Last night, I bought a new copy of Minna No Nihongo, a beginner’s Japanese course book. I bought it because all the local Japanese lessons use the book and our old version was really old. And I bought it because I never have time to go to the local Japanese lessons and so will have to practice with J, for whom the book is an appropriate level. We are going on a trip in two months and want to be more fluent when we run into friends from our old addresses. And yet, I still blushed when putting that book on the counter, because it feels so shameful to be using a beginner’s book after so long of living here.

Of course, that is part of the problem, isn’t it? The embarrassment, the shame and yet what is the root of those feelings? Expectation. I have these expectations for myself and when I have to face the fact that I have not met them, then I blush. So I must overcome all of that self-derived negativity and just study, practice with J because I need him to be more competent in the language and because it will give me a speaking partner.

I just took a review test of the week’s lessons and did not pass with flying colors. But I will suck it up and write the corrections out and do everything I would have my own students do. There is no more time to be ashamed and embarrassment is an impediment for language learning. I must accept that I am stupid and try to become less stupid. My mission in this life.

It is a six-day week at work and I am compulsively checking the weather for warnings because if there is a weather warning, the classes will be cancelled. I will still have to go but that is fine because it would mean more planning time. It is strange to be hoping for foul weather but since Hiroshima’s weather alert system has become more sensitive since last year’s disaster, it might not take much to push us into the warning range.

But I know, hoping for cancellations never works. So I guess I should shower and get ready.