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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Squirming under the Japanese spotlight

I received feedback for my presentation today - it was very positive, and generous too in light of the fact that the hours spent editing the video somewhat robbed it of having any form of 'balanced' argument.

We had our final class with the lecturer in question today, which despite being great fun, left me reeling from shock having been made to realise just how much reading I have failed to do over the course of the semester.

Following that it was our final class with Nagai sensei, possibly the most gifted sensei in the whole world, mother to many a SEAS Japanese Studies student. In these lessons, we've been rehearsing for interviews for jobs with Japanese companies / organisations. It's been tremendously helpful, yet at the same time has seen me feeling like I'm scrabbling for a handhold when hanging over the abyss of doom. I don't know what it is, but sitting there in an interview situation (even when my interviewer is my friend and sensei of 3 years) I simply freeze. My brain refuses to budge. I clam up. Confidence deserts me faster than a herd of cows who wake to find themselves in McDonald's after a heavy night out on the town.

Sensei was right, the Joseph in me just disappears, as I become a bumbling bag of nerves.

This is most unlike me.

The thing is, it's all in my head, and I know it!

Thus, I have decided to treat this as an experiment. An experiment which, should I be lucky enough to be chosen for an interview at the embassy, will run for about 5 weeks. In this experiment, I am going to practice wearing my suit, and imagine myself in that interview situation on a regular basis. I shall ask *twinkle* to interview me, and my friend Will too. I'll ask any other Japanese people I can find down south to grill me, put me on the spot, make me squirm.

I've found my public-speaking (in English) confidence has shot through the roof this semester - through repeat practice. I can do the same with Japanese.

I can, and I WILL.

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