Work: as unappealing as ever

Hope you enjoyed the “supersized” post on freedom of speech. I get bonus points for writing it when I’m supposed to be revising for my midterms next week. They don’t really seem real at the moment. It’s a real pain-in-the-arse byproduct of Kansai Gaidai’s per-semester admissions policy that you have four (count ’em) exam periods per academic year, and I frankly never thought that I’d do more exams per year in a foreign country than I would in the British education system. Well, I suppose if there’s one place in the world that’s more exam-obsessed then Britain, it’s Japan.

Fortunately, after that we have “spring break”. (The gradual creeping of Americanisms into my lexicon bothers me, but everyone here uses the term, so I should just “get with the program”. There you go. I think a part of me just died.) I’ve arranged to go to Nagano with a few American and Japanese friends over the break to learn snowboarding. I’m looking forward to it – it’ll be my first real go at winter sports, and it makes up for not going skiing with the family when I was back home for Christmas.

I have (to my shame) spent the weekend trapped in the hermetically-sealed bunker atmosphere of Seminar House 4, caught between desultory bouts of kanji memorisation and chatting on to similarly non-motivated students. Have to get out and do more stuff. This semester’s going far quicker than I expected, and not in a good way.


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