Thursday, October 9, 2014

Understanding Fukunari-sensei

Wakuwaku continues and in its numerous spaces and ongoing repetition, I've found a large amount of time to work on Japanese.  Today was another fruitful lesson, with far too many pieces of homework to give and receive.  And in the midst of all this, our own exchanges of increased understanding were filled with more meaning, more humor, more shared experience.  As a follow-up question to one of my reading practices, I had to write about things that I collected and somebody I knew that collected things.     I told her I like to collect maps of the places I've been; and she told me how she enjoyed watching travel programs, seeing the beautiful cities of Europe, how she'd like to visit them.  I told her that my grandfather collected rocks and geodes because his son is a geologist; and she told me that her son is also a geologist and how he loved rocks as a little boy and used to put them all over the place.

As I left, Fukunari-sensei remarked on how much studying I was doing and asked me how much time I spent everyday.  Not entirely sure and bit embarrassed I just told her that I study when I'm free and that I have a lot of free time now.  There's something really fun about studying Japanese in Japan.  I don't really have a reason to be doing it, other than for the fun of it, of learning to open my ears and simply listen, of untangling meaning, of putting together pieces of a puzzle, of encouraging incomprehension to gradually melt away.  And in the midst of all this, to be able to speak with and understand more people in the world.

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