First Week of School


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Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Sapporo
August 23rd 2009
Published: August 23rd 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

So my first week of school is over, and I'm sorry for not writing about it sooner. =
"Oh, that's ok."
"We would like you to meet our friend."
"Oh, hello. Nice to meet you."
"We would like to teach you English. Sorry, Japanese. Will you teach us English?"
"Oh. Umm, sure that sounds great."
"Do you like baseball? Have you seen the Sapporo baseball stadium yet?"
"I'm not a fan of baseball, sorry."
"Oh. What sports do you like?"
"Swimming. And skiing and skating."
"I like skiing too! Who is your favourite skier?"
"Umm, I don't know anyone's names. I just like to do it."
"Ok, bye."
"Bye."
They haven't talked to me since. My lack of sports knowledge has hopefully saved me from these awkeard conversations. =D
And that was the highlight of Wednesday. I also tried the Japanese math course. That was a pain. My teacher was looking up words like factoring, etc in his dictionary to tell me what to do in English. Unfortunately, we needed to cross multiply, which the dictionary said was called 'taski multiplying.' And then I pretty much just failed. It some kind of question I had never seen/done before, but I think by the end of it all, I was suppose to factor 4 variables and solve an inequality. むずかしです。

On Thursday, I participated in the 3rd year English elective class, and met one of the schools Assistant Language Teachers, or ALTs for short. His name is Robert and he's quite nice. My spare was spent talking to him, which, unfortunately ment that I had carried my physics text book all around the school for nothing. Yes, I'm cynical I know. Or, as Josephine would tell me, I am realistic. He was very helpful though, and suggested that I try one of the many tours which take you into various towns in the country for about 20-50 dollars. I would be able to practice my Japanese, as well as my Korean, which I know none of. As well as the tours, he also told me that I could buy tickets from Chitose to Seoul for about 300 dollars round trip. This was, of course, after I expressed wanting to learn Korean or at least visit South Korea sometime. Overall, a very nice guy I would mind talking to again. (Although the fact that we had the exact same shoes in different colours probably improved my opinion of a scrawny, guy wearing cordouroys. >_> Worst pants ever in my 'humble' opinion, but still a very nice guy.)
As I said, the boys from lunch did not talk to me on Thursday (or Friday), however, as Mioka and I were waiting for okaasan to pick us up, we encountered different strange boys. Super weird this time. At first we just overheard them beside us.
"I love you, I need you, I want to hold you..." one boy sung.
I looked at Mioka whispering へん, (hen; weird), under my breath. And then I heard it again. Turning around, there is a group of boys standing a slight distance away, pretending to act normal. I turn back to Mioka, once again calling them weird.
"Is joke," the same boy singing says loud enough for me to hear.
Okaaaayyyy, this is lovely, I think to myself. Sarcasm much? "Weird, very weird." By the time Mioka and I were in the car, we were giggling away.

Friday was calligraphy. Another class I am going to fail in. My poor characters should be burned. Especially after looking at everyone elses'. It was quite pathetic really. Plus, the teacher actually plans on marking them. >_< I'm doomed, or at least until I learn how to write a bit better. Time to use Google Search I suppose. I also had another math class, and World History Elective with the third years. I didn't fail math this time!!!! But only because it was pretty much stuff you learn in elementary. Sets, venn diagrams, etc. Either way, I was very proud of myself. And I learned that the Japanese use these weird symbols (an upside down and right side up U) for the words 'shared by,' 'and,' and 'only.' They are pronounced カップ (cappu) and クップ (cuppu). Either way, I was pretty proud of myself. the world history class is currently studying Islam, and using an English textbook, which I read from. Even the Japanese parts have enough English and borrowed words for me to get the gist of the class. And one of the guys can do that pencil/pen trick that Josie and Char can do, but which I fail at. *sigh.* Maybe he's a better teacher than those two. >_<
I didn't tell Mioka that back on the way to her class, I could here those boys from the other day singing again. =/

On Saturday, we did a bit of shopping. And I decided to screw myself over by buying a dessert cookbook. Needless to say, we got back home and I started translating a short recipe. Three ingredients, four steps, one sentence each. Not too hard, right. As if. >_< There were about 20 kanji that I had to look up on the computer. (Mioka was sleeping and her mother was making dinner.) Then I decided, that since I want to read this later, I should memorize and practice writing the kanji. I'm here to learn Japanese right? It took me 6 hours, staring at a computer screen, tiny kanji print, and my own messy writing before I finally translated the entire recipe. At least I've still managed to retain (pronounce and write) about half the kanji I saw. It is far easier to forgo learning what each sounds like, then practice writing them, and just memorize what they look like and the english translation. ie. Ni(ru) looks like 煮、and means to boil. But no, I SHALL do this the proper way.
がんばって!!!!

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24th August 2009

Wow! You're so lucky to be studying abroad in Sapporo! Northern Japan and Hokkaido is absolutely beautiful! Not to mention the beer there, is top notch ;D (I assume you're a tad too young to drink though). Anyway- I'm jealous! I would love to get a chance to live in Northern Japan! You should consider adding some pictures to your journal entries- at least be sure to take pictures and keep them for your own memories/records. Haha. Looks like you can't escape high school awkwardness and drama no matter where one goes? :P Japan is no exception to this I see. But, try being open to making new friends and not getting too "weirded out" by the differences between cultures. Sorry for the long comment, but I'm also going to be studying abroad in Japan this fall- and I like reading others stories about their study abroad experience. I'm going to be in Osaka- wish it were Hokkaido though! =P Have a fun semester. がんばってよ!
26th August 2009

Thank you. I'm really glad for the oppurtunity. I must agree. The scenery is exquisite with all the mountains and greenery. =] I would like to add pitures, but I'm afraid that I've been borrowing my families computer, and therefore can't upload them onto here. I'll try to add photos when I go back home though. Haha, it's gotten better I think, or I've gotten use to it. =/ Still very funny, despite the slight awkwardness. Everyone means well I'm sure. Ah, are you an ALT (assistant language teacher) then? I hope you ahve fun in Osaka. がんばりましょう!

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