Well I shall try and catch up on the past two days in this post, but so much has happened that I might have to come back and fill in the blanks. The day before yesterday was the Japanese Placement test. Steph and I were taking the level II test, which basically meant that we had some Japanese knowledge and could at least read and write in hiragana. The test was broken into three parts: kanji, sakubun (essay), and bunpo (grammar). Since my strength lies in speaking and hearing Japanese, this test was rather difficult for me.
Kanji kicked my butt, and I struggled through that section, and the essay was tough to write. I wasn't getting stressed about it or anything since its only a placement test and not a graded score, but it made me realize that I have some major studying to do this semester. At least I have some new motivation now.
After the test I hung out with some friends downstairs, where we played the only two activities in the dorms. There's the pool table, and the foosball table. Unfortunately the fun in those games only lasts for so long before they become boring to me. I had fun though, and it was a good way to meet people, I guess.
Yesterday was the Entrance Ceremony for new students, which included incoming freshmen, transfer students, and exchange students.
I think the biggest problem of the entire thing was probably the problem in my head. My attire felt completely inappropriate for the occasion. Mind you, I know that I'm not from the area, but EVERYONE wore nice suits and jackets, including the girls. It was approximately 50 degrees outside, rainy, cloudy, and ungodly windy, and there I was wearing a short black dress that went above my thighs, with a rather low cut v-neck collar. Oh, and sandals.
Luckily, I was able to save myself some embarrassment and kept my black jacket zipped up to a more comfortable level. Still, I think I almost flashed a couple unexpected people due to the obnoxious wind that was blowing by me every chance it got. On a good note, there were some people that dressed up in their native culture's traditional clothing and it was very interesting to see.
Here are some pictures of a group of girls from Thailand, and each wore something from the respective parts of the country they came from.
Here is me in front of the hall of the entrance ceremony.
After the welcome speeches and the formal addresses, there were some cultural performances from a few different parts of the world. The one I found to be the most interesting was an Indonesian dance that used fast hand movements and group rhythm. It was very interesting to watch, and I took a few videos of their various dances. Here's one that I thought was particularly cool.
Then after the performances, the Circles or club groups came in and did a small sketch about their activities. Some of them were funny, while others were very strange. One of them circle groups did a mock power rangers sketch which was kind of humorous.
Last night I hung out with some friends again and we got to know one another better. There's some strange rules in our dorms that I'm not sure how to make sense of. For example, non-residents must leave the dorms by 10 p.m., and some residents must be back inside their dorms by midnight. So we have curfews, and yet drinking is allowed inside the dorms, as long as it is in the rooms and not in public. Clearly there are not people of the legal drinking age here, and yet its perfectly okay to drink inside the rooms. I guess its just one of the things thats completely different than back at Grand Valley State.
Anyway, I think we are going out to the city tonight. I think there's a curry restaurant that some of us want to try, and then perhaps one of the few bars here. I learned a fun Korean drinking game last night, but don't worry, there wasn't much alcohol to drink, so it was mainly a practice round for us.
So, I shall let everyone know how that goes!
Here's what I ate last night. Ten points to whoever can guess what it all is!