Tuesday, October 18, 2011


The problem with spoken language is that it's horribly time dependent. My Japanese would be infinitely better if it were considered normal to say a sentence then wander off, have a cup of tea and maybe a fruit scone, take in some of the local sites before returning to see if the person you're speaking to has comprehended what you have said.

Such delays are not allowed in my communication class.

Held each Tuesday and Thursday morning, this class is entirely in Japanese and is focused on listening and speaking with dribbling recaps of the necessary grammar. The level is at the limit of my current Japanese which makes it NOT EASY. Add to the fact it's impossible to hide at the back when you have to speak the whole time, and this class is upgraded to HARD. The teacher, however, is cheerful and kind and so this would be fine if it wasn't for someone who will hence forth be known as:


MEAN GIRL's Japanese is better than mine but the jump between the different class levels is large, so such disparity is inevitable. Today, we were split into pairs to discuss our homework; stating what you want to do in response to a variety of different situations. I was paired with MEAN GIRL and we started going through the questions together. My stuttering speech led to overly patient looks and irritation that I'd misunderstood one of the questions. In actual fact, I'd showed this particular problem to a Japanese friend and he'd translated it as I had so it was NOT OBVIOUS, MEAN GIRL.

When it came to our turn to tell the class about each other's answers, I misread my handwriting which caused the teacher to pause and query me. MEAN GIRL mouthed the answer to the teacher behind me with an expression that suggested she had been paired with a retarded preschooler and was bored out of her wits.

This is why we do not like MEAN GIRL.

To be totally fair, this was my first dealings with MEAN GIRL, so some of her supposed distance might be her natural manner rather than a particular vendetta against me. However, I have declared her as MEAN GIRL and I believe she is MEAN.

On the way back to the department, I was accosted by another recruiting Christian group. I told them I was Jewish. Cockerels* or not, there's only so much you can take in one day. 

[*] "This very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times." -- Matthew 26:33-35, denial of Peter and all that...


  1. Harry, it would be an honour but I seem to remember you have to throw me out three times before the talk gets serious ;)