The Slightly Longer Way Series - Table of Contents
|Day 0 – Friday, May 05 2023 to Sunday, May 07 2023
|Flight from Edmonton to Tokyo
|Day 1 – Monday, May 08 2023
|Train from Tokyo to Kyoto
|Day 2 – Tuesday, May 09 2023
|RSJP Orientation Day
|Day 3 – Wednesday, May 10 2023
|Placement test, Kinkakuji/Golden Pavilion
|Day 4 – Thursday, May 11 2023
|Kyo-Yuzen Dyeing Workshop
|Day 5 – Friday, May 12 2023
|Mori Touki-ken Pottery Workshop
|Day 6 – Saturday, May 13 2023
|Ichihime Shrine, Nishiki Market
|Day 7 – Sunday, May 14 2023
|Nara, Todaiji Temple
|Day 8 – Monday, May 15 2023
|Day 9 – Tuesday, May 16 2023
|Day 10 – Wednesday, May 17 2023
|Day 11 – Thursday, May 18 2023
|Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street, Tsubomi
|Day 12 – Friday, May 19 2023
|Day 13 – Saturday, May 20 2023
|Kamogawa River, Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai
|Day 14 – Sunday, May 21 2023
|Shimogoryo Shrine Kankosai
|Day 15 – Monday, May 22 2023
|Day 16 – Tuesday, May 23 2023
|Ritsumeikan Library, Hama Sushi
|Day 17 – Wednesday, May 24 2023
|Domoto Insho House, Kamogawa, Ichijoji
|Day 18 – Thursday, May 25 2023
|Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Hama Sushi (with Kel)
|Day 19 – Friday, May 26 2023
|Day 20 – Saturday, May 27 2023
|Day 21 – Sunday, May 28 2023
|Demachi Masugata Shopping Street, a long walk home
|Day 22 – Monday, May 29 2023
|Day 23 – Tuesday, May 30 2023
|Kyoto International Manga Museum
|Day 24 – Wednesday, May 31 2023
|Day 25 – Thursday, Jun 01 2023
|Day 26 – Friday, Jun 02 2023
|Final Presentation, Taiko Lab
|Day 27 – Saturday, Jun 03 2023
|Kusatsu-Juku Honjin, Lake Biwa Museum, Omi Hachiman (with Zian)
|Day 28 – Sunday, Jun 04 2023
|Omi Hachiman City Museum, Omi Jingu (with Zian)
|Day 29 – Monday, Jun 05 2023
|Day 30 – Tuesday, Jun 06 2023
|Day 31 – Wednesday, Jun 07 2023
|Final exam, Osaka, Manga Cafe (with Zian)
|Day 32 – Thursday, Jun 08 2023
|Osaka, Namba (with Zian)
|Day 33 – Friday, Jun 09 2023
|RSJP Graduation Day
|Day 34 – Saturday, Jun 10 2023
|Leaving Zian, Train from Kyoto to Tokyo, Ikebukuro
|Day 35 – Sunday, Jun 11 2023
|Shibuya, duo MUSIC EXCHANGE
|Day 36 – Monday, Jun 12 2023
|Shinjuku, Sakura House, Sophia University
|Day 37 – Tuesday, Jun 13 2023
|Day 38 – Wednesday, Jun 14 2023
|Flight from Tokyo to Edmonton
Monday, May 29 2023 (Day 22)
Zian keeps a long list of suggested places to eat at, populated by random Buddies and Mr Tanaka‘s, on her phone. I don’t think we’ve even gone through a third of them yet, and we don’t exactly have a lot of time left! Though I hope she isn’t passing on opportunities to go to them if I’m not around or anything like that.
It was raining for almost the entirety of today from 10 am or so onwards, and it will apparently be raining for most of the week as well, with the exception of Wednesday, which is also the only other day besides today where we don’t have an after-class event. We’ll see how accurate the weather forecast is, I suppose.
Today is Monday, and yet again this means a new weekly menu in the Ritsumeikan cafeteria! The new menu, posted on the cafeteria walls, looks like this:
Our semi-usual 100-yen breakfast (which hasn’t changed) was this:
And lunch was this:
I had two new items, the Buta Sukini soup and the Shishamo Furai fried fish thing on the leftmost column of the new menu. Both were amazingly good, especially the soup. I could go for this every day…
Class today started with a quiz that went rather badly, the reason being that a bunch of the kanji recognition questions seemed to be taken directly from the textbook from places that we weren’t told to study from, and this is something that I am going to complain about in the end-of-program survey. The issue goes as follows.
We had been given printed vocabulary lists on a piece of paper for the first two chapters that we did, Chapter 1 and Chapter 5, and those two quizzes went perfectly fine. This third quiz was a combined quiz for Chapters 6 and 7, and I had asked Mr Katsuki (as he was the presiding teacher that day when I noticed and asked) last Monday why we didn’t have a vocab list for Chapter 6. So he literally pointed me/us to the back of the textbook where there was a vocabulary list chapter already, and also pointed out correctly that the Chapter 1 vocab list that we were given was a direct photocopy of that vocab list anyway. (Our Chapter 5 list was custom-made and had a couple of extra words added)
I preferred the printed vocab lists anyway because if I’m trying to study somewhere that isn’t the classroom or my apartment, a piece of paper is a lot easier to carry around, but whatever. Fine. I have my own notebook anyway, so I transcribed the lists from the textbook into my notebook, and used that to study from. And today, after he commented that I had left several of the kanji-to-furigana questions blank, I pointed out that none of them were on the list at the back of the book that I had studied from, and he said, oh, you should have studied from the chapter worksheet that we were given, as the back of the book only has “new” vocabulary (I assume the missing vocabulary words were in the chapters that we had skipped, or something).
This was frustrating. Dear Mr Katsuki, a) You LITERALLY TOLD ME a week ago to use the back of the book for the vocab list to study from, and b) There has NEVER been any instructions from ANY of the teachers to use the worksheet as a main source to study from, vocab list or otherwise, as opposed to the textbook, and NOW you tell me we’re supposed to use the worksheet to study from??? Combine this with the fact that we don’t have time to study everything, since this is already a compressed course and you teachers are also throwing the presentation, an essay, that stupid thank-you skit on the final day, and expecting us to go out and do stuff during our free time as well, and I feel like these teachers are being extremely unprepared and/or just making rules up on the fly.
Yes, I’d love to study every single aspect of each chapter, but no, we don’t have time to do so. I did study a fair amount for the quiz, and I even brought my notebook with me on my long walk yesterday to study a bit more (on the bus etc), but there was already double the amount of content to study for for this quiz, and you were setting us (or at least me) up for failure. And it wasn’t just me — case in point, the other students had to clarify during the quiz what a word that was gatekeeping a long-answer written question was, even though that word was on the worksheet, because no one else had studied from the sheet either. And great, so now I/we know for the future anyway, but there aren’t any more quizzes left, since Chapter 8 is just going to be on the final but does not have a separate quiz of its own, and we aren’t doing any other chapters.
Anyway, I probably didn’t fail, although I didn’t do much better than that, and ultimately this whole RSJP thing is just a pass/fail and no one is seriously going to actually fail the thing if they try, but it feels pretty horrible when the teachers waste our time by not telling us what to study. This sort of happened for Chapter 1 too, since we were not told the format of the quiz and what to concentrate on even when we asked, so I ended up studying and memorizing how to write kanji, for example, since one of the senseis had mentioned needing to “know kanji”, which ended up not being on the test at all. At least for that one it was still early on and was just one chapter anyway so overstudying didn’t hurt.
That end of program survey is going to be really fun.
Despite all that quiz nonsense, I actually had a good class, Mr Katsuki is overall a pretty funny and great teacher and the class outside of the quiz wasn’t bad at all. We also handed in our essay from last Thursday for feedback, and as I suspected, my topic about studying again in Tokyo in Fall was perfectly acceptable to Mr Katsuki, even if it wasn’t to Ms Hara “because it’s not about your dream job” or “you cannot have a dream of continuing to study” or whatever nonsense she came up with last week. I did make a small change, funnily enough, to rename the essay from Shourai no Yume (My Future Dream) to Shourai no Koto (About My Future), since the title wasn’t really written down in stone in our notes or anything anyway, and I don’t know if that helped blunt the “That’s not a yume!!” criticism she had or not.
But I sure as hell was not going to waste my weekend time on rewriting an essay because a teacher was being pedantic, when we have so much other stuff to do already, especially when the essay was worth 0% of our final mark anyway because it was just for writing feedback, and I was very happy that I was completely right on this count. This made up for the disappointment and annoyance over the quiz, actually. Also, I learnt that I was ahead on my presentation progress, as none of the other three students in my class had finished their script yet.
For lunch, only Zian and I went to the Buddy classroom for lunch today. This was probably partly due to the rain — no one wanted to lug cafeteria food through the rain, I think — but it was really good food this week! Four of the eight in our cohort went to a ramen shop at the invitation of another buddy that I didn’t know (and that we weren’t invited by the Buddy for, so it felt odd to shove our way in even when Zian and I heard them talking about it, though I think Aurora sort of invited us to it if we wanted). One of the other two went to grab something and wait for a tutoring session after lunch, while the last one likely just had food in the cafeteria itself and then left back for their hotel after that.
There were also only four Buddies in the classroom today at its peak though, although one also left early so most of the lunchtime conversation was between Zian and I and the other three buddies. None of the Case Western students, nor the other University (I think they were from Michigan and had 22 students or so and their teacher in tow), were there either, although another group of four or five, led by a different Buddy, did briefly stop by as part of orientation — it looks like Ritsumeikan has a constant revolving door of short-term study abroad programs coming in and out, which is honestly sort of neat to see. It must be really interesting being a Buddy here and getting to constantly meet new people.
I would like to honour the Buddies that came by to chat with us today by listing their names down as well, but I don’t think I actually know all of them. There were three of them in total, one guy and two girls, and the guy was a 4th year student in Law, Takahashi Genji, I think. He’s been around a fair amount and was a very familiar face to me. I did recognize the other two girls by face as well but not name. One is Miyu and the other is Kotone, according to their Instagrams, and I believe that both are in the Literature Club, and that they’re a second year and first year respectively even though they’re born in the same year and only 3 months apart, due to where the school year cutoff for registration was or something.
But anyway neither one of them is listed in my data notebook, which I believe means that they have not actually come along with us to any after-school programs yet, so they haven’t been forced by Mr Tanaka to do introductions yet, which in turn is where I get most of my names from!
Zian and I went home after lunch — I walked for 6 hours yesterday and did 20k steps in that meantime, but she apparently had it even worse, she spent the weekend exploring some temples in Mt Koya near Osaka, staying in a temple there over the weekend to boot, and walking some 36k steps across hills yesterday or perhaps over the two days combined or something. So she declared the need for an afternoon nap and I concurred. We walked out 10 minutes or so to the main artery road, Nishioji Dori, that led south through the city and back to our home, and caught the bus from there. Coincidentally, after boarding the 205 bus, we met Aurora on the bus, on her way back from the Ramen shop that they had went to, and we had a chat with her before we reached our stop. Great timing!
There isn’t much else to say from there. I didn’t want to go out again in the evening due to the rain, so when Zian stopped by the local 7-Eleven to pick up some food, I did as well, grabbing a dinner bento to heat up later, a bowl of instant noodles as a snack, and yet another new bottle of tea.
I also passed a building that was being demolished in the rain, it had been covered with a tarp the last couple of weeks but I guess they felt that today was a good day to start the actual deconstruction somehow. Nonetheless, it was an interesting and rare sight to capture.
When I got home, I heard that Satinel had almost finished making her new game submission for another game development jam that was going on, and was looking for play testers, so I tried to play it, but it didn’t run very well on my terrible and oversized laptop. That’s fine though, I can always wait until I get home to play it. Just can’t help with the actual feedback process before the game jam is over.
I was tired enough that I took a two and a half hour nap once I settled in, and then woke up a bit disoriented, before starting on this blog post. Now, even though I basically did nothing extra on the day, I have an overly long blog post anyway.