Amy McLeod asks:

I’m a senior and I’m considering taking the year-long intro course in Japanese. I’d like to learn Japanese within the next 5 or so years, whether on my own or with an instructor, so I thought it might be best to start while I’m still at Williams. But, the comments on the Wiki and Factrack are pretty intimidating. Is there anyone here who has taken the course and could give me some feedback? I really want to learn, but I also don’t want to take a course during my last year that will destroy my GPA and eat my life. Thoughts?

1) If you don’t take Japanese 101-102, you will never learn Japanese.

2) I took the course 20 years ago. Hard then, too! Best part was that I “taught” myself 101 and joined 102 in the spring semester. Not recommended for the faint of heart! In retrospect, I should have taken computer programming. Japanese 101-102, like most intro language courses, will “eat your life.”

3) In very few cases will anyone care about your Williams GPA. In almost no case will anyone care about the difference in your GPA (about 0.05) between getting a C+ in Japanese and an A in some gut.

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