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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.


Date: 2010-01-16 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
...that whole thing with さ is weird since I went to school in Japan and no one cared. And some of the teachers wrote it that way too.


Date: 2010-01-16 07:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Dunno. My teacher is a native speaker, and he makes a point of correcting us when we use it. I figure, if I get a different teacher for future Japanese classes, I'll try using it and see how each different teacher reacts. (I wasn't the only one who was doing this, so I can only assume that whoever taught the other students in this class before this quarter allowed it.)

Date: 2010-01-16 07:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I guess you'll have to see. It's not so hard to correct, though. My nazi Japanese teacher had me change how I did あ and ふ and it only took a week or two to get it how she wanted it. Didn't say anything about さ though. And she was one of those dictatorial Japanese native speaking teacher people.

Date: 2010-01-16 07:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can only assume that it boils down to what looks right or wrong to each individual person, then

I tried googling manga-ji (or rather, マンガ字), and what came up didn't look anything like I had ever seen before.

Date: 2010-01-16 07:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I can't really say. My teacher was upset that my あ looked like that (quote, "it looks like a crucifix with a fish") and she was angry that my ふ didn't have that top line on it.

Date: 2010-01-16 07:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I remember when I was first learning hiragana, I had the hardest time getting my あs to look right. It was mainly that third stroke that always looked weird. But then I noticed that it basically looks like a の, and once I noticed that, it became way easier to write them.

My ふs look like this and my ゆs look like this.

Date: 2010-01-16 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Apparently, the lines have to be curved or it's a crucified fish.

That's basically what my ゆs look like. My ふs are basically that now, but I don't think it's a big deal if you write it all in one stroke.

Date: 2010-01-16 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Your teacher would hate me.


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