Semester two has started with a bang! The difficulty level between first and second level Japanese is quite drastic, I've found. Wherever I thought Japanese class was fun and easy has been replaced with long nights of cramming kanji and struggling to remember complex grammar patterns.
Furthermore, I had a bit of confusion over the process of credit transfers, so I was unpleasantly surprised with the information that not every class I was taking would count for credit toward my major back at Linfield. Two weeks into the school year, I had to switch some of my classes. This is not an easy process, so I highly recommend triple checking that the classes you want will count for credit. I managed to get two new classes, but one of the professors did not give me permission to join his class late in the semester, so I only have one new one.
This class is completely in Japanese, and I'm the only exchange student enrolled. It's a really scary experience for me, but I think ultimately, it's beneficial. It's a lecture class, so luckily, I don't have to worry about speaking. Mostly, I try to copy down notes as best as I can and then translate them at home. This class is first period, so I have to wake up very early to get to school on time. The train is always completely packed as well, so if I want to miss the rush, I have to wake up even earlier. If you, dear reader, are interested in taking classes at Aoyama, I don't recommend taking first period classes unless you either don't mind very crowded trains, or you live closer to school. I still live in Eda Dormitory, so it's about an hour's commute in the morning, and it's not fun.
School is good overall, however. I've made new friends and become better friends with those people I already knew. As much as I lament over the about of kanji I have to learn, I know that it's good for me. It's so much fun when I learn a new phrase that I've heard around somewhere, but I never really understood. It's really great to be able to relate the things I learn in the classroom to my life around me. Lately, it's gotten a little hard to focus on school during the summer when everyone back home is on vacation, but since this year abroad is coming to a close, it's best to enjoy it as much as possible while it lasts.