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)
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

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 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 I just got word from WWU. And GUESS WHAT I got accepted.

I should be really really happy about this (and it is really awesome!), but I still kind of have my heart set on UW. And going to Western will mean I have to get my own place and/or do student housing, since it's all the way out in Bellingham... and I'll have to have a job before the new year, and I'll be all on my own for the first time ever and holy shit this is scary.

I mean, sure, even if I go to UW, I still have the goal of eventually being on my own. But WWU puts a very sharp deadline on it. And if you know me, you know how I am with deadlines.

So... augh.

But I got into a good school! So... well... yeah, I'm pretty sure not being in school is scarier to me than even that. So I'll have a really good backup in case I get rejected from UW.

Wish me luck?
majutsukai: (Default)
Can I have fewer reasons to think my crippling, irrational social anxiety is justified? Rather than more?

Please?
majutsukai: (Default)
You know what?

I've spent my whole life running away from things that scare me. And there are a lot of things that scare me.

I'm sick of running.

Starting today... I'm through. No more. This isn't the person I want to be, and I'm tired of letting my fear get in the way of the person I do want to be. So, enough. No more.

Everything changes, starting now.

Advice?

Jun. 30th, 2009 11:49 am
majutsukai: (Default)
Say you've got a secret.

Say you've got people you want to tell this secret, so that it's not a friggin' secret anymore.

But the problem is that there's almost no way to worm the subject into casual conversation unless someone directly asks you. And it would be incredibly awkward to just toss it out there with no lead-in.

How the hell do you do it? I've no skill at conversation, so things like this that should be obvious to me, aren't.

...

Mar. 16th, 2009 01:53 pm
majutsukai: (Default)
It's over.

I'm... alone again.
majutsukai: (Default)
I can barely remember the last time I did an entry in this thing that was about my life, and wasn't a one-liner and/or joke. So, hell, why not.

School. This is my last quarter at Green River. Holy crap, that's scary. I'm going to be out of school for at least one quarter, though, Re: deadlines and stuff. Which is actually even scarier. *exhales*

Work. Still none. Probably going to be using my off time to get a job, provided I even can with this economy and my complete lack of job experience.

Life (daily). Holy crap what am I going to do with my time when I get out of school. It'll be the first quarter I've ever had where I genuinely have nothing to do and nowhere to go, and that's part of what makes it scary.

Life (social). I'm trying to be more outgoing with some of the people at school, so that I might have something other than my education to take away from my time at Green River. Up till now-- that's for the past two years-- I haven't been very sociable at all at this school, and I'm starting to think that that was the biggest mistake I have ever made. In my entire life. With only a couple weeks left, it's starting to look like too little, too late.

On a lighter note: when you start thinking of a situation like the above in terms of "ranking up S. Links", you know it's time to get a life. >.>;

Life (biological). So I'm turning 21 soon. And no, I don't want anything to do with alcohol, on that day or any other. I still kinda want to do something, though, I'm just not sure what yet.

WoW. Hit level 60 not long ago. I got enough reputation to buy a Swift Mechanostrider, but I'm still several hundred gold from being able to afford my Artisan riding skill, aaaaarrrrggghhh. And the cost of skill training is making the raising of money a lot more difficult. *squirm*

Love. Hahahahahahahah. Ohhh man. Why did I bother to put this here, I'm too private about this stuff.

So yeah. I should really try to do this more often, but I hardly ever feel like it anymore *shrug*
majutsukai: (Default)
There must be a special level of Hell made of nothing but fitting rooms.
majutsukai: (Default)
There's another reason that I don't tend to say much.

I've noticed that words can have an effect on people. You can brighten someone's day with just a brief compliment, or destroy a friendship with a single, thoughtless comment.

Not too long ago, I advised Michael that it was a good idea to plan out in advance when you speak, so you know exactly what to say and you don't say anything stupid. Now I realize how idiotic that advice is. You can't keep yourself from being an idiot by just thinking, as paradoxical as that may sound.

The thing of it is, the human mind is inherently flawed. Words reflect those flaws. But they're bent mirrors-- they usually magnify those flaws, or make them seem small and unimportant. The latter sort comes from people who have truly mastered the art. But the fact remains, every scratch and dent in a person will show in their words in some way.
Our words faithfully reflect us.

So, what do my words reflect?

That's what I fear. Many times, you'll reflect something you don't want to. And those reflections can hurt people.

Why would I want to use something that can hurt people I care about? Why would I want to wield the blade that cuts where I don't want it to?

That, I suppose, is one of the main reasons I'm silent. My words are stronger than I am. And I fear that strength.

But as vagrant as my words can be, I'm still responsible for them. So when they hurt someone, I have to own up to it and repent.

That, I suppose, is the main purpose of this. I don't like to hurt people. I don't like to make them feel bad. Am I weak? Yes. Am I a coward? Definitely. But I'm no villian.

So, I'm sorry. I'm an idiot. I feel terrible for being the pathetic, stupid idiot that I am. But don't let my stupidity bring you down.

That's all. Please don't hate me.
majutsukai: (Default)
I've always considered myself a linguist. Words are what I know best, after all. They're the tool I use to express myself, to make my thoughts into tangible reality. But why do they have to fail me when I need them most?

I decided to come over to my Mom's early this week. I didn't consult with my Dad about it, because I figured he wouldn't approve. I just got a call from Kris asking me why I came over.

I wanted to tell her the real reason. That I was tired of the way he handled things, and I wanted to prove that I could dig myself out of the hole I'm in in school without his help-- something he wouldn't ever let me prove. But when it came right down to it, what came out of my mouth?

"I wanted to."

DAMMIT. Where did THAT come from!?

I was put on the spot, I guess, and I got afraid. Like always. I got nervous and couldn't think. So, my words failed me. Like they always do.

I can NEVER say what I want to to either of them. I don't GET it. All the words are here in my mind. I want to tell them that I think they're treating me like a child, that I can be better if they let me, that I'm more than they think I am. But my own nerves won't let me. I stand in his shadow, and my gift leaves me. And so, he's left with his half-assed perspective of what kind of a person I am reinforced. What am I supposed to do!?

I hate it. There's nothing more stifling to me than lacking words. That may come as a surprise to some people that know me-- I'm not exactly the talker, after all-- but that only means I ration my words. I only use them when they count, and I use them to the best effect I can manage. But when I want to stand up to my Dad and Stepmom, I lose that ability. And it's sinking me deeper in with them.

The problem, I think, is the fear. I'm afraid of what they'll think. If I tell them everything that's on my mind, will they listen? Or will they knock my ideas down, like they always seem to do, and ridicule me for being thick-headed and childish? I don't know. But that's what I'm afraid of.

My Dad's probably home by now. Kris will have told him what I said. I'm waiting for his call, asking me to explain myself. And I don't know what to do.
majutsukai: (Default)
Today marks the anniversary of a very special event.

On December 19, 1732, Poor Richard's Almanack was first published.

AND, on December 19, 2004, I created this LiveJournal. Glee. ^^

To celebrate, I may actually update this tired old layout, once the holiday season draws to a close and I take down this spiffy Christmahannukwanzakah-themed background. That is, if I'm not too lazy. ¬¬

Bi-yearly field trip to Uwajimaya is tomorrow, and I'm gonna pick up some Japanese manga while I'm there so I can translate it for my senior project. Apparently, the project proposal is good, it's just that I need to find a mentor and figure out how to document the hours.

Also, I need to get off my lazy ass and register for the SATs. The next deadline for registration is this thursday, after all. ><

On a slightly more angsty note, I may finally be able to talk to someone about being diagnosed with APD. And it only took six months, too. >.>

Anyways, stats for this LJ-Anniversary bash:

Friends: 8
Mutual Friends: 7 (You know who you are. Michael! >o<)
Communities: 16
RSS Feeds: 5
Entries to date: 70
Comments to date: 123
Comments by me: 139
Documented Interests: 78

Also as a celebration, I wanna have everybody who reads this entry leave a comment. Seriously, EVERYBODY. ^^

Oh, and The list is under a cut now. )
majutsukai: (Default)
[\] Research Colleges
>>[ ]Apply?
[\] Research Scholarships
>>[ ]Apply?
[X] Look into extracurricular activities
[X] Renew permit
>>[ ] Practice!
>>[ ] Sign up for drivers ed
>>[ ] Get a license
[\] Read the pile of handouts from Beyond High School >.>;;
[X] Decide on Major
[ ] Decide on Minor
[ ] Study for SATs
[ ] Cut down on video game/computer time
[\] Get up to date on Hamlet Journal ><

Finally renewed the permit. I have to say, I'm freaked out. For my entire life, I've never been very photogenic, and I've always hated having my photo taken. But, since the start of this year, I've actually been liking the way I look in photos... Easily seen when I compare the renewed permit's photo to the old one taken more than a year ago. Suffice it to say, I have no idea where this came from. O.o

School work is still piling up. But I have to do a minor rant about Japanese class.

Our japanese class has a mix of students from levels 2 through 5 in it, so we're all in different places. In the beginning of the year, we all did the same review as a unit, so the lower leveled students were being left in the dust, and the higher leveled students, like me and Taylor, were falling asleep. i.e., it sucked.

Now, though, she's separated us out into two groups-- kouhai, the bulk of the class, and senpai, me and about 5-7 other kids who do more advanced work.

And guess what? It sucks.

I'm still doing review, albeit review that's ahead of the rest of the class's review. (They're doing the -te form again, wtf? And the whole class is acting like it's something new or something.) And, I still feel completely segregated from the rest of the class, and whenever she assigns homework to the kouhai that the senpai don't have to do, I feel like people are glaring back and whispering, "What smartasses...".

And I probably got some glares when I finished an assignment ahead of the rest of the senpai, and Ms. Jones told me to check everybody else's paper. (Class: OMG glare. Me: wtf? Why me? o.o) And I admit I am something of a smartass when I think, "How do you not know this stuff? We've already gone over all of this! Some of it last week!". Plus I certainly feel like a smartass when I remember how to use "hazu" and "tsumori" from memory, but the rest of the senpai have to consult the textbook. (._.;;) But I just find it ironic that now what I wanted all the first month has this month become my nightmare.

Really, I'm average, if not below average, at everything else. Why is there this stigma on being ahead of everyone else? It sometimes seems to suck just as much as being behind. Why should I have to feel ashamed of it? This is all I'm good at! >__<;;

But yeah. That's all. o.o;;

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