More Than Just a Juicy Entry

Nabe - Not too different from Jamaican soup back home

My my my, it has been a while since I last wrote. In fact the last time I put a real blog up (besides the Konan Uni links and Final Fantasy XIII Japanese review that is), I was talking about the sudden snow that was thrown down on our unsuspecting heads up here in Leeds. Well a few things have changed since then, the month being just one of them.

Let’s start with the easy one, exams. Well ok not quite that easy, in fact after every exam I left the room feeling I’d been completely destroyed in the head. Some exams, particularly my Japanese History exam, left me with that nagging feeling of self-doubt where I knew that I had either done fantastically well or scored worse than a celibate prostitute. Others, such as the Japanese listening exam, just smacked me in the face with a sense of failure so hard that even the worst posts on Failblog couldn’t even compare, though as a bit of a cheer-up plan, one of my Japanese buddies held a Nabe party as his place. I’ll talk about results shortly.

39!

We did have some sad times aswell, as one of our teachers that had been with us since our first year was heading back to his hometown of Sendai. He’d been studying in Leeds as a postgraduate student, but was also teaching us. I remember his early lessons back in first year, and by that I mean early in the morning aswell. Using the Minna No Nihongo 1 Shokyu T25 (Minna No Nihongo 1 Series) book, which I still have and use (though now I use it a lot better than when we first began), we would go through various texts and discuss them. After starting again from the 8.5 months in Japan we were his students once more for another semester, but alas that time came to an end also. One student thought it would be a good idea to make him a scrap book, so a good few of us all pitched in. The picture on the right is one of the things I made. It’s (meant to be) the Leeds Uni Parkinson Building with a smily face. The text is actually a (very bad) play on words. “39″ can be read as san kyuu (lit. three nine) which can also mean “thank you” (in both Japanese and English, give it a go).

King of the Juice

Here in Leeds, I tend to drink a lot of orange juice. It’s not because I’m gunning to be particularly healthy, but mainly because our tap water tastes like a brick, and old council house brick that someone’s pissed on after getting drunk on a night out … probably. Either way it tastes horrible. Normally I’d treck into town and get two litres of OJ from Morrisons every couple of days, which to be fair isn’t the most convenient method of staying hydrated. This soon changed after a cheeky phone conversation with my sister where she jokingly recommended I order a lot of it online and have sent via home delivery. Normally this would be done for a full grocery shop, so I sure did feel like a twat when I decided to call her bluff and ordered 59 litres of the stuff from Sainsburys, earning a few Nectar Points. When they arrived, along with a few carrots, chocolate bars and a Toblerone that I’d also ordered, the delivery man couldn’t believe what I said when I explained why I bought so much juice. He, and the other guys at the depot, apparently, thought I’d bought it all to try and sell on. That night I had the arduous task of working out where I was going to store it all, before rediscovering my tetris skills and slotting them in my wardrobe.

 

A couple of weeks back, we celebrated a friends birthday by doing an Otley Run. The Otley Run is basically a pub crawl typically done by Leeds students, beginning in Headlingley and finishing pretty much in town, and (though optional) fancy dress is normally worn. It’s the kind of pub crawl that covers such a hefty distance and number of pubs that it takes a whole day, presuming you can survive until the end that is. Facebook photographs have confirmed that I did make it the whole way, though memories are few and far between. Anyway, no one’s come back to me saying I did something I shouldn’t have (that I didn’t already know ^_~), so I’ll say it was a definate victory.

Last week was the return of LURPS, the Leeds University Rock Paper Scissors society. We had a tournament in the Old Bar and even had a guest player all the way from New Zealand. Details can be found on the LURPS website (photos coming soon).

We’ve just finished week 4 of teaching, and that does mean our exam results have been made available. I’m glad to say that I haven’t failed anything yet, though some results were bloody close. It’s also become apparent that I am much better at Japanese History in essay form rather than exam, as the exam itself severely hurt my overall mark.

Japanese Written – 53 – To be honest I’m generally happy with this, I’d have much rather got a higher score, and my practice exam clearly showed I am capable of better, but as far as written exams in Japanese go, this was a good result for me.
Japanese Listening – 46 – After the exam there were a lot of complaints about it being too difficult for our level, but to be frank I think in most cases it’s down to students not getting enough listening practice. Some students got scores upto and including 86 (out of 90), so trying to argue it’s beyond our level is pointless. In my case, I was just naff.
Critical Approach to East Asian Studies – 60 – A module that confused me throughout, and eventually turned out to be my highest scorer. 100% essay based, I was complemented on my bibliography (something I was worried about to be honest), but it was my spelling that let me down. I’ve not gone back over the essay yet, so I’ll take the markers word for it.
Organisation Management and Economics in Japan – 48 – No excuses here, 100% exam based, and I was shit.
Modern Japanese History – 50 – 50% exam and 50% essay. If only this one was 100% essay, seriously! With an overall score of 50, I scored 64 on the essay (the best mark I’ve ever got for an essay in my department), which means that I must have scored a pitiful 36 on the exam (40 is the pass mark by the way).

I also had the result for the Japanese Language Proficency Test which I sat in December. I knew all along I’d failed, but having the confirmation has finally put my mind at rest (but DAMN! 141 out of 400, that’s shit!).

So let’s end on a bit of good news eh. Think back to September, when I opened the auditions for Learn With Anna. Well the first bit of good news is that the animation is done, online and ready for you to view and enjoy. You can watch it at the LSTV website, or on Newgrounds (please vote 5 ^_~). The second bit of good news is that it’s been nominated for a NaSTA Award (National Student Television Association Award) in the animation category. Presuming no other student TV stations submit anything into this new category, then we’d get a victory by default, otherwise I’m not really holding up much hope for silverware.

Well, that’s me pretty much caught up. It’s taken a good three hours to jot this down, so if you’ve actually sat here and read all this then here’s a little reward in the shape of a very cute snowball fight.