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First Week of Japanese Class August 28, 2010

Posted by coolmikeol in Japan.
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Classes have started for me again. This fall 2010 semester is my third year in college, though it doesn’t feel like it to me. Sometimes I still feel like I’m in high school sometimes, probably due to my looks. Anyways, this post also marks the first of a new category of posts for Topic “Otaku” I call “My Journal”. Obviously by its name, it will be where I blog about my personal life, though usually Japan topic related.

This semester I decided to take a first semester Japanese class for much-needed units and also because I want to learn some of the language too. Being an avid anime fan, it’s only natural to be interested in learning Japanese, but that’s not my only reason why. By being a college student, I’m basically studying what I will be doing for my future. That future for me is undetermined because of a couple of reasons, but the main reason why is quite simple, yet a bit pathetic in my own opinion; It’s because I don’t really know what I want to do in my future. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, quite the contrary, I’ve thought about it over and over, about what I’m good at (science, particularly biology), what good career choices there are that are within my limits (going for health education major), and what I like to do as a hobby (Japan related stuff, photography, blogging). To make it worse is this worldwide economic crisis that’s making finding part-time jobs hard to find, so I’m strapped for cash, limiting my effort to finding my future. Even in all these uncertainties, I did make one decision to my future, which is something I did on a whim, sort of like a risk, taking Japanese.

While choosing my classes I wasn’t sure if I should take Japanese or not. I usually try to find classes that I need to take for my major or GE (general education) classes. The reason why I’m taking Japanese is to see if I am truly dedicated in my passion for Japan and its unique culture. A post from my favorite blogger gave me the push to go for it.

“…Me being in Japan with my current way of life would never have happened if I didn’t follow my passion which I discovered when I was a wee lad.

Even though I was good at it, I knew I didn’t want to make shoes. I then discovered Japanese culture through anime, manga, games and idols. I didn’t know what line of work I wanted to do (no internets back them) but knew for sure that I wanted to live and work in Japan. I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen but I just started with something that I knew was going to help – learn Japanese.

If you end up not following your passion just because of what others think then you have effectively agreed to live the life of others – this is *your* life – your short life, your arms, your legs, your will. Do what you can – do it now. Never give in to those who fear you or your hobbies because you will end up just like them – living the lives of others.”

— Danny Choo

Because of his inspirational words to go for what I want to do, I’m doing something that I never imagined I would be doing. Back in high school, I had to take a couple of years of a foreign language class, the language was Spanish. The horror of trying to enjoy the language was not there for me. I told myself that I wasn’t going to try taking a language class in school again. At that time, I was not into Japanese culture at all, I was just a normal person. There was Japanese classes in my high school, but I wanted to go for a “default” language. If I was back in high school with my mindset today, I would have picked Japanese, no doubt about it.

It’s been about a week since I’ve started my Japanese class, and so far it’s been quite fun. I’m already trying to remember Hiragana and surprisingly I am, about 30 so far in five days worth of classes. I had a test yesterday and I’m pretty sure I got at least an 80%. The only problem I had was with two Hiragana that I kept on switching the romaji for in my mind. Otherwise I know I got a 100%. On Thursday, sensei wrote 13 Japanese words on the board that I smiled at, because they were words you hear in an anime all the time. I would have taken a picture of the white board, but it was the one day I didn’t have my camera with me. Here is my notes from that day:

I know you know some of these words. The only one I didn't know was gochisousama, which is said after a meal has been eaten.

Well that’s it for now. I will make more posts about my progress in my Japanese class as time goes on.

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