Ninth Week #11 - Back to the roots (my class), a concert and a movie
November 11th, 2018
Monday (Sept. 29th):
Walked to school with one of my 12th grader gang people. Played Tennis and sucked real bad.
In chemistry class we did a „experiment“, in which had to make a magnet out of aluminium and other stuff. That was fun. But I‘m afraid I won‘t understand much in theory lessons. I didn‘t
really like chemistry back in Germany.
Because the 11th graders came back from Taiwan I had a good conversation starter. Especially food was interesting to talk about. Most students had something they didn‘t like (e.g. cinnamon
chicken meat), but also things they liked. Also received souvenirs from friends and one teacher.
In one of the 10th graders‘ lessons I had a real good time because since seats were rearranged one of the sweetest girls was to sit close to me and we studied for a vocabulary test they‘d
have (I can‘t prepare for these tests because I only study the 11th graders vocab. I just hope it‘ll always be similar to that experience. We have only one lesson together so I worry. Also usual
English class was fun. Could talk to my team members, who are 11th graders. Had choir practice and walked home with the people but as for me, I felt a little uncomfortable because I didn‘t
(couldn‘t) participate in the conversation. So I just walked silently. Days are just up‘s and down‘s between talking and silence. That‘s what you gotta prepared for as an exchange student lest
you‘re the goddess of charm and conversation master.
HALLOWEEN, so basically whole October only thing you see at shops and supermarkets is candy :D 10th and 11th graders had practice tests so I studied at the library. When I took some rest from
reading comprehension I browsed through Disney-themed books trying to understand some things. Lunch was good because I felt part of the conversation (again, it was about food :D). During 5th and
6th period there were two 12th graders in the library and later Italian girl also showed up and they even taught us some Japanese games (similar to paper-rock-scissors)! Yay!! Since they‘re 12th
grade and I‘m 11th I should talked in „polite“ (not casual) Japanese, but I‘m so not used to it that I can hardly speak it. Of course, I studied in textbooks, but seriously, whenever I try polite
Japanese, I eventually switch to the casual forms and/or confuse both. It‘s a struggle. Really. Those particular students didn‘t care, but I‘m so used to casual speech (because it‘s what I use
with my hostfamily and 10th/11th graders) that I start every conversation in the casual manner, which must come of quite rude. Especially, since I don‘t really explain the struggle to every
person I talk to. I have to find a way to fix that.
In ESS club our teacher brought some candy she was sent by a friend of hers. I definitely ate (too) much. Also prepared for a presentation on German/Japanese/Taiwanese sweets that me and 2
ESS girls are going to deliver in English class.
Registered for a music festival which encourages foreign students (and I think anyone who is interested as well) to perform. So, we‘ll see where that will go. But practice is on Tues- and
Fridays evening, so I‘ll be hell‘a busy. Although I already feel like I‘ve got a lot on my plate (clubs everyday, weekends stuffed up with going-out plans with friends or other things and
additionally I still want to study Japanese and keep you guys updated on my life on this blog). I have never been more busy (except for the paper we had to hand it last year at the same time
actually (so after Halloween)). But I‘m eager to experience as much things as possible, which is good. Though perhaps it is too much, if I yet want to study and have some time without any plans.
I‘ll definitely will attend for festivals/activities when I come back to Germany. Because these are also occasions where I can experience things I cannot have anywhere else or at any other time.
Life is precious and short. We gotta make as much different memories as possible. I‘ve learned that so far.
Thursday (November 1st):
I don‘t know if I've mentioned it yet, but „Kugelschreiber“ (ball point pen) apparently is a very amusing word for Japanese people. And „Taschentuch“ is difficult to pronounce. Also my German
teacher brought some sweets for me (I ocassionally happened to have some sweets with me that I could share with the students (e.g. when I went to an American base and got some „Nerds“). Practiced
a lot for the chorus concert that Saturday.
In music class we moved on from recorders to a traditional Japanese instrument whose name I‘ve forgot. More practice for the concert.
We met at 10.20 a.m. (I was laaaate, I hate being late; becoming more sensitive to it, because Japanese always meet at least 5 minutes earlier than the appointed time, which is a good thing,
but people know, I used to be late. Gotta do my best!) in Yamato. Bought something at a convenience store. Practiced a little. Because we had some time left, I could actually teach some of the
chorus people „Mau-Mau“ a German card game that is very similar to Uno(-Uno?)!! Yay :D
The concert was structured as follows: A famous designer/singer/actress (?) read a text written under the given topic „Stars“ (as in moon and stars) interrupted by choirs from different
places around Yamato singing a song. In the background (It‘s a concert hall which reminded me of a cinema!) there were projections like the nightsky with moving stars or a forest or water. Very
cool, but we couldn‘t see all since we had to go on stage and so on. Still don‘t know what they projected on the wall when my choir performed. I, of course, was kind of nervous especially since
my voice doesn‘t have any range and it often breaks (? don‘t know if that‘s the right word, maybe „stumbles“ is more appropriate, but anyway) when I sing high notes. And it‘s difficult to
estimate how loud one should sing. But afterwards I saw a video and though I‘d thought I‘d sung very loudly my voice was barely audible. But I didn‘t make any mistakes and I think, the others
neither. The feeling you have when you‘re singing a song you‘ve pracicted well with your choir is literally and metaphorically breathtaking. I think I wouldn‘t mind so much doing it again ;P And
hey, now I can say I performed on a stage in Japan! The celebrity we‘d worked was also a lovely lady with an awesome test in clothes and we even got an autograph! Also really admire md the other
choirs perfomance. Just awesome! My hostmother also showed up interested both in the singing and the celebrity.
After I‘d come home and eaten dinner, my hostfam even surprised me with a „Good Job!“ („You must be tired because you worked very hard!“) cake (a good one!)! Seriously, I‘m so lucky both with
this hostfam and my school, I imagine that other exchange students have a harder time.
Went out with one of the chorus girls to see a movie (Disney‘s new Winnie the Pooh movie). Before that we browsed some shops with clothes or sweets and ate Udon. The movie was in English with
Japanese subtitles and really cute. So, what you guys need to know about the cinema (at least the one I went to) is that the advertisement before the movie is (mostly) actually entertaining: It‘s
mostly trailers for up-coming movies. I don‘t know if the trailers‘ content is different from the German ones, but I was just amazed. Though I now can‘t really recall what movies they were about.
But I think it was a Disney and a Marvel movie or something. I definitely now feel the urge to go again. After that we went to a bubble tea (Taiwanese „Tapioka“?) store which also sold crepes.
And – who would‘ve expected something else? - I bought Matcha Tapioka and Matcha-Tiramisu crep. Both devastatingly delicious. So much was purchased on that day… This the day is actually one of
the best memories I‘ve made so far because it was fun and felt kind of normal to do so. And I felt like finally really getting to know someone better. I hope it doesn‘t end at this but we‘ll see.