JPN 102: Japanese, the next level

This is the cover of my cultural presentation. The flag, map, and the hijab girl aren’t mine. I got them from Google but forgot the more specific sources, so if this is yours, let me know so I can give you some credits. I’m really sorry about that.

I should’ve written about this sooner since it’s been over since last December. There might have been more I wanted to write back then too but I simply couldn’t make time for that, so I might forget some details especially now that I’m starting to audit JPN 201, the next level. I’m not sure if I can do it well though considering how messed up I felt last semester and how nervous I am with my study this semester. But, well, I try my best to write the things that I deem important, which I manage to remember.

Well, first of all, about the teachers. In JPN 102, we only had two Sensei-s, not three like JPN 101. Let’s call them Sensei D and Sensei E. It’s basically the same style of teaching but with different performance. But, gosh, I really love Sensei E, she’s so cool. And she looks like Japanese actresses that I watched in Japanese movies and dramas. Haha And she seemed to take my interests in anime, dorama, and movie into account too. So I was happy. And when I asked questions, she was also enthusiastic to explain it to me so I didn’t feel nervous when asking her questions, which sometimes we hadn’t actually learned in the class 😀

But, well, I really felt that JPN 102 was a lot in different level compared to JPN 101. It was much more difficult but much more relevant at the same time. We learned more words, kanjis, and structures, which were used a lot in daily conversations. And somehow, I felt that now that I have learned those structures, Japanese made more sense to me. Now when I listen to Japanese songs or watch animes, doramas, and movies, I feel like I can understand why they are spoken that way. I could figure out the structures even though sometimes I don’t quite understand the meaning considering that I’m lacking in terms of vocabulary. But I have subtitles so sometimes I can increase my vocabulary much better. And when I find new words, I know how to modify and use them with other structures and in different contexts. It’s really fun. I guess that might why I love learning new languages. But yeah, I admit that it’s hard and not easy especially when I get to use them only to or with myself. I mean, with who else am I supposed to practice it? LoL  But if I don’t practice it, I’ll forget, so yeah, とてもたいへんだと思います。

But ugh, actually I practiced with some classmates last semester. I really loved them; I really loved my class. I felt like an undergraduate student and I felt so much younger. Haha We even had this group (something like Whatsapp group but it’s via sms/mms) and we used it to exchange questions and updates about our test preparations including oral exams and final exams. And in doing so, we mixed Japanese and English so somehow we got to practice the Japanese that we had learned. I was really happy with them. I really wished they could take me as a real friend, not just a classmate. Well, to be honest, I felt quite uneasy because I think I was the oldest and it seems that they simply didn’t see that. I mean, I didn’t want to hide my real age. But somehow when I told them my age, it felt like they couldn’t believe it. There was this time when we discussed about years in Japanese. I was born in the year of dragon, right? And we practiced this with our partners. My partner seemed to think that I got it wrong. I didn’t know what else to say. But at the same time, I didn’t want them to change the way they see and treat me if they knew my age so I just kept quiet if they didn’t ask me (and I kinda hoped they wouldn’t ask me. Haha) I just want them to see me as a friend, regardless 😊

My final grade 😀

And, oh, by the way, we also learned about casual speech in JPN 102, and of course we had to practice it, right? But it’s kinda hard because casual speech is used really with friends we are close to. And that’s not how my classmates seemed to see each other. There was this time when I was partner with my classmate. Actually we were in the same class too when I was taking JPN 101. She was really beautiful and stylish, you know, like the kind of white girls we often see in movies. I kinda liked her actually. She was really cool. But somehow I felt that she was too cold, you know, like she didn’t want to get close to me. But maybe it was just me feeling inferior. But anyway, when I was partnered with her (we changed seats and partners every after chapter test, remember?), we got to practice casual speech. So there was this one time I tried to use casual speech with her and her response was, “Oh, are we friends now?” I was really shocked. I felt rejected. My thought when hearing her response was that I wasn’t supposed to use casual speech with her and that she might not want me to use casual speech with her and that she didn’t want to be friends with me. I felt uneasy because I didn’t want to sound as if I was forcing myself on her, like forcing her to be my friend, I mean, I knew my place (やっぱりI was feeling inferior). So again, I said sorry and told her that I used it because we were asked to practice casual forms. When I told this to my friend, however, she thought that it’s very cute of her to say that. I didn’t get it at all. I still don’t. But then, instead of feeling shocked, inferior, and apologizing like that, maybe I should’ve joked, smiled, and said, “Aren’t we?” Maybe then we’d be friends. Hhe But, well, let’s forget it ^^

The origami crane…

Regarding my attendance, well, actually I skipped more meetings in JPN 102. I needed to leave out of town to attend and present at a conference. I was also caught up with my main classes for my major. It’s really hectic and I felt like I was really behind. I wished I could have just learned Japanese. So when I thought I could study myself at home, I skipped my JPN 102 classes to work on my main classes. I was just auditing JPN 102 anyway. It didn’t really count. But I really felt bad because I really hated missing any classes. For me, attending classes in a language class means a progress, so it was hard to study on my own because then what I learned wasn’t really stuck in my memory. I even missed a Kanji and vocabulary quiz. Sigh But, well, I tried my best to do extra assignments and presentation. Sensei D even asked me if it was okay to show my powerpoint cultural presentation to future classes since she thought that it was good. Well, もちろんです。I was really happy and of course I would let her to show off my work. Hhe I was actually only presenting about stuff I liked and did in relation to Japan/ese. I presented my favorite anime (One Piece apparently), doramas, and movies. I tried to use various structures and words that we had learned as well. Man, I felt accomplished. LoL

The butterfly that my partner taught me to make.

But my grades are not bad, though. Even if it hadn’t been an audit, I would’ve got an A. The grade for my daily performance wasn’t that great, though. I guess that’s because I skipped several meetings. Hikz And oh, at the end of the semester, we also had this cultural day. After doing our presentations, we made an origami. This time it was a crane. Man, I used to make a lot of origami cranes back then, right? But somehow I forgot. LoL But thankfully, I’ve got a very great partner. I really love her. She loves anime and One Piece, too. So cool. And she taught me to make origami crane and butterfly, too. And I finally remembered how to make origami crane. Hhe And oh, we also took pictures at the end of the class and Sensei uploaded it to D2L. Unfortunately, Sensei say that we are not allowed to upload it in the internet, so I couldn’t really post it here or in my other social media. Sigh. I managed to take pictures with Sensei D and Sensei E after my final oral exam, though, and they said it’s okay to upload it to my Instagram. よし!やった!

PS: I watched more animes, doramas, and movies in Fall 2018. I guess I was really depressed wasting my time like that, trying to avoid and procrastinate doing what I was supposed to do and study. Sigh.

PPS: やっぱりI find Kanji to be a real pain. It’s the most difficult. I keep wishing that we only need to use hiragana only…

PPPS: Let’s hope that I can advance my Japanese in the next class. Aamiin 😊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *