Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Monday, Monday, Monday....it always comes again so quickly...
...and now Tuesday is already over (I started this post yesterday, hahaa...).

Here at KGU, all of the exchange students attend classes in the Center for International Education (CIE, also technically building 3).  Morning classes are Japanese language (taught in Japanese, with occasional uses of English vocabulary), and afternoon classes are lectures (in English) that can all go under the topic of "Asian Studies" in some way or another (they're actually divided between Business classes and Social Science/Humanities).  Most of the students are internationals, but in (most of the?) afternoon lectures, there are several local regular KGU students, either preparing or just back from study abroad.
All students are required to take, at minimum, 14 credits, and allowed, at maximum, 17 credits.  This translates to 4 - 5 classes (regular classes are 3 credits each, spoken Japanese is 5 credits).  Spoken Japanese meets five times a week (50 minutes a day), Reading/Writing Japanese meets 3 times a week (also 50 minutes/day), and the afternoon classes meet twice a week (90 minutes/lecture).  Japanese classes are typically less than fifteen people, and Asian Studies classes hit capacity at about 30 - 35 people.

I'm taking four classes this semester (a loooovely break, considering that I took five a semester last year...):
  •  Spoken Japanese, level 5 (required) - Japanese classes here are divided between spoken (required) and reading/writing (optional).  This one's every single day, but Naito-sensei is quite sweet and funny, so I don't mind. :)  Also, for some reason, the class's lessons are structured very similarly to J10 classes at Berkeley.. I personally suspect this may be because Naito-sensei studied at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the authors of the J10 book, An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese, are also from that school. who knows~
  • Monsters, Ghosts, and the Making of Modern Japan - (Media studies) Umm....the topic is pretty cool, covers how 妖怪 (youkai, spirit-demon-ghost-things?) and other Japanese ideas about supernatural phenomena, plus how those things are treated in Japanese society, help us understand Japan.  There are plenty of interesting ideas and interpretations presented in class and in the readings, and I like it well enough...umm...I just don't have much to say about it yet?  haha..
  • Japan-China: The Challenges of Modernization - (International/Area studies) Professor Scott is pretty cool, has plenty of interesting things to say about all sorts of topics relating to China, Japan, Korea, and East Asia/the world in general.  This subject this class covers is one of the key reasons I chose KGU over ICU.  Tons of reading though...feels just like classes back home. :P
  • Religion in Japan - (Japanese/Religious studies) I adore Professor Kenney.  This class miiight just be my favorite (which doesn't say thaaat much, because I like all of them).  Subject is interesting, lectures are interesting, looking forward to learning lots~  I would describe the class as...a general survey of religious practice and beliefs in Japan.
In general, all the professors are fairly interactive with the classes (especially Kenney)~  I really love how the subjects we cover in class connect really well with the topics from some of the classes I took last year--Chinese history, the religion class (Faith, Religion, and Religious Experience), Ethnic Studies, and of course, Japanese.
    Mmmm....anyway, now it's time to go study/do homework.  Or eat/make dinner.  Or finish planning a trip to Kanazawa.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm, so busy-busy.  いつもそうよ。

    Or maybe I should just write a few more entries to actually record life beyond academics, because what I'm learning outside of those classes is super, super interesting (at least to me), too.

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