Once, a long, long time ago (in a galaxy far far away), I took Japanese classes. They were fun, although to be honest, I had absolutely no one around me who spoke Japanese on a regular basis to practice with. Most of my Japanese conversation was limited to anime cartoons with English subtitles. My parents speak perfect English and hardly speak Japanese at all, except a few words here and there (although they do understand quite a bit of it when other people speak to them, they just respond in English).
After college, I didn’t speak Japanese again for years since I didn’t need it for work and I didn’t watch as much anime. I wasn’t living in Hawaii, where Japanese programing was more prevalent, and I didn’t have cable TV. And this was actually before the internet got so big, if you can believe that. (I guess I’m dating myself.)
Well, now that there are actually websites where you can watch anime through streaming, I’ve started watching it again. And it’s motivated me to pick up my Japanese language learning again.
Let me say, it’s HARD. I haven’t been in a studying mindset in decades and just going through my old Japanese textbooks is like reading them for the first time.
But I have to admit that technology is WONDERFUL. There’s flashcard apps now that I can put on my smart phone and my tablet so that I can quiz myself on vocabulary. There are also Japanese language apps so that I can learn kanji much more easily than I did when I had to make my own flash cards and practice writing on scrap paper—instead, I can practice writing right on my smart phone or tablet. This is awesome!
It’s slow going, but it’s nice being able to review my old textbooks on my own time rather than on a class schedule. But eventually when I get caught up, I think I will enroll in classes in my local community college so that I can get some college credit.
Because who knows? This old dog might go back to school for another degree!
How about you guys? Any of you got a degree later in life? Any tips and tricks for someone thinking of going back to school?