Friday, July 3, 2009


Today we had our final test, which was just a gauge of how far we have come - it doesn't affect our grade.

I don't know how well I did on that, but I got an 87/100 on the Kanji final and an 87/100 on the grammar final. I think our professor told us that we needed an 85% on the tests to score an A, assuming that we turned in all the homework and had good attendance, etc... so I will probably get an A for Japanese 2010 and Japanese 2020 at the U of U.

The highest test score was a 94/100 on both tests, but I don't think this is going to be curved at all... I think I got the 2nd highest score though. ;)

The test we took today was a past-year JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test). It's an official government sponsored langugage certification test that is administered once a year every December.

The version of the test we took doesn't actually officially count, so if we pass the test it doesn't really buy us anything.

The tests are ranked from 1 to 4 with 1 being the most difficult and 4 being the easiest. When we first came they gave everybody the JLPT 3 to see where we were in our studies, but that particular test is a little bit too advanced so everybody pretty much bombed it.

This time around they gave most people the JLPT 4 instead, since it will give a much better representation of people's understanding. I retook the 3 again, since I plan on taking it in December. I wanted to get an idea of how I have improved (if at all) so I can gauge how much to study before December.

One of the students took the JLPT 2. He's a half Japanese half American who speaks Japanese very well, but has some deficiencies in Kanji reading/writing. He actually passed the JLPT 3 last time, so he took the JLPT 2 to get a better idea of his comprehension.

We had our farewell party and graduation today as well. The graduation ceremony. It was a bit of a stressful situation. They made us get up in front of everyone and say something in Japanese, so I said... nihon no toki wa tanoshkatta desu (my time in Japan was interesting) watashi no atama ga ippai desu (My head is full.) and watashi wa nihongo o benkyo shisugita. (I studied Japanese to the point that it was a bad thing.)

People laughed. ;)

The graduation ceremony was extremely swanky. They took us into this crazy conference room with red velvet chairs that were bolted into the floor but slide back and forth. The room was arranged in a circle with long desks and microphones. We were presented with a certification stating that we completed the intensive language course at Shitennoji University. The certificate is completely in Japanese.

I presented the two photographs that I got from Dave (a coworker at Cymphonix). It was a bit of an ordeal this week because I had to go find a place to get frames from, but the photograph frames here are all in metric (of course) and they're all crazy sizes (seriously, who needs a frame that is 302x477mm?) I had to special order one of the frames, but the other one we were able to do by putting a small border around the picture.

I presented one of the photos to Shitennoji University, and one to the YMCA which is where our teacher's actually came from. Both the YMCA and Shitennoji University were extremely accomodating, and I'm very glad that I had two photographs (Thanks Dave!)

I presented the photos on behalf of all of the students at the Unviersity of Utah. I neglected to bring my camera, but they had someone from the University taking pictures, so I will ask to get copies of those.

It's been a lot of fun, but I am definitely ready to come home.

I did Karaoke last night. It was a lot of fun. Japanese Karaoke is way better than in America because they have dedicated Karaoke places that rent out rooms to you, so you can go with a bunch of friends or whatever and not have to feel weird because there are strangers. I sang Rock Lobster, Hey Jude, Basket Case (By Greenday), and Eat It (By Weird Al).

I have a lot of packing and cleaning to do. See you all when I get home.

- Terry

Thursday, July 2, 2009


We had our final today.

I think I aced it, but I'll find out tomorrow.

I still have to write a 5-7 page paper on my experience in Japan, but we're done otherwise.

I meant to blog about Kyoto, Osaka, and Nara while I was here, but I just didn't have time so I'll post pictures and make some more blog entries when I get home.

Tonight I'm going to Karaoke. ;)