Classes of My First Quarter at ICU

Although I am finished with my first quarter, because I never wrote about it let me tell you bit about it.

The ways classes are taken at ICU is very different from my home institution. It’s set up like a high school system here, with like periods: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, all the way to 8th period. But unlike my high school, every period is not only 50 minutes long, but rather 70mins long. Okay, now you might be thinking, well an extra 20 minutes, stop being a baby! No, nuh-ah! Those extra twenty minutes kills you, especially for JLP (Japanese Language Program) classes which are two periods a day for five days a week. At my institution it’s basically taking three classes. On top of my JLP classes, I had Modern Japanese Literature in English translation and From Ramune to anime. Let me explain the courses more thoroughly from my perspective and how I felt overall after the quarter ended.

Modern Japanese Literature in English Translation

in this class we read two to three short stories from, “The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories,” and discussed them in class; our meaning of the story and what we think it means. Some people asked questions outloud for this they didn’t understand, which let the rest of us join in on what the answer may be. My Professor is a pretty awesome lady by the way. She knows her Shizz.

This was my favorite class of the quarter because it allowed me to think about thing I wouldn’t normally ponder about, for example, the affects of society on people, the morality of people, things among those topics. It also helped me to find inspiration on the type of stories I want to write as a future author. It also changed my writing style a lot.

From Ramune to Anime

This class gave it’s students a more in depth look into Japanese culture dating back from the Jumon period to the present. In all truth this class was to dull, and for the first time it’s not because the teachers were dull, they were awesome! The two teachers were really into the subject which made me happy and interested to hear what they were saying, but sadly, because of the amount of time that class was, I died a few times.

That class is called a “GOROCHI”, in other words a class that lasts for periods five, six, and seven. The meaning behind the name is this: in Japanese five if go, six is roku, and seven is shichi. To name those periods they took out a piece from each one of those numbers.

Let me tell you this…NEVER EVER EVER EVER take a GOROCHI. It’s human suicide. I don’t how many times I sat in that class wanting to take a bullet and shoot myself in the head. I mean at my home institution sure there were classes that one came once a week, but usually that class only lasted for 3 hours. This class lasted for almost four. Yes we had two ten minute breaks, but hell if that helped anything. The solid fact that the classes were longed messed up the class for me and other students who were studying abroad. Here are my thoughts:

  • When a class is too long, the attention span begins to slip. This leads to:
    • Falling asleep in class, doing something else while in class, talking to your friends so loudly that because you sit in the back of the room it’s hard to hear the teacher talk. The mics being sucky doesn’t help either.

The only good thing about this class was the field trips we took on the weekends. Sometimes we went with the teachers and sometimes we went with our groups. I love everyone in my group by the way. To celebrate the end of class we all went to an Izekaya, had a  blast! (PIC to the left wa at the Imperial Palace. Our Teacher stressed about us touching the stones so we touched them all right.) But anyways, lol, the fieldtrips were very informative about the history of the area and I have to say that learned a lot because of the field trips. Also, I made a lot of good memories.


7 thoughts on “Classes of My First Quarter at ICU

  1. Hi Katy i am planning courses to take at ICU for Fall 2012 and i am a bit confused about the units at ICU . I need to take at least 16 units and most courses at ICU are 2-3 units, so i would have to take 5-8 classes and it seemed a bit overwhelming to me because i am used to a quarter system with 4 classes ( 4 units each ). Can you please tell me why that is the case at ICU ? Is it because the class is shorter?

    • Hey Katy,

      Um…heck no the classes are not shorter. I also use a quarter system at my home institution (ICU is a quarter system btw) and our classes for like a 4/5 days a week class is only 50mins long, but in ICU’s case classes are 5/5 days a week and are 20 mins longer. But don’t be scared lol, the only class for 5/5 days a week is the Japnaese language program (JLP), which you might be taking right? That class itself is six units. Also there will be a class only held in fall quarter at ICU which is the From Ramune to Anime class, that class is six units. There goes a full 12 units right there now all you need is 4 more. :]
      But the question is do I recommend the F.R.T.A class. Um….kind of, if you need the units then yes. It was an interesting class but the fact that it was a GOROCHI killed me and many others. But in all truth, IF you sit up front and actually pay attention the class may be a bit better, because then you can pay attention. Also the weekend fieldtrips were not mandatory but they really do help you explore a different side to
      Tokyo. Like my trip to Ryogoku (There is a video blog for this :)], I would have never thought of exploring that place as part of my trip in Japan, but I’m very glad I did and I learned a lot about Japan history at the same time (It’s a guided tour from one or both of our teachers ;)]. In that class you also get to meet a lot of Japanese people because the teacher forces you guys to enter a group for a group project at the end of the quarter. Last and not least, it’s an easy class.
      I hope this helps,

  2. HI! I’m applying for ICU this year and i was wandering if the courses are taught in english (for example, biology)?

    Btw, your blog is amazing. Im so glad that your blog came out on google! 😀

    • Came out on Google?? 😀 Please explain.

      But anyways lol, YES ICU has MANY English classes for you to choose from and Bio is one of them. ICU, is actually very famous for its English classes. But you have to remember that in order for 4 year regulars to graduate, you are also required to take classes in Japanese.

      Hope this helps. ^^

      • Actually on youtube >.<
        i forgot but it think i wrote "ICU tokyo clubs" on google and your youtube video came out. I watched it and i clicked your blog link that was in the video description. xD

        Thanks! It helped me a alot! ^^

        One more thing. Are there students who speak japanese and english in freshman? because I can speak both languages but I want to study in ICU (well, i can't write japanese :S )

      • Oh wow.

        Well its nice to know that the tags I put in actually worked. Thanks for watching them and checking out this blog because it really is made for people like you who want to know more about ICU or Japan.

        But YES, there are a ton of kids who speak English and Japanese who are freshmen. I have a couple of friends who are like that. I wish I was though!! DX

      • Oh wow.

        Well it’s nice to know that the tags I put in actually worked. Thanks for watching them and checking out this blog because it really is made for people like you who want to know more about ICU or Japan.

        But YES, there are a ton of kids who speak English and Japanese who are freshmen. I have a couple of friends who are like that. I wish I was though!! DX

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