Nar3: Japan

First post!
Posted on Saturday, August 9th, 2003 at 11:33pm by Brett.
(Sunday, August 10th, 2003 at 12:33pm Japanese Standard Time)

Welcome to japan.narnarnar.com. If you aren't aware, I (Brett) am studying abroad in Japan from Sept 01 2003 until sometime during the summer 2004.

Background information: I'm a 4th year student at OSU studying at Tsukuba University, Japan. Tsukuba is located about 40 miles North East-ish of Tokyo. The purpose of this site is so I can keep a running journal (a blog, if you swing that way) of what's going on. It's also gonna hopefully keep my parents and grandparents calm. ;)

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Posted on Monday, August 18th, 2003 at 9:41pm by Brett.
(Tuesday, August 19th, 2003 at 10:41am Japanese Standard Time)

NERVOUS! So amazingly nervous. I finally got my flight information from the AIEJ people. I'm leaving Sept 1st at 9:52am. That's two weeks from today. Minute twelve hours almost exactly. My stomach starts lurching when I think about next week. This is my last week at work. This is like...imagine the times you spend waiting for something to happen. The feeling...the anxiety and nervousness and slight hint of fear. Multiply that by a couple times, then stretch it out over a month and you'll get what I have. Yesterday I woke up and within a half an hour had hives covering my hands. I'm a bit stressed...*twitch*

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Ever Closer...
Posted on Tuesday, August 26th, 2003 at 11:14pm by Brett.
(Wednesday, August 27th, 2003 at 12:14pm Japanese Standard Time)

Brave. This is a word many people have used to describe someone who is willing to leave his country and study in a foreign country for a year. A few people have called what I am doing "brave." I don't feel brave doing this...right now I feel nervous, anxious, and maybe a little foolish...but not at all brave.

In just under a week, I will be in Japan. I have dreamed about being able to go to Japan as long as I can remember. I've wanted, as long as I know, to become fluent in Japanese. The culture completely amazes me. Everything about Japan is cause for awe to me. But right now, I'm not brave...I'm paniced and nervous and worried.

I just realized how very long a year is. (11 months, some people will be quick to correct me.) This is a long time to be...away. Not that I'm prone to get homesick, it's just...a long time for anything. Things change...people change. There's lots of changing going on. I was talking with Quinn-sensee a couple weeks ago. He told me that if I see every new situation in Japan as a challenge and a chance to expand in both knowledge and character, and if meet that challenge with an open and creative mind, I will come back a changed man. ...(More)

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Pre-Departure Fun
Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2003 at 12:30am by Brett.
(Sunday, August 31st, 2003 at 1:30pm Japanese Standard Time)

Well...this might not be the best way to start an international trip. I had started feeling a bit bad yesterday, and my throat swelled up a bit when I slept last night. Then today, we had a going away party at my Gramma Kidd's house, and after, mom wanted to go to urgent care just to get some quick acting meds in case I was getting sick. They looked at me, said I had strep, and gave me a shot of penicillin (btw, OUCH). Then I started shaking really badly, and my (already slight) temperature shot up 4 degrees. They gave me some motrin, and kept checking my temperature, which kept going up. Finally, they decided to give me another shot (other cheek) of some steroids. In 15 minutes, that dropped my temperature 0.1 degrees. So by the third time the nurse checked me, I heard the doctor tell him that if my temperature went down at all, discharge me. If not, don't tell him. I was discharged. Nearly 2 and 1/2 hours later....weeeeeee fun! They said I should be feeling a moderately better by Monday.

On a brighter note, I have finished packing! And I confirmed my flight. So I'm all ready to go!

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24 hours!
Posted on Sunday, August 31st, 2003 at 9:58am by Brett.
(Sunday, August 31st, 2003 at 10:58pm Japanese Standard Time)

In 24 hours, I will be on a plane going to Japan!!! W00t!

And these drugs they gave me...MAGIC. I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in about a week!

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Getting things working
Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 6:16am by Brett.
(Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 7:16pm Japanese Standard Time)

Alright. I have discovered how to connect from my laptop at the internet cafe. The lady working here spoke no English. WEEEE fun. heheh

I've already made a fool of myself once, and it was trying to get into this internet cafe. This is a place called "Manga and Internet: Cube". It have pretty flashing lights on the outside, but is a standard cafe on the inside. Well, the first time I tried to get in, I saw this futuristic looking door that was all light up with a big logo and then "CUBE" written on it. So I walk up to it, and there is a little platform that you go up right before the door, so I walk up it. Now, this door didn't have any handles or anything...it didn't open automatically. So I'm standing on the platform thing, all lit up, and start feeling around on the door. I start pushing on it in different places, and this was about the time I realized the futuristic "door" was really..a sign. Just...a sign. Light up. Ah...anyway. The real door was much less interesting, and hidden back behind a couple of stores. Good times...

Btw. There are time issues with this site. I just found out before I left, so I didn't have time to fix them. Sometimes the AM ...(More)

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???? (Nihon kara)
Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 12:44pm by Brett.
(Saturday, September 6th, 2003 at 1:44am Japanese Standard Time)

I am in Japan! I can't write much, but I'm here, I'm ok. And the Japanese Keyboads are weird. 4 characters to a key....

Anyway...must run. At an internet cafe and have gotten 4 calls within 10 minutes. More and better updates soon!

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Posted on Friday, September 5th, 2003 at 11:36pm by Brett.
(Saturday, September 6th, 2003 at 12:36pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've put some pics up of where I'm staying. They're not on a pretty webpage, because I don't really have time, and didn't get that working on this site...


The back* pictures are of what I see out my window from my room. The front* pictures are what I see from the front door. inside* is my room. Enjoy

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Tsukuba City Festival and Placement Tests
Posted on Monday, September 8th, 2003 at 5:04am by Brett.
(Monday, September 8th, 2003 at 6:04pm Japanese Standard Time)

A couple days ago, the exchange students and their tutors from the college of international studies (that's me) went to the Tsukuba city festival. It was really fun. I forgot my camera, so no pictures...grr

After the festival, the tutors had a BBQ for us. It was really fun. I learned a new word! "Yopparai" It applied to a few of the people there....

Today was the placement test for the Japanese language courses. You have to pass the test in order to be able to take any language classes that give you credit, so it's a bit important. Imagine, if you will, the hardest cumulative final you have ever taken. Multiply that by 2. Now imagine that beast-of-a-test in a language you only just know. Now imagine that it is dictated to you from an audio tape. That's about what this placement test was. It was some of the fastest Japanese I've ever heard. Within 15 minutes, my brain was begging for mercy. It was a two hour test.

Luckily (???), after the first hour, they had half of the students take what they called the "yasashi test". Basically, it was for the students who didn't know as much Japanese...like me! It wasn't as bad as the first half, but it wasn't overly ...(More)

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Posted on Sunday, September 14th, 2003 at 7:52am by Brett.
(Sunday, September 14th, 2003 at 8:52pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've put up more pictures! You can see them at japan.narnarnar.com/brett_pics/

I'm using a terribly buggy and incomplete version of a program to display them. Hopefully it'll work well enough, though.

Most of the pictures are from my trip to Tokyo with Yuki. That was great fun!

Oh...I haven't put many other pictures up yet just because the program I'm using was making it difficult. So I do, in fact, have more than two friends, and campus is larger than my building and a sidewalk...I'll put more up as I get the program working better....

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