<   2008年 07月 ( 10 )   > この月の画像一覧
聽說西雅圖是個無聊的城市

[snap] Seattle


五月底去西雅圖時照的。
當天印象最深的就是兩個小時的停車費=30美金也!! 065.gif


還有高速公路上被美國警察攔下來....008.gif


結果是大燈忘記開...042.gif
原本還以為回不了家了!!
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-29 16:42 | 雑感
這年頭掛號信這麼貴呀




老天呀有沒有搞錯,
寄一份重107 g 的航空信,(早知道就乾脆把迴紋針拿下來算了,說不定能壓到 100g 以下)
只是要掛號,
竟然要跟我收 $20.

乾脆寄 EMS 算了...真是的!015.gif
才差$5... 郵資都貼上去了才跟我講價錢!
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-26 16:15 | 日和
Monbukagakusho Scholarship for Research Student - 1 - fill in the Application Forms


飛行



Although I am still in the process of applying for this Monbukagakusho (文部科学省/MEXT) Scholarship, the most scary part has been done (the exam and interview). Thus I would like to share my experience with people who are also interested in this scholarship.

I found a lot of useful tips from Lars Martinson's website and I would suggest those who are interested in applying this scholarship to go and read his entries. He writes much better than I do and he also has much more details in his articles.


Anyway, the new application form for this scholarship comes out every year on the websites of most Japanese Embassy and Consulate General around the world during Spring time. The exact time frame varies from country to country, but it is not something you should worry about. In my case, the form appeared in the Consulate General's website sometime during March, and the deadline was in middle of May. (Please don't quote me on the following, but as far as I know, the application form is the same throughout the world, so you can just go and download it from any Japanese Embassy/Consulate General website or from their main site right here. You can actually find .doc file from the main site whereas most Embassy websites only provide .pdf files.) Filling in the application form ITSELF takes less than a day, but other things may take longer to complete, especially your Study Proposal.

The application bundle contains the following forms for applicants to complete:

- Application Form
- Application Form (Attachment)
- Recommendation Form
- Field of Study and Study Program
- Certificate of Health
- etc.

and lets talk about them one by one

Application Form

This Application Form is fairly straightforward, just some of your personal information and education background. If you have experience with the application form for JET, then this should be a piece of cake as you don't have to put in your teaching experiences or look at a Japanese map and decide which block of prefectures you would like to go. Even if you don't have that experience, it is still a very simple form to fill in and I am not going to spend any more time on this form. One thing to note is that I took Lars' advise and typed out the Application Form instead of using a pen. But this is just because my hand writing resembles that of an elementary school grade 2 student. So I don't want to give the selection committee the impression that my ability to conduct a research is also equivalent to an elementary school student. It is really up to you on this one and I chose to type it out simply because I have trouble reading my own hand writing. But who knows, maybe you have beautiful hand writing that might impress the entire committee.



Application Form (Attachment)

This is the form where you need to actually do some research on the schools you would like to attain and contact potential professors you would like to work with. Since my Consulate General allows applicants to hand in this form AFTER passing the preliminary screening in August, it is not mandatory to contact potential professors early on. (However, I would STRONGLY recommend you to start contacting professors early on even before you pass the preliminary screening because the time frame is tight afterwards)

Again, don't quote me on this, but I heard that it gives you a better chance of being selected if you indicate that you want to continue on for a Master's degree or Ph.D. Well, at least it gives them the impressing that you really want to study, and not going to Japan and party for 2 years. However, there is nothing backing up this statement, so you don't have to take it seriously. It is just something I've heard.


Recommendation Form

Each candidate is required to have 2 people fill in this Recommendation Form for him/her. In my case, I have my previous professor and the team leader at work filling this form for me. If you are a student, you can have 2 professors do this for you. Since I am working already, I have to have someone from work to do this for me. (I know it is sometime hard to obtain a recommendation letter from work or have someone fill-in this recommendation form for you. Some bosses are just unreasonable and they think looking for a new job (or going back to school in this case) is an act of betrayal 050.gif. Well, they are nuts!! Don't even bother wasting your time and energy on people like that. You can just try to think a way to work around this problem. To be honest with you, I don't like my direct supervisor and I don't want to take any risk with someone unreliable. This is why I have the "team leader" instead of the "supervisor" writing this Recommendation form for me, and hey! It worked!!)


Field of Study and Study Program

This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of the application. The gist and the essence of the application. Please spend A LOT of time on this. I spent the entire month of April and half of May writing my research proposal. I finished it just a few days before the deadline. The goal is simple: try to think of something that would be original and interesting enough for the government of Japan to be willing to spend their tax money on you for at least 2 years. Therefore, your research should be on something that would probably benefit Japan in the long run. The goal is simple alright, but coming up a reasonable proposal requires a lot of sweat and tears, well not quite, but a lot of thinking for sure.



Certificate of Health

This is a form you have to take it to your family doctors. For those of you out there who don't have a family doctor like me, well, good luck.... Nah, its okay, just go to your nearest clinic since you are probably going to visit the doctor more than once. I would suggest you start this at least 2 weeks prior to the deadline because it can take up to a week for all the medical exam results to come back as this was my case. If everything seems good, then good for you, no worries. However, if you are required to do further examination to make sure you are fit to go and study in Japan, I would assure you that you would be looking at you calender cursing upon the inefficiency of our health system, I know I did.
It might be different in Asia or Europe, but here in North America, you need at least a week to have this form complete even if your body is built like a tank. Oh, the fee? I think I paid around $100 for the entire process for all the examinations and doctor's fee.


etc.

This includes things like a certified copy of your university degree, transcript, and anything you feel like to add-on in order to increase your chance of being selected. In my case, I attached my JLPT LV. 1 certificate. For the certified copy of your university degree, you might have to contact your university to obtain more information on that. For your information, my school required me to "surrender" my actual degree (good thing I didn't buy a $160 frame to frame it in the first place) to the registrar's office and paid $7 for the office to make a photocopy plus a stamp and a signature on the photocopy. I was told that it could take up to 2 weeks to complete but I got mine back in 2 days. Nevertheless, start early is not a bad thing because you never know what is going to happen. Transcript? A piece of cake. $5 and 2 working days would produce you one (at least for my school). See if you have anything extra you would like to attach to (if you are going for fine arts, you are required to submit your portfolio) and it won't hurt if you have none.


After you have everything, double check, and triple check. It is very embarrassing to have typos and/or grammar mistakes on the Application Forms (as I did...025.gif I discovered a few mistakes after handing in everything, and imagine what it feels like to worry about this for a month thinking that the selection committee would expel you for such a careless and stupid mistake). Anyway, back to the topic. After you have quadruple checked your Applications forms, go and make 3 more copies. Now you have 1 original and 3 copies. As you are required to hand in 1 original and 2 copies, it is always a good idea to keep a copy for yourself. After you have everything ready, check for each pile of copies to make sure everything is there, and put them into a nice folder and hand it into your nearest Embassy/Consulate General. I handed it in in-person, but I know someone using FedEX as well, so again, its up to you.


After you hand everything in, give yourself an applause and wait for the reply from your Embassy/Consulate General. In my own case, I relaxed for a week after handing in everything, and then I started contacting potential professors via email. After more than two weeks of trying (a lot of professors don't really like to reply emails, and it is not a good idea to send out too many emails or contact more than 1 professor from the same university) I found a professor who is interested in my work and would take me under her wing pending on my scholarship result. As a side note, it would be much easier to find some professors welling to accept you if you have passed the preliminary screening. The only down side is that you don't really have that much time after passing the preliminary screening to the deadline where you must submit the acceptance letter from the university to the Embassy/Consulate General.

I think it took about 3 weeks from the time when I handed in the Application Forms to actually received an email from my Consulate General telling me to go for the exam and interview. Anyway, it is getting late tonight, I will talk about the exam and the interview next time. :)
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-25 17:01 | MEXT scholarship
[篤姫] 家定公領便當了


Yummy Cheese Cake



這週好累,
難得今天偷閒把積起來的片子看一看。

唉~篤姫的劇情,
第13代將軍家定下台一鞠躬,
領便當去了。057.gif

我很喜歡這個角色,
平常裝傻,
可是偶爾卻又露出銳利的眼光,
講出一兩句一針見血的話。
他跟篤姫的互動就只能講說是柏拉圖似的熱戀吧。
可惜短命呀。

之前一直在想家定到底像誰。
除了很像 BUSHIDO BLADE 百人斬裡面第100人目的主公以外
影影約約覺得我有看過類似的角色,
卻又記不起來是誰。

今天突然靈光一閃,
想到了!

家定根本就是山崗莊八筆下的織田信長嘛!!
嚴格講起來,
應該是織田吉法師信長,
也就是打桶狭間之前的信長。

怎麼講呢,
兩人都是平常瘋瘋癲癲,
難以捉摸,
卻都有些隱情。
但骨子裡,
兩個人都精的要死。
理解他們的也只有他們的妻子,
一生中最能信賴的也是妻子。


不過信長是一個很暴躁的人,
而家定倒是很難看出情緒起伏,很會裝傻了事。

唉,過了這集,
再也看不到整部片裡最歡樂的角色了。
過了這集,
宮崎あおい就不能穿漂亮的和服出現了。
唉...之後就只能看胖胖像顆球的井伊直弼出來攪亂,
好在井伊直弼大概沒幾集就會在桜田門外變成 sashimi
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-24 16:21 | 動畫
白髮
第一次見到自己的白髮是大四。
就那麼一根。
結果當然是立刻拔下。

之後畢業後在大陸工作第二個月,
一次發現了三跟。
立刻拔下。

前幾天去剪頭髮時,
地上那團散髮中又有好幾截的白髮。

剛剛照鏡子時發現後腦杓又一根,
只是角度很怪拔不到。

唉...真的是老了。
煩惱也多了。
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-22 16:47 | 雑感
文部科學省獎學金 - 緣起


[snap] 野花



這個星期六我又"生病"了!!
雖然說這只有早上打電話請病假時的那一瞬間,
電話一掛,
我又恢復正常睡大頭覺了!001.gif

自從星期二收到好消息之後我一直都很 High,
原本我以為都完蛋了,
要選從Lions Gate 或是 Aurthur Laing 跳下...054.gif
現在又覺得人生充滿了希望。

雖說後面還是有些步驟要走,
但難關已過,
之後相信不會太難。



我從去年九月開始準備 JET,
十一月從台北寄申請資料回日本駐溫哥華領事館,
為了二月的面試十二月回溫哥華。
二月面試,
自認為面試過程不錯,
輕鬆的等了兩個月。
結果,四月時接到薄薄的一封信(落選)。
那時真的感覺到晴天霹靂,
萬念俱灰...真的很有想砍掉重練的打算。

之後,渾渾噩噩過了兩天。
想說這樣下不行,
需要趕緊擬定一個 backup plan.
然後,又在日本駐溫哥華領事館網站看到日本文部科學省(同我們的教育局)獎學金的報名截止日期是5月14日,
等於還有一個月時間準備。

這個獎學金待遇很好,
會幫你出機票錢,
所有學費,學雜費,入學費等等。
總之,日本大學會跟你收費用一切免除,
另外每個月還會提供你生活費,
等於是有人請你免費去讀書,
外加付薪水給你。
有沒有這麼好的事!!?
就是有!!



我是一直到我畢業那年才知道有這個獎學金的存在,
但當初看到表格內的那一大片空白等著你填的研究計畫欄後腦筋先是打結三分鐘,
之後就直接放棄了。

不過這次想想,
這獎學金大概是我最後的機會了。
不去爭取的話,
我真的不知道要怎麼辦才好。
難道真的要先工作三年存點錢再回學校嗎?
算算自己的年紀,
再看看過去兩年做了些什麼,
感覺結果是絕望的。

所以心一橫,
牙一咬,
決定賭在這上面了。

接下來整個四月與五月,
好像是老天幫忙一樣,
公司生意不好,
幾乎每天都請人早走。
因此我接近是天天翹班(不資薪早退)。
退下來的時間就是忙著到圖書館翻書想研究計畫,
然後跟之前的教授討論。

好笑的是,
其中一個教授每次見面都耳提面命的提醒我 "This is a VERY competitive scholarship"
好像在跟我說 "很難啦!! 你沒機會啦!! 上了算撿到,不上才正常"031.gif
而我每次聽完心中的壓力就更大了。

總之,在遞件死線的四天前,
我終於把所有的資料備齊。
其中最慢出來的不是我的研究計畫,
而是身體健康檢查報告。
醫院的X-ray 部門的效率差到爆,
洗一張片子可以洗到兩個星期這樣子...022.gif

在死線前一天,
我親自把那一疊如果上了的話就是一字千金的紙交進了領事館。
交進去之後,真的鬆了一口氣,
鬆了大約一個星期吧...XD


這個獎學金有三種申請方式,
- 大使館/領事館推薦
- 日本大學推薦
- 在地大學推薦

我走的是第一項, 也是最普遍的申請方式,
大使館/領事館推薦。

這獎學金在全世界各地只要跟日本有邦交的國家都可申請,
連台灣都有...

等等!! 台灣又沒有跟日本有邦交。
而且之前還有位腦殘人士說不排除開戰 orz

為什麼會有?

因為台灣的國際立場很鳥
日本在台灣沒有大使館但民間交流頻繁,
取而代之的是日本交流協會,
就跟沒有中華民國大使館(好啦,全世界大概有10來個吧),卻有台北經濟文化辦事處是一樣的,
you get the idea.

而這個文科省獎學金在台灣叫做交流協會獎學金,
待遇跟文科省獎學金一樣。
錄取名額比這邊多很多,
但申請的人多更多,一樣搶破頭。

總之,
今天先打到這裡,
下次繼續談。
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-20 16:48 | MEXT scholarship
よかった
よかった。

言葉ができない喜びが今我が身に溢れている。
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-15 09:42 | MEXT scholarship
不樂觀
七月的第二個星期已要過完。
還沒消息。

凶多吉少。
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-11 13:21 | 日和
Are you over 19?


[snap] Key chain holder



昨天買 649 時被賣彩卷的韓國叔叔問了 "Are you over 19?"

雖然跟 Jeff 大哥哥還有段距離,
但我不知道到底該高興還該覺得很囧rz

該慶祝自己看起來很年輕,還是看起來很幼稚...015.gif

我滿19了嗎?

是的,我今天剛滿19歲又2500天031.gif

===============================================

看來消息這個星期是不會來了,
那就是下週了...

還是如往常一般的緊張。
剛剛跟友人C聊了一下,
他說我得失心太重。

沒辦法,這對我太重要了。

如果要把人分成樂觀和悲觀,
我是悲觀派的。

而依照以往樂極生悲的 jinx,
這次我選擇了得到消息之前都讓自己活在心驚膽顫的消極生活中,
直到收到消息為止。
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-05 15:15 | 日和
還在等消息


Teddy Bear



每晚睡覺前都很緊張,
會例行性的想到 "萬一落榜怎麼辦",
隨之,心整個揪在一塊,
心悸讓我在床上翻來覆去睡不著。

最近日子過的有些痛苦,
一切娛樂不敢想,
連 blog 都不太想寫,
怕過得太快樂到時候會跌的很痛。
每日懷著忐忑不安的心情收信卻又害怕看到不好的結果。
但求一切順利。

就算是死刑,
我想,
死刑犯在聽到最後判決後應該也會鬆一口氣吧。
比起還未宣判時那種煎熬相比...
[PR]
by yao-san | 2008-07-04 10:57 | 日和


カメラと暮す日和