Monday, April 12, 2010

No English Please!

I checked out some more books on Japanese culture and business in order to keep me motivated to learn Japanese. I figure this way, even when my brain hurts from studying Japanese, I can still be concentrating on Japan somehow. I really do like Japan - I’m not sure if I could live here permanently until I die but I’m seriously considering a career that involves traveling to Japan, if not moving here. Lots of other international students feel the same way. On Sunday a girl from Berlin was getting really depressed about how she is going to have to leave Japan in four months. She wants to stay in Japan for at least another two years and is looking into getting her master’s here. My Chinese friend, Sydney, wants to stay in Japan for another three to four years. She doesn’t miss China at all and thinks Japan is really great. I miss my family and friends from back home but that’s pretty much it. I don’t miss my car or my cell phone.

I grown accustomed to the “minimal-English” approach I’ve adopted here. I've distanced myself from the people that only speak English because then I’m only going to speak English and forget all the grammar and vocabulary I learned that day. Even just hanging out with Chinese and Korean people and hearing them speak their native languages makes me focus on things. I’m at the language learning phase where English is boring, ugly-sounding, and stupid. I can already predict that I am going to get somewhat annoyed that my friends back home don’t speak Japanese. I know there is one Japanese girl studying abroad in Vermillion next fall and I hope we can be friends and converse together. I’m going to contact the Sioux Falls Multicultural Center and see if they can place me with a Japanese language partner as well. I’d rather be able to say 10 sentences a day in Japanese than chit-chat in English. I know there are some students that disagree with the philosophy I am following but there are others that agree. There are two Korean boys that do their own thing with other Japanese students because they don’t want to hang out with other international students and speak English, and I don’t blame them.

Well, just a little tidbit of my thoughts for the day. My schedule for yesterday (Monday) included: studying Japanese, doing laundry, practicing violin, going for a run, and sitting through a lecture where the professor speaks super-slow English and I’m bored out of my mind.But, I’m sure some Japanese friends feel the same way about my Japanese ability so it is just linguistic karma biting me in the butt. In my Japanese economy class, the professor started talking about the social problems facing Japan. The powerpoint slide was "Has Japan Dead?" and the first bullet on the slide was the declining quality in the education system. Hmm..

I don't have class today. Just going to go veg out at the campus coffee house for a while and catch up on some reading. I'm meeting my tutor later this afternoon to go pay some bills and then I have to teach English from 4-6. My days are moderately busy - it's the perfect workload.

Here's some pictures:

Grabbing sushi with my Chinese friends last Friday night

The Korean girl I tutor! She refused to smile hahaha.

I like to read Japanese baby books.

Real ramen = amazing.


Terry said...

The little girl is so cute! One question - should we sell your car? Love the post!

Natalie Michals said...

Im so glad you are likeing it down there! It sounds like you have a great schedule set in..The Korean girl you tutor is adorable!
I will try to work on my japanese so that you dont have to get sick of our English when you get back ;) HA! I understand what you mean though! Japanese is so much more interesting to listen to and speak Im sure.
Miss ya!
Hope we can Skype tomorrow still!

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