Things are heating up. Not the weather (which is currently wet and cold), but all the responsibilities and expectations I have heaped upon my plate for this fall. They’ve been rotating in the microwave for the last four weeks, and I’m beginning to lose track of all the different things I put on the plate in the first place; everything is melting together into a sticky mess.
And it’s beginning to burn…
Seriously, when I was originally planning this fall semester out, I’m not really sure why I decided that on top of two young children, a full time job teaching in a community school, and two grad classes, I would spend at least an hour a day practicing Japanese. It seemed so effortless in the beginning. Sure, I was starting from scratch, so all the initial sentence patterns were familiar and easy to recall. In the beginning even the Kanji were easy to remember because I was only reviewing perhaps 20 per day.
I have entered the stage of any well-meaning routine where an unconscious will to self-sabotage comes into play. There have been a couple days where I will somehow completely forget to study, and I will be getting into bed at night, when I suddenly remember…. then head back downstairs to get the job done.
It’s at these moments where I need to reflect on the purpose of this endeavor.
1) It’s a major component of the grad class you are taking.
2) You feel like an idiot when you visit Japan and cannot be a part of conversation.
3) You have already put three full weeks of studying into play, and have spent hours of time researching the best methods of studying.
I feel better… although I have just realized that I have been procrastinating from studying by writing this post…
To make amends, I will briefly describe another way of making the studying a little more relevant to my final purposes. Now that I am becoming a little more profocient, I thought a great way to prepare myself for different situations with my wife’s family and our friends, would be to think of possible conversations and write out potential sentences I might hear and could respond to.
Here’s an easy one:
Location: Airport, getting picked up my father in law who doesn’t speak English (but does speak a little Engrish)
Me: こんばんわ岸本さん。久しぶり。Konnbanwa Kishimoto-san. Hisashiburi! Good evening Mr. Kishimoto, Long time no see!
Father in law: 久しぶり。乗る、どでしたか。Hisashiburi. Noru, dodeshitaka? Long time no see. How was your trip?
Me: よっかたですよ。にもつカラセルにどこですか。yokatta des yo. Nimotsu karaseru ni dokodesuka? It was fine. Do you know where the baggage carousel is?
Father: あのううう。。。あそこ、と思うい。いしょうに行く。Anooo…. Asoko, toomoi. Ishou ni iku? Ummm…. over there. Shall we go together?
Me:いいですよ。 ii desyo. Sounds good.
Probably made a mistake, but seems pretty solid! I put both the Japanese Kanji/Hiragana, the furigana (English pronunciation), and the English translation so you can see how the pronunciation works. If you are fluent and noticed I made some glaring errors, please comment below!