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Of more new classes

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/6/2005 8:34:24 AM
Well, hey, if Mondays are off and Wednesdays I get to chill until 9:00ish, I think things'll be okay. *laughs*

Phonetics and Phonology looks like it'll be quite interesting. The teacher is funny and knows her stuff, and since we only meet once a week it shouldn't be too bad. Economic Development should be interesting, too, since it's something I have NO idea about whatsoever and as such don't know what to expect. The teacher is a Korean though he speaks almost perfect English, and his voice reminds me so much of Mufasa's. *laughs again* He sounds like a good guy, too. I'm going to have to work this semester for my grades, though, since all these classes are things I have no background knowledge in whatsoever, and at least the economics one requires a little background knowledge. Yikes.

Speaking of economics courses needing background knowledge, I'm going to try and sit in on the Microeconomics course tomorrow. That should definitely transfer as a social science credit for me back home, which I really need (since my other courses got slashed, GRRR), but that class requires background knowledge in economics, too. I'll see what the teacher says, though. Hopefully it'll work. If not, I'm planning on trying out Evolutionary Biology on Friday, but if I can get the econ class it'll be better, I think. I'd have to cancel my kanji workshop, but eh, that's okay. No big loss.

I feel so out of the loop on things sometimes, though, which really bugs me. Especially here at a liberal arts school where computers and technology, my forte, really don't come into play very often. I can tell you all sorts of stuff about operating systems and the Internet and programming languages, but I can't tell you squat about a major event that happened in 1997 (an East Asian financial crisis, apparently). There are just so many big names and dates that I absolutely don't know, and it's embarrassing sometimes. Heck, I don't know many names or dates in the computer realm, either. I know how and why things work, where things came from and where they're going, but if you asked me who invented the, uh, L2 cache I couldn't tell you. Those things are just not important to me, I guess.

And that's one of the things that bugs me: things my mind deems unimportant to my neverending hunt for relevant knowledge are pretty much ignored. Unfortunately, one of those things is social awareness. I read headlines and know some of the big news trends going on, but I don't know who does what. I have a group of friends that I like to spend time with, but they're mostly online since there aren't many computer people to talk to here. At the end of econ class today, just about everyone in the huge class was chatting with a bazillion friends they all seemed to have. One guy who was in my statistics class last semester talked to me for a little while, but other than that I was just kind of... there without someone to talk to. So I left. I mean, class was over, anyway. The thing is, I don't want to spend time making idle chat with people I don't know, because that eats into the time I need to do other things. And that makes me wonder how the heck people can have time to do the things they need to do and still be involved in six clubs and go shopping with their 200 friends every day. Do I waste time? I don't think so... rather, I think I use time quite efficiently and well, thank you. But I never seem to have enough of it. Am I just doing too much? Perhaps.

No need to respond to this. I'm just musing, as I usually do. Japan is just making me address things I've known about for a long time.

Took apart my Clie remote control and re-taped all the wires, since it was malfunctioning again. I used some sturdier packing tape this time (actually, I think it's brown duct tape) so hopefully it should last for a while. And now I'm going to take a bath and then study some kanji.

This weekend I'm going to be helping set up for a festival on Saturday starting at 11:00, and then on Sunday going to said festival at 11:00. Should be fun... hopefully I'll be able to get some good pictures and video. The sakura are blooming, by the way. Very, very lovely.

So much work to do and so little time. I must really be missing something, or exactly the opposite.
1 reply

daddy school
Posted by: badcheeso 4/7/2005 7:39:41 AM
when you get back to the states, you'll have to attend daddy school to repair your Clie.
i hear there's a class opening sometime in july and you might be able to attend. this is not a liberal arts elective, probably borders on "shop".

i could "be alone in a crowded room", it's uncomfortable but..... eventually you'll see how you'll need to break out of that shell, go up to someone and introduce yourself. if you see the teacher with other students it, go over there. this way you could at least introduce yourself to the teacher and anyone else around; something like- your name, my major course of study is computer science but i wanted to see if economics could be used with computer science, or something like that.

try it.

yes too many people waste too much time, but to them it's important because that might be all they have.

0 replies

Of sakura!

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/7/2005 8:35:58 AM
Wow... busy day. Didn't get home until, like, 8:00 or something. o_O;;

Today at the end of Japanese class, we went out and walked around Waseda to look at the sakura. Very cool. ^__^ Included are pictures of Tuesday, yesterday, and today. Boy, the sakura are absolutely beautiful here. I can see why the Japanese are in love with them.

I went to Microeconomics class today, and it looks like something I should be able to handle. It means I have to drop my kanji workshop class, but I guess that's okay. It also means I'll be taking two economics courses this semester, which isn't exactly what I wanted to do but, hey, if I can get credit for them it'll be worth it. Hopefully I can get a good grade in the classes and the credits will transfer where I need them to. o_O;

On the way home, Megan and I walked home by a river that had a bajillion cherry trees along it, all in bloom. It was really awesome. Megan's a cool person, too. Actually, there are a bunch of cool people in this program here... we're just usually in different classes and never get to meet or do anything. Okay, let me be fair... I never meet or anything. I'm always so busy with stuff...

Anyway, I'm pooped. I wanted to get a head start on my microeconomics homework, but I think it would be best if I just tried to get some sleep instead. It's not due until Tuesday, and I have the whole weekend to work on it. I'm just so tired now. Haven't been getting good sleep, either: for the past three nights, falling asleep has been horridly difficult. It's probably because of the warmer weather. Caution to anyone who may some day be sleeping in the same room as me: I'm incredibly agonized by even slightly warm sleeping temperatures. Like, really. I'm dying right now, and I'm not even trying to sleep. If things don't cool down, I'm so turning on the AC.

Speaking of cooling down, it's been doing the opposite of that lately: it's a lot like summer here!

Which reminds me of a really good point Megan brought up today. In Ohio, spring is so welcome because the dead, dreary winter finally gives way to green. Here in Japan, things are green all the time, so spring isn't really as... I don't know, noticable. The weather's nice and all, but it just doesn't shout "SPRING IS HERE!!!" like it does back home. Boy, I miss spring at my house. It's really my favorite time of the year. I love walking down the driveway, smelling spring in the air, checking out our flowers and trees, feeling the cool breezes. I miss a bunch of stuff.

Less than three months, though.
Photos: Sakura! 1 reply

Posted by: badcheeso 4/8/2005 7:25:42 AM
Those are nice pictures of beautiful trees.

I'm sorry we missed them.

0 replies

Of one week finished

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/8/2005 8:29:44 AM
Wow... was that really a week? Not too bad. Yeah, there were some initial frustrations, but they all seem to be mostly ironed out now. I've also got two new jobs pretty much stacked up and ready to go. Plus, on top of that, I still get my weekly 3-day weekend. Dood yeah.

Kanji class this semester looks like it'll be pretty fun. The new teacher seems really nice, and we're doing a lot more learning about kanji than non-learning like we kind of did last semester at times. And you know, I like that a lot. I mean, after all, it's kanji day... so let's do kanji! *laughs* The class is pretty loud as usual, though, and I hope it doesn't drive the teacher nuts. I don't know what, if anything, I can or should do. I mean, it just seems so disrespectful to the teacher to be blabbing while she's trying to teach. This is elementary school-level courtesy here, people, not rocket science. Bah, I dunno.

The nice thing about my modified schedule is I still have nice breaks in the middle of Wednesday and Thursday, I always have Monday off, Tuesday ends at 2:30, and Friday ends at noon. I think it's a very nice schedule. I'll likely soon be throwing a tutoring job and a new website job in there, too, which should be challenging yet fun. And, yeah... all these thoughts in my head suddenly collided and now I don't know where I was coming from or where I wanted to go. Ah well.

Today I did a lot of talking with adults. Went to the GLC/ACL office and talked with Michiyo-san and Mr. Campbell for quite a while, then came home and had a nice long conversation with Mama over dinner. I really like talking with adults... I guess I have for quite a while, actually. It's not the same as talking with folks from your own generation, but I think that's what makes it so cool sometimes: you both can learn something from each other. And when one side is seen accepting something from the other side, that just makes it really cool and fun. Seeing an adult get a kick out of 1337 sp33k is... wow, that's great. ;)

Tomorrow at 11:00 I'm going to go help set up for a festival on Sunday, and later in the day I'm slated to go flower-watching with the Onishis. Should be fun! Tiring, but fun.

And now I have homework to do... for the first time in a long time. In a very strange sort of way, it feels good. I know I'm going to be complaining about all the studying and homework I have to do in a week or three, but while it's still fresh, I just want to say that I like being busy and being challenged. I like starting new things, and I like finishing old things. The real stickler is that oftentimes the "old things" hang around for a lot longer than I wish they would, and that's when they get bothersome and annoying. ;)

Well, let's see if I can finish all my homework in this three-day weekend. If not, I've got plenty of time in-between classes to get it done.
0 replies

Of setting up

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/9/2005 8:34:01 AM
Yikes! I was so busy working on my project for the cultural practicum (an essay, essentially, but I'm doing way too much work on it as usual) that I almost forgot to write an entry today! Well, okay, it's only 9:30, but still... yeah. *laughs*

Today at 11:00 I went out with Papa to help set up for a big party/festival that's going on all day tomorrow. It was originally all set up and ready to go, but something happened and they had to relocate everything quite a ways, meaning they needed as much help as they could to get set up in one day what took a week the first time. But hey, we did it! It took four hours, but in that time we put up an entire stage, several tents, and got a lot of chairs and tables from the sports center (where the 20-year-old festival was) and set those up. It was hard work, but it was fun.

And it was BEAUTIFUL. Wonderful weather, people playing and relaxing in the park we were at, sakura EVERYWHERE. I really wanted to bring my camera along, but didn't in the end... now I really wish I would have. *laughs* It was just so beautiful. Cherry blossoms everywhere you look... it's almost surreal. I'll be sure to bring my camera tomorrow with its 128 MB Memory Stick. Lots of awesome views to see there.

My schedule is getting fuller every day. *laughs* Mrs. Onishi has a... uh, relative or friend or someone, I forgot, who is going to meet me in Tachigawa on Monday at 6:30 to talk English and Japanese. She described her as "a very genki obasan," which made me laugh. I'm only one week into class, and I'm finding I'm already getting behind in my homework, and there's not too much of it! Well, I shouldn't say that. To be fair, I still have the rest of today, some of tomorrow, and most of Monday to finish all my work, and if I keep going at the rate I've been going so far I should be done with everything with plenty of time to spare. We'll just see how things go.

Listen up, America. This is what you need:

- Cherry trees. Lots of them.

- Motor scooters. Lots of them.

- Less cars. A lot less of them.

- Smaller portions at restaurants. A lot smaller.

Obtain those items and you will solve many problems. No, no need to thank me. It's not my idea. Thank Japan.
0 replies

Of the Thunderroad Carnival!

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/10/2005 9:01:22 AM
You know, I just realized something. If I can type up quite a huge record of events in the course of less than a year, imagine what I could do if I did it for the rest of my life. I guess I'm kind of doing that with my dream journal, which I've been keeping up with for nearly two and a half years now. But... yeah. Journaling is awesome. Keeping a history of things is awesome. And when you can do it digitally... well, that just makes it all the better, because you can duplicate it easily, back it up without taking up any real physical space, and if you really want to, stick it into/onto any sort of medium you could imagine. I kind of wish I could take all the physical things I keep as a perpetual time capsule and convert them to digital form... you lose tangibility, but everything else remains and it effectively takes up zero space. Hmm.

Well, anyway.

Today was the THUNDERROAD CARNIVAL. *laughs* You've gotta love the names for these things. It was great to see so many people having so much fun at the place I helped set up yesterday! The weather cooperated wonderfully (though it was rather windy at times... lots and lots of wind here recently) and we all had a great time. Lots of food, fun for the kids, live bands and dancing and storytelling, traditional parades, and, of course, sakura watching (ohanami). I took a lot of pictures of the sakura... they're so dang beautiful!

I went to the carnival with Saki-chan, since Papa was already there and Mama came a little later. Saki-chan and Mama left after maybe 30 minutes, so I stuck around and walked around the tanbo on the platforms and stuff, and later helped Muni-san and her family/friends work a Maru stand that was selling chili beans, chicken sandwiches, and other stuff. I helped make a bunch of the sandwiches... roast chicken, lettuce/veggies, and a special sauce inside a pita pocket. Got to meet a bunch of new people, say hello to old ones, and even... er, heh, sounds like I should finish that sentence somehow, but it's already done. *laughs* I took a little while to walk through a nearby park, too, to see all the sakura and take pictures and just be happy. It's so ridiculously beautiful here. I mean, ridiculously so. Kristin, if I could reach overseas and pick you up and bring you over here so you could see all these wonderful trees and blossoms and nature and beautifulness with me, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Takedown of the carnival took very little time... with so many hands, we were done in under an hour! It's awesome to watch so many people working together for a good cause. By golly, you can sure get a lot done in an hour with a bunch of high-spirited folks! Don't mind that most of them were kind of drunk and there were only two or three people there who had voluntarily not had anything to drink so they could actually drive some of the heavy-duty trucks we used. *laughs*

Oh, and Dad, here's something for you: Mama was talking to some of her friends about your chili and how delicious it was. You really hit the spot with that stuff! ^__^

During dinner, Mama and I talked quite a bit and watched a special on NHK that is going on ALL YEAR LONG on Sundays about Japanese history. It's basically 52 episodes (I presume, seeing as there are 52 weeks in a year) of a dramatic re-enactment of Japan's history from... well, the beginning, probably. Really neat. I like eating with Mama in front of the TV. We have some good conversations, and it feels like we really enjoy each other's company. She kind of has to be tough to deal with her super-busy, nonstop, jam-packed daily schedule, but bless her heart, she's still sweet and kind and a good host mom.

Tomorrow I'll be going to Tachikawa with one of Mrs. Onishi's friends (who just happens to be the boss of Japan's 2nd largest insurance company) to study Japanese and English. I have no idea what to expect, but it sounds like it'll be fun. I was originally concerned that I might not be able to get all my homework done, but it looks like I'll be fine after all. In terms of things I MUST do for Tuesday, there's... well, studying Japanese vocab. That's about it. I want to finish a vocab list for microeconomics and maybe start work on some website stuff, but other than that tomorrow should be pretty relaxing.

And now it's time to take a bath. I'm a dustball. *laughs*
Photos: The Thunderroad Carnival 1 reply

one word
Posted by: badcheeso 4/10/2005 11:02:55 AM

0 replies

Of another Monday break

Location: Kokubunji - Seibu-sen train to Higashimurayama 4/11/2005 8:52:12 AM
I think this is my first entry I've ever typed up on a train! *laughs* Excellent. Yay for laptops. Apsu is such an awesome piece of equipment. Computers you can take anywhere just plain rock.

Anyway, today I pretty much worked on studying Japanese vocabulary all day. I mean, that's just what happened, I guess. I did sleep for an hour and spend several hours this morning doing things for people online, actually, plus I spent a good long while thinking of things for new and upcoming web projects (and beginning the preliminary coding of one of them). Oh yeah! And I got my schedule for next semester pretty much all worked out in its entirety. I thought for a few fleeting moments that I had made a mistake and it WOULD be possible for me to graduate in four years after all, but after really looking at class times and stuff I know it is definitely IMPOSSIBLE now. If they wouldn't have cancelled that ethics in science class I wanted to take, it could have been possible... but there's just no way now.

But that's okay. I wouldn't mind being at Case for another semester. I could probably just commute, too... it would let me save a bunch of money, carry a part-time job, and by golly, it would feel like going to Waseda. Except it wouldn't take as long. *laughs*

At 5:40, I headed out to the train station to go to Tachikawa, which meant I had to go in a direction and on lines I had never been on before. I had a pretty good idea what I was supposed to be doing, but I ended up wasting about a buck because I bought the wrong ticket. But that's okay. Why was I going to Tachikawa? To meet Mrs. Takemura: a friend of Mrs. Onishi, the boss of Japan's second-largest life insurance firm, and an avid learner of English. We ate some tonkatsu at a nice restaurant and talked for a little over two hours about English, Japanese, studying abroad, fat dogs, and all sorts of stuff. I brought out Apsu and showed her some of the things I did, and since there was wireless Internet there we were able to look up some random places where she could learn English in the USA, which is what she wants to do in a few years. It was pretty fun. I made a silly mistake when replying to a certain comment which, under other circumstances, would have likely gotten me a slap on the face or something... but Mrs. Takemura knew I didn't really know the "right" way to reply (because I didn't) and laughed and corrected me. Yay for gaijin immunity. ;)

Well, the train's going to stop at Higashimurayama pretty soon. It's the 終点 (shuten, last stop) so I've gotta get off. I have a juice drink here with me now, but for some reason I feel like guzzling it when I get off and buying another one for the trip home. I like buying drinks here... you can always get something interesting and new. *laughs* Okay, train's stoppin'. Time to go!
1 reply

from Mom
Posted by: badcheeso 4/11/2005 3:32:25 PM
Greg---Sounds like your kind of day!
I was banking on gaijin immunity, too (altho I didn't know what to call it) when we were in Japan! I'm sure they are used to silly bloopers from those dang furiners!
0 replies

Of getting registered

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/12/2005 8:06:48 AM
And my classes for next year: SCHEDULE'D!!! Well, most of them, anyway. I originally was going to be taking five computer courses, but then I realized, "Dude, that's going to kill you." One of the courses I wanted to take is offered in the spring, so I'll just take it then (or another one, since it's just a tech elective). So I'll be taking four computer classes and one "Professional Communication for Engineers" course, which is required. Cool. My Tuesdays and Thursdays are going to be killer, but I scheduled it so Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays my only class is a 50 minute one at 9:00 in the morning (which will force me to get up, which is good) for programming a video game. Excellent. ^__^ Actually, technically I'm not yet registered for that, since I need a permit. However, I've been accepted into the class and my permit is sitting there at Case... I may just have to officially add it to my schedule when I physically return to Case.

Next challenge: housing. Dun dun dunnnnnnnnn! Working on getting a 4-person apartment with my buds. Should be pretty cool. Those new apartments look like DA BOMB.

Anyway, today was, well, school again. I know it's only the second week so I shouldn't generalize too soon, but it seems like this will be a pretty decent semester. Mondays are always off, Tuesdays end at 2:30, Wednesdays start and end late but have a huge 4-hour gap between the two classes, Thursdays are similar but with only a 1.5 hour gap, and Fridays end at noon. It just seems... great. *laughs* I just hope the workload doesn't suddenly kick into overdrive all at once or something, though I should prepare for it just in case. How to prepare? Um...

I'll get back to you on that one. Maybe. And by maybe I mean probably not.

And with that, I'm going to read some more in my just-purchased Economic Development book. Thing cost me 80 bucks, so it had better be worth every penny. Or yen. Reading from the first chapter, though, it sounds rather interesting... it's a kind of study I had never really given much thought to before. Neat stuff.
0 replies

Of more classes

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/13/2005 7:01:29 AM
Nothing much today... just classes. That's about it.

Though reading up on the book for Economic Development class has really opened my eyes to poverty in the world. I've always wanted to pick up garbage around the community I'll end up living in to do something small to help everyone, and I've always wanted to get into some career that can help people live better lives, but now I have this ambition to try and get into a career that can make an impact on the global level. It's still far too early to pretend I could do anything like that, though, so I'll let that sit on the back burner for now.

Erm, yeah. Kinda tired, plus I have lots of reading and stuff to do. Zoom.
0 replies

Of school

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/14/2005 7:17:35 AM
Another day of schoolwork. Yup. Can't really think of anything useful to say, other than I think this semester is going to be pretty fun. Things are moving and they're just gonna keep on moving until I'm done in a little over two months.

Holy muggle... just a little over two months? o_O;;
0 replies

Of two weeks already

Location: Yoshitaka residence - my room 4/15/2005 8:15:37 AM
It's only been two weeks? Wow... it feels like I've been going to classes forever. Well, okay, not forever, but you know what I mean.

Kanji class is fun. The teacher is very nice and sweet, and we do a lot of review that I enjoy. It's fun to learn how to use the kanji we're learning in other ways, as well as how reading and writing goes. It's a lot more fun than last semester... not that I have anything against Akane-sensei, of course.

I just wish some of the students in the class would keep ther mouths shut and their attention focused on the class. >_<

On the way home from school today, I stopped into a grocery store in Baba that's on the way to/from school. I had never considered going there before to do my normal shopping, but since I was already going to go to Itoyokado today anyway, I thought I'd check it out to see what the prices for OJ and apples were. And by golly, it's cheaper there... at least today it was. Sweet. Saved a lot of time since I didn't have to go all the way to Itoyokado, though I spent all that saved time and then some updating Firefox and Acrobat, mostly because of my own stupidity in trying to use speedup programs when I really didn't have to in the first place. D'oh.

Made a list of homework for this weekend... a few pieces of it are already done. Excellent.

And now I have a Saki-chan on my back. Indeed.
1 reply

3 weeks for us
Posted by: badcheeso 4/15/2005 10:22:10 AM

And it's been 3 weeks for us since we last saw you. It seems like a long time ago and sometimes it seems like last week. But sometimes a week here seems like a month but a day in Shibuya seemed like 3 days....(sorry Steve Martin).

Sitting in front of the class insulates you from others. Too bad I didn't learn this when I went to school. We were seated by our last names and most of the time I was in the back.

You're doing a great job! Sometimes it's nice to take the path less travelled and "discover" other things.

Hang in there- June is coming.

0 replies

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