Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's Up?

I feel like all of my creativity has frozen up under the stress of my oral exam in Japanese. I am just holding my breath. I am studying hard and trying to stay focused, positive, and calm. I met with my study group yesterday. The teacher assigned us and we will be randomly paired to have a 5-10 minute conversation in Japanese. They are all so young and seemingly unruffled. I think a few of them are happy to get by with a passing C or maybe they don't mind cramming at the last minute. They act so confident but don't know any more than I do. Their behavior is a bit of a puzzle to me and I wonder if it is just a happy facade. The fact is, I am older and wiser and I should focus on my strengths and experience. I do have a master's degree and have had natural child birth twice, after all.

We are studying again today and I really hope that my brain doesn't overload or have a senior moment. I also hope I don't get self-conscious with stage fright. This is, after all, for me. I am glad that I didn't give into my fear and quit last week. It really isn't as bad as I imagined it would be and it is good that I found that out.

I almost couldn't fall asleep Sunday night worrying about it. I am trying to work out to relieve some of the stress. I want to get a new dance video from the series of the Masala Bhangra Workout. I loaned out my old one so I did a yoga video that I have. I was so sore in my shoulders the next day from doing the Downward Dog that I felt like someone punched me all over my abdomen. I do 2 miles on my treadmill about 4 days a week but that doesn't help my upper body and I am getting pretty bored with being in the garage.

I am trying to stay pleasant and positive at home because I don't want to create more stress and because my family are all being pretty great right now and I want to do my bit to continue that. I am trying to create domestic bliss by doing the laundry, making the beds, driving people where they want to go, and cooking nice meals. It is nice to sit down to a yummy, nutritious meal. Being vegetarian requires creativity to avoid boredom and to get a balanced diet. My latest favorite thing is Lundberg mixed wild rice cooked with veggie bouillon or Za'atar spice.

My younger daughter was doing a project on Denmark and we baked little fancy apple cider cakes. I was so worried about them sticking that I sprayed too much spray oil in the pans and almost set the oven on fire! Now I have to clean baking soda out of the oven. I was proud of myself for remembering that baking soda is the thing to stop or put out an oven fire. I must have learned that in 7th grade home economics. I actually learned so many things in that class that I still think of. One thing is - always make sure there is nothing in the oven before you turn it on. Another thing is - if you find something in your food when you are eating with other people, quietly set it aside so you don't ruin everyone else's meal. I try to teach this to my family but they still want to shriek "eeeuuwww... look what I found in my food! gross!! etc."

It will sink in eventually and I will love them either way. They will really have to practice their manners if we go live in Japan. My daughter said, yesterday, "did you see how the Japanese student held her fork so formally?" At least they are noticing. I have a lot of sympathy for them working so hard in school now that I have been through just one class. Being a student is tanoshi (fun) but also very muzukashi (difficult).

I love this little bag that I made out of fabric that I got in Tokyo. It is sweet and perfect for winter.

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