) and a visit from my mom in two weeks. Yes, things are starting to turn around…

Still, here I am on Tuesday having accomplished virtually nothing since last Thursday, when I was already feeling behind on my work. From here on out it’s going to be isshoukenmei ganbarimasu. That’s “get my butt in gear and kick some butt” to all of you English-speakers out there 🙂

  6 Responses to “Rough Times”

  1. Oh man, really sorry to hear all that.

    I turned in the application, but now I’m scared about the interview, if it were to take place.

  2. Damn… are cursed! That sucks. It is never fun to have anything go wrong….and having soo many things go wrong must have been really trying. I always feel much worse when my cpu goes down. I depend on it more than anything.

    If you need anything, give me a call,


  3. Wow, it does sound like everything just came crashing down at once. I have totally had that happen to me and not too long ago either. It’s nice to see that you can still keep a good sense of humor about it though. Glad to hear that things are shaping up for you again.

  4. Man, what a sucky week! I am really glad to here things are looking up now though. Hang in there!!


  5. you forgot the highlight of your saturday…gossiping and giggling with me until 2 AM! wait…we’re not girls. that was gay.

  6. Justin,

    Sorry to hear about your recent troubles. I feel even more in step with you now because I had a similar string of events happen just before my birthday; computer problems, missing deadlines, expensive plane tickets, getting deported.. okay not the last one. But then I made it to New York and it was all gravy from there. I’m sure you’ll get back on top and then some. Take care and I’ll talk to you later.


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