It’s been a while since I made a random post.
The days of being a student are long gone and writing about little things that happen is just not a part of my priorities these days. It can’t be when you’re first in, last out of the office on occasion.
The lack of time does not mean that I am too busy to think. So that’s what I’m doing today: sharing some of the things that have been going through my mind in the last few months doing that shakaijin seikatsu.
First, is a reflection on what my philosophy professor once told the class.
It was during a course on the Critique of Pure Reason by Kant. We had all done the reading(some did it in English-some in Japanese), but no one wanted to speak up to summarize chapter 1. It’s not that we were against active participation, it’s just the reading has, as one might put it, “High-levels of abstraction.”
After our professor pushed us individually (all 5 of us), he proceeded to close his book, then closes the Japanese book, then closed the German text. The class looks at each other- we are wondering how we will make it through the 1.5 hrs left on the clock. Most of us had never picked up the book until the day prior, and it was showing. He speaks.
“You can’t read Kant for the first time.”
‘Does he expect us to read it twice through?’ I was not excited, but I knew one reading was clearly not enough; There was no way that I was going to understand enough of the words on that page. No way was I going to comprehend it and spit it back with any semblance of eloquence.
Fast forward to 2015. At the end of one year I was sitting in a meeting room with my manager discussing my performance. By that time I was already moved several times, and I was being notified of another move… Working in Japan, is full of surprises.
Every job is different, but the knowledge carries over.
After each move, it gets easier. It helps that it’s not the first time.
Coming out of college and expecting to do things perfectly at your job is as unlikely as comprehending all of a Kant reading in one go. It’s tough, but you might have to be willing to give it several run-throughs before you can really start to ‘get-it.’
If you are worried about how to deal with a new environment or unsatisfied with your ability, you might just need to try again. The first time is usually the most difficult, the second time will not be so bad. Just remind yourself that you might only need to read Kant once more.