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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Collection of Small Updates

Thought I'd put together a small update while I'm waiting for the cafeteria to open for breakfast (it doesn't open until 6:30 am, so I have about 15 min).

I experienced my first earthquake the other day. Don't freak out, it was a minor one; one of the kinds you won't even notice 99% of the time. I was laying down for bed so my room was quiet and I could hear things on my shelves shaking/rattling slightly. Small earthquakes are common in Japan, but ones you can actually feel are pretty rare, so there's nothing to worry about over all :)

I've decided I really like the train system. I don't like being squished butt to butt with random Japanese people, but I do like the trains. Experiencing the train system at rush hour is a pretty weird experience. The trains get so full that you don't even need to hold on to the handles because there's so many people pushed together that you're not in danger of falling over--you can't even move, really. But the trains are super quick and always on time. I don't even mind my commute to and from school. I have to take 2 trains, and I'm on each for about 20/25 minute so by the time I'm getting tired of being on the train it's time to switch trains and I'm fine :P

Classes started yesterday. I knew there were only going to be a few US/English-speaking people, but man, there are a lot of Koreans there. My class started with 4 US students in it (including me), and 2 of them are for sure going to drop down to the lower level. The other one is considering it but is going to try out this level a bit more. They seemed to be overwhelmed. I may end up being the only US person in my class, with the rest being Korean and like 2 Chinese guys.

Hmm, some details about classes are in order for those thinking about KCP. The classes are taught in what's called the "direct method" which means that class is only in Japanese and no other language is allowed. This makes sense if you think about it, because classes will be mixed nationalities so the only common language is Japanese. You're not allowed to bring a dictionary to class, or translation books in your native language, so it really forces you to start to think in Japanese. I happen to like this method, though I occasionally get lost in class trying to write things down and listen at the same time. Well, food is about to start. After that I've got some homework to finish up (I was already assigned 5 pages of it) and then it'll be back to class this afternoon!

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