Placement and orientation.

Today was the first day I actually did something at Yamasa that wasn’t paying them. (Okay, I technically paid them for something, but that wasn’t the only thing.)

See, yesterday was also a free day, and I started to think maybe I should get in touch with them about my placement test, and I should probably pay, so I headed over there in the morning to ask. Turns out that’s all stuff people do on Thursdays, along with orientation. While I was there, however, I went ahead and paid them, which was truly painful. I was told to be at Aoi Hall before nine today, and after they placed me, I’d buy my books.

I spent the rest of my day walking around. Had a shrimp cutlet (“Ebi-Filet-O”) at McDonald’s in the Aeon Mall, found chicken-curry Umaibou for individual sale, and took an extra shower because I was so gross from the humidity. This kind of muggy weather, combined with my largely-sedentary nature, worked to knock me out by around seven, and when I awoke, I chose to just stay in bed and make sure I was well-rested for today. That got blown to hell when three days of sleeping on a futon finally caught up with my back. It got so bad, I had to get up.

After having plenty of time to get ready for my first day, I arrived early at Aoi Hall, fed and ready. Only I didn’t know where to go, really. The near side was the radio station. I finally asked an older gentleman walking by, and he directed me to the common room. After almost ten minutes after nine, I knew there’d been a mistake, and went to the administrative building to ask. Turns out I needed to be upstairs, not down; I’d missed the greeting and self-introduction, and they’d already begun the test. Frustrated, I apologized and started writing.

After the written test, there was an oral interview, in which the teacher, Suga-sensei, suggested I be placed in the third level (of four, the fourth being “intermediate”). She asked if there was anything specific I’d like to learn, and I said I’d like to work on things like causative, passive, causative-passive, kenjougo, sonkeigo, and a few odds and ends. She seemed pleased, saying the level I’d be in covered those things. What will not be covered, however, are reading and writing; SILAC is for natural, technically-correct speaking and listening only.

I was given two hours before the orientation, which was way too much time. There’s a small supermarket down the street from the campus, so I took lunch there: a meal consisting of a fried egg, Salisbury steak, a few noodles, a few potato wedges, and (of course) rice. Afterward, I basically just killed time.

The orientation was basically a guy named Declan (who handles a lot of web-based admissions and coordination) giving us the short version of the printed information we were given, as well as a tour of the campus, which ended in the administrative office. I bought my books, said my goodbyes, and made my way back. The rest of the day is mine, and I have no idea what to do.


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