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14 August 2010 @ 04:50 pm
It's over, and I'm home.... (Summer Memories Part I)  
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you and I were sitting face to face and I
asked you, "What are the most important lessons you've learned these
last 11 months?", what would you tell me? I think you need this type of
experience: an intense and leisurely conversation with a good listener you
trust -- someone who will encourage you to articulate the major
developments in your life since your last birthday. Here are some other
queries I'd pose: 1. How have you changed? 2. What long-term process
needs to come to a climax? 3. What "school" are you ready to graduate

Funny  I should get a horoscope like this since I'm coming off one of the biggest lessons I've had in years.  I don't want to forget things about this experience, from the people to the place to everything.  I will write a little bit of this in Japanese in a second, but I've spent the last 9 weeks struggling to express myself in Japanese so I'm switching.  Of course, at the moment it's difficult to think in English too, so I'm assuming my wording will be a bit weird.  You're warned.

The best thing about the summer?  Three things come to mind - the fact that I had to speak Japanese every day during meals made it so I could actually express myself -- at the end there was a conversation with a teacher where I was actually talking about and trying to explain radical feminism and what the word patriarichy means and was able to do it.  My language wasn't perfect, but he understood anyway.  That walk back from Atwater dinning hall was probably one of my most proud moments - because I could make myself understood.  And it came on the heels of one of my most emotionally frustrated moments (during a conversation where I tried to explain to another sensei what the difference between cyberpunk and science fiction was and he just didn't get it... ).  I think the contrast made it all the more an achievement.

Second thing is Sara.  She was (is) a grad student from the west coast, working on pure literature, and she's older than me and had a family of her own and she kind of adopted me while at the same time calling me friend and I'm just glad that I me her - not only because her japanese was better than mine and she elevated every conversation's difficulty without making me feel uncomfortable about my knowledge gaps, but also because she dragged me swimming and checked on me when I was sick, and bounced ideas off of me when she was writing her papers and came into my room every day for 'tea time'.

Third thing is the grounds of Middlebury itself.  YOu want to talk about impeccably cool places to study, views that I looked at every morning that took my breath away, buildings that made me delighted to work in them, and even classrooms (despite the funky smell from time to time) that worked as beautiful spaces to learn.  I'll have the pictures up later for proof of that.
Shannon: Surprise!shannon730 on August 14th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
Welcome back! Glad you had a good summer. :)
my monkied brain: AI_kradam final hugkatekat1010 on August 14th, 2010 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks darling!!! It was indeed, and of course I'm totally beat and getting sick now, but at least sick at home!
EB: Queen of the Social Lepers: kate rocks (take 3)elizabuffy on August 14th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
WOOHOO!! You're home! I missed you so much!! (even though I freely admit I suck)

I'm glad you had a good time. I can't wait to catch up w/ you!

my monkied brain: EB Rockskatekat1010 on August 14th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
I MISSED YOU TOO!!!!!!!!!! (and why do you suck? you totally don't suck. EVER.)

and as soon as I don't feel like I'm gibbering inside my own head (cuz of course i'm getting sick) i'm calling you so we can spend a good long time actually catching up for real!!

LOVE YOU BB!!!!!!!
missus_grace: cheermissus_grace on August 15th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
You just did something pretty awesome and incredible.

Well done!

my monkied brain: xander - excitedkatekat1010 on August 15th, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
thank you lady!! it was totally insane but in a good way ... and hopefully today i'll have more up about it!

how was your summer? good?
missus_gracemissus_grace on August 17th, 2010 02:52 am (UTC)
I've been keeping us busy - playdates, parks, camping, and next week - Canada! Then school starts. Phew!
my monkied brain: buffy - red sexy [ntm]katekat1010 on August 17th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
OH MY GOSH that sounds like a busy schedule! I bet you're looking forward to the start of the fall semester! But then again, it also sounds like a fantastic bunch of family time.
literate and stylish: smart is sexy! Indy!mishloran on August 15th, 2010 06:10 am (UTC)

RE: Sarah - can I guess who she is from the group pic on FB? ;) :D
my monkied brain: _middleburywindowkatekat1010 on August 15th, 2010 02:36 pm (UTC)

and no, not really cuz she's not on facebook (we had like three different sarah's in class) but i do feel special that you're cyberstalkign me
literate and stylishmishloran on August 15th, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
Aww, 'cause I thought she might've been the girl you were glomping in this pic!
my monkied brainkatekat1010 on August 15th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
hahah good try, but no, that was this awesome woman Amoako! I did a lot of glomping
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on August 15th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC)
That sounds amazing; especially the development of your Japanese skills - sounds like an environment where you can really progress. I'm looking forward to the photos too: academe-pr0n is fun!
my monkied brain: buffywill - *glomp*katekat1010 on August 15th, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
it really was amazing. I don't think I've ever been in a program that that, and despite the difficulty I'm going to try to go back next year too - it really shifted everything into high gear in a way that being in the country didn't.

lol the photos aren't really all that academic, but i hope you like 'em! the post is coming today hopefully!!

how was your summer? it looks like you traveled a lot??
Arielkikucutie on August 16th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
I'm so happy to hear you had such a fulfilling time there. I've only ever heard amazing things about that program, so I'm happy you got a lot out of it.

I'm moving to Kyoto tomorrow, by the way, to go work at Q-Games. Have you ever spent time in Kyoto? Well, if you happen to be in town at some point, you'll have a place to stay. =) And I can take you around to all the best places to eat.
my monkied brain: _nihon_prayerskatekat1010 on August 17th, 2010 02:17 pm (UTC)
I may take you up on the Kyoto thing (well, if i can either scrape some money together or get into another language program there)! but either way, happy moving!!