Put it into words. 言葉にして。

Knowledge Glutton

So now that I’m back from my 2 week vacation-within-a-vacation, I’ve been dedicating a lot of time to picking up bits of information about the things I care about. I’ve been reading Khatzumoto’s All Japanese All The Time blog, and there’re a lot of really interesting things in it (no matter what he says to the contrary it is clear he is very intelligent and his prose is really fun to read).  Right now I’m a bit concerned about how his methods might help me out and how to implement them, seeing as I’m already enrolled in formal classes and I really don’t want to change that because A) it helps me fulfill my major requirements and B) the people in my class are really, really, really cool.  I feel that I need that sense of community that comes from being in this particular class with its students in my language learning.  Of course I’m excited about my living arrangements next year as well, since I will be living somewhere that facilitates Japanese language communication (to a degree of which I am uncertain, but I’ll take what I can get and THEY HAVE CARPETED ROOMS).  Hopefully people in the house I will be staying at will become good friends.  Some of them are already my friends but I think it will be great living together.

Oh, to draw attention to the title of this post, I figured something out.  Regardless of what I’m told I “need” materially to make me happy (through advertisements, etc.) I have found that the things that make me happiest are gaining knowledge/learning and my relationships with other people.  I don’t mind being a glutton for knowledge; the more I try out the more useful information I can gain.

It’s difficult to explain precisely what the feeling of being an Asian Studies major is like for me.  There is such deep, rich, beautiful history associated with not only Asian cultures but also culture in general.  (This is waaay strange, but go with me on this…I have the same feeling that a flower would have if you anthropomorphized it during the very moment it bursts into bloom under the rays of the sunlight, about culture.)  So how can I do anything besides study Asian cultures?  It’s like breathing…

Which brings me to something Khatzumoto said here.  “Japanese isn’t something you “go do”. It’s just part of who you are.”
It’s just part of who I am.  Yes, that’s it.  I think the kind of person that the word “Japanophile” describes is rather like me…

A really sweet girl I know told me that even though I don’t have Japanese heritage, I have an emotional connection to the culture and that’s what matters.  I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear someone tell me that…yes, despite the fact that I haven’t got blood relatives (I actually do have a great aunt who is Japanese though) from there, despite the fact that I am an American, native English speaker…my deep interest need not be tarnished by this.  I find it difficult sometimes to explain how Japanese culture is important to me when people ask me about it, but Japanese things are what I live and breathe.  (I am not sure that it is correct to say that this is all-encompassing of my traits; indeed, it is only part of what makes me myself, but this interest has become a part of me in the past few years.)

Oh, so anyway (I know I’m jumping around…not that I necessarily expect anybody to read this though I wish they would and blah blah blah anyhoo I know I can be hard to follow…sorry) I am wondering about the degree of my Japanese success that I may attribute to my 8 years learning it by myself, filling my time with manga, anime, music, dramas…  It’s true that I seem to be one of the better prepared students in my class, but why is that…?  Anyway, I can’t say that formal classes have not been extremely rewarding for me (fantastic community with a great professor and cool peers, and a great assistant teacher!), but I do understand the importance of what I do in my spare time in terms of language learning.  I guess that is probably what really separated me during the class from peers who really struggled: I was paying attention to what I was learning and reinforcing it outside of class with things I chose to do, instead of just leaving the knowledge and mindset in the classroom after I left for the day.  Living what you love is really important if you want to get somewhere with it.

I do intend to go check out what Remembering the Kanji is like when I have the opportunity.  Gah, the difficulties of living in a smallish town…though the public library is an excellent facility, I find that they do not always have what I want in terms of books.  :< face.

Wellllll, there ya go.  I need coffee today…wish I had a Doubleshot or even better a chance to go out for coffee and spend time with people I care about.  Hmm, I know what I’m doing when I get back to college in the fall… :3  Although today I may have a chance to go get some coffee too, so let’s see~~~!  Goodbye~


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