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#1937 – pop culture and calligraphy

well, i stopped by the library after classes but the book still hadn’t been returned. the girl behind the desk said “well, they’re really getting charged then!” since it’s $1 for every hour over the 2 hour reserve time (up to $15).

in japan class today we talked about pop culture and traditional arts (calligraphy, to be specific). we were asked if we had any manga, music, or other things from japanese pop culture to bring in, so i brought in a sampling both english and japanese versions of my manga books and a few newtype magazines. one or two other people brought in manga books as well, two or three people brought in cds of pop music (sensei forgot to get a cd player for the class, oh well), the greasy-looking guy (he’s turning out ok now – his interjections in class aren’t as frequent anymore) brought manga and his sega saturn to demonstrate some japanese import games, and the japanese lady in the class brought some current fashion magazines and a tape of something that’s like a japanese version of the billboard awards (it’s a show broadcast on new years’ eve of a concert with the top-selling music groups of the year).

when sensei was asking each of the people who had brought stuff, when she got to the greasy guy and he said he brought some manga, sensei asked “is it one of those… PORNOGRAPHIC ONES??”, lol. everybody laughed, and sensei said that she hasn’t really read manga since she doesn’t have the patience to follow the stories, and she mentioned that she brought two manga books that she had pulled out of a wastepaper basket in a hospital or something in japan (she was visiting someone and saw them in the trashcan, and she took them figuring she could use them as examples in her class). she said that she didn’t know what was in the ones she had since she hadn’t even looked at them, so if they were pornographic manga she didn’t know, but that we’d find out for sure as soon as we started passing it around, haha. the greasy guy said that if she really wanted that sort of manga for the discussion he could go out and buy some for the class, and everybody laughed again.

we broke up into groups of 5 or so, and i passed around my stuff to the other people in my group to take a look at. it was really funny to see this one girl from nigeria try to make sense of the digi charat manga, hehehehe XD i talked with two of the guys in my group about otakon and how we couldn’t wait. another of the guys was looking at my japanese newtype magazine and asked me where i was able to get a japanese version of it, so i looked at him and shrugged and said “uh, japan?”… he figured that was a sensible answer, hehe…

we watched the videotape the japanese lady in the class brought and most of the class was disappointed to find out that japan has boy bands too, hehe… we also kept telling sensei to rewind to the parts with the girls singing and dancing, hehehe. afterwards when we were discussing all the things we looked at, the girl from nigeria was saying how in the video none of the girls dressed as scantily as britney spears does in her videos, prompting the guy sitting next to me to interrupt and say how he didn’t like that at all, causing everybody to laugh again. XD

after we finished talking about pop culture, sensei passed out newspapers and cups of ink and brushes and showed us how to do japanese calligraphy – it requires LOTS of skill. x_x; sensei used to compete nationally in japan with calligraphy, so that’s why she’s so picky in the japanese classes with how we write things. i don’t remember what the character’s translation was that she had us draw, but it was this:

after having us practice on the newspaper, and her going around the classroom demonstrating to each person how to do it, she gave us all sheets of rice paper to draw it on – here’s mine, sensei seemed to like the job i did. while she showed people how to write, the japanese lady went around helping people who wanted to try writing their names or other words in japanese. when she got to me she and i talked for a few minutes about my trip. ^_^ when she got to the guy next to me (who apparently practices often as part of his martial arts training), she asked him why he wasn’t writing and he said it was because he was left-handed, and she immediately understood, lol – while he could still write out the characters, the motions he had to go through to write it were reversed when he used his left hand, so the character ends up looking like a mirror image.

we did a review in math class for the exam tomorrow… going to take a rest for a bit and then do more reviewing. ^_^

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