I realized today, the day I finally had all of my classes, is the one month anniversary of my arrival in Japan! So of course I am going to make a post about it. Today’s post will be short, and won’t have any pictures – I promise tomorrow’s post will have a ton to make up for it.
Today’s Japanese lesson will involve a little bit of grammar and a little bit of vocab. I hope you’re looking forward to it!
Today I had class from 8:50 – 7:00 pm. I have Japanese from 8:50 – 1:00 pm, with a little bit of a break for me to finish homework and eat, and then I had my 中東史 class – Middle Eastern History – from 3:10 – 7:00 pm.
Completely. In. Japanese.
The class was definitely hard. For one it is LONG. We get a ten minute break every 70 minutes, and I definitely almost fell asleep at some point because I slept pretty badly last night. The content of the class itself looks interesting, but I already know it is going to take a lot of time and a lot of energy.
On the one hand, I was actually really surprised at how much I understood. I mentioned in an earlier post that I had gone to a lecture on feminism in Japan. At that time I was missing a lot of the 専門的 (specialized) vocabulary, so it was really difficult to understand. However this time, thanks to Professor Matsusaka in the History Department, I actually had a lot of Japanese vocabulary about history already in place. On top of that I was already mentally “warmed up” from my Japanese class earlier in the day, where I learned a lot of the words that later appeared in my lecture thank GOODNESS.
On the other hand, once the lecture was over and we went over the syllabus, I realized exactly how much I had decided to undertake. A book report written in Japanese. A final exam in Japanese. Writing a comment card, presumably in Japanese, to show I was in class. All at a pace that a normal fluent student could understand.
But then again, let me repeat, I also was able to understand a lot of the class, and take notes! I am super ridiculously proud of myself. It says something about my time here in Japan, that after only a month I have decided I can do this. That I am going to do this.
Taking a class in Japanese is pretty nervewracking, but I decided I am going to do scary things. That spirit is why I also decided to join ICU’s 和太鼓 group.
I had heard some pretty interesting things about Japanese club life. Strict use of keigo (a formal way of speaking that is pretty hard to master), ridiculously long hours, and difficulty with exchange students. Luckily, I didn’t find any of that. Granted it was only my first meeting, but everyone was really nice and welcoming. The practice was fun, enthusiastic, and was really nostalgic (since I am a part of Wellesley’s Taiko troupe.)
I decided to join on the spot. Sure I am going to have a little bit of difficulty communicating with my borrowed club mates (Wellesley Aiko is still number one in my heart!), but I think all of this will be a really good experience. I can’t stay in my comfort zone – I have to break free in order to learn things.
And here comes the Japanese lesson – bet you thought I forgot, huh?
If you remember from earlier, when I explained the name of the blog, ～ている is the same as a gerund. To make a verb in the past tense, you remove ている and replace it with た. So if I was done 頑張っているing, I would have 頑張った’ed. Yes the English is redundant. In this case, the new vocab word of the day is 疲れる. Tsu. Ka. Re. Ru. Since the day is over, and I am exhausted from two days of basically non-stop Japanese, I drop the る (ru), and add た (ta)。疲れた. つかれた. Tsu. Ka. Re. Ta.
Aka, I am tired, and am going to end the post with a good old-fashioned 顔文字, or kaomoji – those crazy Japanese emoticon-esque things that contain a bunch of different characters. Can you tell what this one is?