What can be said about my CIP for this semester? First, perhaps I should’ve more prudent in my selection. In doing so I joined a soccer club called Afini at Kyoto University. Perhaps two misconceptions led this to be a less than enjoyable experience. First, while the members were extremely nice, I had not played soccer at all regularly since elementary school, thus my skills were severely lacking in comparison to most of the members, almost all of whom had been playing soccer since a young age. It also seemed that the level of competition in which they were engage in was of a more competative nature, not at all like the intramural club sports that I’ve participated in back in the US. I had also anticipated that at least some part of the three hour practices would be devoted to working out. instead the entirety of the practices was devoted solely to soccer drills and a scrimmage. Also having an afternoon class right after practice impaired my ability to social more with the other soccer members as they would often go out to eat together when practice ended. The result of these two factors left me with a feeling that I accomplished little in attempting to mesh into the folds of Japanese society.
However, this past Tuesday I recently participated in an English speaking circle called Klexon at the Kyoto Wings center. The premise of the groups allows for a setting in which Japanese who want to practice speaking English can have the ability to do so. They are helped by volunteers who come to the event that takes places every tuesday evening. I found the Klexon meeting to be quite enjoyable as it was nice to speak with and learn about people’s reasons for wanting to become proficient in English in an informal setting.