5 comments on “Finding What Was Lost: The Reconstruction of Me

  1. I’m so happy to hear of your journey. It took you all that you went thru to land up in that bookstore. I took 2 years of Japanese at San Francisco State Digaku. The Kanji did me in. I was sick a week and that was it. Good travels from here out.

    • I taught myself basic Japanese before my first trip over in 1995. Once I was there, I immersed myself in it.. TV, newspapers, music… everything. I actually bought those kanji workbooks in Japan the first year. And I adored them. I adored learning the characters. After majoring in Spanish in high school, it was a nice change. The second year I went to Japan in 1996, I was there for just under three months, and I swear to you, if I had not been put back on the plane and reminded of the $5000 down payment I made on tuition, I would have found a way to stay. I had the worst culture shock coming back to the States.

      That fall, I went to Salem-Teikyo in West Virginia. At the time, they were running an exchange program with Teikyo Daigaku in Japan, so there were many Japanese students on campus. Those of us who had some knowledge of the language were allowed to take a placement exam. A few of us scored so high that we were told we should have been in Junior year (advanced level) classes, but the college only bumped us up into Intermediate. Talk about Kanji!!! I LOVED it. 😀 There was one time, some time after my stint in school, where I was up for hours studying Kanji and fell asleep surround by masses of workbooks, dictionaries, and grammars. I dreamt about kanji scrolling all around the walls of my room. It was a geeky kind of awesome that I think only I appreciate. 😉 Every time I tell people that story, they look at me like I am completely crazy. The absolute coolest thing to happen? Once I had a good enough grasp of Japanese, I started having dreams in English, Spanish, and Japanese all at the same time!!

      Yes. My name is Amy, and I am a geek. 🙂

      Kevin had the biggest issue with the Japanese thing. I have no idea why. Eventually he pretty much barred me from studying. Japanese is a language that needs regular maintenance, especially where I am, because no one speaks it. I have forgotten much, but I have been poking around re-learning, and it’s amazing what comes back to you once you get going. Also, there is a girl in my congregation wanting to learn more Japanese, so I teach her, and she helps me strain my aging brain enough to remember. It’s been fun!

      I think I am going with Chinese or Korean next. Maybe a Southeast Asian language… haven’t really decided. I have a rather lengthy list of languages I would love to learn at least basic level competency. One a year should do it. The big fun will come when I can translate Japanese into Korean into Hindi into Arabic into Burmese…. or Thai. Hmm. I truly am a geek. 😉

      As if you aren’t all already rolling your eyes at it.. imagine my excitement when I discovered that the clerks in the store were JAPANESE! It was the most!

      LOL I am sure Kerwyn wouldn’t have known how to handle that…..

      • I love the Japanese culture and language yet the different levels of honor and how you address someone is so hard. You may not believe this but I did a past life thing and was hypnotized and I was killed on Iwo Jima. Sounds stupid but I had never heard of that island. I believed in bushido prior to even knowing what it meant my mother would say I would say that word when I was little… I mean real little. Watakshiwa Juan Guerra San.

  2. I visited Manhattan some years ago and found myself feeling like you do – the hustle and bustle is invigorating! Are we going to be reading about a move soon? 🙂

    • It isn’t just that it was invigorating…. It resonated in a place I forgot existed. Some find it hard to fathom that I could describe the chaotic pace in New York City as peaceful, but it truly is. I absolutely adore large cities, and if this girl here can get around in Tokyo by herself and not get lost or feel intimidated, NYC is a piece of chocolate cake with gooey fudge icing, chunks of chocolate, and chocolate whipped cream. 😉

      Just so long as the thugs and hoods know that if they try to put a finger on me, they going down. Enough said. LOL

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