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Thursday, 15 October 2015

Speaking at TUFS

On Monday, I went back to TUFS to talk about Kyudai to my current kouhai's. I honestly meant to talk about this sooner, but I fell sick the day I went back, and only stopped throwing up yesterday. As far as (what seems to be) a stomach flu goes, this case was pretty mild.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I was invited back by one of the teachers to talk to the humanities scholars currently studying Japanese. Since Nicholas was free, I dragged him along (bribed him with curry) because even if people don't want to listen to me, they'll want to listen to him, because of his school.

CURRY! I don't care if Kichijoji has better curry, this is where I had so many good memories. 
Since I've been at Kyudai for two and a half years, I haven't actually been able to meet any of my kouhai's. Except once, and that was my cousin. This time, though, I got to meet all four scholars studying in TUFS! I was talking with them all through lunch, and they were all really nice and attended my talk and asked loads of questions.

So after we finished talking to them, Nicholas and I basically agreed that this batch of scholars seems very likely to succeed wherever they go. They're all very sensible, and they're not planning to choose a university based on its name - that's the worst thing you can do. What you should do (and this is what my talk was basically about, and what Nicholas added when he came to answer questions), is to choose a university that suits you. Either the atmosphere, or there's a professor you really want to study under (please check that he's teaching, though!), or you find that you want to live in that town And don't forget the little things, like food, cost of living, and all that. Basically, reputation and ranking, while one of the considerations, should not be the only factor in the university choosing decision.

Apart from that, I also talked about the university (obviously), included campus, lesson schedules, things to be careful of (your credits. Be careful of your credits!!), zemi, and yes, I passed around my schedule and textbook. I heard of another student who came to speak and had a powerpoint slide (and apparently shared his timetable), so I decided to try and raise the level by bringing props.

Plus, I wanted to study on the train/plane.

Back to my Singaporean kouhai's - they're all lovely people, and I really hope they enjoy the rest of their stay, even if they don't come to Kyudai. I do hope someone from this batch comes though! Then maybe I can be invited back again (;

Singaporeans + Malaysian

 Apart of the excitement from talking to the kouhai's, just going back to TUFS was a sort of homecoming. I only spent a year there, but it was my first year, and I definitely grew a lot (and made a lot of awesome friends). The first photo I took was of the walkway, even though this is not the best season to take photos:

But I've missed the place, and I've missed the people. It's a bit of a shock to go back and realise that so many of the teachers are now gone or no longer teaching the scholars. Cutbacks and all that.

Oh yes, Naveen, you emailed me about the getting rid of humanities thing - I asked the teacher in charge, and he says while the government seems to be planning to reduce the humanities departments, it should not affect the scholarship. But we really don't know, because MEXT doesn't say anything.

Apart from walking around school, I also had my beloved cheese nan. I don't know why I can't find it in Fukuoka D:

My stomach definitely shrank though, I couldn't even finish half. Good thing I was sharing.

The last thing I did before leaving TUFS was to visit the Kendo club. There are so many first, second and third years now. I actually felt a bit strange walking up to the clubroom, because there are 3 people left that I know. But the kouhai's are generally nice, and some of them seemed to recognise me, I think because I visited a few times in my first year. So they went and got my friends (so weird to hear one of them being called 'senpai'), and we had a nice chat. I even managed to meet the kantoku!

I've seriously missed these people so much. They were my first Japanese friends, and they literally saw me 'grow' in terms of Japanese ability. Up till now, they still recall the days where I needed a translator pretty much all the time. And I remember how they would always teach me the nuances I didn't get. This was pretty much the only time I wished I had stayed on. But I can't, because TUFS doesn't have economics, and anyway, I like life in Kyudai.

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