This term marked many milestones in my short study of the Japanese language, and now since studying over a year, I take great pleasure in small things such a taking up a magazine written entirely in Japanese or viewing a website in Japanese and understanding at little bit albeit a one work or character every few lines. A year ago I was completely lost to Japanese and though I have always read extensively about the culture and people but the language was the one thing that was hardest and so as soon as I learnt of a school in Jamaica that offered classes in Japanese I signed up. I expected a less than five people to show up on my first day at classes but to my surprise there were over ten of us. My classmates were from all walks of life. Off the top of my head I can remember the ones who I spoke to other than during classes for one reason or the other. First there was an elderly retired gentleman who served in the American army and was based in Japan during the Korean War who then resided in Panama for many years before returning to Jamaica where most of his family was originally from. He spoke a little Japanese but decided to start from scratch seeing that he didnt learn the language properly and was told that he spoke an older form of Japanese. Away from classes I found out he read a lot like I do so he would lend me all kinds of books to read and we would talk about book we both have read among other things.
Next was a really nice lady maybe in he 30’s who worked some an organization that has to deal with Japanese who come to Jamaica (sorry I forgot the correct name) she worked with a lot of Japanese people daily so he office sent her on the course to learn the language as it would allow her to be better able to perform her duties. There was also a model in her mid twenties who I thought initially to be very stuck up because she new she was really pretty and had a bit of money. It turns out that through circumstances that I still yet to understand that in the one term that she attended classes we went from not speaking in the first few weeks to being romantically involved in the middle and towards the end of the first term and by the new year we were no longer a part of each others lives.
Most of the other persons who started when I did work for various local banks, while me and another friend works for the government. Over first year the group slowly swindled down to what it is today just three persons one of which wasn’t with the original group but restarted studying Japanese after taking a year off to finish up her tertiary education. The only other person who remained was a young lady and fellow government worker who is now a good friend of mine.
Tomoko sensei is off to Japan for her yearly visit and we now have a substitute named Eriko who is mentioned in previous posts as she always fills in when Tomoko is unable to attend. Basically we are just practicing and practicing for exams on November 30th. There will be quite a few topics on the exam and I am hoping that I will be able to make a blog post about them, giving examples and other information before the exam date next Thursday.