Thursday, 11 April 2013

Youroppa Shisoushi


Hope nobody's finding these daily Dear Diary's dull yet. Kind of a new thing I'm trying. This one's brief.

In much the same vein as History of Japanese Thought on Tuesday, I had History of European Thought today, taught by the same teacher. As I've mentioned before, he majored in Philosophy, studied abroad to Germany, and speaks German fluently, so this is a subject that I imagine has a special meaning for him. He opened the class with a kind of questionnaire, asking us who we are, why we came, and finally, the first thing we thought of when he said the word “Europe.” Mine was “German beer.” Must be Cologne's influence finally cracking my subconscious.

In case I've never mentioned this before, and I kind of feel like maybe I haven't, every Thursday lunch is set aside as Bonding Time with our “tutors.” Each of us is assigned one, but I have no idea what they're tutoring us in exactly. Presumably Japanese, since they're supposed to talk to us in Japanese and I guess help us out with any questions we may have, but really, the relationship for most of us does not extend beyond these somewhat condescending lunches. My tutor hasn't even shown up for the last two events at which he should have been present. I'm not exactly giddy, but I'm not super broke up about it either.

Only two classes today because I picked a really strange distribution for myself, with everything bunched up at the beginning of the week and petering off as it wears on. The second was Politics, which I took last term and greatly enjoyed, but I don't know that I much like the direction it's headed this time around. We've been basically railroaded into picking some kind of topic that we will be doing research on every single week, and organizing into some kind of paper at the end. This would be fine, except I don't like to have my scheduling done for me. I usually prefer to have multiple projects coming down the track, but focus on only one at a time, so that my progress is uneven. I don't understand organized people. Never have.

If I asked you which was likely to be harder, Japanese-taught or English-taught courses, you'd think Japanese, right? That seems only natural, since they're in my non-native language. You'd be wrong, though. Japanese courses in university ask practically nothing of their participants, except for in the final exam and occasionally in short bursts during the semester. Otherwise it's flat horizons. The only reason they'll be hard for me is the revision I'll require in order to keep up. The English-taught ones, on the other hand, are generally “American-style,” meaning more discussion-based and consistently work-intensive.

After hanging around with Mother Russia for a couple of hours, I capped off the day with a fairly uneventful session of English Club. Better enjoy it while I can, before I get too busy to make it a regular thing. I was quite looking forward to tonight because the three different sections are currently taking it in turns to invite the shinnyuusei into their lair and attempt to ensnare them. Disappointingly, the eight girls who showed up tonight all flatly refused to mix with the regular members when it came time for the activities, instead remaining in an amorphous mass off in one corner of the room on grounds of being shy and nervous. Conversation section's new vice president quickly stepped into the fray to explain the club and walk them through the activities. Not forcing them to mix when they weren't up for it was the right call and his fix was smooth and effective, but you gotta get over it sometime kids.

The regular members, of both sexes, conducted an informal poll after the shinnyuusei left and general consensus is that not one of them was cute.

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