Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Class time

So. Tuesdays are my least favorite day of the week. Not only are they my longest day (class periods 2-4)(well, Friday's are just as long, but Friday's are fun), but they are my least favorite. Period.

In the interest of fairness and giving today a chance, I did wake up with only 20 minutes to get dressed and arrive at class. So that didn't start so well. But I made it on time!


Anyways, I went to my first class of the day at JWU which was kanji class. Here is the general format. We're broken into 3 sections (mind, there are only 7 of us) based on our "level". I say this in quotes because the only reason I'm bumped up is because of the massive kanji test I took a few weeks back. Arrive, take kanji test which is usually comprised of two chapters (except that one 11 chapter monster). Afterwards look at next two chapters in textbook, read listed words for each kanji, write main kanji 5 times each. This is usually followed by a chapter specific worksheet which is actually just photocopies of about 4-5 pages of the textbook. After working on this a random amount of time, we do kanji flashcards. This consists of the teacher holding up kanji flashcards and us attempting to read kanji we've known for all of 30 minutes. Today was much the same, minus flashcards and we only received one chapter's worth of homework and teacher became magical favorite teacher of the hour because we have no kanji test next week. Yay!


After 2nd period, which lets out at 12:10, Chelsea and I returned to the dorms for lunch. This consisted of miso, rice, fish and massive amounts of tartar sauce with green noodles on the side. Oh, and tea, there's always tea. Anyways, not sure if it was just my body being blarg like it does of late or what, but I ended up not feeling so well afterwards. Chelsea came to my rescue and purchased a ginger ale to help settle things out.


Third period class today was, well, the normal. We go to our teacher's office, which is actually a communal office and thus large, on the 11th floor and watched a couple of videos through NHK. Again, Chelsea came to everyone's rescue and told sensei that the first video, a continuation of a previous lecture we had watched (some kind of linguistics video) was too difficult for us (since we didn't even understand the first one!). So we watched a show about a freelance designer and how her work, well works and one about a copy machine repair dude. Yeah. Joyness and such.

Fourth period is where I start to tear my hair out screaming. I can't blame it all on the teacher. I always feel like I'm a step behind to begin with in that class, but let's just say I feel really stupid in this class. What class is it might you ask? Advanced Japanese reading. This course uses the same J501 book we used back home at the University of Oregon, even if I remember little to none of it. Anyways, long story short, it's a difficult class for me. My reading level isn't all that high when it comes to Japanese. In fact, reading is my worst subject in Japanese. No shame in saying so. What frustrated me so much today I think was that, despite the fact that we have a midterm exam next week, unlike back home where we would have received a "please study vocab, grammar, etc. from pages #-#" or received a detailed list of things we should know it was more of a "Yeah. Know everything from these two chapters."


When confronted with "Okay, what vocab?" it was kind of a "The kanji from the readings." "Reading and writing?" The first entails knowing how to spell the word in hiragana, the second entails knowing how to write the kanji. "Reading only." This is where I pipe up, "Wait, sensei. Last week you told us we had to know the readings AND writing for one of the chapters. Which chapter was that?" "What? No. I never said that. I've always said reading only." Knowing glances shoot across the room. This is the place where the information you receive is never correct and always changing.

"Okay, what else?" Grammar, that kind of stuff. Blah, blah, blah. "Oh, and you'll have questions like in the Q&A and practice sections." "Wait, so what vocab do we need to know for that section?" "All of them?" "All of them." "All the words from kanji or all the words from the kanji section and the Q&A and practice sections?" "All of them." Insert frustrated sigh here. Teacher doesn't see why this is a problem that she's probably just quadrupled our amount of necessary studying with less than a week to go.

Anyways, I really don't like this class. There seems to be no format to it. Unlike back home, none of our classes have syllabi or a schedules so the teachers make it up as they go along, I swear. That makes this class all the more frustrating because it makes it VERY hard to know what to study or just what percentage of our grade this test is worth. I feel like that makes this class very hard because, essentially, there is no format for the teacher to follow which, in turn, leaves us struggling to follow and catch up as she makes it up. I spend most of this class every week near tears ready to run from the room. That's how much I dislike this class, but also just how much it frustrates me.

Only what, about 5-6 more weeks to go?

Time to think positive. And grow wings, via Red Bull while sipping on Monsters so I can get studying done this week. Oh boy. Yeah. This should be fun.



Tomorrow I have speech class. No idea how that's going to play out yet. Afterwards I'm heading to the doctor (I'm pretty sure I have shin splints) so that I can hopefully play volleyball without dying afterwards anymore. This will be followed by a trip out to order my archery gear. Afterwards I have ikebana (so looking forward to it!) and volleyball (depending on the outcome of the doctor's visit). So yeah. Juts my random, long than I thought it would be, spiel. Also just made me realize how busy tomorrow is going to be. Yikes!

For those of you unfamiliar with it's location.
Oh, yeah. And Game of Thrones rocks. The girls and I took a much needed break to watch the new episode.

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