Monday, September 26, 2011

Class takes it down a notch

I've been stressing pretty bad about classes, but at the moment I'm on top of my homework and have it relatively easy through Thursday at least. But the class that took things down a notch was Economics which I had for the first time today. So far it was mostly orientation and a little bit of lecture and discussion, though I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a discussion or if Anna just talks way too much out of turn. The teacher speaks mostly Japanese for the benefit of the half of the class that is Korean and knows more Japanese than English, and there is a translator who translates the Japanese to English for Nick, Anna, and I. Apparently your grade for the class is given based on attendance and a report and presentation. There is no other homework or tests and in fact the "report" is just a summary of a chapter that you give for the class and don't have to turn in. According to the translator, and I've heard this before too, in most Japanese colleges, the classes are quite easy because the students already had such a hard time passing the college entrance exam. It seems that often very little is required except to show up. She said that it's not uncommon to see students sleeping in class.

Another difference is that students in Japanese classes rarely ask the teacher questions as it is often seen as challenging the teacher. Instead they just ask each other after class. Most of the other American students don't know this or don't care and ask way too many questions and get stuck on unimportant details for far too long. It's rather embarrassing.

At home, I usually get tired by 10, but I've also been staying up to help my host mother with computer questions and making guest appearances for her cram school students. If I manage to stay up late enough, we also have a glass of wine and talk about stuff. On Sunday nights, my host mom likes to watch Korean dramas which are dubbed over in Japanese and look like soap operas, though I'm not sure whether they continue indefinitely or have an eventual ending.

And that's about it.

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