走りと反省 Running & Reflecting

二ヶ月前に書くつもりで、理由は生活、延引、このブロッグ投稿をよくしたいことだ。この投稿の日本語は悪いはずなので、よろしくお願いします。

I meant to write this post two months ago, and the excuses I came up with are life, procrastination, and wanting to make sure I write this well. Anyway, here goes.

日本から帰ったのは、ほとんど四ヶ月前になった。だいたい、さっきの経験を反省したり、自分の文化にアジャストしたり、アメリカの生活になれたり、アメリカの家族と友達に会ったりしている。それは、出たくない場所の憧れの痛みを中和するいいことだ。走りは反省よりも時間をかかったと思う。

It’s been almost 4 months since I returned from Japan. Mostly, I find myself caught between trying to reflect on the experience I’ve been through, and hitting the ground running, trying to adjust and catch up on my American life, with my American family and friends, which has been a blessing to counteract the longing for a place a didn’t want to leave. The running has probably taken up more time than the reflecting.

帰ったあとで、一番大事なことは私が卒業した!五年間のあとで、卒業しなければならないな。なお、まだもう1か2年間残ることができる気がしている。なぜか留学係は最後の大学年に留学するのは大変だといったこと、今分かると思う。なぜかというと、帰ったあとで、ぎりぎりまで、卒業に必要な用紙を集めていて大変だった。でも結局に、私が間に合った。報告はけっこう遅いけど、五月十八日に大学を卒業しました。

One of the biggest things I did after I came back was graduate! I suppose it was about time after five years, and yet I still feel like I could have stayed for a few more. I think I know now why the study abroad advisor didn’t advise making my last year of college abroad, as I was scrambling to get all the paperwork together for graduation. But I was able to make it. The announcement comes rather late, but on May 18th I officially finished college.

Falke GMU 2013 Graduation

まだ信じにくい。終わったということ。大学だけじゃなくて、日本にある大学。特別な時間だって、もっと長くてほしかった。一年間を四年間とする気がした。多くのほかの大学生は四年生になるときに大学を出たくなくなると知っている。もう一年間だけほしい。たぶん私はあの大学生達と同じかもしれない。でも、同じじゃないと思いたい。この憧れは大学を出たくないことと違う、日本の大学の経験から一年間だけでもらえない何かが欲しいと、思いたい。それから今、窓が閉まっている。卒業した。この憧れについて、どうしようかしらない。もっと深い友情のあこがれ、もっと大きい自由の憧れ、それは一番いい説明だと思う。今、どうしようか分からないけど、私よりも私の心がよく分かる方はいつかどうかこの私の中にある憧れを直すか満たしてくれると信用して望んでいる。

It’s still hard to believe. That it’s over. Not just college, but college in Japan. It was a special time, and I wish it could have lasted longer. It felt like I was trying to fit four years into one. I know that many other college students, when they reach their senior year, don’t want to leave college. They just want one more year. Maybe I’m the same as them. But I’d like to think I’m not, that this longing is more than just not wanting to leave college, but that there was something I wanted out of college in Japan that I wasn’t able to get in one year. And now I feel like a window is closing. I’ve graduated. And I’m not sure what to do with this longing. A longing for a deeper community, a greater freedom, that is probably the best that I can explain it. I’m not sure what to do with it at the moment, but I trust and hope that the one who knows my heart better than I do will someday somehow fix or fulfill this longing in me.

でも、今、私はアメリカにいる。家族と一緒にいることは一年ぶりだった。そして、いろいろな久しぶりのことがあった:父との散歩、兄弟とビデオゲームやスポーツをやること、そして、義理の姉のおいしい料理を食べること。それから、私がいない間に、甥が三人生まれた!友達も卒業したり、結婚したりしている。一年間のなかで、たくさんのことが起これるね!

But for now, I’m in America. Being with my family is something I hadn’t done in a year. And there has been a lot to catch up on: walks with Dad, video games and sports with the brothers, and getting to eat all the wonderful treats my sisters-in-law make. And I have three nephews which were born while I was away! Friends are also graduating, and getting married, among other things. A lot can happen in a year!

march 2013 058

就職も大学が終わったあとですることだ。日本語と作文の能力を使える仕事を探して就職活動している。今まで、だめだけど、何かを見つけると望んでいる。

Being done with college also means getting a job. I’ve been searching, looking for a job that will allow me to use my Japanese or writing skills. So far, I haven’t had much luck, but I am holding out hope that I will find something.

この前の四ヶ月間をかかったのはこんな走りと反省です。近い将来に日本に来ていないと思うのに、日本が私の心にあって、また来ますよ。

This sort of running and reflecting is what has taken up my time the past few months. And while I don’t think I will be coming back to Japan in the near future, Japan, you are in my thoughts, and I will come back.

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About Stephen

My name is Stephen Gabriel Falke, and I am passionate for all things Japanese. I have been accepted to teach for the JET Program starting 2015. In the past, during my time in college, I also had the chance to participate in a study abroad at Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, for Japan's 2012 school year. On my blog I write about my love for Japan, my journey to get there and stay there, and my adventures studying and teaching there.
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6 Responses to 走りと反省 Running & Reflecting

  1. Annie says:

    Hi Stephen! I’ve been creeping through your blog (partly to push off doing anything productive, but also partly because I’m in the phase of waiting for my study abroad application results!!)
    I’m just curious though, what kind of program was it that you studied at Sophia University? Was it a language intensive program? Or did you study with other Japanese kids in normal Japanese college courses? Maybe I was skimming too quickly through your posts but I didn’t think you mentioned much about the class contents? (though completely understandable since non-studyabroaders would probs not be so into that kind of information)…
    I’m also applying for a full year exchange, so I was wondering how did the full year in japan affect your studies at George Mason?? (Sorry alot of questions via comment…its just rare to find other people going to Japan and I don’t have many people who I can discuss this with)
    Literally this blog was the first to pop up on google! I am so so so happy to see other Americans so interested in EVERYTHING japanese :)))))))

    • Stephen says:

      Hey Annie! Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and so sorry I’ve taken so long in getting back to you! I’ve been away from my blog for a little while. I am guessing that you may very well be in Japan by now? Or do you start in the Fall? Anyway, to start answering your questions, it was not a language school. I did take a Japanese language class both semesters. The content classes were in English–however, there were still a good number of Japanese students in them, maybe 50/50? These Japanese usually have pretty good English ability. If you want true immersion, joining a club of some kind would help. Regarding how it affected my studies at Mason, since I sort of did it my senior year and graduated right after, I’m not sure if that question applies to me. I do want to do graduate school in Japan though, and I have considered language school as well. Let me know if you have any questions, as it’s awesome for me too when I meet fellow Japan-lovers : )

      • anniehuang73 says:

        Hey Stephen! I never actually expected you to reply since your last blog post was from so long ago. Nevertheless it made my day when I received the email notification regarding your comment 🙂 I am actually still in the states, and classes in Japan will start in the fall. I heard that joining a club could be difficult for a gaijin, did you find that to be true?

      • Stephen says:

        Cool! What school? Are you going to Sophia? As for clubs, I don’t know about other universities, but most of the clubs at Sophia seemed pretty accepting enough. Maybe what people mean by difficult is that in many clubs, some more than others, there is a seniority system based on how long you’ve been part of the club. Even though you are probably a Junior, I’m guessing, some of these clubs will treat you as a freshman/first-year student, which can be off-putting for some people. If you don’t mind that though, or if you find one a more casual club where those rules may not apply, then it can be a great experience.

  2. yasu says:

    スティーブンさんはじめまして! ブログ読ませていただいたんですけど、すごく面白かったです! 僕は今年の4月に上智大学を卒業したんですけど、もしかしたらスティーブンさんの留学中に学校ですれ違っていたかもしれません。仕事か大学院とかで日本にまた来れる機会があるといいですね。そのときはまたブログ書いてください!

    • Stephen says:

      やすさん、はじめまして!そして、ブログを読んでくれてありがとうございました!!本当にそのときに上智大学生なら、すれ違ったはずですね。卒業おめでとうございます!絶対にまた日本に着たいので、その時にも、そのときの前にも、書こうと思います。

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