Nar3: Japan

Jack of all trades
Posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 at 6:33am by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 3rd, 2004 at 8:33pm Japanese Standard Time)

This past weekend, I had the chance to take a class where we went to a traditional Japanese ceramic making place. We got to make our own pottery. All in all, it was pretty fun.

I was amazingly horrible. People were making like, 5 bowls and cups and plates and vases. On my first 4 tries, the people that were teaching us would come over, tell me to try again, and then get rid of the ruined clay. Even though I was sucking, it was a lot of fun.

I managed to make a very ambiguous bowl, a cup that looks suspiciously like another bowl, and a plate with an identify crisis. They told us after a month, they would return the finished products to us. It should be interesting...

During my 6th or 7th attempt to make something, I said to myself in a sort of hushed whisper "I am REALLY bad at this...I can't do it all..." My friend sitting next to me said, jokingly, "Hah, you sound like this is the first time that's happened." And I turned around to him and said "It is!"

I wasn't being conceited, but it's true. I'm what you call a jack of all trades. Most people don't realize that there is more to it than that. The original phrase goes something like "A Jack of all trades is master of none." What people don't realize is that calling someone a jack of all trades isn't exactly a compliment. Though it's not really an insult, either...

I don't take it as one, at least. I know very well that I am able to do lots of things, but at the same time that I can only do a very few things really well. This is painfully obvious in my instrument methods classes at OSU. These classes teach us instruments that, for the most part, we've never played before. I have no problem getting to a basic level, and sometime an intermediate level, but after that it's really hard for me to keep improving.

There's this point that I seem to reach when learning something where progress just stops, and I'm stuck at that skill level. I seem to have hit that with Japanese, at the moment. Any one who has studied a foreign language is all too familiar with what I like to call, the plateaus. You seem to stop learning, and just get stuck in this awful sort of limbo. You know what I'm talking about...

I'm pretty sure I've learned a lot of Japanese while I've been here, but it doesn't feel like it. In general, communication with Japanese people is possible, but conversation is still a bit out of my league. Kanji is just impossible...I've accepted that I'll be illiterate in Japanese...

Hrm...beside giving me a 15 minute break from the 2 essays I have to write for tomorriw, I have no idea what this post was for...

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calculus by jason [2004/03/02 15:57 ET]
you're a master at that =D
i wouldn't say master of none... by ted [2004/03/02 08:43 ET]
so pottery isn't your thing... your skills with computers i think would qualify as master status... at least guru... and as for a point to the post... well... i thought it was amusing to hear about the pottery... hope we'll get to see pictures of the indentity crisis and whatnot...