Kai-An's Journal

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Kai-An Tatok replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Eek! Heading off to Orientation! Wish me luck!
Much love,
Kai-An

"Close your eyes. Feel it. The light, it's always been there. It will guide you." -Maz Kanata
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Have fun!
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Kai-An Tatok replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Righto! I liiiiive!

Orientation things and college in general are fantastic. I'm having insane amounts of fun.

Work-wise, I'm taking four courses this quarter, so it's a good amount of work, but not enough that I can't relax a bit and also help out around here. I'm also thinking of signing up for a CPR/First Aid/AED class that they give here, if it works with my schedule. They don't have yoga this quarter, so I have to wait on that one.
And I'm taking Sanskrit!!! Wahoooo!

Other than that, I've just been getting organized and ready for the new year.

Much love,
Kai-An

"Close your eyes. Feel it. The light, it's always been there. It will guide you." -Maz Kanata
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Yeah, that should definitely be a doable load for you.  I never took less than 17 credit hours, and a few times took 19.  It was insane.  I would have learned more had I taken fewer hours I think, but that's what you learn with age and experience.  :-)

I'm glad you're having fun.  Back to work for me!
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Kai-An Tatok replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Good Lord I really have been gone a while. Well, there will be lots to update on.

Re-reading my posts was very interesting. A nice reminder of why I came here in the first place. I think the reason I drifted was that my workload, which I thought would be fine, was far too much. Not because of the classes, but one specific class. In all my excitement, I decided that along with Japanese I wanted to learn a new language, and between the ones I was interested in and the ones that fit in my schedule, I ended up taking Sanskrit. Although I am happy I took it, as I absolutely loved learning the language, given another chance I would have picked something else. What my advisor didn't advise me of was that it was a graduate level course. First quarter took up all the extra time I had, but was doable, but second and third literally flattened me. I got so sick for half of winter quarter that I had to actually get an IV because my fever wouldn't go down, I couldn't keep any large amount of liquid down, and my body couldn't rehydrate. Rather vicious cycle. Point being, I've learned my lesson and its not happening again. I am taking neat classes next year though- trying out Linguistics as my major finally. Japanese 200s, Linguistics Intro sequence, Power and Identity as my Social Studies class, and Bio, which hopefully won't be too bad. I can't take CPR like I want because it interferes with japanese. Japanese interferes with all the PE classes I want to take. :(. Oh well. In short though, my first year was good, just a little over the top. Lots of good things happened too though- I've made lots of good friends, have an incredible boyfriend, learned tons, and have fallen in love with Chicago. :) All in all, a wonderful year. This coming year is going to be great.

At the moment, I am in JAPAN! I have a month to go and I've been here a month, studying Japanese to improve my speaking and kanji. Its going really well- I've made lots of good friends and i feel like I'm making great progress. :) I was even able to navigate a doctors visit all in Japanese (I had the misfortune of getting strep over here. Bleh. But on the upside, they made me drink strange japanese potions that made me better in three days. ^_^)
The city I'm living in is called Okazaki, in southern Honshuu. At first I was sad to not be in a major city, but its actually a wonderful place. Theres lots to do, lots of fantastic historical stuff (temples, even the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu and the grave of the leader of the Shinsengumi, Kondo Isami. :)) and its quiet. I have my own little room, a shared kitchen, wonderful housmates and enough class to learn lots, but not so much that I don't have lots of time to explore. Its also central enough that I can travel fairly cheaply. I've already spent a weekend in Kyoto and gone to Nagoya. I would like to go to Nara to see Todaiji again, and explore Okazaki more.

Its been a bit of a roller coaster for me here. School burned me out more than I thought it did, so I've been recovering, with lots of emotional ups and downs along the way. I've been doing a lot of thinking, and a lot of relaxing. Very little training unfortunately, but mostly because other than starting to meditate again, there isnt' too much more I can do, or at least feel like doing at the moment. Its scorching here, so running is a little out of the question. I almost feel faint walking for too long. :P

BUT I am eating much more healthily and starting to get back into shape between the walking and the good food. My cooking is imroving with practice. And I have a plan for the two weeks before I head back to chicago at home. Lots of Yoga, swimming in my pool, using the elliptial and going to fencing. I would like to be on the team next year. So I don't feel bad that I'm not doing much at the moment, as I will have very little to do at home, as all my friends will have already left for school again. It'll be fun. :) Also, Kayaking. I'm spending a week with my mother in seattle, and we have kayaks up there and all of lake washington to explore. Maybe I'll take a picnic and find a little spot to land. :P

Oh! There was a 6.4 Earthquake in the neighboring prefecture last night. Aside from interupting the little sleep I got, I found it interesting that I sensed it coming. I woke up just before it happened. I was all confused but I sat bolt upright, like something had startled me, and had time for a befuddled mental 'huh?' before the room started shaking. It was a pretty intense earthquake for being not terribly close- the windows were making a ton of noise and stuff fell of my shelves and moved across the floor and things.

Last piece of news before I go do my homework: I 'came out' to borrow the phrase, as a Jedi to my boyfriend a few days ago. He took it well, especially considering how wierd it sounds to someone who has no idea what it is. I explained and he's still slightly confused and a little nervous, but mostly I think he's worried about how people will see me. He's sweet like that. I don't have any partiular desire to share the title with people I know will laugh however, so its no worries. He doesn't really get it persay, or at least he doesn't get this partiular choice. He's practiced martial arts since he was very little, so he understand the desire for discipline, but he doesn't quite get the Jedi thing. And thats okay. As long as he's okay with it, I'm happy. Besides, thats what all of you do for me- get it. :P

Alrighty, I think that's all for now. On to homework for an hour or so, and then hopefully and early sleep.

Its good to be back. :)

Much love,
Kai-An

"Close your eyes. Feel it. The light, it's always been there. It will guide you." -Maz Kanata
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inari replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Studying in Japan. How awesome. I'd love to get over there some day, and learn how to make Japanese pickles yum yum. I think we can count cultural studies as training lol.

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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

????????????????????????  I really enjoyed reading your update.  When you get back to Chicago, let us know.  Angelus and I will work on getting you to our local meetings.  And if you'd like I'll introduce you to the Japanese language groups that I participate in, too.  ???????

Add.:  Well, that seems to have failed.  I tried to put in Japanese characters, but the forum couldn't handle it.  It said, "Hajimemashite.  Jeremy de, Chicago ni sundeimasu."  "Douzo yoroshiku."

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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Kai-An Tatok replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Hahah, I like that it put unhappy faces for the japanese characters. :P
I shall. I'm going to do a bit of training on my own first, and gauge my school schedule this year in terms of difficulty, but I'm interested in coming to the meetings eventually. :)

Cultural Studies it is then. :) I *love* japanese pickled anything too. Expecially Oshinko, the bright yellow pickled daikon. ^_^ Its delicious.

Anywho, speaking of cultural studies, one of the things I've never really dealt with that I have run into here is racism. Or rather, xenophobia, but it is a type of racism really. The japanese don't like foreigners. I mean, of course there are many individuals who do, but when you're not in a big city you see it much more. People won't sit next to me on the train, even if its the only seat left. When i wore a yukata to a fireworks festival, several japanese girls laughed or got angry that I was wearing traditional japanese clothing, as if it somehow impugned their culture. I'm always polite and try to blend in as best I can, as I am a visitor here, but common politeness seems to be missing sometimes. Its worse because they assume I don't speak Japanese and immediately start gossiping with their friends right in front of my face (although this has led to some satisfying comebacks. :P). Even if I didn't speak it though, it would be obvious what they were talking about. I've grown to be able to ignore it, but the first time something happened it was really kind of disturbing. Having lived in fairly open-minded places my whole life, its not something I'm used to seeing. Its not really hatred I think except in exceptional causes (Like the Japanese version of neo-nazis, called the anti-foreigner league, which are a bit scary), more a sense of distrust and a zealous protective sense for their own culture. When these things happen its their way of lifting themselves up, whether its calling me fat because I happen to actually have breasts unlike many japanese women, or looking at me like I shouldn't be there, it makes them feel better about themselves. Its a bit sad, but I can't do much about it, other than occasionally make them feel kind of embarassed for being rude. Usually I just ignore it.

So yes. Just something interesting I didn't expect from Japan.

Next time I will write about my adventures at Fushimi Inari, and my experiences with the fox god. :) By then I will have also returned to Nara and visited Todaiji, so that will be interesting too. Yay temples!

Much love,
Kai-An

Just an interesting thing.

"Close your eyes. Feel it. The light, it's always been there. It will guide you." -Maz Kanata
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inari replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

BTW Kai An, perhaps you should distinguish between Inari the Japanese god (not where my handle came from btw) and Inari the me ( :P). Inari is the Japanese god of food and drink, is that correct?

My handle came from 'inari', which is Finnish for lake, and a proper name over there.

I'm not surprised that you're experiencing some racism over there Kai-An. Have you been to a foreign country before? I've experienced it too, though I'm sure it wasn't to the same extent as you'd be getting over there.
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Kai-An Tatok replied the topic: Re: Kai-An's Journal

Yes, Inari is a white fox, and the god of rice and anything made from it, like sake. He's an old shinto god and very cool. I didn't know it was a word in Finnish though- that's neat. I've been thinking it was the Japanese word all along. ^_^; Interesting to know.

I have been to several other countries before, but never one where white wasn't the predominant race, such as Italy, Spain, and England. I received some flak for being a tourist, but thats not bad. It isn't that bad over here to be honest, but it does happen with some frequency. Honestly, I shouldn't be surprised either, it just didn't occur to me before I arrived. :P I probably receive less of it than tourists here because I'm here studying japanese, so it gives me some credit. :)

"Close your eyes. Feel it. The light, it's always been there. It will guide you." -Maz Kanata
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