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Yuki's Diary 日記

The words of the year 2020

It is time for me to look back at what I experienced this year and summarize it in some words, as I do it every year-end. This year, COVID-19 has affected a great deal to the lifestyle of people all over the world, including myself. I have been forced to stay home and work from home for most days of this year. 

Despite such restricted situations, I encountered some new things. The words of this year are Synapusyuthe handgun, and computer programming.

Synapusyu is TV Tokyo’s morning program for infants ranging from 0 to 2 years old. Since it launched in April this year, it has been entertaining them with songs, animations, music, gimmicks, arts & crafts, and more. It is not so much a childish toddler program as an entertainment show. Up-and-coming artists offer materials to this program, and most of their artworks enchant not only babies but adults like me. These days I watch it regularly when I prepare for getting to work every weekday morning.

I was interested in the handgun during the shelter period from March through May. I got to know from books and YouTube videos about handgun brands—not only traditional brands I had known since childhood, such as Colt, Smith & Wesson, Luger, Beretta, and Walther but also the latest brands like Glock, Desert Eagle, SIG Sauer, and Heckler & Koch. I taught myself how automatic handguns work and how to handle them, keep them, and fieldstrip them properly. I bought (gas) guns online and got used to using them. I did everything except for using real firearms.

Through these experiences, I found out how different they were from what I had seen on TV dramas, movies, and animes when I was a little boy. I think that, unlike fiction, it is tough to hit the moving target you aim at with a pistol. I don’t believe that you should overestimate handguns as a self-protective weapon. To shoot the enemy who has a sword and is about to attack you, you have to do a series of things—getting the gun and the magazine out of where they are stored, inserting the magazine into it, sliding the slider backward to cock the hammer and load a bullet to the chamber, aiming at the target with front and rear sights, and setting the safety lever to the fire position. Before completing these things, your opponent will get within proximity of you and kill you. I found out that the handgun was not mightier than the sword.

Besides, getting in touch with computer programming is one of this year’s most remarkable experiences. I had been away from it for over 15 years because I was busy with work. Since I got a little free time this year because of the shelter-in-place, I opened a GitHub account and began writing codes. I was amazed at how rapid the changes in computer technologies had been for 15 years. But, thanks to today’s open-source programming languages and easy-to-use integrated development environments, I got used to the new languages relatively quickly. For half a year, I’ve had a smattering of Python, Javascript, JQuery, Go, SwiftUI, Kotlin, Julia, and PHP, using IDEs like PyCharm, Anaconda, Xcode, and Visual Studio Code. Some languages were easy to learn, and some weren’t. I’m still far from catching up with cutting-edge computer technologies, but now I can at least make some small-sized programs, small apps, and medium-sized web systems.

The words of the year 2019 were HokkaidoMercari, and Grand Cherokee. Those of the year 2018 were cashlessJapanese language, and comeback, and those of 2017 Yurie OmiNHKshingles, and English exams. For 2016, the words were traveling to places in Japanmapping, and Jeep. Like this, I summarized the year 2015 in Maine, United StatesEstonia; and transfer of workplace. In 2014, I experienced England and Android. In 2013, AyurvedaKoreahigh school alumni, and Tsuyoshi Takashiro were what I encountered. The words of 2012 were Ojithe mahjongthe flight attendant, and Facebook. The words of 2011 are the carthe British culture, and China.

I don’t think the next year will be a better one. COVID pandemic is far from ceasing, Japanese politicians are losing their ways, and the newborn pro-China administration in America will be harsh to my country. Despite that, an individual has to get through such difficult situations. I think all I will do is nothing but preparing for whatever will happen by brushing up my English and IT skills and distributing dispersively all of my resources, including monetary assets and tangible ones.

By Masayuki (Yuki) Kawagishi

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