Outou
31 October 2010 @ 09:16 pm
Personal Entry No. 60  
Happy Halloween, everyone! It's never too late to go trick-or-treating, you know.

Anyway, I'm sitting here trying to eat an over-caramelized apple in celebration, even though the city I'm in right now is supposedly big on Halloween -- at least, that's what my Japanese professor says, but I don't feel safe enough to go out alone at night. On top of that, I don't have any means of getting a costume, barring the chance that I become bold enough to go as myself.

My school itself "celebrated" on Friday, with discussions on Halloween in Japan monopolizing our first Japanese professor's lecture on the tea ceremony, our second Japanese professor bringing candy to our drill class in a beautiful lacquered box, and our history professor including Jack-o'-Lanterns in her slide show on Japan's takeover of Manchuria. (My I.R. and Russian professors didn't do anything, but to be fair Halloween has no place in discussions of international relations, and it still isn't very popular in Russia. I think my Russian professor would actually be happy to know that Novosibirsk just celebrated its first Halloween. She has two little sons, so I imagine she took them out trick-or-treating around the neighborhood earlier this weekend -- they're so cute!)

On a different note: I normally try not to talk that much about my personal problems or normal news from my daily life, as I worry that you would all find that boring. However, if you'll bear with me, I'd like to write about something that happened to me a few days ago.

Long text behind the cut! )

On another note, a warm welcome to [livejournal.com profile] knuddeluff!
 
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Outou
25 September 2010 @ 12:36 pm
Personal Entry No. 58  
And now for a genuine personal post! There's even a new icon post over at [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, too, like old times.

About Middlebury... )

...and about school right now. )

Also, a music meme! )

Fortunately, I've gotten myself a Pixiv account! Unfortunately, I've also started uploading things to it, which clearly means that I am going to lose sleep for the next few months over whether or not the (mostly) Japanese fandom likes my digital scribbles. I shall consider myself successful when someone on LJ finds my fanart on Danbooru, crops them, and posts them as artsy icons.

More seriously, though, I'm beginning to regret it, as I now feel obligated to post captions in Japanese...when I still can barely write in Japanese. Our classes are centered around Professor Eleanor Jorden's Japanese: The Spoken Language, which -- as the title suggests -- doesn't focus on the written language at all; as such, while conversationally we're ahead of students studying at the same level with different texts, we're very definitely illiterate.3 That said, I feel that the textbook's grammar explanations are remarkably clear and illustrative based on what I've heard about other people's problems with Japanese. At least everybody seems to fully understand the difference between "wa" and "ga!"

1 No, seriously, Spicy Kimchi Noodles and Spicy Kimchi Noodles alone gave me my first kidney stone. They contain the average human being's daily allowance of sodium, and possibly the average horse's, too. Do not eat these noodles.

2 What's ironic about this is that the weather is not a good subject for small talk in Russia. It's too boring and pointless.

3 Thus far we only know a chunk of the katakana syllabary, which Professor Jorden started off with in JWL (Japanese: The Written Language) on the basis that it would provide us with many more words to read and write off the bat. (I myself was pretty dubious about it at first, but if you think about it, what can we do with hiragana at this point? Write out particles and the copula over and over again? We need kanji to make it work!)
 
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