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12 June 2010 @ 10:49 am
Hello from glouriously green vermont!  
So it turns out I don't have to take the language pledge until 9 am tomorrow, so until 8:59 (and 59 seconds) I'm reveling in as much English as I can!!

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!
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on June 12th, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
Have a great time! I'll look forward to your wordless posts (and maybe try google translator now and again if the results aren't too hideous.)
my monkied brain: tara - happy to see youkatekat1010 on June 12th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
thanks darlin! i will be trying my best! and google translator and babblefish both are pretty utterly dreadful. if you want to do word by word there's a firefox extension called rikaichan that you can download, but other than that... yeah. ;)
Malmalnpudl on June 12th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
Such an amaaaaazing adventure! I'm so pleased for you.

I think the image idea is fantastic.

I wish you a very rich summer.
my monkied brain: tara - happy to see youkatekat1010 on June 12th, 2010 11:26 pm (UTC)
thank you so much darling woman! it is exciting! and terrifying! images seem to have definitely won, so I'll be doing that. I hope you have a fabulous summer too! *hugs*
Hepcat: Dean/Sam/Road OT3 all_at_oncenwhepcat on June 12th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
I would love beautiful pix!

My BFF was in that program for Italian (and years later, French). I would entertain her with postcards with random words in Italian all over it, and some stilted sentences I could figure out.

There's an urban legend about a couple learning different languages there, who got into a car accident and died, and the faculty were all tsk tsk that the last words one of them spoke was in English!
my monkied brain: xander - excitedkatekat1010 on June 12th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
ok, urban legend? awesome! and wow, i envy the language ability of your friend - i have enough to contemplate on my journey with only japanese, but two languages?

oh, and beautiful pix it is!
kivrin on June 12th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Truth in advertising - they don't call 'em the Green Mountains for nothing!

Have a fantastic time - I hear there's Ben & Jerry's ice cream in the dining hall. :)
my monkied brain: tara - happy to see youkatekat1010 on June 12th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
i didn't realize you were in vermont!! and you are SO right about the green mountains!!! i don't even have words!
thank you so much dear one! I will have to be on the look out for the ice cream too.
kivrin on June 12th, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC)
I'm not - I live in Philadelphia - but both sides of my family are from VT, so I've spent a lot of time there over the years, and I love it. Currently I have family in Burlington and friends near Brattleboro (in the south.)

I'm thinking good language-y thoughts for you as the pledge period approaches!
literate and stylish: love ameliemishloran on June 12th, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
so far I haven't met anyone who's doing CIA language training

Surely if they told you, they'd have to kill you?

...Also, I did not vote in the poll, because Japanese is totally beyond me, but if you're posting then I don't want to miss out (ha ha, I am needy!) but - your photo idea is RAD! And then at the end you could tell us in English what the photos are of, if they're odd'uns ;)

Enjoy in your superior foreign language skills, you crazy Japanese Texan, you! xxxxx Happy summer!
my monkied brain: Mish Rockskatekat1010 on June 12th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
Surely if they told you, they'd have to kill you?

oooo, POINT!

also, i think i'm going open posting just because i can be my own tie breaker! and photos it is!

thank you darling! enjoy your crazy dead language skills yourself ok? xxxxxxxooooooo
(no subject) - shehasathree on June 12th, 2010 09:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
my monkied brain: tara - happy to see youkatekat1010 on June 12th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
thank you! i know what class i'm in now, but i'm not sure what material we'll be covering (we'll see tomorrow) (so still, i wait).

and pictures it totally is! it's a good thing they invented the digital camera!

(and happy winter to you dear lady - and happy writing. i'll be sending productive thoughts your way when i have a moment)
missus_gracemissus_grace on June 13th, 2010 01:58 am (UTC)
Good luck! Can't wait to hear all about it ;)
your royal pie-nessentrenous88 on June 13th, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
I imagine you can't answer back in English as of now, but have a wonderful time being immersed in all of this! <333
seldomifeverseldomifever on June 13th, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
OK, for some reason I missed that you'd be in Vermont this summer. I thought you were going to Japan again. Hope you have a great time!
What Is A "Witch": dare -- rollickwitchway on July 2nd, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC)
I HATE to bother you
while you are doing your (super cool) RL thing, but I wanted your permision to use your (amazing) picture "Young Gods" to illustrate my poem here:


Picture fully credited to you, of course.

If you were to answer this question in another language, I would happily use google to translate.

THANK YOU!!!!!!! (also thanx for the cool fics your banners pointed me to. Great reading!)
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on July 7th, 2010 03:07 pm (UTC)
Re: I HATE to bother you
yes lady, it's totally fine - sorry it took me so long to get back to you i'm not checking internets all the time. good luck!
Lostgirllostgirlslair on July 4th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
I knew that program had to be starting soon! Good luck, sweetie, I know you'll do great! And call me when you can speak English again!!! :D
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on July 7th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
&hearts &hearts &hearts (more when i speak english regularly again!)