Study Study Study (Hirakata, Japan) 10/15/16






A lot of my midterms are actually next week! Or the week after. I like my professors, but sometimes they leave things unclear.

For one class, I’m pretty sure there is no midterm; it isn’t on the syllabus, and she hasn’t mentioned it at all. Another class’s midterm is this Wednesday, but the professor hasn’t told us what it’s over, just that we’re going to have a review Monday. Another class, that I gave a presentation in last week (and presentations will finish up after this next class session), has not talked about what we’ll be doing, midterm-wise.

Things are very confusing, and as there is a slight language barrier, sometimes things aren’t conveyed the best way, either way.

Related, I had my Japanese oral midterm this Friday. There’s a unique sense of shame and anxiety that comes from speaking a language you’re not fluent in, especially to native speakers. Even if you’re confident that what you’re saying is what you mean to, the moment someone says “huh?” or looks confused, you lose every scrap of certainty you had, and are just forced to stew in your embarrassment as you either clam up or try to stammer out an explanation.

Or perhaps that’s just me.

I’ve always had problems with speaking to other people, especially random strangers, so it’s taken me about this long to even try responding to the school guards’ or store cashiers’ greetings. I still always second guess myself, though, even if I’m just saying ‘konnichiwa’, I still feel like I come across as an incompetent foreigner.

I think it’s just something you’ve got to get over, though. In the long run, people won’t remember the foreigner mumbling quiet “hello”s, and I won’t remember every time I supposedly made a fool of myself bumbling through the language.

I’m glad that I’m able to go for a full year, because, honestly, it does take a while to get adjusted to the new environment, and I know that I’m still not settled in fully.