Saturday, April 18, 2009

Other Classes

I was so happy to get into the classes that I wanted. On the first day of each class, both rooms were full and people that were late had to stand in the back. I heard they don't cap off classes here. Its kind of strange and I don't know how it works exactly. But I got into both of the classes!

Its kind of embarrassing, but these will definitely be the largest classes I have ever been in. At SU the largest class I ever had probably had 35 students, 40 tops. My upper-level Japanese class in Seattle had 15 maybe. Here the Japanese class is at 20. But my other two classes have anywhere between 80-110 kids. I was quite surprised because the classrooms seem rather small.

The other two classes I'm taking are both anthropology ones. I really like anthro and they seemed like the most interesting and relevant ones.

The Ethnography of Japan is taught by a very engaging professor. I can already tell that he is probably going to rank on my list of top professors ever. He is white and American. Initially, I almost didn't enroll in the class because of his background. I was figuring, since I'm in Japan and want to learn about Japan, I might as well take it from a prof who is actually Japanese. However once I got to the class, I knew my reasoning was off. A British student who I sat next to the first class said that this prof is always "well received" and that his classes are always full. The prof explained explicitly that it will be a challenging course with a lot of readings, but it seems like everyone thinks that it is worth it.

The first lecture he joked a lot about different areas of Tokyo, the people, etc. I was actually pretty pleased with myself because with my limited knowledge of the area, I could actually understand why the Japanese students were laughing. He has lived here for 25 years, knows Japanese, and has amazing stories. He said when he first arrived in Japan, he was paid $100 an hour just to talk to people in English.

My other prof for Culture and Identity is almost the opposite. He is Japanese and rather soft spoken. It is the first class I have had a TA in. Its cute, the prof even uses a mic so everyone can hear him. Although the focus is less on Japanese society and culture, I think it will be just as interesting.

This is the first quarter/semester in a while that I am actually quite excited for my classes. I told Reese last quarter that I missed having reading assignments that I actually enjoy reading. The workload and readings for these classes should make up for that. What a perfect set of classes for a study abroad. Its kind of funny I am this excited for school!

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