So my "slump" is basically I have no desire to do anything. And it's on such a level of indifference and procrastination that I can only hope it's not just my usual laziness.
I'm slowly realizing my competence in the languages I'm studying aren't up the the level I want or expect them to be at.
With Japanese, a year ago when I first started watching dramas I was really surprised by how much my listening ability increased. And I then thought I could understand it all when I watched Hana Yori Dango with just Italian subtitles (note: I don't know Italian), and "Attention Please" and "Bambino" with no subtitles at all. But later when I finally watched an episode of those with English subtitles I realized that I just barely got the basic meaning down, and didn't get the wittiness that goes with a fun drama. After 301 and 302, that hasn't improved all that much.
Also with trying to speak Japanese more and more this semester, I realized how much I CAN'T express. I try to think of sentences and I just get stuck. Granted I have a hard enough time to keep a conversation going in English, but I just want the sentences to flow perfectly. Plus there are a lot of grammar points I know and learned, but cannot produce. And whenever I hear it and finally connect it to a meaning I always feel especially dumb for NOT getting it earlier.
This leads into my problem with my Latin. I know next to nothing in Latin vocabulary. When I translate, I need to look up basically EVERY single word. There are only a handful I know right off the bat, and those I still need to look check in my dictionary for their case, gender and number.
I always like to say this is because we never learn how to produce Latin, just associate the words with an English meaning. HOWEVER, there's only so much I can blame on the method of teaching Latin -- there are many (and have been many more) people who are EXCELLENT at Latin and learned the same way I did. So that leads down to my incompetence as a student, which is kinda depressing when for the past 6 years or so I've had a plan to stay a student until I got my doctorate.
This then leads to me thinking about what I really want to do with my life. I really love linguistics. It really gives me insight on how Language is used and ultimately how people are on a simple level, which I've found to be one of my bigger interests. It's nice to stay interested in all your classes, even if I don't have the want to actually do the work. But however much being a graduate student in Linguistics studying a dying language or a language spoken in the remote forests of Country awesomeplace is appealing... I don't know if I have the endurance or drive for it. In reality I am a more lazy being, and would much rather surf the internets and follow the change of pop culture over the past 100 years than read and cross reference 10+ books and then write a huuuuge paper on how Old English became Middle English or something like that. Though I would find the subject of the latter interesting, I really can't stand writing papers.
Does that make me a worthless person? Whenever I don't feel like doing any of this, I feel like I should want to do all this. I should have the ability to do this. As a woman and as a Native American I need to represent in a professional field. But then I've never really had great expectations for myself, and I'm hardly forceful enough to really amount to anything.
The only thing I'm really happy about is Korean. I was so excited I was able to say "thank you" and "this looks delicious" to these ladies working at this Korean restaurant. But I have no expectations of myself because I haven't taken a real class yet, so I'm just picking up what I get from Boris and from the various Korean people I can ask about grammar I see in dramas/songs.
After my Korean drama watching extravaganza in January I really was able to catch onto common interjections and things like that, and songs have taught me lots of words like "love" and "wait", but that vocabulary won't REALLY help me when I want to have a basic conversation with someone in Korea.
Should I then try to go for something like the JET program, with teaching English in another country: which is what so many people I know went for/is in. I know grammar for the most part, so that'd help me I think. And it isn't too big of a commitment.
Maybe this point in life is when people usually go "find themselves." Sometimes th peace corps seems like a nice idea, but 2 years in the boonies of a foreign country is nothing short of terrifying.
I think another big part of this might be how ICU hasn't told me anything about whether or not I'll be able to study in Japan this summer. I kind of depended on this hope to get me through the past couple weeks, but now I'm starting to doubt if I'll be able to go.
I've never been out of the country and I really don't know what to expect, but all I know is that I've wanted to travel for as long as I could remember. I'm scared that I have an unrealistic expectation for what traveling will bring. But when I think that just walking down a street in a different place is a thrilling concept, I can't be disappointed, could I?
This then leads to my concerns of 2 extremes: 1. I'll be so excited and happy in a new place, learning all these new things that I'll never want to leave. Or 2. I'll be so homesick that I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself and realize that I'll never be able to live anywhere else.
Sometimes I feel like I really need something new (especially lately). But then I think about my family and such, and however tumultuous we can get, I love them and depend on them far too much. I've been living like this for 20 years already, and thinking about change is scary. I'm scared about leaving my mum and sister especially. It'll be scary not seeing them everyday. I'm scared that if any of us are separated our relationship we have will dissolve or change.
Also, my plan for getting skinny/pretty (because they're basically synonymous) for Summer is failing pretty horribly. I've been observing what girls in my age group look like and have become aware of parts of the body which it seems most people noticed when they hit puberty... and the more I think about it, the more stuff I find wrong with me, and the further away my goal seems.
I used to think that looks didn't matter and I could wow people with my wit and knowledge of the world. But I've come to realize that looks do indeed matter and I have come to focus a lot on them. It's mostly for self improvement -- I'm already socially awkward and laking in self confidence, but do I have to look bad too?
Another thing that I find annoying in all of this is how there are people in the world extremely malnourished, while I'm having a hard time eating less than what I'm used to. The world's funny.
I wanted to post something about how reading Horace in Latin class is teaching me all these life lessons, but I don't feel up for it now. In short = he's a close second behind Ovid for being an awesome poet.
I also have to write up a report in Japanese about a newspaper article due tomorrow. I'm procrastinating like mad, but I'll do it in the morning. Class doesn't start until 12:30 tomorrow anyway. I already know I'm going to talk about Namie's #1 and how all of a sudden she's back to being Jpop's queen. There have been so many articles out on that topic that I'll surely be able to find one that's short and from reputable news source.
Anyway, there's only 4 weeks left to school left. Here's hoping that I'll survive it.