Fifth Week #8 - Getting more engaged and asking people out

October 6th, 2018

Monday (Oct. 1st):

  • After the Typhoon from last night hit (Kanagawa, the Prefecture I live in, was pretty much safe) we had to clean the tennis court from small tree branches and leaves. It was pretty damn hot, because the sky was clear after the bad weather.
  • I had chemistry for the first time. I didn‘t like it back in Germany, but I will try my best to understand things (at least I can read the H20 things and stuff).
  • In preparation for the Taiwan trip (which I will not be attending due to the fact, that I‘m not really allowed to leave Japan and enter again) 11th grade students met in the gym and we had a lesson on the basic Chinese phrases, held by a Taiwan exchange student. Hell, Chinese and Japanese is so goddamn different! I mean, of course I knew, but like, Chinese accent is so hard to imitate. Maybe even more for Japanese than for Europeans. And apparently there is a school song! We didn‘t sing it back then, but I guess, someday we will! Excited! (My consultant teacher kindly wrote the reading of the Kanji for me, thanks!)

Tuesday (2nd):

  • I think on that day, I asked the girl I always go to school with, if she wanted to hang and watch a movie or play badminton and fortunately she said yes, so now we‘re kinding of setting the thing up :D I think I‘ve made an almost-friend became a friend, yay!
  • The girl that had helped me last week, was sick, so I had to master using a computer and excel in Japanese on my own. Went better than expected, after I found out how to have an extra menu button displayed. Now I can actually say I have (poor, but still) experience in MS Excel!
  • In maths we are kind of setting the formulae for circles and lines and distances from points to these objects. I can follow. But I cannot read the tasks.
  • So in Japan, Germany is known for having many beautiful castles, that rich people can live in (maybe that is the case, but I don‘t know of that many non-public castles).
  • The other consultant teacher asked me how I was doing and we talked about, what I would be doing when the other students would go to Taiwan (because my Visa doesn‘t allow that, I think). And it looks like I will join the 12th graders classes and do some self-study. I‘m a little scared since although I‘m probably older than most of them, their status is higher than mine, because I‘m only in 11th grade. Furthermore I found out, that you can have golf in P.E. class! I didn‘t like golf, the few times I played, but I want to see a golf P.E. class, so we‘ll see how that will end.

Wednesday (3rd):

  • In a 10th grade English class a girl wanted me to sit next to her! Yay! She seems to be a very fun kind of person.
  • In 11th grade English class my (also consultant) teacher said, I should write the essay, that we had to do as homework in Japanese instead of English, which is very nice because it will be more useful for me.
  • During my self-study in the library I also looked up some pages who give tips on how to make friends and have conversation as an exchange student. I still struggle starting a conversation, although I might know how to say things, I don‘t always exactly know, WHAT to say. I mean I don‘t wanna be boring and have interviews with people or be all like: „Germany is like this. What‘s Japan like?“ This is not really advancing relationships. But I think I found some inspiration.
  • For the first time, I didn‘t understand something in maths class, but at the end of class, I just asked and was enlightened (and relieved).
  • Next week the mid-term exams are coming up and I will (luckily) only be taking maths and English. During the other tests I will study in the library. I really appreciate being able to choose, what subjects and what tests I take, because especially in the beginning, some things are just too difficult for me to understand and therefor I consider library time more useful than not understanding a word (e.g. Japanese history, Old Japanese). Yet I realize, that I‘m thereby missing out on some things, that I will not be able to experience on another occasion.
  • In another 10th graders English class, people played „Rock-Paper-Scissors“ (which btw, is called Janken in Japanese and a bit different from the German version) to decide whom I would sit next to. (Yay, attention! You can‘t even imagine how happy that made me) A boy, whose name I swore I would forget in a second, but that I somehow remember as clearly as the alphabet, won and shared his victory with another boy, so I sat between the two. They helped me out and it was just quite enjoyable ;D. After that class finished, I invited a girl, who had asked me, if I‘d help her with her English a few days prior, to go to the station together because I wouldn‘t have choir due to the tests next week. She agreed and after attendance check at homeroom we went to the station and as it turned out, she takes the exact same train I always take and gets off at the exact same station. It was real delightful and I feel like, we will be good friends someday :).

Thursday (4th):

  • English 11th grade class: We played the Snakes and Ladders game in a vocabulary exercising version and the people I was grouped with really tried to pick easy words (easy Japanese words that I could translate into English), but it was really difficult.
  • German: I shared some German candy I still had left (mostly ate it myself because at first I was to shy to give it to my classmates).
  • A girl from ESS asked me if I wanted to go on a date with her, 2 other Japanese girls and the other female exchange student from Italy! How nice is that?! I mean like – awesome! I think it‘s hard for exchange students (or just for me?) to ask anyone out since it might be seen as forced or intrusive. I don‘t want to force anyone into being nice to me. And since Japanese people are particularly polite, they might not say if they don‘t want to hang and just go. But I plan on asking two other girls out. I mean, what am I here for? I created a Line group for the ESS „date“ and luckily, the next day (Friday) we found a day we all are free.
  • Also excited for the day I will watch a movie and play some badminton with the girl I walk to school with! She really helps me with my Japanese and hasn‘t yet gotten tired of repeating sentences or explaining things that I haven‘t heard of.
  • English Conversation (11th grade): we always sit on a different seat during that class, which is helpful in regards of talking to different people everytime. I had some good convo with the girl I sat next to and we collected some points for the class „competition“ together. In that „competition“ people can collect points by for example acting out a conversation in English or answering certain questions and so on. I think it‘s a quite effective method to get the shy Japanese students to participate more.


  • In the first 2 lessons we were allowed to study for the mid-term exam. I actually had done some research on mathematical terms and words in Japanese at 12 am (I had gone to bed early, so I woke up in the middle of the night) so I reviewed them during those classes and tried to read tasks in that textbook.
  • Music: We were paired up and had to perform the Ghibli-Studio Anime Medley (Tonari no Totoro etc.) on the recorder in front of the teacher and the two students who would follow. I was bad, real bad and even worse than I had imagined since additionally to the fact that I had only started playing 2 weeks before I also became nervous and wasn‘t even able to play the first part well. Although just 10 minutes before the rehearsal I had done decently. But I don‘t really care about having performed badly. I just don‘t like the feeling of nervousness. And the teacher is very nice and understanding.
  • During lunch time we had a meeting in preparation for the Homecoming Parade at Zama High, which interested YNHS will be attending. Luckily our dresscode is just schooluniform (although we HAVE to wear the tie and the jacket, former of which I had diligently avoided to wear, since I don‘t know how to tie a tie.
  • 5th and 6th period was studying with my Area Coordinator for the JLPT N3 (Japanese Test), that I will not take, but I want to cover the required contents. The thing I lack most is vocabulary. Maybe it‘s because it‘s partially quite business-oriented vocabulary, but I gotta work my paces. I will try my best!



October 13th, 2018

Saturday (6th):

  • I did nothing but update my blog and probably studying :D
  • WAIT! I just remember that on that day the choir was meeting at Yamato Hall, where we will have a small concert, I guess. The hall was amazing! But taking pictures not allowed! I am already excited, because not only the Yamato Nishi choir is going to sing but several other choirs from high school students to retired ladies and gentleman. Awesome!! But I always get nervous when singing in public (ah~ sweet memory of the most embarassing moment in my life; good thing they recorded it, so I can show it to my kids one day). A 10th grader was as kind as to tell me everything important the organizers said again in simple Japanese :D. 

Sunday (7th):

  • My hostbrother's kindergarten hold a sportsfestival (運動会) which we of course attended. It was pretty crowded and lively and the weather was so damn hot :(. The kids were divided into two teams, Red vs. White, and additionally to their sports uniform they put a headband either in Red or in White on their heads. During the event the children had to do different tasks depending on their grade. For example a parcour, a dance performance (with those round thingies, that cheerleaders always use) and also activities where the parents (or grandparents) participated. It was real fun! And it was great to see how similar the relationship between parents and kids (at least in that age) is. Among the younger children there were always 2-4 crying and parents or teachers comforting them. The spirit was high and especially the last competition, in which the kids had to run a round on the court with a stick and pass it on to the next one, was fascinating! I almost felt like trying to run myself, but then I remembered: I hate running :D
  • We had a lovely lunch at about 12.30 on a picnic blanket with Obentou :D
  • Can't remember the rest of the day ^^ except that I found like 4 bug stings on my legs and arm :(

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