Monday, 7 July 2014

Day One in the Genki House

So I've just finished my first day of study at GenkiJACS. I have to say that, while this is probably inevitable, it was a little frustrating.

We came in on Sunday avvy for a placement test and orientation, which seemed pretty useful in a general sense. It was also nice to have a chance to see the place and meet some folks before turning up for a first lesson, although only one of the new arrivals ended up in the same class as me. This morning we were told to turn up at 9am - lessons typically start at 9.30 so I assumed this was to allow time for the brief individual "interviews" that had been mentioned on Sunday. In practice, while I didn't check my watch, I don't think much actually happened until around 10am, by which time the existing students had turned up and the common room was a seething, uncomfortable mass, where moving from your table was like those little slizing block puzzles. On the plus side, there's free tea and coffee, but actually getting to either one, or back to your seat, was a serious feat. Another bunch of new students had arrived, which is presumably why those of us who arrived early were bumped up to Sunday.


My interview seemed okay despite being in Japanese, which was a relief. I hadn't done brilliantly on the test, which makes sense as I'm still not very good at Japanese (I wouldn't be here otherwise, right?), though the sleep deprivation probably didn't help matters. Sorting out everyone's schedules took quite a while, so that in fact I didn't have mine by the time those of us who'd had inductions on Sunday were taken out for a quick tour of the area. Thankfully a lot of this was indoors, since the rain was hammering down at regular intervals and my brolly snapped in the wind. I'd actually seen about two-thirds of the places over the weekend during various shopping expeditions, but still enjoyed the chance to wander about and get to know people a bit. I also learned that underground passes were available, which would make my life a lot easier and eke out my precious cash supplies for longer. Yuuki-sensei handled the tour very well, although my fingers twitched when she drew a route in pen on my nice shiny new map I'd kindly got out for everyone! Why, why do people do this?!? We were pointed towards various useful shops, as well as an international centre that I might pay a visit to sometime.

I still didn't have a schedule by the time I got back, so kicked my heels for a bit and was told to have my lunch. I was getting a bit frustrated by this point and would have liked to know a bit more about what was happening, but eventually a timetable turned up with classes from 2-6pm today. To be honest I would have gladly gone home at this point, especially on the four hours' sleep I managed last night, and I struggle to stay awake for the afternoon's classes, despite the very pleasant and lively teachers. There's a good atmosphere in the class and everyone seems nice. This is good news, because about half the class consists of talking in pairs, so the last thing you want is sullen uncommunicative types. I'm hoping the trend will continue when these folks leave in a couple of weeks.

Class finally finishes at 5.45, in a bit of a rush because that teacher thought we had a bit longer to finish an exercise. There are two homework sheets to finish. Class tomorrow is in the morning, for some reason - we seem to switch on a semi-random basis - which means only a few hours to actually do the work. When I get home and find time to look at them, I'm a little underwhelmed. One from the textbook seems straightforward enough, but the other is rather under-explained, so while I'm reasonably clear on the grammar point, I don't understand what we're supposed to be writing down as answers. After a certain amount of sulking I get something written down and move on with my life.

1 comment: