#1917 – culture class / sinus = minus

so today was my first day of my japanese mondern culture class. it’s fun ^_^ for actual homework sort of stuff, all we need to do is the assigned readings and type up a one-page reaction to it, and do three article reports on articles on reserve in the media center. sensei says i can bring in stuff from my trip that might be relevent to each day’s lecture. ^_^ don’t think there’ll be time enough for me to do a presentation about my trip, though, since it’s a pretty full schedule, but sensei also says that we can interrupt anytime in class to point something out.

the class itself was about 20 people today, and she said that there’s about 30 books for us in the bookstore (it’s an out of print book – $35 for a used paperback! :P). from people’s introductions today it’s about a 50/50 split between people who have done any studying of the language and those who haven’t, and at least 3 people (including myself) have actually been to japan – one of the three is this japanese lady who teaches japanese in high schools and was told by the county to take a class like this (something like that… not really sure what her story is. sensei says that she can probably help out with the pop culture section since she’s so much younger – even though she looks like she’s on the late end of middle-age – compared to sensei), and the other one is this annoying guy who’s kind of large and greasy-looking who acts like he knows it all. 😛 apparently he was an exchange student back in high school.

it looks like it’s going to be a fun class. today we went over basic japanese history, geography of japan (apparently tokyo is about the size of baltimore county! o_o jeez, i knew it was big, but THAT LARGE??), basic formalities (bowing / how to sit), and modes of transportation / ways to travel. you don’t have to know japanese to take the course, so occasionally sensei writes out whatever she’s talking about in romanji on the board.

in short – the class is fun (3 hour class, and it didn’t seem like we were in there for that long), pretty easy, and i can’t wait to go back (both to class and to japan, hehe).

after that i had my math exam. well, actually, first i went to the classroom where there were several people in there studying with each other, so i went over my notes together with these two girls and two guys that sit in front of me in the classroom. that review of notes REALLY helped me out – one of the girls pointed out her method of remembering some equations by remembering (as she said) “sinus = minus”, and that made it easier to remember some problems. i followed along as the TA did some problems on the board, but mostly i concentrated on remembering the equations for lowering powers and half-angle formulas. as for the test itself, i think i did pretty good ^_^ there were a few i don’t think i got right, but on lots of them i’m pretty sure i did them right, and i know i got the 10 point extra credit.