I had an appointment with an academic adviser today during which I was supposed to find out the results of my placement test and discuss briefly what my options for study are going to be. Well that was all fine and wonderful I thought, the directions were pretty simple if a little vague: 6F South Building at 10:00am. So I arrived at campus at about 9:40, plenty of time to find the place. I went to the building on the map labeled South School building and walked up the stairs only to find that there was no 6th floor, at least not accessible to me. The elevator looked like it might have a sign that said students are supposed to take the stairs, but I figure i can get away with “I can’t read this sign! I don’t know japanese yet” So i took the elevator down, so then I went into another building which was on the same side of campus and went to the 6th floor to find that there was nothing happening there… So i go down and ask someone which building it was in my best japanese… to get the response of the building I had already looked in. So i go back to that building look again, try to get to the 6th floor which I believe was just attic space, find out it’s locked, go back down exasperated and decide to go to the International center and ask since it’s now 10:00 and I don’t know where it is. I get to the building with the international center in it and see a sign that says Academic Interviews are upstairs….
To the best of my knowledge this building that I was in was in NO WAY the south building, if anything it was the WEST building… I was kind of pissed but I still go upstairs and in japanese apologize for being late and am guided into the office of my academic adviser. At last!
Turns out the interview was primarily in Japanese, but she told me I was in level 3, which was satisfactory to me. Level 3 students are supposed to be at the top end of elementary Japanese (by japanese standards) At WM I was in Intermediate Japanese, but that really doesn’t mean much in terms of actually being able to express oneself adequately, especially since we rarely have opportunities to practice speaking and listening. The adviser asked me to do a self introduction in Japanese which I’m guessing is because by level 3 we should be able to do a pretty good self introduction. So I said that my name was Mark Johnson, I’m majoring in linguistics at the college of William and Mary, and I said I want to play guitar (oops!) I meant to say… I like to play guitar… thinking in english has it’s downsides when your mouth is speaking a different language. Then she asked me what kind of music do I like to play and I said.. Folk and Bluegrass, but since she didn’t know what Bluegrass was I tried to express it to her but it ended up being a mixture of english and Japanese because it’s just hard to express bluegrass in Japanese… Anyway she was really nice and accommodating of my trips and blunders in spoken japanese and we sorted everything I was supposed to do out pretty well.
So that’s that, now I can figure out what other classes I’m gonna take. Woohoo!