I got up early, ate breakfast, tried to study, failed at that, and then just made sure my stomach was in good shape.
I decided to walk to the test site, even though my ankle has been bugging me. It was good to walk off any stress, but it made my ankle hurt a bit, and I wound up sweating like a pig. I forgot that I was wearing cotton, and layers of it. It was cold when I left the hotel, but by the time I got to Georgetown’s campus, I had turned into Sweaty Guy.
I had neglected to take my own repeated advice to wear some wicking layers. Doh.
I got to the ICC on the Georgetown Campus with plenty of time to spare, and took a few minutes to cool down and get comfortable. To me, the most important thing in one of these tests is to be comfortable, with no outside distractions, like being too hot or too cold. So I usually come to these kinds of tests with a bag full of stuff, just in case.
The N1 itself was about as I expected. I need to work on my vocabulary some more. The listening section was surprisingly difficult. Considering how much Japanese I listen to on a daily basis, I was often left with no other choice but to guess. That was frustrating.
I listen to the news in Japanese every day, watch lots of variety shows, listen to podcasts, etc., and I can follow that stuff just fine. But the N1? Forget it. I had a heck of a time following those speakers for some reason. Maybe I was tired, I don’t know. But it’s frustrating nonetheless.
I suppose for next time, I’ll focus on specific N1 listening prep, but I hate having to do that. I feel like it sabotages my ability to deal with the language on a normal basis, because the N1 feels very artificial. Ugh.
I think I did pretty well on the reading section, but I’ll probably have to take it again anyway. Grammar wasn’t too hard, but there were some words I have never seen before.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t pass, so I’ll need to figure out where my deficiencies are so I can get closer to passing next time. I don’t sit down and study Japanese 24/7, because I have work to do. Instead, I try to fit it in where I can. I’ll have to think about this some more.
Walking Around Georgetown
After the test was over, I headed back to the hotel. I was going to flag down a cab, but as I walked back, I just couldn’t seem to catch one. That was weird for a big city like DC.
About 1/3rd of the way back, I stopped at a Five Guys for an early-ish dinner. I lucked out, too, because I managed to dodge a random rain shower that hit while I was eating.
As I was heading back along M street through Georgetown, a paper store caught my eye. The had a good selection of Japanese paper with some really nice floral prints that I know my sister will love. I got her some at Ito-ya in Ginza last year for Christmas as well, and I’m sure she’ll like these as well.
Then I went back to the hotel.
I packed croutons and salad dressing, but I forgot the lettuce! I think I’ll pass on the crouton salad.
Now that the exam is over, I’m all relaxed. And now that I don’t have to study in particular (at least for tonight), I’m really bored. I’ll probably go to bed early so I can get home quickly.
I heard from my friend Michael, and he’s in town for a few days, so I’ll meet up with him tomorrow night. Gotta hit the road first thing in the morning!