Hacking away at a startup is way better than dealing with the sheer amounts of bullshit they shovel over here, though. :)
I've done a few previous JLPT 1 exams, and the vocab is the only place I'm lacking; I can usually narrow down the reading comprehension questions to 'one of these two', but 50% isn't a passing score. :)
Other than 'keep studying', any tips for helping me over the hump?
You have lived in Japan for at least a couple of years. You might get to know the history of Japan and some of the language in college, but living there is why you can speak it fluently (and know the customs).
Any phrase about all Asians which does not also apply to all Irish is horse puckey. There, I just saved you four years and 120k dollars.
For those of us without your degree - why would someone be boned?
I can talk to you in quite a bit of depth about discrimination against Koreans in post-war Japan, the Toyota production system, and the civil service examination system in pre-modern China. You know the sum total of my book learning about Vietnam? A close reading of my textbooks suggests there may have been a war, possibly involving white people.
Does that sound a little funny to you?
What kind of study prepares you for that? It's closest to cultural anthropology. I would expect it to come easy to sociologists and psychologists with interests in the matter.
Even between The Netherlands and Belgium, there are subtle differences that can be the difference between a deal and a failure. Learn those in a few one hour seminars and the mutual understanding and relationships get easier, or at least not unnecessarily complicated by misunderstandings that can be avoided. On the contrary, within a much larger country like France, even though there are differences and dislikes, especially between north and south, people tend to understand each other better. In Europe, these differences follow borders pretty well.
how to speak to a black female Texan at a business luncheon?
She's been stuck in dead-end jobs literally for a decade, which she, despite being intelligent enough to get said degree, finds completely unfair and incomprehensible. Her solution? Go back to college for a master's degree in philosophy...