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)
I'm starting to wonder if me studying Japanese is just a habit.

That's a pretty distressing thing to wonder about your major, right? I mean I genuinely find Linguistics classes more engaging than Japanese classes! But I don't know if that's just because Linguistics is more novel, or is it because I really do enjoy it more?

Where is that passion that I felt for the subject in high school? Walking into Mrs. Jones' classroom last winter and smelling the familiar smell of that room brought the memory of it back.

I don't think that I could stop studying the language now. But I need something to restore the novelty and fun that I used to have with it.

How do you do that?

FML

Dec. 14th, 2009 03:14 pm
majutsukai: (Default)
Bahahahah okay so let me tell you guys about the abject failure that was today.

We made the ass-long drive up to Bellingham, and got there about an hour early. So I went up to the library to wait for a while, then headed off to the Humanities building at about 11:40.

I got there and knocked on the professor's office's door, then tried the doorknob. It was locked, which would be odd if he were expecting an appointment. Oh well, I figure, he's probably just not here yet.

So I wait.

12:50 rolls around, still no sign. Then 12:55. Someone who was passing by wound up asking me who I was waiting for; I told him, and he said he hadn't seen him in yet.

12:57. I start to get anxious (well, moreso than before). It occurs to me to check my email, which I can do on my phone. I do so.

There's a message from the professor, having arrived about an hour after we had set out, saying that he would need to move the appointment to Tuesday.

Face, meet palm. I call my ride and let her know of the failure, and she tells me that she won't be able to take me down there two days in a row.

So, now, we're gonna have to do this Thursday or Friday, which is the next time I will be able to get a ride up there. I emailed him back when I got home to be sure this would be okay, and I'm now waiting on his response.

Jeez, I swear, my education is nothing but a never-ending series of Shaggy Dog Stories. orz

!!!!!!EDIT!!!!!!



Him: "Hi Matt,

If you don't mind, can we meet Tuesday?

YT"

Me: "I'm sorry, I didn't get your email until I had already arrived on campus. The drive is about two hours long, so it must have been sent sometime during the drive.

Unfortunately, due to the exact riding arrangements I made, I could only secure a ride up to Bellingham on either Monday or Tuesday; Tuesday will be problematic now.

Could we do it on Thursday or Friday? I will be able to get up there on one of those two days.

--MH"

Him: "I was waiting for you in my office from 12:05 to 2:35 this afternoon. Why don't we meet next year? -YT"

FML FML FML FML FML

EDIT THE SECOND



Me: "When I got the email, due to the way it was worded, I thought you were saying that you would not be able to make it. I was at your office at noon when I got the email, so we must have just missed each other, then. I wasn't able to reply immediately, but did so as soon as I could.

Next year? Is later this week impossible?

--MH"

Him: "I sent you another email at 10:57 am this morning because I thought you already started. Didn't you receive my second email?

By the way, you can also register Deguchi sensei's 202 class out of 201-202 combined course if you don't take any class between 10 till 12 winter term. It will start from sixth week 10 till noon. Because my 202 class has 28 students while his class has only 21 students, I recommend you to register his. If you bring the homework and ask him to give you the final exam of 201, I'm sure he will accept you.

If your schedule conflicts, let me know."

Me: "I only received one email from you, so I'm not sure what happened to the second (or first?). That may have been the source of some of this confusion.

I spoke with Deguchi sensei earlier in the Fall, and it was him that directed me to you. However, I will mention this to him and see if we can do that, since I do have that time available.

Thank you for the suggestion.

--MH"

I fired off an email about this to Deguchi (who, yes, was the one who pointed me to Prof. Kim in the first place, making it sound as if that was my only option). Looks like that's what I'm doing now.

GOD this was a mess.
majutsukai: (Default)
Kay, so. Update on the kanji test thing.

Since my mom just got a job, she can't take time off to take me up to Bellhingham. So I have to get a ride from a friend of the family-- who lives up in Bothell, which is an hour drive from here, and is between here and Bellingham. Due to the length of the drive, I'm heading up there tonight to spend the night, then going off in the morning. We're heading off there like right now.

Due to this arrangement, I probably won't have internet until after the test is already done tomorrow afternoon.

Due to the lack of internet, I won't get any of your comments on this until that time, probably. So tweet or text me if you want to talk to me.

Wish me luck holy shit I'm nervous xx;
majutsukai: (Default)
So I got the new book yesterday morning. I've been doing the work, and I'm currently on exercise 9 out of 24. My initial goal was to do at least five exercises per day (a goal which I'm almost surpassing at this point), but here's the thing.

I made that goal during the first four exercises, which were much simpler. Almost everything in those first few exercises was stuff I already knew. But the further I go along, the more stuff I don't already know pops up... and the less sustainable my current pace becomes.

My time is limited, so it seems almost stupid to be worrying about going too quickly, but... it's becoming harder to memorize all the new material. I keep having to stop and backtrack to review material I've already gone through in order to remember it, and it's really starting to worry me. Will I be able to retain all 200 kanji for the test?

The only solution I can think of is to slow down. But that in itself worries me, because time is running out!

Ugh... I've got time yet, I suppose. We'll see how this goes.
majutsukai: (Default)
So, the "Basic Kanji" textbook that I got?

It's the wrong book. I need a different book, which is also titled "Basic Kanji".

Wasted time. Wasted money. And I don't actually get to use the same book I used in high school. Argh.
majutsukai: (Default)
Good news: the Basic Kanji textbook is on the way from Amazon and will arrive tomorrow, wherein I'll be able to start my studying.

Better news: It is the exact same Kanji textbook that we used in my High School Japanese classes. Taylor, Michael, Beth, you will remember this thing.

I need to do exercises 1-24, and I believe that in High School, I topped out at exercise 22 or so. So that means that the vast majority of this will be review for me. I only need to do the exercises to refresh myself, which is exactly what I need to do for the professor anyways!

With any luck, I should blaze through this material and ace the test.

Silently thanking Mrs. Jones for her textbook choices.
majutsukai: (Default)
So I did the test for placement in the Japanese program yesterday.

According to the test, my grammar is easily at the 202 level, so if that were all that mattered, I'd be in.

However, my Kanji is in considerably worse shape.

The advisor wasn't sure about whether or not I would get in. The decision will be up to the professor who teaches the 202 class, whom he'll be relaying the results to. It's my job to get into contact with him and sort things out. If I get in, I'll have to spend the whole time between now and when school starts doing self-study to catch up on Kanji.

And there's another problem. The Japanese program is being downsized; a couple 202 level classes are being merged together, and the overall capacity will be less than half of what it was. The number of seats will be bottlenecking harshly. So I have to worry about class capacity in addition to everything I mentioned above.

I'm fixing to email him right now, but it's making me a bit nervous. But this is what I was talking about before... I can't let things that scare me hold me back, because there are way too many things that scare me. I'd never get anything done.

This brings to mind a quotation I heard a long time ago, which, cheesy as it may sound, has helped me a lot over the years when I'm afraid to do something.

"Do one thing every day that scares you." The quote, I believe, is attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Remembering those words helps me do things when I'm scared. And I'll be damned if there's not a lot of that going around in my life right now.

So... gonna do this. And fuck the consequences.
majutsukai: (Default)
So. Today. Today was a big day.

Advising and Registration at WWU. Had to get up at four (ugh) and leave at five for the two-hour drive up to Bellingham. Two hours and change, plus extra time to find parking and such.

Tour of the campus from 8:00-9:10ish. It's... a pretty awesome school. A lot to take in, though. But I had no problem remembering how to get around afterwards, so... hooray for sponge-like memory? \o/

Next was transfer student advising. Couple of teachers explaining to the group of us the process of registration and how credits and majors work, etc. Got an awesome notebook and a free book-- an actual book! They were giving them to all the new students. Score.

After that, nothing to do for about an hour or so. Had lunch at the Atrium. It was like the cafeteria at Green River, only with better seating arrangements and atmosphere. I like this place.

Then came a tour of the library. The group was substantially smaller and the tour substantially shorter. After that, we waited 'till the Japanese advisor's office hours.

So this is where the important part came. I had a talk with him about the major requirements. Evidently, my Japanese classes don't translate directly into a placement at WWU-- and you can forget about the high school classes, naturally. In order to declare Japanese as my major, I have to be enrolled in the 200-level or higher; but I have to test into it. Otherwise I have to start from scratch, and that's three years of schooling. Bad mojo.

The qualification consists of, it would seem, a written test and an oral interview. The results of which will be used to place me in a class of the appropriate level. I gotta score a class that's 200-level or higher, else I'm stuck in this school for an extra year.

Appointment for the test is next week, on Thursday. I gotta cram kanji to get myself prepared for the written test, and hell if I know what I should do to prepare for the oral interview. I'm so out of practice, goddamn. I'm really nervous.

Once I get my placement, I'll be able to apply for a loan. The loan form asks for a projected graduation date, which is just not in the cards until I know what my classes will be like.

Registration starts on the 18th. Housing assignments are released in early December, roommates later that month. New student orientation is January 4th, and classes start the day after.

Got a lot to do before then.

But for now... long day. Eventful. Not much sleep. Need to nap.

/dies
majutsukai: (Default)
So, I put in a job application to Barnes and Noble about a couple weeks ago. Waiting to see if they call me back.

I started looking up the materials I'll need to apply to UW for Winter quarter. Fall quarter registration is too competitive; it ended last February. I've got to gather my official High School transcript (once SHS starts for the fall) and official transcript from Green River, plus write my Personal statement-- a 2-4 page, double-spaced essay on my academic history and why I should be admitted. Then I've got to submit all the materials, plus the $50 registration fee, either by mail or in person, since I don't know how to submit the transcripts electronically anyways. All before September the 15th. Dear god, I hope I get admitted.

I've finally decided that I'm going to major in Japanese and minor in Linguistics; the perfect combination for a future translator.

I'm also looking into the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. The test is December 7th, and curiously enough, the Seattle branch of the test is held on UW campus. I also chose today of all days to start looking up information, and I found that registration, conveniently enough, begins in four days. A series of very interesting coincidences, I should say.

By all counts, my life is set to open up in new and indescribably interesting ways in the near future. It's almost scary, looking forward and seeing the misty clouds of uncertainty that lie there. But it's infinitely better than seeing a flat plane of nothing stretching to the horizon. Which is what, basically, I've been dealing with all summer. Hell, the last couple of quarters have felt like that.

I'm gonna enjoy this ride.
majutsukai: (Default)
I am screwed. I am so totally, utterly beyond screwed.

I just went to Beyond High School, a yearly event where one can attend seminars and get information on colleges, scholarships, financial aid, and the like. And I have realized, more clearly than ever, that I have no idea what I'm doing with my life.

I've procrastinated on researching colleges and scholarships. I have no extracurricular activities, outstanding awards, or really any credentials besides my going-on-six-years perfect attendence record-- and we'll just see how much that matters in the world of academia. I have nothing that would make me even worth considering for a scholarship. I don't have a job, I don't have a drivers license, and I have no idea how I would balance a job, a car, and school with how badly things are going right now. Since I don't have a job, I have no idea how I'll pay for college. Not having a license is seriously starting to take its toll on my everyday life, like having no control over my schedule, falling asleep in class as a result, being forced to go to my dads and being trapped there, having to shamefacedly dodge the subject whenever someone asks me something related to "my car" or "my driving". I realize now that I've been wasting my life away playing video games, or hanging out on the computer like I'm doing now. My AP classes are starting to drown me academically. The SATs are approaching and I haven't studied at all. Not to mention a whole host of personal issues I'd rather not go into right here. All in all, I've gotten myself into a fine pickle, and I can't begin to imagine how I'll get out of it.

If there's any cause for celebration, it's that a) I finally think I know what college I'm going to-- Green River-- and B) I've finally decided on my major (Japanese), which is a HUGE step forward. Otherwise, my life is in shambles.

They haven't invented an emoticon that will accurately describe how I feel right now, and I doubt they ever will.

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