i have to write much about my first Japanese class at the Ottawa Japanese Language School. but that comes later tonite, after the group meeting for 304. meanwhile, you can look at this picture of the OTrain arriving at Carleton.
three hour breaks between classes is pretty bad. but it gives one the opportunity to catch up on things that one was supposed to have done earlier but was too lazy or too distracted. i’ve returned the 207/208 textbook to dooh’s friend who, apparently, borrowed it from his friend and is now going to hand it to yet another friend. i need that textbook for my 208 course but rainman says he has one and will lend it to me for this term. soon, i hope. the prof’s name is Melkonian and i keep thinking of the words “Melenkurion abatha” from Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever (Stephen R. Donaldson) series of novels. The glossary at the back of the books defines these words as “phrase of invocation or power.”
the japanese class on saturday was exciting. the teacher, masako-sensei, is pretty good at teaching and being pretty. i saw her going down the stairs as i was going up and she greeted me with “ohayo gozaimasu” and all i could do was reply “hello”. dooh is in the class with me. naraku was supposed to take it as well but that fat little man is too lazy to wake up early on saturdays. his excuse is that he cannot take this course on top of the courses he is taking in college… yes college.. college as in highschool-type easy courses.. hah i say.. hah.
the class is about eight groups of three people in each group. i am with dooh and an elderly man named sebastien. there are a few students, only one oriental, in class and the rest are all western.
that is one of naraku’s reasons for not joining
the first thing we did in class was to stand up and greet your fellow students. “hajimimashite” means “hello, how are you ?”, “sikander desu” means “i am sikander”, and “dozoyoroshiku” means “nice to meet you”. the ceremony ends with a bow, men keep their hands with palms open beside their hips while women cross their hands in front of them while bowing. it was a pretty nice ceremony and we got to meet other people.
after the greeting ceremony sensei (i love that word) gave us some handouts and went through some basic japanese grammar structures. the wa-desu, wa-desu-ka, and wa-no-desu pairs. we tried some hiragana writing after the 15 minute break. writing japanese is very very hard. i think i can learn how to speak and understand the language well but writing is going to be a pain.
we had our first major 304 Group meeting on sunday evening. all four of us meet here in the HP Computer labs and spent more than 4 hours talking about the requirements and design for the Project (60% of final mark). we now have a general overview of the system we will be building for the course. all the links between the different physical entities have been identified and defined thoroughly, at least we’d like be believe that they are. the only thing is that i can’t see how this system will be built in Rational Rose RealTime. learning how to use that software is going to be one of the major obstacles in this course.
i went to the carleton gym for the first time this last friday. we, mythist and i, stayed there for a little more than half an hour. i went on the treadmill, biceps-machine, calves-machine, stomach-machine, and chest-machine… i don’t know what their official names are :( and of course the next two days my muscles hurt like the devil. they burned and ached ! but i enjoyed it much and i plan to go regularly now. the only problem is where to change into gym wear. entering the Mens Changing Room to encounter a swarm of nekkid people all over the place is horrifying and extremely disgusting. “sikander, relax relax.” i guess i will have to change elsewhere and then simply wash-up afterwards.. no showering there for me.. no no no.