By the time I was actually done doing those things, it was approaching midnight and I'd have to wake up at 7:30 the next morning. No worries, I told myself. You finished your Japanese homework, took that test today - even though you probably didn't do that well, you're done with it at least. You have a new class tomorrow so you have nothing to do for it. Going to bed now will give you the minimum requirement you need to remain perky and entertaining.
Just as I finished my inner dialogue and was about to log off Facebook, Jeff came online and messaged me. I've replaced all of the fuck's with various forms of the word "mustache":
As you can see, my response was completely level-headed and appropriate for my PG-13 blog.
I was driven into a panic. My heart raced and I started breathing irregularly; it couldn't be possible. A quiz on the second day in class? A quiz on what?! We didn't learn anything! Why didn't I hear about it in class?? The first week of class is the most important at Nanzan - if I didn't get a good grade on this test, I might have to drop down to level 400, where I've already studied that material. Were they going to make me drop down?? How the hell was I going to study for a test when sleepiness had already taken me over?! Between today's second placement test and all of the forms I still needed to fill out, I was already so stressed that jogging actually became a thing I LIKED to do. Do you know how hard it is to like jogging? How was I going to balance this stress - take up yoga? I can't take a Japanese yoga class, I don't even know where they hold those. Do I even have the proper yoga pants to take yoga? I wonder if they do the same styles as that one class I took in college - wait - waitwaitwait - HOW AM I GOING TO GET EIGHT HOURS OF SLEEP TONIGHT?!!?
I wanted to talk to my okaasan (host mother) about it, but she had already gone to bed. I actually knocked on her door (REALLLY lightly because I felt like a baby for needing to cry about something that wasn't actually that big of a deal) but I was panicking and it was going to be 12 soon and I REALLY like to sleep - it's what MAKES ME WHO I AM.
Jeff explained to me, patiently, as I continued to repeat "mustache" up and down our chatbox, that the quiz was on 35 new - THIRTY-FIVE NEW WORDS?!
Every time I tried to calm myself down, a new wave of panic washed over me. I talked to myself quietly, trying to pretend I was talking to my okaasan - what would she tell me to do? Nanzan has a no-tolerance policy. There are no make-up quizzes. Hell, if you don't turn in your homework assignment before the bell rings, the highest score you can get is an 8/10. I had to study.
The only solution was to sit down, shut the mustache up, and study.
I got out the packet Jeff told me about and sat at my desk. Panic swelled in my chest as I saw the list of words - did I need to know the kanji (complex characters, like how the word "Yomimono" is read as よみもの and the kanji is 読み物）for those words too? All of the examples of how to use the words in a sentence didn't have how to pronounce the words, so all signs pointed to yes. I would need to learn 35 new words, their meanings, and their kanji. Also I'd need to get some sleep and be able to function the next day to actually take the test. And when you learn words in Japanese, you need to know how to USE them - it would be fill in the blank, I figured, and we would have to conjugate each word correctly or we would lose the entire point.
I'm so mustached.
But I had to study. I filled up a water bottle. Went to the bathroom. Sat down. Got out my electronic dictionary, my packet, my book, and started to learn things. For the first time in four months, I would study. Because I had no choice but to.
I started with the first word. It was a little familiar in my mouth but not in my brain.
Okay. Monku. The kanji is easy enough. 文句．To complain. You already know this one. Next.
Ayamaru. Kind of long. What does the kanji look like?
I made shortcuts to remember each word - nattokusuru, to come to understand, ah yes, I've come to understand that natto, a steamed, fermented and smashed soybean common in Japan, is generally disliked. I've come to understand nattokusuru...
Three down, thirty-two to go.
By 1:30 AM, about 90 minutes after I started studying, I had memorized all 35 words. I knew how to use them in a sentence. I knew them from english to Japanese, recognized all of their kanji. And I would take the quiz the next day, and I would make two stupid mistakes and get an 8 out of 10 when I was expecting at least a 9. Mustache.
But as things go, Jeff was a life saver. I won't be so careless again to think I don't have something the next day for Japanese class.
Also, I did find out that I didn't do well on the second placement test. The teacher who told me I should maybe consider taking the 400 class, a class I have already taken entirely, and I told him no. I told him I already took it (he didn't try to hide his surprise) and that I would work hard to stay in 500. That I will prove my worth by getting an A on the test next Tuesday.
And so even though my brain continues to tell me, "Mustache studying, let's go do something fun," I will study.
And I will get an A.