October 18th, 2004

Manga Me

Leaving Japan with some Shred of my Dignity

About three weeks ago in class a boy asked me to play the tuba at the school festival at the end of October. I have told a few teachers that I played the tuba in high school and middle school but I didn’t know word had gotten out. I was interested but do not know if I still have the skill. It has been about 6 years since I have played, and I don’t even remember if I can read the music. I went to the music club to see. It turns out I can still play the B-flat scale. But I can’t read music anymore. I mean I really can’t read it. I can am okay by myself, but when we played together I was literally lost no less than 6 measures in. This happened every song. I forgot what symbles meant and more or less am music illerterate. It was pretty sad. I had to respectfully tell the teacher I cherished the opportunity but I simply do not have the skill to do it. She didn’t understand, language barrier strikes again! Later another teacher told me he would help me to learn the Tuba. I explained the music was too hard and I haven’t played in 6 years. He said he would help! I have been avoiding the topic, it would now appear that I am off the hook. Although if this festival I am handed a tuba I will be most embarrassed and people will be walking away with hurting ears. But that was not enough! I don’t know if I look like some with talent, but now they want me to sing at the festival. They want me to sing the Queen “We will rock you” song. I sing the part with lots of English words and the kids sing the chorus, “We will, we will rock you!” Gaaah! Singing is worse than Tubaing! I am unable to say no to pressure, remember I did invite a cult into my house that one time, but I also would like to escape Japan with some semblance of ego! Luckily I got one of my English teachers to promise to sing with me. I am hoping she can handle all the music bits and I can handle the pronunciation, maybe together we can be a musical tour de force. The other thing I should remember is they will probably love me no matter what I do, at least I hope that is the case. Needless to say I have to learn the song by Monday, guess who needs to schedule some karaoke over the weekend?
Manga Me

You Are Now Also Perfect at this Flashcard! Part II

I am now both Hiragana and Katakana literate. I can read very well both systems. Some katakana still throw me off and I have trouble writing in it, and some of the sound shifts (there are more in kata) sthrow me, but I am perfect at the flashcards! I need a little more practice but as it stands I can actually read some Japanese now. It is a really good feeling to know I can read some stuff. I don’t always know what I am reading (my vocab is still tragic) but now I can use things like dictionaries because I can translate Hiragana and/or Katakana into Romanji and look them up. I think the next step is to go to Yodobashi camera and get a small pocket Japan/English Dictionary/Translator. I also need to keep up the practice of writing both systems because it becomes more permanent when I write it and actually have to think with it, rather than just read it and think about it.