More orientation today, and the 入学式 (nyuugakushiki, or school entrance ceremony.)
We got a lot of info about various things, what to do, what not to do, and we introduced ourselves in Japanese.
What I said before about this being the UN of Japanese Language Education? I’m serious. We have a bunch of different countries represented here. It’s very cool.
And of course everyone has to speak Japanese. Unlike most of the rest of the world, instead of English, Japanese is the lingua franca here, which is awesome for me, because I really need to get better at speaking it. Even if I’m just stumbling and fumbling trying to do aimless chit-chat with my classmates, even if they’re my Fellow Americans, I need to do it in Japanese.
How cool is that? (Okay, you may not think it’s cool, but I do.) I’m totally getting my money’s worth!
Then we had all of the formal introductions and attendant ceremonies that go along with a Japanese school entrance ceremony from the faculty and staff. It was educational. The folks here are really nice, and go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
When we were done, we could go to the main building (Yamasa II) and check the board to see what classes we were in. I’m in class 201, which means I’m somewhere in Yamasa’s intermediate level. That’s about right. My abilities are all over the place, so in the intermediate level classes, I can polish the stuff I’m weak at, and reinforce the stuff I already know.
It won’t be easy by any stretch.
I also had to pay a large amount of money for my rent for the next three months. That was painful, but still pretty cheap compared to living in other places… okay, none of them are really coming to mind.
Then again, I requested a single apartment with a bed, and those are the most expensive apartments. But I can’t do futons at all. They kill my back. There’s no way I could sleep on a futon for 3 months. So I consider part of my rent as “bed rental” and a “being left alone from an annoying roommate fee.” I’m totally okay with that.
If you want to go to Yamasa to study and you don’t mind communal living, and you can handle futons, you can save a fair amount of cash by staying in the dorms or in the older shared apartments.
JBPP or not JBPP?
I had an interview exam for the Japanese for Business and Professional Purposes program (JBPP) as well. One of the main reasons I wanted to study here was because I really want to work on my professional/business Japanese. I want to be able to roll those long, complicated sonkeigo and kenjogo phrases off of my tongue with no hesitation whatsoever.
And I want to make sure I don’t make an idiot out of myself in business situations.
So when I found out that Yamasa had a business-oriented program as well, I was stoked.
The interview test was kind of nerve-wracking, because I’ve already had an interview with S-sensei, who gave me the interview exam for the overall placement test. He knows how rough my spoken Japanese is at times. But he’s a good teacher, and a really nice guy.
He said that they’re going to let me participate in the JBPP. I’m relieved. It’s one of the main reasons I came here. If I couldn’t participate, I don’t know what I would have done.
I also got to meet my future JBPP classmates. There are only four of us, but everyone is nice, and way better at speaking than I am.
After all of that, I headed home.
Class starts tomorrow. Can’t wait!