Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I think one of the first things I will buy for my new apartment is a jar of instant coffee. Any suggestions, anyone?

Lately, I haven't been sleeping as I should; I'm procrastinating all homework. I want to say that this form of procrastination isn't a problem, but it's really jeopardizing my sleep schedule. I've been napping during the day and staying up all night. I feel like a vampire, a vampire that drinks a whole lot of coffee.

I've never really liked drinking coffee. I love the smell and flavor in candies and sweets, but I've never really enjoyed drinking it until recently. I always thought coffee made me sleepy. But in Japan, I've been drinking Boss: Cafe au Lait as if it were water. I don't like the after-effects, but it tastes better than any energy drink I've ever had, and it seems to last longer as well. I feel like I'm going to the dark side: Coffee vs. Tea. Tea or Coffee? (Since when did beverages become the Matrix?)

I think I've been procrastinating (*coughhackwheeze* like I am now!) because I am dreading my decision to drop a class I know I would be getting credit for at UNT. I am taking a Japanese Society course and I absolutely dread the homework and the class. While the topic is interesting, I don't feel as though I'm benefiting from reading a 20-30 page reading each week, answering three surface questions, and comparing articles to students in the classroom to find the differences and similarities. It's a mixed class of native English speakers (A.K.A. Foreign exchange students) and Japanese speakers/non-native speakers.

Part of me wants to be a smart ass and say, "If I can't read this article and understand it in its entirety, what makes you think that a student learning English would understand this sort of thing?" However, I know that if I ask this, it seems as if I am not giving the non-native-English speakers enough credit, as many of them get their opinions across quite well in English, and I know that I have difficulty doing the same in Japanese. I also feel that by dropping the class, I am doing the students a form of disservice, as I will not be able to influence or enhance the class by giving them an opportunity to listen to a native English speaker. Yet, the whole topic is difficult, and I'm not sure what I want to do. The part of me that wants to study Japanese agrees with the lazy side: 1) You hate the structure of the class; 2) The readings take up a lot of time (That could be spent on Japanese; and 3) None of this is really useful while you're in Japan as it is a class in English, not Japanese. Yet the humanitarian/goody-two-shoes/perfectionist in me says: 1) The class is once a week. If you manage your time a bit better, it's totally do-able; 2) You know if you drop the class, you won't do anything useful with your time; 3) You will help more students and make more Japanese friends if you stay. To me, they all sound logical, and after typing the latter argument, I feel guilty for even thinking about dropping the class. Yet, I try to ask myself:

Is this really how I feel: Guilty? Or is this a habit originating from years of trying to be the "good kid" after my older brother made a few interesting choices in high school? Furthermore, I start to wonder: What exactly will it change if I drop this class? Would I just be lazy, or would I actually be proactive? Why am I taking it if I hate it? And why can't I let myself understand that I don't have to do everything that is bad for me? Yes, sometimes painful or difficult situations can make someone stronger, or at least, that's what I believe. But can someone really always think that way?

When I stop and think about it, I feel as if I'm giving up by not taking this class because I simply don't want to use the time when I don't enjoy it. I think of my best friend's Mom who, after a divorce, raised two young children practically on her own and takes every situation as a challenge. She always says, "Sometimes, you just gotta back yer ears and get it done." In order to come to Ritsumeikan, I adopted this mode of thinking, and it enabled me to succeed in making it to Japan. But isn't there some sort of balance?

I always want to relax and have a good time, but I have a really difficult time accepting the fact that, "Sometimes, it's okay to have fun." Even more so with the idea that, "Sometimes, it's okay to do things for yourself. You don't have to do everything for other people." I have thought about this issue plenty of times, as well as tried to fix it, but I do not succeed. When attempting to fix myself, I am still in the mindset of trying to be perfect rather than letting myself emerge as whom I want to be. Is it weak to stay in a class that I hate? Or is it more weak to drop it? This is something only I can decide, but I really do not know which to choose. Perhaps I will talk with the teacher about it in the morning. I feel as though he needs to know why the students are having a problem. Even more so, I feel that he deserves to know why students are dropping.

In fact, I think I will write him now.

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