Monday, April 18, 2011

No Clever Title

     It has been nearly a week since my last post. A lot has happened (including me being lazy).I'm fairly certain that I have my chosen classes figured out. I'm not happy that some of courses I wanted to take will conflict with others I have to take, but there is always a way to learn what I want. In addition to school news, I have been allowed wonderful opportunities in making new friends. Friends that can help me with my Japanese. One of my bigger fears, before coming to Japan, was that I would be stuck making friends that only speak English, and that I would not be able (or be forced) to use my Japanese. Most thankfully, that is not the case.

     My current class schedule is as follows:

Period I
Period II
Period III
Period IV
Period V
Comprehensive Japanese Japanese Reading
Comprehensive Japanese Kanji Intro to Japanese Music: Shakuhachi
Comprehensive Japanese Japanese Listening Culture Clashes
Comprehensive Japanese Kanji Traditional Performing Arts of Japan
Comprehensive Japanese Japanese Conversation Cultural/Social Culture of the Japanese

     Perhaps it is not the most intensive schedule, while considering only meeting once a week, but the intensity of the language lessons might balance that out.

     I was disappointed not being able to take the Judo class (along with "Modern and Contemporary Cultures of Japan"). I am investigating whether or not I can make room for the Judo club activities, along with my Aikido desires. The biggest difficulties with participating in any extra activities is that I do not possess the free flowing funds to just "do it." I need to balance my costs, daily, to hope that I can continue doing all the fun things I want to here. The costs of food, is rather high, but I have begun to discover secrets to make yen last longer. For instance, I discovered a little convenience store on Gakugei campus (with help from a classmate from my Japanese language classes) that have bento style lunches for under 400 yen. Before, I would purchase half the amount of food in these lunches for twice the price. I have also been eating a good deal of ramen. Something I suppose a college student can never truly escape. Although, the ramen here is much more filling, and better in many regards (or, perhaps that is an unconscious bias — regardless I enjoy it).

     Other costs, not entirely anticipated, include buying books for classes, a sort of safety deposit on my room, and a new backpack (mine ripped, literally, in half). Also, to cut down on the amount I would bring with to Japan, I forgo bringing dishes, kettle, massive amounts of clothes, an umbrella, and various other things like soap and toothpaste that I knew I could just purchase in Japan. Plus, I tried to budget for my Aikido expenses, but did not consider the extremity of transportation costs, or time involved. Much rethinking, and budgeting is being done.

     I need to be leaving for school soon, so I will cut this short. But, there is more to come. I feel like I am finally settling in. Which is good, though I wonder, in the back of my head, "What next?"

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