Friday, August 6, 2010

Japanese Goals

People tend to think I'm crazy for taking Japanese.  They question either the useful, my ability, or both.

"Why not learn Spanish?  It's much more useful?"
"Chinese or Mandarin would be better for your career."
"Why would you want to do that for?"
"I think you're crazy."

I hear that last one much of the time.  I'll continue to hear it for a long while yet.  Do I have a real reason for taking Japanese?  I know it would show my dedication toward a subject, which might help me get into a PhD program.  But that's not why I'm taking it.  It would be good for keeping my cognitive skills working out.  But that's also not why I'm dong it.  I honestly don't have a reason, which is probably why most think I'll end up dropping it eventually, or at least not take more than the first course. 

I'm never really asked what I hope to end up with, besides being able to chat with a beautiful Japanese woman.  My aim is a bit more pragmatic than that:  I want to pass the Level 1 Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).  I'm not usually one for tests, but I think this is a good step to proving to myself that I can handle a second language.  It would be a big confidence builder for me, which I feel is important. 

Will this slow down my recently announced Grand Project?  Most likely.  But no one can easily focus on a single project for decades at a time.  I want to open my life to a new culture.  That is also why I'm taking music and art classes.  My mind needs the stretching and exercise. 

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