A long time passed by

※ This article sums up what happened since beginning of April. Now, on the 9th of May, more than 1 month passed by.

In April, I was quite busy getting started on university. The administrative tasks were, of course, less (compared to last semester), but I had some visits and events with my Aikido friends. Let’s put things in order:

3 月 29 日 ー4 月 2 日

My dad and one of my brothers visited me. We did a lot of sightseeing in Kobe and spent one day in Osaka.

4 月 15 日

I decided not to continue my Kanji class. It is just to difficult to study 25 new Kanji per week. I am proud what I achieved last semester, but this time I need to revise the old ones. I cannot study more complex Kanji for now.

4 月 19 日 , 4 月 22 日 , 4 月 23 日

On these days, I spent time with an Austrian friend and a friend of his. I showed them Kobe similar to the previous tour.

5 月 3 日 ー5 月 7 日

Golden Week in Japan, which means we don’t have classes these days, but of course Aikido. Typically, the Japanese people take some days off with their family. We simply enjoy the free time.

5 月 4 日

On this day, Martina and I went for a hike for the Rokko Herb Gardens and Nunobiki Waterfalls.

Regarding university, I terminated Kanji class, but continue with all other Japanese classes. I study Kanji with WaniKani and just finished digitalizing all Kanji vocabularies of the previous semester. After doing a lot of revisions until end of April, our intensive course class studies one lesson per day (4 days per week), which means new grammar, new exercises, everyday homework and new vocabularies. I enjoy everything and can keep up, except for the vocabulary. It is quite a lot and I need to study hard to actually remember any of them. Soon we will be ahead of the corresponding integrated class. They study the same content, but did not do revisions and only study 1 lesson per 2 days (hence half the pace). For all the other classes, they are challenging, but so far, they are enjoyable. It is quite recognizable that the students are more heterogeneous now. In "Elementary" level, almost everybody was a total beginner and everybody had the same ideas and thought the same way. In "Upper Elementary" level, for example, some people are very good at speaking, but lack skills in grammar. We even have people, who still cannot read Katakana. Anyhow, I benefit from these classes and try my best to study this language.

Regarding university, my mathematics bachelor thesis is also part of my schedule. I put some effort into it, but currently too little to actually push the project forward. I have plenty of subprojects and because I am not sure which approaches can actually work, it feels like I spend too much time with minor work, which is not essential for my thesis. I need to stay focused and finish some subprojects. Then I will get back on track better again.

Regarding sightseeing, as pointed out, I cannot continue spending one day per week on discovering Japan. This is just too much for my schedule. So I enjoy playing Badminton with Martina outside instead, when it is not too hot. Furthermore I spend more time on projects and studying. I only do sightseeing occassionally. Next weekend, another brother will come to Japan and we will cover some sightseeing spots in Kyoto.

Regarding Aikido, the new members of this academic year joined the club and they are comparably many new members. Even another foreign student, one from America, joined (though she speaks Japanese fluently, so I don’t have to support her a lot as others can do that better). Anyhow, they are organizing a special training camp on a weekend in May, on beginning of June, I want to do my Kyu exam and at the beginning of July, there is an Enbu we have to present. In conclusion, there is quite a lot of work ahead of us. In general, I enjoy it, but because of the newcomers, the level intentionally dropped a lot within the club to make integration easier.

Regarding Japan and life in Japan, I certainly have well-established procedures to get along with daily business. I don’t consider Japan as either bad nor good and don’t accept simple black/white images some people have of Japan. I enjoy being here and I am also happy that it is a finite, well-defined timespan, I am in Japan.

Coming to an end, I want to point out that I want to write more weblog articles than in the previous month. I am sure, many are going to end up in the "reflections" category. But writing weblog articles is a low-priority item now for me and I will see how much time is left. Please be free to check out the gallery anyhow, because it is much more up2date.