readsalot: (Yuuko [xxxHolic])
I'm in the internet cafe in the Shinagawa Prince hotel now. I get a computer for as long as I want, apparently, for buying one drink. It was 500 yen for the drink, which is a lot even for here, though, so I'm going to stick around for a while tonight.

So, from the beginning:

(This computer won't let me switch to using an English keyboard, so I'm going to just touch-type and try to remember to replace all the weird punctuation after I finish writing. Just a warning, in case the punctuation looks strange--it's things like hitting the apostrophe key and getting a colon.)

The flight was uneventful, but long )

It's really hot in Japan )

There was a Worldcon )

In which my hotel is really stupid )

Tokyo at last )

Ok, that's it for tonight.
readsalot: (sakura mixing pancake batter [CCS])
Japanese class is over! I have free time again!

The final was last Tuesday, and I think I did ok--there wasn't anything on there that really surprised me, but I'm just not sure I got everything right. I know that I got one of the listening questions wrong, because I successfully parsed it several hours later and realized that the answer I'd given was the exact opposite of the right one. Oh well.

I went out to dinner Friday night with a bunch of classmates and Sensei. We'd originally planned to eat at Bluefin, but they were unfortunately closed due to a leak. So, we went to Kaya, since Japanese food was also available there. We had gyoza (good), agedashi tofu (good), potato croquettes (unbelievably yummy--where have you been all my life?), sushi (which I don't eat), jap chae (tasty), some kind of spicy fish soup (good soup, and good fish, but the mussel that was in my serving was kind of rubbery), and vegetable tempura (ok--carrot slices were too thick to have gotten cooked properly, but the other vegetables were good).

Food diary: cut for length )

Edited to add: the turkey meatloaf was very tasty indeed, as were the tomatoes. Oh, and I forgot to mention the pluot-blackberry cobbler I made earlier today. I overdid it a little bit on adding ginger to the filling, but I like ginger, so it's all good.
readsalot: (sakura mixing pancake batter)
So far I'm doing pretty well on quizzes (though I haven't yet seen the results of Tuesday's vocabulary test). The current chapter has, among other things, rules for and examples of transitive and intransitive verbs, which in Japanese are often separate words. That use the same kanji. Just to confuse you. For example, 起きる(okiru, to sleep, intransitive) and 起こす (okosu, to sleep, transitive). That was a relatively easy pair, because okiru was one of the first verbs I learned, more than a year ago. Then there's 集まる(atsumaru, to gather, intransitive) and 集める (atsumeru, to gather, transitive); both new in this chapter. Anyway, all of this meant that the new vocabulary for this chapter, instead of being mostly nouns, was mostly verbs. However, I think that I knew all of the ones on the quiz, so that was good.

Homework log: 1 hour last night, 3 hours tonight. Less than I thought it was going to be--that was three sections of homework (though I cheated and did part of the first section over the weekend) and 5 sheets of kanji practice (for the thirty new kanji in this chapter). Kanji quiz on Tuesday. But that shouldn't be too hard--for the first time, kanji quizzes involve reading but no writing. That makes it a lot easier, especially when the quiz puts the kanji in a sentence.
readsalot: (sakura mixing pancake batter)
Look at me, studying hard )
readsalot: (ahiru ehhh?)
Tonight's class was an exercise in catching up, and falling behind, and catching up again. Part of this is just getting used to our new teacher's style. At least, I hope that's it.

details--skip if you're bored )
readsalot: (twirling duck)
I am apparently unable to read a registration notice and remember where and when my class is. And this is just one class! I've gotten really careless.  )

It's nice to see old friends )

Formal introductions in Japanese are always fun. Last year, we were required to stand up and bow at the beginning and end, but we don't seem to have to do that this year. However, we're asked to say more about ourselves than just our name and work/college status: what are our hobbies, what interests us about Japan and why are we taking this class. I gave a brief explanation of Worldcon, and mentioned that Japanese is also useful for watching anime and for my current job.

The review part of the class was somewhat painful. Details for those who are interested, with bonus hiragana )

Next class: new vocabulary, talking about time and past experiences (like "I went to Chicago last year", and "when I was a child I had blonde hair"), and new kanji (which look like the ones for a bunch of verbs we already know.) Fun!
readsalot: (raquel cassul)
The latest bits of Japanese grammar from my class are: honorific mode (in which we use different verbs when talking to or about people who are given extra respect, like a teacher), and casual mode (in which bunches of particles are dropped, different verb conjugations are used, and sentence endings are changed based on the gender of the speaker).

in which I use too many parentheses )

Studying

Mar. 12th, 2006 05:33 pm
readsalot: (raquel cassul)
My first midterm in Japanese 2 will happen tomorrow night. (For whatever reason, this term we have two midterms and a final.) I've been studying all afternoon, and I think that's refreshed my memory of the topics from the earlier parts of the class enough that I'll be ok, but I'll only know for sure when I get the graded test back. Sigh. I'm fine on the kanji we've learned, and I know all of the vocabulary and how to do all of conjugations we've been learning, but I'm still weak on some of the particles.

language geeking )

Yay me!

Feb. 8th, 2006 10:29 am
readsalot: (utena)
I got an A in Japanese!

I'm happy, and slightly stunned. After getting only 75.5 (out of 100) on the final, I was sure that there was no way I'd do better than a B, and I wasn't very sure I'd get that. I was hoping I would, because my attendance was near-perfect, and I did reasonably well in class discussions, and my homework was usually good, but my final and midterm scores were much worse than I'd expected.

more details about tests than you're probably interested in )
readsalot: (utena)
Well, I've mostly finished my first Japanese homework of the new year. This is still the same class; since this is Harvard, winter break is followed by the usual study period before finals. So, this fall-term class doesn't have its final until January 18. And then the first class of the spring term will be on January 30. Wacky. I've signed up for that already, because I'm really enjoying learning Japanese, and it is being useful both for watching anime and for running tests at work, so it's fulfilling its purpose.

Probably too much detail about this homework assignment )

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