Friday, February 15, 2008


I’ve been trying to find a place to study Japanese in Atlanta, which is not easy. I’ve tried three instructors at three language schools, and not one meets my exhaustive and needlessly picky criteria, such as 1) be both able AND willing to teach 日本語 to a filthy 外人 like me. Having exhausted the local language school possibilities, being unimpressed with the online offerings, and not willing to pay $1,500 a month for lessons from corporate schools, I’m now turning to the universities.

Let me just say that I loathe the entire American university system, I hated almost every college experience I had, and that I only completed my degree (and saddled myself with a decade of debt) because opportunities to make money in Corporate America are very limited without that piece of paper. So, returning to college even to audit a course for my own edification leaves a raw taste in my throat. Never mind that most universities seem improperly geared to fully teach the language (the community colleges generally stop at the intermediate level), that they are more expensive, and that they are unwilling to just exchange teaching for money. The worst is that my first step is to beg them to allow me to attend their stupid school, a process referred to as “Admissions”. Part of applying is to impress them with an essay detailing who I am, where I came from, and where I’m going. So, following is my essay:

“In the Army, the government took your tax dollars and used them to teach me how to kill anyone who tries to prevent me from achieving my objectives. And now, many years later, I have what you superior LitCrit academic weenies can only dream about – a job that pays real money and allows me to buy stuff, such as your precious time and knowledge. Dance for your paycheck, hippies! Compare your paltry lives to mine and then kill yourselves.

“Also, I’m into recycling, bourbon, volunteer work, and heavy metal music. I think farts and cannibals are funny. Bloody corpses* sexually arouse me, especially if they’re teenaged girls dressed in Catholic uniforms (less revealing is always more sexy). I’m pro-death on every issue. I plan to learn Japanese because I feel it’s important to always challenge myself, expand my open-mindedness by examining other cultures, exercise my brain in my waning years, plus I hope that I can score a Japanese girlfriend someday because tiny Asian women are hot.”

Well, time to start submitting the applications. I’d wait for your feedback but time is of the essence. Anytime you combine the government and paperwork it becomes a real mess, like when I applied for a pistol permit and had to wait for a background check and then I couldn’t even get into the courthouse to pick it up because of all the SWAT teams surrounding the building. Red tape stinks. Fortunately chainsaws and nail guns don’t require checks, and they’re way more fun anyway.

* Women only – I’m not perverted or anything


SSC said...

For the first time in a long time, I don't know how to respond?

Avitable said...

My BA in East Asian Studies was a very pleasant experience. We were really immersed in the Japanese, both linguistically and culturally.

Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

So that was YOU outside the courthouse? I knew it! ;)

Kerry said...

ummmm.... I was wondering. Can you teach me a few military attack techniques!? There is a guy at work (will be EX job come monday) that i'd like to attack and my bootcamp really hasn't gotten to that chapter yet.

グラント said...

ssc - that still counts as a comment.

avitable - curse you and your charmed life.

pq - they'll never take me alive.

kerry - get a flamethrower, claymore mine, and a machine gun and we'll begin lessons. Or you can just burn the building down.

Tai said...

I'm never going to a college or university.
Being shot dead isn't on my top ten list and it seems to me that's about all that goes on there these days.
What ever happened to 'learning'?

Patti said...

Oh you're a shoo-in. Really.

Leesa said...

Grant, I think I may have been behind you in a security line at the airport. The explanation for the items in your carry-on was very imaginative. G-men don't like imaginative explanations.

metalmom said...

I wanna see Japan and learn Japanese! All my Japanese comes from Akira Kurosawa movies!

グラント said...

tai - it gets in the way of the killing, and we Americans have our priorities.

patti - thanks. Now if I can just get them to respond to e-mail inquiries...grr.

leesa - remember, the best response to "Are you carrying any weapons?" is a friendly "What do you need?"

metalmom - he's a good place to start learning. I loved Hidden Fortress even though the princess shouted every line of dialog.