Students were asking me about the World Cup the other day and I then realized that I have not been at all excited about the games this year. It might be because of my lack of respect for Dunga, or the fact that I'm not yet too optimistic about how Brazil is going to perform. I know for sure that when the games start though, I'll become a coach and will shout at the TV as if what I say may affect the way the players perform (how crazy is that?). I was not looking for a shirt or anything like that, but I found this one--or maybe the T-shirt found me--on Sunday. I guess I am slowly getting into the World Cup mood....
Monday, May 31, 2010
Hello everyone! Ms.Ichiyama is the bomb. She invited us for Taiwanese food today at this place about 20 min away from the school.
It's really nice to sit down and have a friendly talk over great food with great people. ^__^
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Mateus and his parents blowing candles at his 3rd birthday party. The decoration theme this year was Chico Bento, my favorite Brazilian cartoon character. Chico lives on a farm and hardly ever wears shoes. Parabéns, Mateus!
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I had the pleasure of spending the evening with Suresht and Sunil at their place today. The food and company were great! They only teach at JIU once a year, and our students are certainly very lucky to have the opportunity to register for their courses and get to meet these wonderful professors. This time they will be teaching intensive courses at JIU until the end of June. Thanks, Suresht and Sunil, for the great food!
Mateus turns three years old today. He is my only nephew and is a very happy and lucky boy. He has everyone's attention all the time, but he is starting to feel that he is going to have to share all that with someone else. My sister is pregnant and the baby is due in October. They are having a big birthday party in Brazil today (invitation above). I'll post some photos when I receive them.
Friday, May 28, 2010
Satomi, a former student who graduated two years ago, surprised me with a visit to my office at 5:30 today. It was great seeing her happy and peaceful smile, and know that she is leading a good professional life now. Satomi: thanks for the hugs, for remembering my birthday, for the great Earl Grey and for the chocolate hearts YY(surely my favorite!). I appreciate your thoughtfulness and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Hayashi-sensei and I had a farewell dinner with Liu-sensei tonight. She teaches Japanese at Spelman College and this is the first time she accompanies the group to Japan. The group is going to stay here two more weeks but unfortunately she will be returning to the States before them. Liu-sensei: thanks for bringing such a nice group of students to JIU, and we hope you'll be back in the near future.
May 28, 2010: Today students from Spelman & Morehouse College (Atlanta) met with our President Yanagisawa and talked about their Summer Program--Japanese Language and Culture--here at JIU and also about their future plans. They all have different majors and have had different levels of exposure to Japan and Japanese, but what they have in common in their interest in learning more about the country and the culture, and also that they are having a great time here now!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Martin Jones from the University of Essex in England came to JIU today for the very first time. We met in Bath three years ago when he was working for Bath Spa University and when I took a group of students there for a special two-week program. He visited some Japanese language classes and met with some of our Japanese students, too. We hope to be able to develop a good relationship with his institution and receive his students in Togane in the future.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
We celebrated Watanabe-san's birthday and mine with the great cake she brought for all of us. She also gave me these most beautiful flowers, and what makes them really special is that they are from her garden. That day we talked about Mother Teresa's philosophy of life and how she affected the lives of so many. Today, May 26, we talked about Helen Keller and about the reasons a large number of high school students don't know about these two women nowadays.
I was able to have some Indian food with most of my first and second-year advisees at a local Indian restaurant last night. Most of them hadn't met yet and they had never had Indian food either. It was a good opportunity to do both! Maki, Naho and Shunsuke joined us, and I think we all enjoyed a nice "spicy" evening.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Satoko who is now working for All Nippon Airways (ANA) came to JIU yesterday, May 24, to give a talk about her experience with her company to the students enrolled in the 航空•空港キャリア概論 course. After that, we had dinner at Yutaka (Ayaka joined us) where I tried to convince her that changing to an IPhone is not such a bad idea.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Going to different countries usually means looking forward to seeing, eating or drinking different things. For me, going to the States, especially California, means having great artichokes. This is a photo of the artichoke that was a gift from Sally from Diablo Valley College and was prepared by John Duffy in Riverside: heaven! Thank you, Sharon & John, for always treating me to the best!
On April 15, Chancellor White from UCR came to Japan to receive an honorary doctorate from JIU. The day before JIU graduates who studied two or four quarters at UCR attended a reception at a hotel here in Togane. It was an excellent opportunity to socialize and learn how the international education our students received have affected their professional life. On April 15, Dr. White, Vice-Chancellor Peter Hayashida and Dean Sharon Duffy of UCR Extension also met with current students who have been to UCR on short and long-term programs. As a UCR graduate, it is good to feel the relationship between UCR and JIU becoming stronger year by year, and I am proud and honored to be part of it.
To my seminar students:
Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers and for celebrating my and Junko's birthday on May 14 during your 交流会. My apartment looked really good for a whole week with all those gorgeous flowers and they made May 16 a very special day. Thank you!
Fantastic! It was great spending time with my former students at JIU on Saturday. Some I had not seen for eight years. Some brought their beautiful children for us to meet. Some have married. Some had not seen the big changes on campus and went on a campus tour. Some had great pleasure catching up. Some exchanged business cards. It was great to hear their stories and know that they are working hard and are leading responsible lives--they are proud of being JIU graduates. That is one of the greatest rewards of being a teacher.