From Samuel Beckett.
Tennis fans may know this quote as one of Stan Wawrinka’s tattoos (on his left forearm). The man can pick out some good quotes.
[Oh hey Norby. Care to join me in one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken?]
It’s over a week since I’ve arrived and today marks exactly 1 week since I’ve starting the intensive language program offered at Tsuru University.
I knew they’d be difficult but…
[Sometimes just being in class makes me feel like this]
Those who’ve been abroad to a country where the language is so drastically different than their own (which would be like… any language) and they’re only a beginner have felt this strange frustration. It’s similar to the feeling of having something at the tip of your tongue but about 100 times more annoying.
Wait too long and the conversation has already moved on without you. It’s still the very beginning of the program and I’m still being met with extreme patience (which I’m extremely grateful for). However, I know that if I don’t begin to make strides of improvement, I might be left behind in the language learning classroom too.
It can be hard to say this as an honors student, but it’s okay to fail. Actually, something’s wrong if you don’t fail. One of the other girls in my program brilliantly said that if you keep succeeding at a 100% rate, you are not properly challenging yourself, thus not truly improving.
Japanese can be hard at first, and if you start learning as a young adult, it makes it 10 times more difficult.
One thing I’ve learned so far is to seek the failure. Seek that moment when you’re messed up because you’ve attempted to move up a level- one that’s higher than what you know and outside of your comfort zone.
I used to be the student who hated to make a mistake in front of others. When I wasn’t sure of my answer, I most likely wouldn’t say anything. Being here, in this fast-paced, intensive program, I’ve changed in that regard. Even if it’s been only a week, we’ve covered material that some classes only cover in half of a college semester. It’s been only a week, but from an academic standpoint, it’s been awhile.
It’s good to fail. To make a mistake. To show that you haven’t completely mastered the material. That moment of failure turns into the most effective learning moment you’ll ever have. And then the next time you’re asked to prove your knowledge…
You’ll be better. You’ll have failed better.
Short post. Tomorrow is a national holiday, Foundation Day actually and we get the day off. Tonight, we celebrate the departure of last semester’s exchange students at Tsuru University and end the evening at karaoke with our fabulous tutors.
I better prep my flawless, beautiful singer voice.
There may or may not be video documentation of this.
Much love always,
Credit for the gif: here