Today was my last private lesson.
But first, we had a placement test at 9 a.m. I knew were going to have it, but I didn’t know it was such a big deal.
When I came to Yamasa four years ago, right after I got off the train and came into the teachers’ office, I was given a placement test. It was relatively short, and not too difficult. It pretty much confirmed that I knew some Japanese, but needed a lot of work.
So when I heard that there was a placement test this time, I was thinking, “Oh, it’s probably like the one I had four years ago. No biggie.”
Boy, was I ever wrong.
If I had known that it was going to be that thorough, I might have actually studied for the thing.
Note: If you’re reading this while considering going to Yamasa, you should study some for the placement test. It’s a whopper.
First off was a monstrous grammar test, the likes of which I hadn’t seen in a while. It seemed to just keep going on and on… I think if you do bad things in a Japanese language school and die, this is a bit what Japanese Language School Hell would be like. This test. Over and over.
The questions started off pretty easy. And then they kept increasing the tension until something in my brain snapped.
I have no idea how well I did, because they never told me.
Then we all sat in a room and watched Howl’s Moving Castle while we waited our turn to be interviewed. I never did find out what happened in the movie. I suppose I need to rent that sometime.
So I had an interview test in Japanese with S-sensei, which I floundered through. He’s a very nice guy, who did a good job of pointing out that I really don’t speak Japanese all that well at all, despite what random people may tell me.
Well, that’s what I came here for, so I’m not shocked or anything. I’m glad he was honest with me, and I hope they fix my bad habits.
I went back home after that.
The test started at 9, I got done at about 11:30. It was very thorough. At least this time I wasn’t jet-lagged like I was four years ago. But it would have been better if I had studied a bit… and could speak better.
I wish I had known how big a deal the placement test was going to be, just for my pride’s sake. But it’s kind of tricky– if I study for the placement test, then I might wind up in a class I really don’t belong in, because I don’t really have all of the previous material mastered, instead I know it just well enough to pass the test.
After the conversation test and my talk with S-sensei, I realized that I needed to get into a section that would help me with my speaking a lot. It was rough. So I’m not going to get too worked up over where I wind up. The main reason I’m here is to get better.
Then after I had lunch, I came back to campus for my last private lessons. More tutoring in things I have forgotten (mostly speaking), and then a CALL session, but the teacher wasn’t there. We’ll have to make it up or something.
Tomorrow we’re free to do whatever.
Me? I dunno.