Moving Three Months

I still new to blogging and just realized I could make a separate blog attached to my wordpress account, so I will be moving my “Three Months” posts to its own blog, which you can access in the link below:

http://threemonthstolearnjapanese.wordpress.com/

My hope for: Three Months

After college, I plan to become a foreign language teacher. I just started seriously thinking about what I am going to do with these three months. The whole three months thing is ironic since it is the concept of one of the language learning websites I follow (http://www.fluentin3months.com/).

I recently became really motivated to begin my studies and I have written out a lot of my intended study plan. It feels a little weird to me, but I used my Japanese professors’ syllabus layout as a model for my intended study plan. Of course most of the table is blank, but I had a good idea, more or  less, what I will be doing everyday.

Unfortunately, I have a lot of information to get through, approximately two and a half textbooks, but I am feeling optimistic and ambitious right now. So, I plan to see how things go and readjust my syllabus as needed. My hope for this blog is that it will be a place for me to track my progress and record what worked and what did not for me in terms of studying Japanese.

I’ve decided to update this post with the link to where I’m moving this blog idea, since most people who find me on WordPress find this blog first: Three Months to Learn Japanese.

Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

Going to Japan has been a long time dream of mine. In middle school, I started teaching myself Japanese, albeit not very well, and in high school, I took formal Spanish classes. Eventually, I decided to become a foreign language teacher because I thought, what else can you do with a language major. Of course, now I know better.

In approximately three months, I will be going to Japan. I am a little scared to go. I do not think that I am academically prepared for the trip. My Japanese is not as good as it should be, so I plan to take these three months and use them to improve my Japanese language skills in order to be able to make the most of my study abroad experience. I do not want to be an English-speaking international student that gets away with speaking English most of the time and barely uses their Japanese language skills.

I have always thought that if I did not have so many other classes besides my language classes that I could really improve my foreign language skills. So, it is time to put my money, or rather my free time, where my mouth is…or something like that. I will be using this blog page as a place to chronicle my language growth over the next three months in preparation for my study abroad experience and I may write in either Spanish or Japanese in addition to English. I might continue this blog when I go to Japan as well, but nothing is for certain right now.

Spring Break

Spring Break is over. It seems that every college and university has a different Spring Break. It does not last very long and it seems to just be a period of time where students do not have class, but still have assignments to work on. Luckily for me, I took all of my midterms before Spring Break. I think most of my friends agree that having midterms before break rather than afterwards is better. I admit that I was very stressed and sleep deprived during the weeks that I had midterms, especially before the week of Spring Break.

Stress is both a positive and negative thing. It can make us sit down and complete our work, or at least work more efficiently, or it can be harmful to our bodies. For me, when I am really stressed, I get really bad headaches. My head pounds and I feel miserable and unmotivated to continue working. A healthy dose of stress is good, but sometimes stress unavoidable and we cannot control the circumstances that produce our stress. The only thing we can control is how we react to stress.

Some things I suggest to manage stress:

  • sleep or at least take a nap
  • drink tea, such as chamomile
  • take a break (you cannot work non-stop and our attention spans are short)
  • exercise
  • do yoga
  • listen to music (especially up-beat, instrumental or your favorite songs)

Etiquette Dinner

One of the great things about going to college is the different types of opportunities you can take advantage of. I joined (GAA) General Alumni Association, the biggest student organization on campus and a network of UNC current students and alumni, during my first year of college. I was not sure what I was signing up for, but I am glad I made the decision as a first year student. Being in GAA has allowed me to participate in many different opportunities, such as eating with alumni and other students in Chapel Hill, at a dinner with twelve heels and enjoying a barbecue with other GAA students.

Recentlly, I had the opportunity to go to a business etiquette dinner, to learn proper eating etiquette during a professional dinner. I do not know what type of jobs I may have in the future, so this is another opportunity to better myself and hopefully save me from possible future embarrassment. I have participated in etiquette dinners before, but etiquette is not something that most people practice daily and it is always good to be reminded of what proper etiquette is, because etiquette can change and people forget things easily.

Some things I learned during the etiquette dinner:

  • Find a coat room for your coat or umbrella. Small purses can be put under the table or your chair. Do not cross your legs under the table, you may hit someone.
  • Fold your napkin in your lap and only use it to wipe your mouth.
  • Wait until everyone is served to eat at a small table (of about six people or less) or wait until someone says that it is ok for you to go ahead and eat at a larger function.
  • When eating, start from the outside and work your way in, when using silverware.
  • On your right, you should have your water, tea or wine cups. Also, there should be all the silverware that has about five letters, such as spoon(s) and knife (knives).
  • On your left, you have your forks, such as your salad and entree forks.
  • Above your serving area (eating area) there may be a dessert fork.
  • You will have a bread and butter dish towards your left, above your silverware and adjacent to your dessert fork.
  • It is a good idea to learn how to eat with chopsticks.

Rules to follow in general:

  • When in doubt, look at what everyone else is doing.
  • Stay away from contraversial topics such as money and politics. Stick to safe conversations that should not offend anyone.
  • If you are not paying, do not order the most expensive or cheapest thing on the menu. Ask your host/hostess what they would suggest.
  • Do not get drunk, only drink maybe one cup.
  • Remember this is not about food, but about your meeting (for a scholarship, job, internship etc.)
  • If you are paying, do not let your guest see the wine menu. You can preorder wine before you have the meeting or just omit it. Do not forget to find out your guests’ dietary restrictions.
  • Do not just talk about yourself, ask questions and listen to others.
  • Send a thank you note or email as a follow-up and as a way to add any information you forgot to share during the meeting.
  • Do not forget to thank your servers and your host/hostess.

For additional etiquette information, GAA sent me this website, which included examples of dress codes, such as what constitutes as casual or business casual.

If you have any etiquette advice, please comment below.

Two years after…a short reflection

About two years after I made this blog, something told me to come back to it. I can honestly say that what I wrote here, in my past posts, is inspirational and it has made me realize how much my goals have changed and how much I have changed since this blog was established. I think I would like to continue writing here as a way to chronicle my journey through college in an academic way.

It is a little funny that when I first started this blog, I had a vague idea of what my purpose for writing was and now that I have come back, I have a clearer idea of what I want to write about. From now one, I would like to write about college and other things that interest me, such as foreign languages. Essentially, I would like to use this blog as a way to chronicle and reflect on things that I observe or experience. I have probably forgotten a lot of the things I learned were a part of writing a professional blog, but I hope to maintain what I remember from two years ago.

In five years…

In five years, I will still be in college. Unfortunately for my career choice, I have to take a fifth year after obtaining my undergraduate degree to get my teaching license.  As an undergraduate college student, I plan to double major in East Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese, to major in Spanish and to minor in English. At the university of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, prospective teachers must first obtain a degree in their area of study and then take a fifth year to work towards their teaching license in North Carolina.

So in five years, I will still live in Chapel Hill, but I will have an undergraduate degree with two majors and a minor. I will still be an avid volunteer and an active scholar in all of my academic extracurricular activities. At Chapel Hill, I plan to join the Aikido club in order to learn the martial art, so in five years, I would like to know the basics of aikido or another martial arts.

During my first year at Chapel Hill, I will be living in the Spanish dorm.  Four years later, I would like to be able to speak Spanish at the conversational level. I will have studied abroad to a Spanish-speaking country and to Japan. Also after four or five years, I will apply to the JET or a similar foreign language program for English speakers to help teach English. The JET programs is a one year program in which young adults with degrees and are fluent in a language besides Japanese can take one of three positions. The position I want to participate in is the ALT (Assistant language teacher) position. As an ALT, I would help teach English in a public school. So, I may be in the United States or overseas.

Hello world!

Hello world or Internet, I guess. I’m still confused about the purpose of my blog. Basically, I am suppose to use this as a way to keep all of my friends, family, peers etc. (the people that have helped me get this far) up to date with all of my adventures. Hopefully, this will allow them (you) and myself to learn more about me.

So, I decided to name this blog “Digging a little deeper” to go along  with its new appearance (I just changed it to Spring Loaded). Maybe, my audience and I can dig a little deeper and learn some things or this blog may turn out to be very entertaining, probably not.

Welcome to my blog.