I completed my first day at GenkiJACS yesterday. Honestly I'm very excited to be here and really hit the books and study. I actually did all of my homework last night (about 45 minutes of work, I may have more from here on out though because yesterday I missed a 2 hour class because we had to do the level check test thing). On top of the assigned work, I also took a bunch of notes of words that I didn't know during the lesson and there were about 20 or so verbs in particular that I want to memorize.
I found the first class rather challenging, but it was fun and probably just at the right level. Unfortunately there are some small gaps in what I know and what the other students at my level know (in both directions) due to different backgrounds in what courses we studied with before. At GenkiJACS, we're using the GENKI series of books, and at my level we're starting off somewhere in the middle of book 2.
The course at YesJapan.com takes a very in-depth approach to teaching verbs as it explains the context and usage of each individual verb that you learn, but at GenkiJACS they throw groups of maybe 10 verbs at you and have you "plug them in" to various sentences and structures and conjugations. On the other hand, thanks to the course at YesJapan.com, I have probably a more extensive vocabulary of nouns then anyone in my class, as well as knowing a bunch of "tricks" that others may not know, sometimes leaving everyone (except for the teacher) scratching their heads wondering what the heck I just said.
Anyways, I realized that I need some school supplies, so last night Boris and me took a subway over to the nearby Aeon shopping mall. I found some great paper notebooks, including a bunch of them ruled specifically for practicing Kanji (Chinese derived written symbols). I also bought a set of study cards that come on a key chain type ring, and after getting home, I wrote down all of my new words that I want to memorize. Between last night and the subway ride to school this morning, I think I almost have the whole lot of 20 or so new words memorized.
I'm going to be taking a lot of pictures so my next big post should be exciting to see (everyone has asked for more pics and video), I'm also thinking about doing a special about the kappa (mythical swamp monsters?) that live in the water next to my homestay house. Until then take care.