I made it! After a red eye flight to NYC where the two guys next to me both declared they couldn't sleep on planes and so proceeded to talk (one guy was a DP and the other was from back East visiting family and yes, I know that AND more about them because they were speaking in their regular awake voices and DID NOT SHUT UP). I managed to pull a couple of hours despite that, and slept on the short hop from NYC to Burlington even though the kid behind me kept deliberately putting the seat table up and then letting it drop and bounce to amuse herself. At least it was jet blue and I got to catch the Daily Show & Colbert on my way out. Somehow it's more soothing to take off when you're being amused by comfort TV.
Lurching off the plane I saw a woman holding a sign with my name on it - because there's a car service that specializes in lugging students the hour drive. I sat up front so I could see all the OH MY GOD FREAKISHLY GREEN Vermontian countryside. WOW is it cute. WOW is it green. Like they need to invent new words for all the shades kind of green.
Spent the rest of yesterday trying to fend off fatigue (read: slight dizzy spells from time to time, a little vertigo, and fuzzy contacts) while meeting the people who live on my hall and the people in the Japan program. While I'm not looking forward to dinning hall food for the next months, the food they have seems to be at least mildly interesting and sort of healthy, and we have to walk halfway across the campus to get lunch and dinner so at least that's something.
We all have little pins that have our school initials on them (JA for japanese), and we're supposed to wear them all the time so others will know why we're not speaking english, and so strangers can (apparently) walk up to us and speak to us in the correct language. I've already been in stilted conversations with teachers and some amusing 'talk japanese in a texas accent / like the godfather ' discussions with the women I've been hanging around with, but it's going to be very interesting post 9 am tomorrow!
The people here come from all over - so far I haven't met anyone who's doing CIA language training (unsurprising since they're all probably doing chinese not japanese), but several teachers who do first level but want to teach higher level classes and a bunch of grad students. I haven't met the 'oh i just love anime' people yet, probably because they're not on my floor. We're the 'older' floor according to the housing coordinator, so I'm not the oldest by a long stretch, nor am I the youngest.
Placement tests were this morning and while gruelling I ACTUALLY KNEW THINGS. I didn't know everything, not by a long shot, but it wasn't as painful as I was expecting it to be. Also, though, multiple choice. And while we don't know results or placements yet, I have hope I'm not going to be dumped into the same class I've been taking for years. Small hopes, but hopes nonetheless.
So one of the solutions I was considering to the whole 'posting in japanese' thing (since the poll seemed to go neck and neck yesterday) was that I'd post a photo of something interesting or pretty or reflective of my emotional state. Then you'd know without reading -- and put all the Japanese behind a cut. That's not going to be too painful is it? Hopefully not - mass defriending would make me sad. :)
oh, and did I mention the college is beautiful? freakishly picture postcard beautiful. They even have adirondack chairs spread all over the uber-green lawns here. Picture forthcoming, once there's some sun in the sky to take it with.
Unless i get a bug up my butt this evening, this is me, signing off in english, telling you guys that I'll try and keep up as i can but I adore you all even if I'm not around to comment and say so! AND HAPPY SUMMER!