Monday, October 11, 2010
Thoughts on Culture Shock
So I have been here for three weeks.? I have been mostly rather tired. I think at first it was mostly Jet lag, but I think that I am mostly over that now and my sleeping schedule is pretty much set. Okasan and Otosan usually go to bed around 9:00 or 9:30 at which time it has been dark for about 3 hours. I try to stay up until 10ish. This gets me up around 6:30. Which, for me, is early, but then I am going to bed very early. I usually head for school around 7:30 so that I can spend at least one hour collecting myself at school before class starts. At this time I am not tired much at all. If my classes, which are Japanese, are at all stressful I am dragging by lunch time. Fortunately the classes that I have after lunch don't take as much emotional energy as Japanese does. I have found that despite being so good at most college classes, language is really hard, and I have spent more time in these first two weeks of school studying than I think I spent really studying in a whole semester. I suppose you would have to remember that most of my classes have been studio classes. It also seems that all this studying doesn't seem to get me anywhere. I had a review test last week in spoken Japanese that I got a 50.8% on. I don't think that I have ever done so badly on a test. I took a review test in written Japanese this week and I really think I did worse on that one than the other. The result of the test can only take me down a level, so it isn't the end of the world if I fail it, but it is a blow to my ego, which could probably be taken a notch anyway. I don't really want to go down a level though. The day before the test I was practically sick with a headache and being exhausted, so I couldn't study properly. I find myself praying desperately for help because I feel so insufficient for learning the language. I think that I probably am learning the language better here, but I can't really tell.
When I first got here everything tasted delicious, and I ate copious amounts of it. Lately the food doesn't seem quite as wonderful and I am having trouble eating all the food that Okasan gives me. Part to the problem is that in the first week I ate so much that she probably got the idea that I was a pig and so she has been giving me copious amounts of food. I think that after not eating all my food for four days straight and having to eat the rest for breakfast might have gotten the message across that I don't always eat that much. Yesterday I actually got to eat breakfast food for breakfast. We also have iceberg lettuce for breakfast almost every morning, and a lot of meat. This morning I had miso soup with clams in the shell in it. You have to pick out the shells.
Despite what it sounds like, I am not having a horrible time. There are many ups and downs. This week I managed to only spend about $30 so far and I think that If I am careful I will have enough money even to go on trips occasionally. This weekend I am going to a Danjiri Festival in Osaka.We have a three day weekend this weekend and another day off on Thursday. I plan to do some catch up studying. Please pray for me that I will adjust and be rested, also that I will not get frustrated and learn the language well. I would also like to get involved with more Japanese people. Their classes start up in another week or so. I would like to join a circle or two, maybe if I am not so tired