Auditing Japanese

Perfect Seat, Not so Perfect Partner

This is the view from my perfect (new) seat. That guy with the green print in the back of his jacket was my previous partner in Chapter 3. The guy in front of him is the most often participating student 😐 *Somehow I managed to take the pic before the class started 😀

As you might have guessed, now that we’re done with Chapter 3 and had the chapter test, we I come to be assigned a new seat and, thus, a new partner for Chapter 4. So, on Thursday after the midterm oral test, I got to pick the stick with the number. Gosh, I got number 4 😐 I thought I was going back to my previous seat for chapter 2, in the front, second from the right, which I didn’t like. I thought that way because previously the seat was numbered starting from the front rows to the back rows. Luckily, this time it isn’t. Teacher A counted down from the front row; i.e. students with the smaller numbers are seated on the back rows. And you know where I sit? 😍 Right on the very back row, and on the very left, near the door. IT IS PERFECT! I don’t have to worry about passing other students when I come to the class ❤ And even if I come late (not that I intend to do so 😁✌), I’ll be fine since it won’t really bother anyone. Hhe

But anyway, new seat means new partner. There were this “couple” (I mean partners) who got different seats but happened to sit next to each other again and thus kept the same partner but then the teacher split them apart so that they got a new partner. So yes, new seat means new partner. Well, there is a student who gets the same seat but with a new – different partner, and that’s okay. So, I guess it’s the “new partner” that matters more or the focus of this seat arrangement. It’s ok to sit at the same seat as long as we change partners. Well, I really hope I get to keep my current seat for the remaining chapters since it’s the perfectest location for me. I won’t get any better seat than that. About my partner? Well, I don’t really care; I mean, I’m not that picky; I can work and practice with pretty much anyone 😊

About my new partner, she seems to have more difficulties in remembering and pronouncing Japanese words and structures, unlike my previous partner in Chapter 3. Nevertheless, I admire her in a way. She’s a kind of dedicated learner. She makes extra efforts to help her learn. Well, I’m not sure but at least I notice she consistently makes flashcards to help her memorize the words. Making flashcards cost extra: time, energy, money. You won’t bother making such things if you’re not as motivated or dedicated or serious with your learning. Though right now she doesn’t seem as great as my previous partner, I’m sure that with her dedication, she’ll achieve well later. Your efforts won’t betray you, though sometimes the fruit comes much later.

But anyway, there was this funny thing happening in the class last Friday. We were talking about “Haru Yasumi” a.k.a. Spring Break. Teacher B asked us about our plan for spring break. Thus, she asked my new partner about what she was gonna do. I heard she said “Sleeping”, but then the teacher asked “Where?” It was kinda awkward. I mean, where else will you sleep? 🙈😅 So my partner said, “Here.” And the teacher then paraphrased my partner’s answers and said, “Swimming in Tucson. So nice.” At this point I started to doubt myself. Did I hear it wrong? Did my partner really say “swimming” not “sleeping”? That would so bad of me. I mean, I was sitting next to hear and still heard it wrong? Gosh, I guess my English listening hasn’t improved after all… 🤦🤦🤦

Later, we were assigned to practice with our new partner, to ask each other about our plan for spring break. I was still bugged with that sleeping-swimming thing and so I asked my new partner to confirm. And she did say sleeping. I was right. I didn’t hear it wrong. I should’ve been more confident with myself and trusted myself more. After all, the teacher ain’t an English native speaker either so there was a chance that she could be wrong. Anyway, my new partner said that she was confused as well when the teacher responded and said swimming instead of sleeping. But she just followed it and chose not to correct the teacher. And surprisingly the class did the same. They just played along and went with “swimming” instead of correcting her or trying to confirm if it was “sleeping”, not “swimming”. I think it’s not worth making a fuss out of it either. It’s not our main concern anyway. But I respect this class more and more. Maybe they didn’t want to make the teacher embarrassed for mishearing the word. I understand. The teacher is cute and nice, too. We can’t bear to hurt her. Hhe

PS: I’m not sure how other undergraduate classes are held or how their seat arrangement is. Probably it’s this way because it’s a language class (though I’m not sure about other foreign language classes or other levels (other than 101/beginner level)). But believe me, my graduate classes are a lot different from this one. We don’t really sit like this in graduate classes, and the number of the students is a lot smaller.

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