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December 14, 2009

JAPN411 final exam

I was sick with headache and barely made it to the examination room. The result would've been bad no matter what. Good thing I don't need GPA.

The biggest suck was the excercise to write simple sentences for grammar patterns, such as "as many as 4 times (yonkai mo)", "I made a rule (~ youni shteru)" and such. I knew all of them, or could made a passable imitation, but I pulled blank on the other words that were necessary to construct sentences. For example, in "please let me use the PC (~ sasete kudasai)", I forgot to write katakana "so".

I would've been the last to leave if not for Yuri . Donovan and Elizabeth finished a good half an hour before.

Tags: japn411

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December 03, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 24

Another classmate (and a fellow member of Anime Club) made a presentation about lolita fashion in Japan. She claimed, as far as I can gather, that the name had nothing to do with Nabokov's novel, but originates from Victorian and Rokkoko dress fashion. Also, she listed various versions, such as ama-loli ("sweet"), goth-loli (most familiar in America), guro-loli (injured), hime-loli (orientalistic "princess"), and even "ouji-loli" (sex-swapped, from "prince").

Other than that, it was just practicing the shades of "~noni".

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November 30, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 23

There was a quiz, mostly on onomatopea like "ガヤガヤ". Failure as usual...

A classmate did a presentation on Yukio Mishima, including a photograph of his severed head exhibited somewhere. Mrs. Bomberger tried to impress upon us how famous Mr. Mishima was and what genius he was as well. I've never heard of him until now.

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November 25, 2009

JAPN411 meetings 21, 22

Donovan made a presentation about kendo, which he studies. When he wrote the words "experienced" and "thrust", I felt a deja vu.

Meeting on Wednesday was cancelled, due to Thanksgiving.

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November 16, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 19

It could be worse, I suppose. Cody let me go first, to wash down my story of buying 1.2L of gasoline with a lecture about the literature of Heyian Period. Funny, Russians were up to "Slovo o Polku Igoreve" at the time. A classic to be sure, but does anyone really want to read it?

I managed to do pretty well on kanji test without studying, thanks to 250 Million People Kanji Exam on DS mostly.

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November 15, 2009

Incipient disaster tomorrow

I have to deliver a presentataion in class, and I haven't yet started on it. I just cannot make myself to do it.

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October 26, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 17

I delivered the little speech first thing in the class. I don't know if anyone understood anything beyond keywords. Oh well, it could be worse.

On the other hand, I forgot all about the homework, so it's going to be late.

The substitute teacher's name is -- apparently -- Machiko Verii. She wrote it as まちこ ウェリー (in that order, kana only).

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October 21, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 15

Right when I got back from my jaunt to Japan, it was a midterm. Yay. Of course I didn't prepare, and the honorific/humble bit me in the butt. That's pretty much it.

With the midterm and stuff, I didn't ask Cody what skit we're delivering, so I'll have to skip. Also, Mrs. Bomberger asked me to make a small speech about my trip next class, and it will take precedence.

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October 07, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 12

Not much to report. Mrs. Bomberger asked me and Cody to deliver the skit in front of the class. Fortunately, I'm immune to embarrassement.

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October 05, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 11

Not much happened, the attrition pretty much stopped. Cody is back and we've agreed to deliver the Beer Garden skit on Wednesday.

I was sick terribly with the headache and barely paid any attention. I submitted whole Chapter 8 of workbook last Monday, and apparently Mrs. Bomberger didn't turn it around. Maybe Wednesday.

Oh, and we had a quiz on kanji. The freshly downloaded Plan of Study said Yellow Book p9-10, but apparently there was an oral announcement in the class that I skipped. Good thing I'm good at kanji. I think the only one I missed was "就職" (aww I see now that I got "試験" wrong).

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October 01, 2009

JAPN411, missed meeting 10

My partner Cody disappeared suddenly, and does not return my calls. So, instead of doubling down and learning the whole skit, I blew off the class on Wednesday. The work was pretty busy too, so...

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September 23, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 8

This went ok, I guess. Not doing the homework does me no favours though, since we have to read through the yellow book, and it's impossible to read what isn't written. I really need to get my act together on it. At least me and Cody aced the skit before the class, but only just.

Also, we listened to a song and tried to discern specific words. Mrs. Bomberger selected SMAP's 世界に一つだけの花 (sekai ni hitotsu dake no hana). Liz and Anna (W2) claimed hearing it before. My success was so-so... I picked words out ok, but completely fumbled the translation of my sentence (confused hanabata with hanabatake and downhill from there).

On the social scene, Liz (W1) and I coincidentially sported new extra-short haircuts. Also, wordtanks. Plus, Madison (W3 - I got the name wrong in last entry) didn't take out her Macbook, and sat in the far corner from me. She's one with a better Japanese, so she's probably just bored in class.

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September 21, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 7

Today was a typical disaster, which came to a head when Mrs. Bomberger came up to check how I use the humble forms. That's pretty shameful, honestly. But I just cannot hold them in my head for some reason.

I accidentially sat where Madlene's Madison's Mac was visible. My elderly vision did not allow me to read anything, but the ever-flipping show of gazillion of windows was very distracting. My own fault, certainly.

P.S. Forgot everything and had to borrow a piece of paper from Joe.

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September 16, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 6

I was too lazy to blog meeting 5, which was a disaster anyway.

Before the 6, I and Cody delivered our skit, received 10/10. To that end, I had to find out how to get to upper floors of Ortega Hall in UNM, a non-trivial task. It turned out that two nondescript doors (#106 is one) lead into departments, lobbies of which are connected with stairwells and elevators. Glad it's behind me now.

In class it was mostly just re-reading the supposed homework from the reading packet (Yellow Book). Apparently I and Madlene are the two oars who do not do any, and play it by the ear. It's kind of terrible.

Quiz on homework material is coming next Monday.

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September 09, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 4

The class was a veritable disaster, since I was completely unprepared. I did not do my homework, and did not study for the quiz (we learned honorific and humble equivalents, e.g. いらっしゃる vs おる, ごらんになる vs 拝見する, etc. -- the stuff that soured Feynman on Japanese according to "Surely you are joking"). The trouble is how impossible is to remember them without using them.

Now I have twice as much homework to complete by Monday. Clearly I cannot keep up, maybe I should drop tomorrow.

I interrogated a classmate who studied in Akita (Sandy), and it made my decision to rent a car more definite. Coincidentially, W1 rudely interrupted our conversation.

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August 31, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 3

Got to know my classmates a little better, and collected a few names thanks to an excercise that mixed up the class. For example, W1's name is Elizabeth. Also, she didn't know how to read "遊園地", which made me feel a bit better. In general, although most is quite strong, they are not out and out away (like Nicholas -- who skipped class today).

We had a vocab quiz and I found it impossible to keep up, thanks to my attempts to one-up my more advanced classmates by doing everything in kanji. It wasn't a requirement and the alotted time is insufficient to write both kanji and furigana. By the end I skipped a word and resorted to only filling hiragana for a couple of others (out of 12 total).

Because I needed to ask someone about transportation and parking in Akita International U., I tried to shake off Yoshino's e-mail from Mr. Bomberger, but failed. Privacy regulations. UNM is not as uptight about it as SFSU, where ten or a dozen of students sue the university every term for various frivolous reasons, so I think I had a chance.

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August 26, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 2

Wow, it's only the second class and attrition is 40% already. Yoshino is gone as well. In a way attrition is good for me. The smaller class, the more attention we get from Mrs. Bomberger. The downside is, the class levelled up. Most are fresh from the previous 300 level class and know the grammar that I forgot long ago.

BTW, we have a new guy, Nicholas (?), who lived in Japan for 10 years. Like the Korean girl, he's obviously trying to fulfill the foreign language requirements (instead of exam), and probably get some useful units too.

Names continue to settle at their leisurely pace. For example, I worked in a pair with Christian (it was with Madelene last class).

We're starting on Nakama ch.8, honorific and humble forms.

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August 24, 2009

JAPN411 meeting 1

The first class went pretty well. I was not sure at all that I fit into such a high level class, but a few people seem to speak worse than I, so it's all right. There's also a few folks who are way out of my league as well. In particular one nice woman was a teacher of "English Conversation" in Japan for a year or two (the majority mumbled their names and so I have no idea who they were; I tagged the aforementioned lady as "W1").

We've also got a Japanese exchange student, Mariama Yoshino (probably... see above about the names). My goodness, she is pretty. W1 immediately zoomed in on her, and pestered her a bit after class. Good call, if you want extract the maximum from the class. I did not quite understand what Yoshino was doing in the class. Usually such helpers fall off quickly, but if she's getting an academic credit, she'll be around to help.

The rest of the class is rather a blur. I tried to pay attention to them, but all for naught; my crusty old brain cannot cope. About half spent a college term in Japan or lived in Japan for one reason or other. At least three identified themselves as gamers. There's a guy (Brandon ?) who has graduated this summer and works as a sysadmin, so his academic status is probably the same as mine. Also, there's a student from Korea, who appears to be fully fluent in Japanese and wants to mooch an easy academic credit. And that's about it.

Mrs. Bomberger (the instructor) made a positive impression; unlike my previous teacher, her teaching method does not appear to be a stark terror.

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