Thursday, September 26, 2013

Interview tomorrow!

Just in case you're wondering, I'm still here in Tokyo, surviving and 'swimming' every day. Since I posted "How to 'swim' in Tokyo", I have applied for three jobs. Two teaching positions that I unfortunately didn't pass and one coordinator position for which I'll have an interview tomorrow. It's not a teaching position but the job descriptions actually sound like it would perfectly fit the paths I've taken (because as a matter of fact, I really wasn't always a teacher—I have many faces and 'drawers'), and it's a job at one of the very best universities in Japan, so I would be thrilled if I can get this job. We'll see. 

This evening I went to buy a suit, because I didn't have one. I could have gone to a store to get one earlier but I heard from this university only two days ago that I passed the first screening and it wasn't until then I knew about the interview. I went to the shop where Mike got his suit the other day. People at the shop remembered me and asked me what the occasion was this time. I told them that I'll have an interview tomorrow morning. They helped me and let me try on many suits. I ended up being there for 2 hours (!) and picked this dark grayish "skinny fit" suit, which was actually the very first suit I tried on today.

Other than looking and applying for jobs, I've been almost religiously translating poems by Shuntaro Tanikawa. I feel like I'm sort of addicted to it. It feels that the day literally doesn't end until I translate a poem or two. I have received many nice comments and encouragements from my readers, and I'm planning on translating more. Tanikawa doesn't use much metaphor and his words seem simple on the surface, but the world of Tanikawa is indeed very unique, peculiar and profound, so when it comes to translating his poetry, it's very challenging. He sometimes makes up words and some of his poems are quite musical, so I find it very difficult to transfer the color and taste to another language. Especially when the poem has some rhythm in Japanese, it's almost always impossible to give the same rhythm to the English version. For example, I'm trying to translate his poem『あいしてる』and it's very rhythmic and musical in Japanese. Here is the first stanza:

あいしてるって どういうかんじ?
ならんですわって うっとりみつめ
あくびもくしゃみも すてきにみえて
ぺろっとなめたく なっちゃうかんじ  

Each line has a quadruple measure, and when you read it aloud, it's so rhythmic that naturally makes you want to nod your head. I've been doing a staring contest with this poem for two days now, trying to figure out how to make the English version as musical as the original.

The first line could be, How does it feel to be in love? or What is it like to be in love? Either would work because it has a quadruple measure, just like the original, but I haven't come up with the rhythmic translation for the second line. It will be my homework for this weekend!

So, like I said, I will have an interview tomorrow morning. I have to leave the house by 7:30am or so, I need to turn in early tonight. Before that, a hot bath sounds good to me... Night, world! Until next time... 

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