Past Musings


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Saturday, January 21, 2006 way...

So it turns out that I'm not actually very good at Japanese. I have realized this, in trying to write a one page self introduction for my application for Konan next year. Unfortunately, writing a page in Japanese is way harder than it looks (despite the fact that to an unlearned eye, it looks rather impossible due to the character set), but there is something about Japanese that makes writing long sophisticated prose difficult. And that thing is kanji. For those of you who don't know, kanji are the ones that are basically pictographs, stolen from the Chinese, that usually represent things like nouns, verbs, or adjectives. This means that some words which are three or four syllables long are condensed into one or two characters. The nice thing about kanji is that they are distinct, so there is no homonym ambiguity that would occur otherwise, especially caused by the fact that in Japanese there are no spaces between words. This is also where many Japanese puns come from, stringing two words together to make it sound like something else, probably inspired by the potential written syllables. Anyway, this means that while it might take a long time to read the text out loud, it takes up only a small amount of space on the page.

I'm trying to make this self intro interesting enough and reveal something about my personality, sort of like a college essay. However, it's hard to tell how formal I should be since I don't know who my audience is. Sensei never told me whether it was the administration, the faculty, the students, or all of the above, so I am assuming it's everyone for now. I am trying to come off as enthusiastic about next year (which I am) as well as discuss my exciting interests. I end up feeling like I am repeating myself though.

Also, last night, I downloaded and listened to 2 of Tom and Anita's radio shows (the newest one wasn't online then) and I thought it was pretty cool. It was rather relaxing, and undisturbing as this was while I was writing all that Japanese, but it got me thinking about doing one myself. I'd like to do a show about Japanese music or something, but I'm not sure that I have enough material alone. This comes from the fact that most of my Japanese music comes from various friends (mostly Domier and Jono). Also, I don't have much expertise on it, but I like it just the same. Or any other topics, but I'm not sure what sort of thing I could sustain, either alone or with a friend. We're thinking about a radio show being part of our social ad project too though, so perhaps it would be easier, but it could also just become overwhelming.

I'm not sure, but it's something to consider now that I have a little bit more time.

mo posted at 1:24 PM.