I just noticed last night that Michael Shannon has a tiny role in Groundhog Day as "Fred". I wonder if Werner Herzog or David Lynch was inspired to cast him in My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done? from the way he delivered the line, "Wrestlemania!" Probably not.
I'm pretty sure I failed last night's Japanese test. I studied eight times as hard for it as any test I got an A on in History or Anthropology. I feel like this is the first real class I've had. Or maybe it's slightly fucked up I think the only valid class is the one I'm not doing well in.
I don't know what happened. I just kept blanking. I remember looking at "tatsu" over and over in the study guide, telling myself, "Remember, this means stand up, this means stand up, this means stand up, this means stand up." Then test time, I see it and go, "What the fuck is 'tatsu'?" Well, I suppose I'm not likely to forget it now. I can even conjugate it--"Tatte kudasai (たって ください)."--"Please stand up." I may fail the class, but at least I'll learn Japanese.
Otherwise, I think I would have been okay if the test had just involved translating to English. But a good portion was translating English into Japanese. Every single one of those I'm certain I got at least one word wrong. So I'm hoping it's not graded on a sentence by sentence basis, but I'm guessing it probably is.
I suspect a lot of people didn't do too well on the test, from the way people were talking around me. Gods, people talk a lot in this class. They just carry on while the teacher's talking and I guess she's too meek to say anything. There's the kid in front of me who makes corny, pissing contest jokes like a twelfth grade nerd, "Of course, you could say ____, which means _____, haha." When the teacher calls roll, most people mumble, "Here" or raise their hands; he alone always belts out, "Koko desu!" And the guy next to him engages in the pissing contest by talking about what things are illegal and how the cops discriminate against him because he's black, though looking at him I'd say he's more likely getting the discrimination aimed at Arabs and Hispanics, assuming he's not entirely full of shit, which I don't. When the teacher told us last night that the kanji for "Earth/soil" "tsuchi" looks similar to the kanji for "bushi" the guy who talks about discrimination turned to people around him seriously and said, "bushi means warrior." Oof, I wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up. In general, I'm just tired of hearing people lord it over each other because they have some piece of knowledge the other doesn't. It's my reflexive disgust for this that keeps me from speaking Japanese in class, which I suppose isn't a good thing. I just feel so fucking presumptuous.
And the desks! I've been meaning to mention this--the class has the worst desks ever conceived of by man. They're really impressive in the ways they're badly designed--the desk space itself is around half the size of the traditional school desk, it's a thin plastic with a coarse surface for, I don't know, traction or something. Anyway, you can't write on it without another surface over it and maybe I'm old fashioned but I thought that was the main fucking point of a desk. It doesn't lend itself well to writing kanji, that's for sure. Both the desk part and the seat part are on hinges that snap up unexpectedly sometimes, too. It's like sitting in a clamshell, which just makes me a fucking pearl, doesn't it?