majutsukai: (Default)
You know what I just realized?

My last entry in this thing was half a year ago.

And even then it was just a random chatlog dump. It's been nearly a year since my last entry with actual content.

You know what I think? I think life update.

So the schoolyear came and went. Generally speaking, it was a HUGE improvement over the previous year. I was right about risk-taking being the key to building confidence, because on the social side of things, the year went fantastically. Unlike last year, I actually felt sad to leave when it came time to pack up and go home.

Academically, though, it wasn't quite so great. I came to realize this year that I've been setting my performance standards too low-- not just this year, but ever since leaving high school. Letting myself get bored with my classes had a terrible impact on my grades. Unfortunately, it took putting my Major qualifications in jeopardy for me to realize this, and that rude awakening only came about two thirds of the way through the year. I wound up having to retake Phonology in the spring, and I will have to retake Japanese 301 in the fall as well.

The good news is, I picked up the slack, and my grade point average for spring quarter was higher than it has ever been in my life. Including high school. I am absolutely pumped to continue this good streak in the coming year.

Speaking of Phonology, I've made the decision that, in addition to my Japanese major, I am going to attempt a double major in Linguistics. The upper level Ling courses have been such an amazing experience, and have done wonders for my motivation. I'm feeling that same little click that I felt when I began studying Japanese in my first year of high school-- that it just feels right to be in this field.

I'll be doing the Japanese concentration of the Linguistics major, which means that a lot of the requirements will be taken care of just by way of the language courses I would have been taking anyway. In addition to that, it also involves a couple Japanese Linguistics courses that I've been dying to take-- but with the recent budget cuts, these may or may not even be offered this year. I'm told that I can talk to the department head for a workaround in such a case, though, so I'm optimistic.

Summer, though, has been a bit of a different story! I haven't got much to do around here, aside from job hunting-- which, when you haven't got a driver's license or any work experience, happens to be really hard. Doing my best to rectify both deficiencies is my current priority!

My mom got married over the spring. My new stepfather's name is Bob, and he's been an excellent source of support for her, both emotionally and financially, as she's been struggling herself to rectify her unemployment. She's found a few temporary jobs, but nothing permanent yet. I feel absolutely terrible for the financial burden he's signed on for here, considering both of our employment situations, but the man is an absolute saint. I nearly cried tears of joy when I got the news that we finally had medical coverage again. Well... no. Not just nearly.

My happiness for them and my guilt for myself are in an unsteady equilibrium for now. Just another reason for me to sort through my emotional problems and get a goddamn job already, clearly.

But at any rate, wow this has been cathartic. Please excuse the wordspam.
majutsukai: (Default)
Placed under multiple cuts because big.

Dorms )

Me )

Other stuff )
majutsukai: (Default)
A short exchange between me and one of my suitemates just now:

Him: It's, like, 3:30 in the morning. You know that, right?
Me: Yeah?
Him: Just throwing that out there.
Me: You're awake too.
Him: Yeah? We party hard, you party harder. Got it.
Me: ...
Him: Later, man.
Me: *rolleyes*

Yeah. Because partying is the only reason anyone could ever have to stay up late. On a weekend.

Fuck you.
majutsukai: (Default)
Have you ever met someone who never seems to say anything seriously? Or at least who you can never tell if they're being ironic or serious?

The sort of person with whom you can never tell exactly what they think, because whatever they really mean seems to be trapped under an inch-thick veneer of irony?

I seem to be rooming with a whole den full of that sort of person.

It makes living very uncomfortable.
majutsukai: (Default)
OKAY so hey I should probably post an actual update here or something. 'Cause stuff has happened and I can go into more detail here than on Twitter.

First-- the problem with my loan was that I hadn't enrolled in enough credit hours to be eligible for the money. So I had to take care of the whole getting into Japanese thing in order for my loan to disburse and my expenses to be paid for.

That worked. I finally managed to get into contact with Deguchi-sensei. Apparently he didn't get my first email back in December. So I am LUCKY that I happened to try emailing him the day before classes began to check if he had gotten it.

He gave me a kanji test, which I passed-- sort of. He was a bit dissatisfied with a few things related to the way I wrote-- minor details like which strokes are supposed to cross and which ones aren't, which is a bigger deal in Japanese than it is in English. He agreed to let me into the class on the condition that I meet with a native speaker to get help with the smaller details in my writing. He fired off an email to someone who he thought may be able to help with that, but neither of us has heard back yet. In the meantime, I've been working on it on my own, and I think I've been improving. With luck, I may not actually need it after all.

Small note: apparently my さs are wrong. (They look like that one does; with the last two strokes connected.) According to him, that form of writing (called Manga-ji, apparently) isn't acceptable in a formal context like school, and it has to be written with three separate strokes. But it's perfectly acceptable for some reason to write ち with the strokes connected. Don't even ask me, I don't know. It hasn't been that hard to adapt to, though.

I also have a sinking feeling that my ふs and ゆs are incorrect for the same reason (I write them each with a single stroke), but if that's the case, then there's no way in hell I'm going to be able to correct myself-- my ふs and ゆs look absolutely idiotic when I try to write them with multiple strokes.

Compared to my other classes, my Japanese class is shockingly small-- about 25ish people, which I'd hazard a guess is barely more than a quarter of the size of my Sociolinguistics class. The class size is even more surprising when you take into account the fact that this is a combination of the 201 and 202 levels.

But enough about that! Let's talk about DORMS.

This is a whole new world. And I don't think I can adequately describe how utterly alien this world is to me. I know I'm not new to the whole college thing, but this dorm thing is a whole different animal.

My dorm room is part of a four-room suite with a single shared bathroom. All of my suitemates (7 in total, including my roommate) know each other already, since they started in fall quarter and lived in the same rooms.

I had a hell of a time trying to keep all their names straight, but of course they all got mine straight away (since they only had one new name to learn this quarter-- mine-- while I had seven, plus the various friends and girlfriends that have came and gone over the past couple days. >.<).

The doors between each room and the bathroom stay open pretty much all the time (save late at night or early in the morning when people are sleeping), so it's almost like a big apartment or something, with people moving from room to room fairly freely. The bathroom may as well be a hallway or something (it's long and narrow like one, anyway)-- unless someone's naked and getting into the shower or something.

Which brings me to another thing-- no privacy period. The only places with any semblance of privacy are the toilet (picture a public bathroom stall, only without the lock on the door) and the inside of the shower, which is only separated from the rest of the bathroom by a flimsy little curtain. The closet (which also serves as the passageway between the room and the bathroom) can afford some limited privacy if a) the door to the bathroom is closed, and b) your roommate is either asleep, out of the room, or has his attention fixed elsewhere. There's no door between the room and the closet.

The shower situation is so awkward I can't even tell you. I can only assume you're expected to wander into the bathroom naked or something? because there's no private space to change before you get in. (I opted to solve this problem by showering while everyone was still asleep, and leaving on my underwear until I'd gotten in and shut the curtain.)

Took me a while to figure out how the shower is supposed to work-- I took a shower the first morning, but couldn't figure out how to adjust the temperature. Cold shower for me. That was not pleasant. I figured it out properly the next day, though, thankfully.

Everyone's pretty friendly, but I have absolutely nothing in common with them! I feel like an alien or something. I'm pretty sure they all drink (I'm also pretty sure they're all underage, but it's not my responsibility to police them), they all work out regularly and do sports, and none of them make a hobby of using the internet like I do.

I brought gaming consoles, but didn't even unpack them for like a week because I've been so busy and it didn't seem so important anymore. And I've still yet to unpack the books I brought. I think I overpacked. >_<;;

On the upside: I have a wireless connection that I can use with my Wii (but not my DS). And I've finally made some progress in Persona 3 for the first time in ages. I'm at the point right after you recruit Fuuka.

SO HAVE I TL;DR'D YOU GUYS ENOUGH YET? :DDD

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majutsukai

July 2011

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