If you’ve been paying attention, you will have noticed that although I had the best intentions of trying to squeeze some fresh juice from last year’s IUJ lime wedge, I was spectacularly unsuccessful. That is not to say that I didn’t have a lovely five weeks teaching with two inspiring sets of students and a delightful posse of colleagues, just that this summer was, in form and content, remarkably similar to last (albeit with slightly cooler temps). Just to prove, though, that I wasn’t just sitting in one of the locally famous sulpher-scented onsens (hot tub spas); here’s a shot of my wonderful academic writing students:
Taken at our mid-term bash a couple weeks back, this photo shows a beautiful group of young women and men hailing from (upper left to lower right) Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan, Japan, Cambodia, (me) Japan, Thailand, Japan, and Japan (the wild guy). The non-sequitur samurai in the lower right hand corner is Ron, a fellow faculty member. My students all wrote heartfelt messages on the back of this postcard – I will treasure this warm momento of our time together.
So over the past two or three days I have written, peer-proofed, printed and handed in all the grade reports; cleaned out my stall, did laundry, packed my bags, returned my bike, bike lock, id badge and photocopy card, keys, sheets and towels, and said fond farewells to the good folks in Urasa. Hopefully I will see them again next year.
It was good fortune today that another faculty member, Corey, was leaving on the same train as I, and we were able to chat during the ride down to Toyko and then toast the summer over a quick brew at a Victorian Pub (!) in Ueno Station. It’s always nice to taper down with one of the gang – an easier detachment.
But now, here’s proof that I’m not in Kansas, er, Urasa, any more:
This is the view from my sixth floor hotel room in the Taito City area of Tokyo. I’m going to spend the next few days exploring the city in depth before meeting my junior high school pen pal (!!) on Monday and then flying back to Portland on Tuesday. In just my preliminary stroll around the neighborhood this evening I can see that there are all sorts of adventures to be had and stories to be told in this amazing megalopolis of a city. J will know what I mean when I say Beryl has reawakened. For the rest of you, just stay tuned. More soon.