Wednesday, 5 September 2012

First three days of school

So school started this Monday. For the first time since spring 2010 I'm studying Japanese again and it feels great. Before starting I was really worried that I maybe would have forgotten too much, but it's going well. There are a lot of kanji that I've forgotten. They just tend to be annoyingly familiar but I still can't figure out what they are.

Since it isn't a beginner's course we had no introductory meeting on Monday except for all the teachers being there for about 15 minutes saying hello and introducing our new teacher: Inaba Miho. Then the lesson started. Everything was in Japanese. We were going to do a listening comprehension exercise and at first I was terrified. But then something just clicked and suddenly it felt like I was back in the classroom in Tokyo. I could understand the exercise. I filled it in correctly. Then we were going to write our jikoshoukai (self-introductory speeches) and I felt kind of proud for still being able to ask questions and receive advice in Japanese. I understood all the corrections Inaba-sensei said to me and I didn't have to turn to English to help me understand. I felt so proud of myself :)
Something that made me less proud of myself was that I didn't talk to anybody that day. I went to class, did what I was supposed to and then I left without saying a word to anyone of my classmates. I'm new in a class where everyone have known each other for the past year. It's hard. I never have any idea where to start or even how to start a conversation with a complete stranger.
Also I couldn't go to the afternoon class cause they moved it. When we received our original schedules online I made an opitician's appointment according to that one. But when they moved the class it clashed with my appointment and ofc I had to go to that one... That was a positive thing anyway! Got the news that my eyesight has gotten slightly better :)

On Tuesdays I only have one class at 3pm xD When I got there Kayo-sensei handed me the papers that were handed out on the afternoon class on Monday (I e-mailed Murao-sensei and told her that I had an appointment). Anyway the first thing that happened at that class was that she handed out a newspaper article and gave us ten minutes to read it. Although she had given us a glossary of a few kanjiwords in the end I was still completely dumbfounded. Kanji. Everywhere. Could hardly read a thing. Made me realise I have to work hard on my kanji this semester. I have hardly any problems understanding spoken Japanese (thanks to Tokyo I imagine), but if it's written and contains loads of kanji and no furigana, then I'm in trouble. Getting to know the history of Japanese poetry was interesting. As long as she's not going to ask us to write our own haikus then I'm fine.
After class I gathered up my courage and asked a classmate about the homework Murao gave us. And that was all that was needed. Something to start talking about. Spent about 45 minutes after class standing around in the hallway talking to four people from my class. Success! :D

Today was the first class we had with the head of our course. So he gave us all the information about the coursework today. Seems manageable. Finding out that we don't have to write our mini-essays in Japanese, but in Swedish or English was quite the relief. Wonder what language we'll write our dissertation in...
Also I'm really excited about our course literature!
The kanjibook and the green one in the bottom seem to be very similar to the ones I had in Tokyo, which is great cause I learned a lot from them, although they did not seem much at first glance.

Being back to studying Japanese is great. I've only been to back for three days and I can already feel the difference. I feel like I'm learning something all the time instead of just banging my head against a wall. Here's what French felt like:
I did lie on the floor singing my heart out at one point, and there were way too many nights where I cried myself to sleep cause I was never good enough. I felt constantly like a failure cause I never succeeded, and none of the teachers seemed to be able to help me. All they did was ask me if I had been to France and then they just brushed me off like I was stupid. If I asked for help they just repeated the same instructions they gave the first time, but slightly louder. There was never any encouragement to get better. No incentive. No help. On the other hand this is what Japanese feels like:
So yeah, I like this. I'm happy :)

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