David Chart's Japan Diary

July 7th 2004

Today is Tanabata, a festival marking the only day of the year when two stars, who are lovers, can meet across the river of the Milky Way. The meeting is cancelled if it rains, but fortunately for them, the sky is clear, and the temperature is somewhere in the thirties (nineties). I've given in and turned on the airconditioning in my flat, set to 30, and it's still working away.

End of Last Term

Last term finished with lots more work, right up to the last day. On the Thursday, we had a class party in the evening, with everyone cooking or bringing something, ideally representative of their country. So we had Vietnamese food from Hang, Taiwanese food from Fu and Shuu, Korean food from Yumi and Jin, and I... made chips. Very British, and very easy; both central considerations. They were also very popular, which was reassuring. There is a little skill involved in cooking them, after all.

I also got all my test results. On the jitusryoku test, I got 70%, which is OK. Not great, but it was a slightly odd test; a lot of material was drawn from the term's work. I got 81% on the final class test, which was a bit above average. Not as far above as the previous test, but then I studied for this test, so a slight drop in marks is only to be expected.

Once again, I got As for all my option classes, and a B for my overall result. I only handed in 40.9% of my homework, though, thanks to work.

Last term wasn't the best term I've had at Yamasa, but I still learned a lot of Japanese. The compliments I get from Japanese people are changing slightly, which suggests I may actually be getting better to their ears as well.

In Between

Dad and Joy came over. We went to lots of places and had a great time. More later.

The Beginning of This Term

New term, new class. Except it isn't very new. There are ten of us, eight of whom were in A class last term as well. One of the new people, Belinda, was in C class with most of us two terms back, and the other new person, Paul, was at Yamasa before as well, although in a different class. We also have a completely new teacher, Hara-sensei, who I think is the new hire to replace Imase-sensei, who has, it seems, left. Hara-sensei is female, so I'm back to all female teachers. She does seem to be good, though, although we've only had one lesson with her so far.

The main downside to this term is that it looks like we will be having tests every morning, including a short grammar test tomorrow. Oh well, it'll make me look over things the night before. (Despite the evidence, I persist in believing that revision is helpful for tests.) We're using the same textbook as last term, which, despite being thin, has a lot of Japanese in it. We're planning to do six lessons over the the eleven weeks of the term, which is slow given that we spend at least two hours per day specifically on the text book. Still, it's about right for this book.

So, this term looks good so far, but it has barely started.