Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I am fucked in the head. I thought that things were started to look up as I started to care less about school in the sense that I was trying not to have everything get to me, but on monday morning, I had a meeting with my teacher. It was basically student teacher conferences. Mine was fucked. I am fucked. As things usually go with conversations like that I can't fully explain what was going on, but basically, he was upset that I wasn't doing better. He doesn't understand that I am working my ass of and am too exhausted to do anything in school. He doesn't seem to understand that you can learn from ways other than reading from a textbook. I told him that I had thought my time here would have been more fun, and what he said is basically that an exchange program like this isn't supposed to be fun. He said that in order to be an adult (he always calls me Peter chan, which is basically calling me a small child or animal, and it infuriates me.) that children need to have difficult experiences. You think this isn't difficult?!?!?! And I just couldn't tell him the truth.
And the truth is:
I don't really like it here. I am miserable, depressed, and always alone. I am ambivalent to my time in this country. I hate my school, I dislike my host family, and I don't care for myself much either. I have very few people I would call friends in general, and nobody that I really can just go and hang out with. I can't stand most of the kids in my school, and care even less for the ones in my class. My school was not the right place to put in by my exchange program. And I hate them too. They haven't showed me that are actually capable of anything. I have told that I am upset, that I want a new host family, that I am want an extension, and what do they do? Absolutely nothing. I want to stay here. I want to have fun, which is something that I really haven't done. I need some time to get to like this country, because if I leave like this, I won't want to come back. I have spent a quarter of my life preparing for this, and I leave in such a way that I never want to set foot on those islands again. That is not good for my health. I don' think being here is very good for my health either, but I think it is more important to stay here until I can learn to not hate it.

I dont know what the fuck to do, and it is really scaring me. Do I need a reason to be here? Because I sure dont have one. Do I need an 'objective'? My teacher asked me if how I was coming along with my objective, and I didnt know what he was talking about. But he isnt even my teacher. No one had properly explained anything to me about my school. Why that school was chosen, and in particular, why I was put in that class. According to my student ID card I am in the internation class, where most of the people I would call my friends are, and yet I get stuck with all the people who would rather study to fail a test than play and fail that test. The nurse (the Japanese who I have opened myself upto the most) thinks I should have been put in the standard classes, because it is much more like a normal Japanese lifestyle.

I need help. Really, really, really badly.


At 1:53 PM, Anonymous The Stad said...

Call the US stationed part of your exchange organization. They might have more authority over the japan based group and get you out of your position.

Best of luck Peter, I'm glad you've got the will power to stick it out. You know this is really important!!!

If you don't know already, there is an international exchange student forum where students basically tell their stories of life abroad and help out outbounds and inbounds with whatever strife they're in.


You'll get a lot more attention on the boards there on your situation.

We all still love ya,

At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter, with the whole international school thing, I'm afraid that's what they would naturally put you in. Basically, it's the academic equivalent of full ib at lincoln. The students in the international section are the school's top student's and have been taught since elementary school to study, study, and study. Even if they fail the test... That's what I've changed into too actually... But in any case, the other caveat of the exchange program is that by having you in the international program, they want you to help teach the kids there english. I did a little short term foreign exchange thing in Korea too, to a private admission academy and it was the same way.

Unfortunately Peter, you're not miserable because you're in Japan particularly, you're miserable because the standards and expectations of you have changed dramatically from Lincoln and shifted into what I went through here. The teacher doesn't understand why you don't seem to be generating output as well as his japanese students. Frankly speaking, the transition from the liberal-arts, discussion based education, which is supposedly like Europe, to the test, and number/rank based education system is huge, and that's what Asia as a whole is founded on. I think the best for you would be to try and shift into the standard level courses or at least tell your teacher that you are not used to that level of work and explain. It may not work, but if you explain Lincoln to him and show him a willingness to try and meet him halfway, I'm sure you can salvage things. Unfortunately for you, you'll have to study a lot harder than you ever did at Lincoln, and you'll probably fail a bunch anyway, but it does help. Just that it takes a while, usually a year or two.

In any case, don't feel too bad Peter, you are getting the true Asian experience; it would be bogus if you only saw the pluses and not the minuses. And with the whole adjusting thing, 2nd generation Japanese move back and have a shitload of trouble themselves, so it's not like you're alone.

Try to have fun... and good luck. Hope this helped...

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, I went through a similar thing when I moved to texas because school was so much more number based and just plain harder than lincoln. It took me about a year to adjust; I was stubborn though and tried to resist change, you might be able to beat that. In any case try and get out of the international class because it's a lot easier in standard and a lot of your stress and problems should just drop away if you switch

Good luck man, email me sometime

PS: Texas is sunny as usual, unlike Portland which is like flooded... :)

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Sterling Knight said...

Peter, man, what part of Japan are you in? I've been living in Osaka for twenty years now.


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