Thursday, March 21, 2013

You might be in a Japanese school if . . .

As I was taking a study break it occurred to me that what is "normal" now at the end of the first semester as a student in a Japanese language school took some adjustment at the beginning.  I began making a list of things are part of my "new normal".

You might be in a Japanese school if . . .
1. You pass a sumo wrestler (or 2) on the way to school.*

2. Your teacher uses a Pikachu stamp on your homework.

3. Red pen circles all over your paper indicate correct responses. 

4. Students go to the コンビニ(convenience store) at break time. 

5. You study kanji while riding the train to school.

6. You sleep while riding the train home from school.

7. Classmates share their dried squid and/or Pocky sticks with you at break time.

8. Students use their cell phones as electronic dictionaries.

9. The teacher says, "お疲れさまでした" or "Thank you for your hard work" at the end of each class. 

10. You find all your school supplies at the 100 yen store. 

11. You use the game "rock, paper, scissors" to resolve a tie or decide who goes first.

12. From your classroom window you see women dressed up in maid costumes handing out brochures for maid cafes.

13. Your school field trip is to a Ninja Museum. 

I posted this on my Facebook wall and some friends responded with these additions:
14. You start to dream in Japanese.
15. You bow at the beginning of every class when the teacher walks in.
16. You answer every question now with a nod and then say "hai"!
17. You know all the names of the different kinds of fish in Japanese. BTW, they all translate in English to "tuna".
18. You start to buy a bottle of green tea instead of Cola, (it will taste better with the dried squid.)
19. Before you try to say something, find yourself saying え~と~
20. You learned the kanji for umbrella and the 101 uses of the umbrella in Japan.** 傘
21. You learned the art of bowing quickly with your head.

Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment section.

Foot notes:
*#1 in the last 11 days I've passed 9 sumo wrestlers. 
** #20  My final essay/speech was on the way Japanese people use umbrellas. I was one of 2 students from my class who were voted by classmates to give the speech again at the all school closing ceremony. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Checking In

Yep, I'm still here.
 I'm still in language school. Thank you for those who have been praying for me! 
God is teaching me much spiritually during this time of linguistic learning.  Perhaps someday I'll be able to into words the stretching process taking place in my heart. 

For now - Words - Japanese Words - are what I'm focusing on. I've just begun a set of 9 final tests to end this semester at language school.  Our last test is March 21. March 21 is our closing ceremony.

I'm also doing some of the "not so glamorous" tasks related to my job.
* Japanese Taxes
* US Taxes
* Expense Reports
* Mailing list reconstruction

I'm glad there are some fun things in the mix like: 
*School field trip: to a Ninja museum and historic Japanese town
*Meeting new friends: 2 Japanese women introduced themselves to me this week
*Missionary Fellowship: Prayer & Praise
*Celebrating my niece's birthday via Skype
*Girl's Night: Making Pizza, talking of media, music & movies then introducing the girls to "I love Lucy!"

I'm enrolling in the next semester of language school which starts April 9. 

PS. March Madness in Japan : translates into the Spring Sumo tournament - which happens to take place in Osaka just a few blocks from where I attend language school. (March 10-24) So far I've spotted 2 Sumo wrestlers outside the arena.  (They're easy to spot. What to look for: LARGE Japanese men wearing a kimono.)   I wonder how to say, "May I have your autograph?" in Japanese.