December 2nd was the JLPT. I’ve taken it before, back when there were only four levels, and failed it pretty impressively. I remember going to Chuck E. Cheese (my “clique” in high school was really into the dance pad*) and knitting while my friends studied. It wasn’t until talking to one of the other “testees” that I realized this was over five years ago.
It’s kind of cool to know that I have lived long enough to start something half-heartedly, let it flag nearly out of existence, and then revive it with pure and mindless determination. It’d be cooler if I had felt confident enough to take something higher than the N4, but as my results haven’t come back in yet I can’t even say for sure that the N4 was the right level. The testing was fun, though. Goodness, I have missed tests. There were quite a few places where I had no idea what the question was, let alone the answer, but these were balanced out by times where the answer was so blindingly obvious I had to blink a few times to make sure I was reading it right. And of course the environment was a lot of fun too. Dozens and dozens of people my age, mixed with nine-year olds and a few gray beards. There was one study group of children, and they gathered in the hall with their sensei. The first of them to arrive were these completely Anglican blond girls, with their parents and younger sister and a whole host of lunch boxes and electronic gaming devices. Then the Japanese moms started coming with their kids. Seeing the girls I had felt an almost jealous pang of regret, because by my competitive way of thinking they were ahead of me, but for some reason when I found out that the rest of their class was composed of kids with Japanese speaking parents I felt much better*. I’m not sure exactly why this comforted me, maybe it made me realize that we all have different resources to tap into. I know that mine haven’t even begun to dry up yet, so why should I worry about another’s?
The results for the JLPT don’t come out until the end of February, but I’ll be starting back up with my studies before then. I really would like to beat DQ9 before March so that I can start on 二ノ国. And Anki, and, and, and . . . .
But that’s all later. After Christmas. For now, I’m taking a short break. No anime, no DS – only the books and music that I would probably be interested in anyway. I’m looking forward to starting January with renewed vigor. Watch out grammar, here I come!
________________ Socks off _____________________
*My clique being composed of my mom, my sister, my best-friend-since-forever, and so on. At one point in my life our familys went to Chuck E. Cheese every week. We were on a first name basis with the manager, and when I heard them playing “kiss me” on the radio a few months ago I nearly caused a traffic incident. The orange arrow, the green arrow!
** When the Japanese moms started coming in you could almost feel the rest of the room straining to catch their words. The very air seemed to scream “Real Life Example!”