The Semester End Rapidly Approaching

Hello everyone, I can’t believe that there is only one month left in this semester. Where did the time go?? If I am thinking correctly, USF classes will be ending soon and that means finals are coming up. I hope everyone has been able to get all of their studying in. 皆んなさん頑張ってください。These past two weeks have been pretty challenging for me as well. Recently, I feel as if I have had a test every day. I am pretty whipped but am enjoying every moment of it.

Two weekends ago, I went to Kyoto with my friend and we walked around for a few hours before sitting at Starbucks and chatting about learning languages. Earlier in the day, we went to a shrine that was surrounded by a lot of really great scenery. I think we were pretty lucky going on this day as well because we got to watch part of a traditional Japanese wedding. At first I could not see anything because the ceremony was being held in one of the shrine’s buildings but I could hear the musicians playing very traditional Japanese music. 15 minutes later, the bride and groom dressed in traditional Japanese clothing called Kimonos, came out of the building. There were a handful of professional photographers that were taking pictures. I of course wanted to take a picture to post on my blog, so…When I walked over near the other photographers, the groom saw me he started to laugh. I smiled and took a few pictures before returning back to my friend.

One of the most exciting things that happened this week was receiving my guitar from America. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I joined a music circle at Kansai Gaidai and the members always bring guitars, basses, violins, etc. I brought my guitar to Kansai Gaidai for the first time this week. I must say that I already made a lot of new friends and have taken a fair amount of photos with people who watched me play. Today I played guitar outside of the international student building and a violinist came over and began playing next to me as well. We talked for a while and played our instruments together. After the class bell rang, all of the Japanese students and foreign exchange students were wondering around outside and we had quite the crowd of people around us watching. I even had one of the Japanese professors sit next to me and watch me play for a while. I had a blast!

A few days ago, while I was doing homework in the dinning room at my host families house, my homestay mother was practicing her painting. Wow…she is seriously amazing. She told me she has been taking painting lessons for almost 9 years now and has one lesson every two weeks. She was practicing painting a flower and a few other things. She painted 4 flowers in about 12 minutes or so. I will post the picture in this blog. There are also many of her paintings hanging in frames around the house. Maybe this week I will take some pictures of them and post them here for the next blog.

This weekend I am going to be super busy writing papers and working on a presentation. Next week I will be giving an 8 minute speech in Japanese that I need to memorize. I am pretty nervous about giving the presentation because 8 minutes is a pretty long time when speaking a different language. I find my Japanese speaking class more difficult than the writing class. Most people I have talked to at Kansai Gaidai have the opposite opinion. However, I absolutely love being in my Japanese speaking class. My professor is hilarious all of the time and makes learning Japanese very fun. He also makes good use of his PowerPoint presentations by adding a lot of interesting pictures and mini skits.

In other news, I just took a big test in my writing class and got a 46.4/50 on it. I have come to enjoy this class much more as the semester progressed because many of the grammar points and vocabulary we learn in this class are used in daily conversation.

Well, that is pretty much everything that has happened over the past two weeks on my end. From here on out, I am planning on finishing the semester off strong and continuing my studies every day. I hope everyone does well on there finals at USF.

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