Thursday, July 15, 2010

Low Point of the Curve

I think I tried to prepare pretty well for the low point of the study abroad curve that the Light meetings warned us about, but I didn’t expect a low point in the homestay as well. So there are endless benefits to doing a homestay, and I’ve already gushed about how much my speaking has improved. But I’ve come to realize that I’m too much of an independent person to last in a homestay for long. Overall, I truly believe homestays are a better option, but let’s face reality:

·         For someone who’s been cooking (um, I mean microwaving) her own dinners since sixth grade, I miss being able to eat whenever/whatever I wanted. Noontime lunch to 8:00 dinner is a stretch.
·         After the super groggy feeling of getting up at 5:15 a.m. every morning, I have a newfound appreciation for the 8:30 a.m. alarm I set during freshman year (it turns out my host family has breakfast at 6 on Saturday and Sunday mornings too – I feel like such a baby when I go to bed at midnight, and they sleep even less than me).
·         I’ve been craving fruits and meat like CRAZY. An-san has resorted to calling me a carnivore because I get super excited whenever the supermarket has a sale on meat, and I eat a crapload of fish and chicken for lunch to stock up on protein for the day.
·         Lately, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to get speaking practice. Otou-san just opened a new shop in Sapporo, so my host parents are pretty busy these days, and we don’t really talk much outside of dinner. I feel like my listening skills are pretty stagnant right now (especially without any use of タメ語), and even my speaking seems to have peaked.

Ah, I really do complain too much, but my excessive venting has made me decide to be proactive about it. Can’t do much about the eating/sleeping situation, but with the last three weeks of HIF, I realize I should be doing more on my part with the homestay:

·         Find a variety of topics to talk about. Read the Japanese newspapers, notice interesting things I see on my way to school, ask questions, etc. You can only talk about the weather for so long… 
·         Watch more TV with the family after dinner (yes, watching TV would be a plus in this situation).
·         Start listening to some J-Pop/K-Pop to practice more タメ語 with Riko because she’s always plugged into her Ipod.
·         Consciously try to use new vocab and grammar in conversations. Not necessarily the ones I learn in class either. I’ve actually been making use of the black notepad the Light fellowship gave us to write down new words, but sadly, my short-term memory isn’t letting me remember them when I hear them again.

Last but not least, shoutout to the Light fellowship for giving me this opportunity. I feel like I’m such an ungrateful child these days…

UPDATE: Started the music endeavors with Riko today in addition to watching Howl's Moving Castle which was showing on TV after dinner. I passed out in the middle though -- I guess I have a legit excuse to start napping in the afternoons ;)

share on: facebook


sparks said...

i know what you mean about that stretch between noon and 8 for dinner. you get SO hungry.
that's why i kept eating pastries & crêpes in paris throughout the day and got fat, hahaha

Kelly McLaughlin said...

Ungrateful, to me, would be not reflecting, not being proactive but still complaining. Well, maybe that's not ungrateful per se, but your approach to the situation clearly does show that you are trying your best. Thank you! =)

Post a Comment