January 7th, 2010



Well, the semester's almost over.

Progress is slow; I can occasionally feel improvement, but still sitting at the bottom of my class or so, skills-wise, which is continuously frustrating. Nonetheless, while I feel like I'm not keeping up, due to some convincing by classmates, I've now abandoned any thoughts of (even attempting to) hold myself back a semester. As lousy as my spoken Japanese is (although comprehension is coming slowly, I feel like my actual speech production remains incredibly... clunky), the rest would mostly be a waste to repeat, and the class really isn't that good at improving spoken proficiency anyway; that comes not from the class so much as the actual talking, which is as much outside of class as in. And time spent studying the material I had no time to absorb before later (say, during break) will work just as well.

And, inexplicably, I got an A- on my last oral test (which I find practically incomprehensible -- I didn't prepare for it hardly at all, and stumbled through quite badly). I suspect they may be grading on progress there, because there's absolutely no way I'm at the level of most of my classmates in conversation skills -- not that I felt any more competent than I was on the last oral test.

Of course, if that's so, it just increases my feeling of being behind (in everything except kanji, where I'm more or less ahead). Eh, well... I guess progress is the important thing, despite my frustration, and the feeling I just can't absorb vocabulary fast enough. And the fact that my grades have been sliding of late... But probably not enough to lose my B, I'm just having my cushion erode slightly.

On the bright side... Having a holiday on Monday is brilliant. Two short weeks are a nice way to start after kinda screwing up my schedule over break (which probably contributed to my complete insomnia last night, which really messed me up today. I'm still dragging really badly).
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