self-portrait add-on paragraph
It’s been about a year since I started learning Japanese at NACOS, and I do feel like I’ve learned a lot. I think my accent has gotten a little better (at least, Michiko doesn’t laugh at it as much as she did when I first started .), and I’m definitely better at thinking of sentences than I used to be. I still have a long way to go, though, because I have a hard time memorizing vocabulary words.
I think it’s funny that the knowledge I’ve gained at NACOS seems to be shoving out the knowledge that I gained earlier in my life; for example, when I was little, I used "ga" to connect sentences that had a "but" between them, but now I tend to end the sentence and say "demo." Also, this morning it took me half an hour to remember the word for bathroom, and practically the only thing I used to remember from my high school Japanese class was how to ask to go to the restroom. (The other thing I remember from high school is how to say "McDonald’s" in Japanese.)
On a side note, I just read Nathan Jones’s story about the ofuro. At first, when I read his description of the Japanese bathroom, I wasn’t paying too much attention, and I thought it sounded kind of strange. Then I realized that that’s the kind of bathroom that my grandparents have, and I never realized that it was different than American bathrooms! When I was little, I used to take swimming lessons in the summer; afterwards I’d go back to my grandparents’ house and sit on the little stool and wash myself. I think it’s funny that even though I’ve seen Japanese-style baths on tv, I never realized that I was taking Japanese-style baths when I was a kid!