Day 4: NO Language Barrier is Gonna Stop Me From Studying Film. Nada! / by Sarah Kakusho

So… I woke up early this morning…and couldn’t get out of bed. Okay, regardless of all the swimming I did this summer, it did nothing for my land-legs. I was SORE. Yesterday, I only walked about 8 miles, but wow… it was really sore. And, the hot water was still NOT working. Luckily, my host mom took me to her gym and they let me shower there last night [I walked back in my “WE WILL X THE WORLD” sweatpants]. Yep, people thought I was insane.

Today was…very boring. I only had three things on the agenda, one being a writing exam at 9am… It was okay. As usual, I took the entire hour and a half to write 400 palabras. After I turned it in though, I realized I used one of the idioms wrong, but oh well. They’ll just have to see my massive improvement by the end of the semester. XP

I bought a cell phone. It’s a Motorola serviced by the company Movistar [Moh-bee-star]. Getting it was an adventure, since I never bought a cell phone in person before IN ENGLISH. Pero, they activated it and everything. It was cool. I realized when I’m reading out loud, I speak much more fluidly. Hahahahah. -_-;;

Yea, anyway. Today was the first time I was able to go somewhere by myself and not feel so petrified. I went to Aroma [twice], a café on one of the main streets called Avenida Santa Fe and had lunch there [the first time]. I sat there and stared out the window, and I had this thought like a dinging bell: So, this is what it’s like for the international students [in 2010] who come to study at Soka…and they’re gonna go out and do it again when they study abroad. I have a much greater respect for them and completely erased my ignorant thought that they were just reluctant to speak the native language of the country they’re in. I guess it gave me some kind of hope. They’re English improved so much in one year, so if I make the effort, I should be able to also.

The rest of the day consisted of academic orientation where we got information on the 3 different tracks they offer here [human rights][diversity, gender & minority][film]. Yay. Alex and Mary WILL let me take the film track. I know… [which reminds me… the coordinator in charge of the film track looks like Mary]. The track is very interesting as the class will be theoretical film studies as well as a rotational observation period to write a critical analysis on. And I can take two other film classes within the film school.

What really got me was… I have to choose one other course in one of the 4 primary universities that’s offered in this program. One. Just uno. So, when I heard this, I thought, okay, it’s just one class. I can easily pick this out. What sort of interesting classes can these universities offer me? Apparently, A. LOT. What had left my mind when I first had this thought was, I get to choose ONE class out of FOUR universities. Yes.

So when I looked at the booklet they gave me… I chose 9 courses, all having to do with media and/or culture. At first I thought, how am I going to whittle this list down to ONE? I had to choose between (roughly translated):
- Arte y Cultura de la Modernidad / Art and Culture of Modernity
- Historia de la Cultura / History of Culture
- Arte, Empresa y Mercado / Art, Companies and the Market
- Publicidad e Internet / Advertising and the Internet
- Educación y Diversidad / Education and Diversity
- Cultura para la Paz y Derechos Humanos / Culture for Peace and Human Rights
- Representaciones Cinematográficas del Mundo del Trabajo / Cinematic Representation of the World of Working
- Los Mass Media y la Construcción de la Memoria Colectiva / The Mass Media and the Construction of the Collective Memory
- Teoría y Medios de la Comunicación / Theory and Modes of Communication

Pero, I don’t want to take a placement test for Universidad de Buenos Aires, so it’s looks like this now…
- Arte y Cultura de la Modernidad / Art and Culture of Modernity
- Historia de la Cultura / History of Culture
- Arte, Empresa y Mercado / Art, Companies and the Market
- Publicidad e Internet / Advertising and the Internet
- Educación y Diversidad / Education and Diversity
- Cultura para la Paz y Derechos Humanos / Culture for Peace and Human Rights
- Representaciones Cinematográficas del Mundo del Trabajo / Cinematic Representation of the World of Working
- Los Mass Media y la Construcción de la Memoria Colectiva / The Mass Media and the Construction of the Collective Memory
- Teoría y Medios de la Comunicación / Theory and Modes of Communication

Geh… I’m tired of looking at it. But, regardless, I’m trying to take a course that’s not offered at Soka in the areas of study I’m interested in. Soka lacks in the theoretical arts and mass media/communications, so I’ve found a greater purpose for being here, for myself.

Just as with any other art medium, I’m not gonna let my lacking Spanish-speaking ability get the better of me and distract me from my goal. I welcome distractions, but this is one I won’t tolerate. I’m beginning to feel the warmth of MMXDYNASTY with me. I knew in my head that I’m not alone because everyone else in 2010 will eventually study abroad also, but I no longer feel so alone, and I truly feel I can get through anything. I don’t have to wait till study abroad is over to be able to "get through anything." I can do it now.

“Traveler,
From whence do you come?
And where do you go?
The moon has set,
But the sun had not yet risen.
In the chaos of darkness before the dawn
Seeking the light,
I advance
To dispel the dark clouds from my mind
To find a great tree unbowed by the tempest
I emerge from the earth.”

-Daisaku Ikeda


If there’s anything I’ve been able to actually SEE in my life, this is it.

An opportunity to take another step towards becoming a film director.