Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lost in, and out, of translation.

Well I have kind of decided to stop trying to make sense of what is happening and to stop controlling what is going to happen. If you have read my other blog you know I have had a lot of trouble with the Japanese language past. Being in Japan has not helped that as much as I had hopped it would. As a result, though I have been trying very hard, I have not been doing as well as I would like. The past two weeks it has degenerated to almost the level it was when I dropped out of Japanese in America. Almost unfortunantely, though I can:t be sure because it would mean me never coming to Japan, I do not have the luxary of backing out. Im not sure I would even if I could.

I really REALLY am enjoying Japan. But language becomes so frustrating for me, I cant take it. I am sticking with it though, but my drive is waneing and these past two weeks have been complete failures. I don:t really know what to do. This weekend I am going to re-double my efforts (since I have no where to go since I have no money) and try to re-re-re-learn all we have learned from the past three chapters. I will probably try and do this on my own. I find that often having people try to help me, actually hinders me. So it is going to be a weekend of controlled, quiet, no stress study in an attempt to be up to pace with the other students.

It really is frustrating that I am so far behind. Or at least I feel very behind, everyone else seems to be advancing in leaps andbounds and Iam stuck where we started. I have been seeking comfort and advice from friends at home and one said something very true of me. It takes me forever and a day to learn something, but once I know it, I really know it and it stays with me for a long time. The thing is there is so much in a language I have to really know something down pat before I can go onto something else. Other wise it turns into Math and I forget very quickly something I supposedly only learned a few days ago.

So studying it is. I need to ace every test and quiz we have from here on out. I dread what my grade is currently. I have no problem admitting this. Language is hard, and seems a particularly hard topic for me. But it is something I want to get better in. There is nothing wrong in me admitting it is hard and struggling. And yes, half the reason I am saying this is to convince my self. Everyone has something they are good and bad at; Im sure I can dance better than you can. Another thing I need to do is chill. I tend to worry so much about failing, that when time comes to preform I freeze, like what happened for the mid-term. I studied probably more than 4 hours the day before. Un-stressed, good studying. I knew it. And then I got to the class room with the test in front of me and I froze, couldnt remember the simplest things.

So I really need to relax. Many of my friends have been trying to lend me their calm. I think their thoughts and kind words are helping. So thank you to all who have been helping me. I am also finding that my solitude has been helping my calm. I like being in the swirl and wrath of humanity on my own. I am finding out a lot about my self on this trip. More than I thought I would honestly. But I am growing. And my Japanese really is better. I just need to relax and not worry to the point of hysteria when I don:t understand something or make mistakes. No matter how numerous those mistakes are. This almost comes across as me not caring, but really I do, I just dont want to be depressed or sad or angry or hysterical because I don:t understand or I am not as good as everyone else anymore. Its tireing and annoying and I dont like being that way. It hurts. Calm is better.

Right now I am very calm.

I have not up-dated lately I guess. It doesn:t really feel like that long but I guess it has been a while. It always seems like life is on slow motion while in progress, but when you think back and remember the past day or week, it seems like it was on fast forward and it is hard to remember or you wonder if you took full advantage of the time.

These past weeks have been kind of like that. There have been days where I have felt almost more productive than I ever have in my entire life. And then there have been days I want to re-try or erase completely.

I visited Asakusa again, by myself. It was very nice. I got to spend a lot of time meditating in Yoyogi Hall (a hall in the shrine complex dedicated to the Budhavisattva gaurdians of the zodiac animals.) It is probably my favorite building and very calming. It was nice to go there by my self and just explore. I also went to this nifty little Turkish Resturant near the shrine. And yes, there is Turkish food in Japan. It was very good and I met this nice girl who I will hopefully get to teach English too, though our first attempt at a lesson fell through.

I have however, been in contact with many of my other students and prospective students. I know am officially seeing 4. I hope that more contact me soon. I should probably start charging some money for the first lesson simply for transportation. This past week has been nothing but me meeting with these first 4 contacts but I have lost 1000¥ just from travel expenses and have yet to get anything back. Next week will be better and I will finally have some cash on hand. Which is great because there are many many things starting to coe up that I really want to do.

For example, the new Star Trek movie is out in Japan now (movies com out a few weeks later in Japan than in the states) and there are two other movies I want to see, Angles and Deamons and the Blood the Last Vampire movie that came out the same time as Star Trek. A lot of the kids at the dorm want to go see Star Trek either this weekend or on Wednesday in Roppongie, which kind of expensive. Also, I am going to go see 2 full length Kabuki plays in June, and maybe a shorter one and a Noh play as well. That will all cost a lot, though one of the kabuki plays is paid for, maybe two, I can:t remember, it is too confusing. I ALSO want to go to studip Ghibli on the 10th.You have to buy tickets way in advance but they aren:t that much 1000¥ (10$) so not too bad. But I will want money to spend on things there, like I want a Totoro Obento box (lunch box) and maybe a blanket or something. I don:t know. And a few of my friends are requesting suvoiers. So I need money for that too.

And traveling around Tokyo in general is very expensive. It can cost a lot just to travel around and sight see, minus food or actual acess to buildings, but the trains. 150¥ here another 230¥ there. It all really adds up quickly. But it is really very dull just sitting in the dorm. Not tomention depressing. So the fact that I now have contacts and students I am seeing is very good because it means I can get out and do things. Which always makes me happy. There are a few other places I want to go just to sight see, but food and transportation, and some of these places are bound to have things that catch my eye, Akihabara for example, the Otaku mecha. Like an Anime Convention and Steroids and Extacy, with a caffinee adiction and swords... good times all around, and my type of place.

I want to stay busy busy. I am also trying to keep up my extracuriculars. Most of which keep me happy and sane. Like exercise, which I almost completely stopped doing these past two weeks. But yesterday I went and I can tell I hadn:t done it in a while. I am going to try and do some jogging early morning work out tomorrow. Also Aikido. Yesterday was also the first time I had gone to that in a week. I think they thought I had died, or had been snubbing them. But being depressed (which I was) makes me not want to do physical/social activities, which happen to be usuaully what I need most to get un-depressed, or at most mellowed out.

Another thing I have done recently is gone to see another Kabuki. I did this on Monday morning, woke up bright and early to get to the Kabuki-za for standing only seating. At only 600-800¥ the one act kabuki are very worth the trip to Ginza. I find them very enjoyable. The one I went to see was Shibaraku. It was very good, lots of shouting from the audiance. I
will write it its own post here during the weekend, I need a critique for that one for kabuki class, as well as maybe one of the videos I have borrowed from the teacher. We will see how productive I am this weekend, but I hope the answer is very.

I also hope to get a scholarship done this weekend. Or even this evening. I might try to have the first copy done by tonight. We will see how far I get, I have the thesis and opening anyways. It is a start. Lots to do and plan in the up coming days. June I think might be my busiest month. There is also a plan trip to a cherry orchard in the country out side of Tokyo and then to an Onsen. This will be nice since I have yet to goto an onsens. The only trouble is there are limited spots and it is by draw if too many people apply. I hope Im lucky. Or that some of the people who have gone to an onsen already dont try to sign up. If I dont get in I might try to schedule my own trip.

Another thing I had planned to do was go to see Sumo. Sadly the tickets had sold out for the last tournament in Tokyo. So I was unable to go. I am a little disappointed but I am hoping there will be another chance for me to see it at some point in the near future. There is another tournament some where else in July. I may go to that if I can.

I do enjoy going and seeing things, but I am finding I like spontaneous solitary wandering. Also, I seem to get angry at someone or make someone angry at me at group functions. So I think I will try to avoid them more now. It is simpler that way. I don:t know if this makes me a bad person or anti-social or what, but it:s just what I am finding out about my self.

This doesn:t mean I:m going to beomce the traveling hermit. For example, I love all of my students, and I love meeting new people in new places. I just prefer to met new people with out company. And the dorm functions seem to complicate things. Like this one guy in the dorm completely cussed me out at a party a few days a go for very little reason. Onhis behalf I think he was drunk at the time. So he may not have realized or been thinking clearly, but it kind of hurt my feelings, though I didn:t let it ruin the night for me because I was having a very good time. But things like that seem to happen a lot, and I would rather just avoid those types of situations.

So this is what has been done by Eve and what is being planned to do, and my musings about my self findings. I apologize if this was one of my duller posts, I will try to post something more riveting soon. Today I am in a very mellow mood and have been all day. I feel it might seem as though I am distant, or calous, but that isn:t it. This is one of the best moods I have been in for the longest period of time in a long time and I am kind of hoping it keeps up all weekend.

Anyways, wish me a productive weekend and calm thoughts. Prayers of any kind would be appreciated. Nothing terrible is happening to my family. As far as I can tell everyone is happy and fine. I just feel very very lost about where my path is taking me right now. More lost than I have ever felt in my life. It is un-nerving and causing me to be anxious. I never felt like this at WAC, everything was always very certain. I hope I get back on track soon. I am sorry I used this post as a way to spill my guts about my current issues.

Thank you for listening.

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