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To class or not to class, that is the question

I have decidedly, and solidly, mixed feelings about Japanese class.

On the one hand, I have found it of some value.  I was finally able to get my hiragana and katakana very solid, which is something I was missing, I learned things like telling time, and I took away things that were definitely of value to me in my ongoing studies.  In that sense, I don’t really regret it.

In another sense, though, I regret it very much.  I’m trying to take these classes while holding down a full time job, many of the students there are literally old enough to be my children (and a couple are, if my hypothetical children and I were particularly irresponsible, old enough to be my grandchildren), and to be quite frank, the curriculum is not oriented towards adult continuing education.  We just spent a week or two talking about our college major, and I have a full time job.  I only have a college major on paper, and I don’t think that’s happening.  So I ended up having to just call myself 一年生 (first year) and just be done with it.  That really made me feel like I was an outsider.

Even though I pretty obviously am, for many reasons.

For that reason, I’m seriously considering taking a break from Japanese II and just studying on my own for a while.  I have a much better foundation now to know what I’m missing, I have a textbook and workbook I can play in that seems to be somewhat effective, and if I study I think I can get most of what I get from class without the structure.  That said, they do have online or hybrid classes, so I’m considering taking that instead, maybe it will be a little less stressful than having to go to class twice a week.  Either way, I have about a month more to get through this, and then I think something’s going to have to change.  It was a valuable experience in some ways, a stressful and painful experience in others, and regardless, I think something will need to be different next semester.  I don’t think it’s working as is.


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