In my latest blog I promised to write a blog about my courses and the first week of classes. So, last week I made a list of courses I want to do. I decided to take some interesting courses, but to also try to have some time off. This is the result –>
As you can see I have Wednesday and Friday off, but I might do some classes on those days anyway. On Monday last week I started with natural disaster science and sustainable development in Asia. The first is a course about natural disasters and also about how we try to prevent them. I thought it would be interesting, but during the first lecture I noticed that a lot of students in class were not scientist and therefor the course will not really be focused on science and will probably be really easy unfortunately. But that accounts for most courses I think. The sustainable development in Asia course turned out to be more about economics, but we will see how that goes.
Let me tell you about my Japanese class, since the other courses are not that interesting to talk about. Especially the Monday class was really ehm.. interesting. On Monday our teacher is a Japanese guy who studied linguistics. He’s quite a good teacher, but well, interesting haha. He was very interested in what we all studied and expecially Max, another guy from the Netherlands whom I’m doing the course with, was a point of interest. He studies history, so as soon as he introduced himself we got an out of the blue japanese history lesson, which was interesting but also very funny since the teacher (or sensei I should say) kept talking about how simple Japanese history was for most of the time and kept joking around about it (which surprised me since I always thought they were very prooud of their country and history). When we continued our lesson it got even more strange. Suddenly the sensei asked us whether we knew about Japanese suicide, hara-kiri. It’s something special in Japan and it’s is much respected here. The way to do it is to cut open your belly with a sword from left to right and from up to down. Sometimes this hara-kiri way of suicide is even seen as a morally responsible action. Our sensei told us two of his familiy member commited suicide in this way, it was sad but he had a lot of respect for them. During this whole story he kept laughing about it though and making so many jokes! He told us if we want to commit suicide, we had to do it that way, not in front of a train or jump from a building. If we tried to do it any other way we had to call 119 (and as I said, during this whole time he was laughing so much). Also he told us that men do this, but if women try they’ll also have to call 119 since they’ll probably fail. Well all in all, it was a really weird Japanese class with A LOT OF suicide references for 3 hours long. Ofcourse this was for a reason, which maybe I should have told you before, but the Japanese characters have to be written from left to right and up to down, so that was probably why he started talking about suicide.
My two English courses are taught by a Welsh teacher. He’s a physicist, but next to that I think he has a lot of passion for his country. The courses are not going to be difficult since, again, we only have to write an essay in the end, but they are going to be interesting and I’m really excited! Hopefully I can also pick up a little bit of his Welsh accent! Japan in world history on tuesday is taught by a Dutch teacher who studies at Leiden University (I think). It’s the only course that’s going to be tough since we’ll have three small tests and one major test in the end. The last course I’m doing is an introduction to mineral resources. I think it’s the most interesting course. We already got a lot of information in the first lecture. However, there’s no test, just an essay so I think that it’s not going to be to hard.
As you might have noticed, I’m kind of surprised by the level of education here. All the courses seem to be rather easy and not a lot of work. Maybe that’s because I’m only doing courses in English and the courses in Japanese might be harder, but I don’t know. I’ll ask one of my friends here who is doing courses in Japanese what he thinks about it and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes since most of what I’m doing here is studying anyway :).
Well I’m off to writing my next blog post haha! Thanks for reading 🙂