Monday, August 22, 2011


While I was away in Japan, I completely fell in love with the Japanese language. I had chosen to go on a language training program, and it was incredible. Since I had no experience with Japanese beforehand whatsoever, I was thrown into the "absolute beginner" class. My せんせい (sensei - teacher) Rieko was amazing. Her passion for teaching us Japanese reminded me of a lot of some of the teachers (former and current) at Chinquapin.

So, throughout my trip I was straining my mind to think of an idea for this project. While we traveled all around Japan, I, along with the rest of my group, became used to being the only foreigners around. In fact, whenever we would pass by or just so happen to see a foreigner, we would yell "foreigner!". Well, we would yell it just loud enough for the rest of the group to hear it. When we reached the sight-seeing part of the trip in 京都 (Kyoto), we were surrounded by masses of other foreigners. While visiting the Imperial Palace, our tour group was filled with chirping of foreign languages. I would pick out the Spanish and Portuguese while the others in my group would pick out the German, Italian, French, Greek, etc. I thought it was interesting to hear so many different languages being spoken around me. The only thing I had in common with these people was the fact that we all understood English (we were all the English tour).

Then I began to remember how some students weren't all too happy with the fact that our school only offers Spanish as a foreign language. I also thought about how Erick has been self-studying German for around a year now. So, I decided to create my project based off of the desire to learn different languages that aren't Spanish. Not that there is anything wrong with Spanish. Maybe students would enjoy learning a different language or would be interested in self-studying a language. Whatever his or her motivation is, learning a new language is fun, challenging, and becoming bilingual or just multilingual would also benefit in the work world.

While there are benefits to doing all of this, there's always the question of whether or not I (or anyone else) am motivated to actually study. I've always lacked strong intrinsic motivation. My initial thoughts of Drive were that I was going to relate in someway and that would push me forward. But as I read, I didn't feel as if there was much to relate to. I do agree that intrinsic motivation is incredibly important to have. Hopefully I'll be able to find mine before I begin this senior project. But then again, maybe I won't.

1 comment:

  1. Did the book give you any ideas for how to re-discover your intrinsic motivation? What was re-awakened by your study of Japanese? Are you going to try and master Japanese for your project (or at least continue to...)? What would be your exhibition of mastery then?