battle of attrition
weill in japan: day 21
We're losing people.
As the third week of classes continues, the absence rate has started to
rise. Particularly in the dorms, a cold is now going around. I'll get it
eventually. Also, the early start time of classes is still a problem: I'm
pretty much certain that most of us aren't getting nearly enough sleep every
night. Folks like me who are in homestays have an even earlier start, as
we have to take public transit to the campus every day.
Yesterday's adventure in Odaiba caught
up to me in a big way today. I got maybe 4 1/4 hours of sleep before dragging
myself out of bed, into the shower, into new clothes, and out the door.
There was enough time for me to treat myself to a large cup of iced coffee and
a muffin from a local coffee shop (cost: ¥550, or about $4.70) to give
me enough energy to make it through at least the first 2 1/2 hours of class.
I nearly fell asleep near the end of classes, but made it to the end intact.
The situation looks pretty bad in class. Everyone's showing a severe
lack of energy, for all the reasons above compounded with the general boredom
of the material. One classmate told me that he plans to start cutting classes
because the dull material could very well be causing us to lose
Japanese proficiency. People are starting to arrive later, myself included.
The classes have a fairly strict attendance and on-time policy, so that's a
bad habit to be getting into.
Today was pretty much shot after class. When I arrived home, I felt
terrible and took a few hours to lie down and rest. Even afterwards, I didn't
have much of an appetite -- although the dinner of curry rice and cold fish
didn't help any. I've tried curry a few times while here, but I can't convince
myself to like it. With luck, I'll get a decent amount of sleep tonight to
get back on track tomorrow.
the technology gods smile
I was pretty steamed yesterday about how the on-campus Macs ate the contents
of my little USB memory device. After reformatting the device and restoring
the contents, I decided to try again today. Everything worked better today:
the firewall didn't block my binary FTP upload, all my files opened seamlessly,
and I was able to make all my revisions. The Japanese version of Office 2001
for Mac is excellent, handling features like furigana (pronunciation guides)
that the U.S. version can't do. I don't understand why Microsoft didn't add
these capabilities to the English-language version, as they did in Office 2000
and Office XP for Windows. Guess I'll enjoy it while I can.
There are few foods that can't be saved by enough soy sauce or Tabasco.
This applies mostly to the "food" served in the on-campus dining hall, and
I don't think my stomach could handle the consequences of using those sauces
My hands have been killing me. I think I should cut down on the Taiko no
Tatsujin 3: all that recoil from hitting the drums hampered my performance
I've heard three songs from Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix on television.
"Beautiful Love" (?) was used on a commercial for The Yen Shop, the "Lupin"
theme is heard on the third-generation anime made in the late '70s but still
aired today, and "Swing It" played in the background of a variety show for
reasons I can't quite understand.
I'm up to 14.6 Coke Points. Bottles and cans have one point each, while
vending machine paper cups have either 0.6 or 0.8 points on them. With 20
points, I can enter a lottery to win a super-slim digital camera and MP3
Time for sleep.