Dammit. I think my foray into Japanese is going to have to come to an end.

It was difficult to begin with. I had a tough time learning all of the characters, and as a consequence it took me longer to grasp some of the basics. But once I’d gotten the characters down, everything became much easier. And for a while, I was riding high.

And then the essays hit. The last month of my life has been consumed by them. Everything else has gone by the wayside.

The thing is, you can’t push a language off to the wayside. If you try, you will fall behind very quickly. So for a while, I tried to keep up.

But the Japanese professor has steadily ramped up the amount of work we’re supposed to hand in each week. It started at two pages. Then it became four. Then five. And now this week, seven. Plus there’s a quiz to study for every Monday and new vocabulary to memorize each week. It’s just too much. And so over the past two weeks, I’ve fallen behind. Today in lecture it was so bad that half the time I didn’t even understand what the professor was saying.

On the one hand, this isn’t a big deal. Japanese doesn’t count towards my average, so theoretically I could just half-ass my way through the class, score a 60, and be done with it. But I can’t.

I’m bad at half-assing anything, but I’m really bad at half-assing school, and even worse at half-assing language classes. If I’m going to learn a language, I need to be able to dive in. Practice it a little every day. Do all the assignments, and do them well. But I haven’t been able to do that lately.

The result is that Japanese class hasn’t been fun. Because even if a course doesn’t count towards your average, it’s not fun to get shitty marks. And it’s not fun to sit there like a lemon while the rest of the class is blitzing through the material. And it’s not fun to stress over mastering Te-forms when you’ve got essays that you need to prepare for submission.

And next term will be even worse, because I’m going to have even more essays to do.

The whole point of taking Japanese this year was to have fun with it. But right now I’m only continuing on with it because I like to finish what I start. And while perhaps that’s honourable, it also means that I’m causing myself undue stress.  Right from the beginning I knew that I was taking a risk by adding an extra course that I didn’t need. But until now I’ve stubbornly resisted admitting that it’s too much work. But it is.

I want to continue Japanese, I really do. The language itself is awesome. But the way things are, my choice is between half-assing my way through this course, or withdrawing and returning to the language at a later point in life. I’m going to mull it over for a day or two, but I think I know what I need to do for my own good.

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