It happened again today; I was standing in the first year class while they were being led into a new grammar pattern, and then the variety of Japanese students, some of them bored, some of them shikkari-ly writing in their notebooks, dissolved and was replaced with equally half-bored half-shikkari American kids learning Latin.
I guess you could say, for all my uncertainty, I’ve never been a frequent changer; slow and steady goes this entire procession.
I mean, it gets emended: now I’m thinking, well, maybe a full-time Latin teacher isn’t so sustainable in this world of budget cuts. But maybe someone who teaches Latin 1st, 2nd, and 4th hour, and Japanese 3rd and 5th might be in a different class, however slight that difference.
Then I try to imagine what that classroom would look like.
And in the end, it’s all kind of a selfish circuit – to pursue a job that would encourage—nay, require that I continue to pursue the things I already pursue, giving them form and meaning beyond today’s desire to learn one more thing in a world of interesting things. It would be silly to learn kanji, only to leave Japan in a little while and never look upon it again.
And maybe that’s what’ll happen, but I’m still going to study it (as slowly and steadily as I do). And I rather hope I continue to study it once I’ve left. I like words; I like what they can do. I like the feel and shape of some of them, their power. I like, now, the way that some kanji look, how they pack in meaning. I bet Japanese poetry is really something else, what with kanji all over the place, sounding like one thing, looking like another, having a meaning all its own.
It used to freak me out that there were so many things I might do, that I wanted to do. I wondered, how will I find the right one for me? They all seem right in different ways. But sometimes, lately, I’m just glad to know there will always be something for me to do, and I need never be bored or without occupation, at least not for long.