Well, my couple 'o' weeks of hell is over. The extra hours at work, crazy study schedule, and quest to return to a reasonable workout schedule is about ot abate. I teach no classes in Tamachi next week (some sort of plant closing type situation), my school stuff will stay at the same level, and I have settled in to a nice workout rhythm.
Let's see, what's been up...?
I got to meetup with Traci's parents a few weeks back. Met them for the first time a year or so ago, and it was great to hang out with such cool folks again. I look forward to the next time that they come to visit.
A week or so after seeing Traci's parents, I had dinner and drinks with Jim Cork. Jim and I were in Japanese I class together way back during Clinton's first term. To be honest, we weren't close frineds during school, but things seemed to click with us when we hung out here. Not sure if you'll be able to see this link, but you can see possibly the worst picture ever taken of me here.
Also, I've been planning a trip to NYC during the past few weeks. I'm going to be acting as somethign of a tour guide for the Terada's (they speak very little English), and will be showing them arounf the Big Apple, and then on to San Francisco. The tentative dates are Aug. 23 (Hi Douglas!) - 30th in NYC, 30th - Sep. 2nd (Hi Crackah!) in SF. Anybody who's gonna be in or around either of those places should send me a message. Also, it's possible that we might make a day trip to Boston, but, if so, we'll probably spend the day getting a tour of Bahstin beeyah from Todd and finding a place to eat some wicked chowdah.
Other than that, just keepin on keepin on.
Oh, yeah. I'm still trying to decide whether to go to the ASCJ this weekend. There's a roundtable tomorrow morning entitled: The Future of Basic Textual Research in Classical Japanese Literature, that might be interesting, but other than that it would likely just be a networking event for me. Still, 5000 yen is a bit steep for a networking opp.
Anyway, that hits all the main points.
Hopefully, I'll return to a decent posting schedule...er um...post-haste
I am sitting in the classroom for my seminar on Kumazawa Banzan. 40+ chairs my only companions.
This seminar is mixed graduate students (3) and undergrads (@15), but recently only two or three of the undergrads have been showing up for class. As graduate students, we come most days and can afford to miss about two times per semester. I availed myself of a personal day last Monday, so I here I sit bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I should say that this seminar, like most others in my experience, has a tendency to start quite abit later than the 2:40 scheduled start time, but it is now 2:53 and no one has shown. I am beginning to think that today's class was cancelled last week or that something else fishy is going on. The campus is in general disarray -- trash everywhere, some event-company-lookin'-folks loading folding chairs outside, and there are few people walking around campus or in the library. I went to my department to get a book and to ask what is going on, but the office was closed. Curious.
Luckily, I had to make the trip in to campus to sign for my stipend so the journey wasn't a total loss. I also, checked out a noodle shop 蕎麦屋 that I hadn't been to in a few years. The food is fairly standard fare, but the interior is excellent, teak everywhere with shoji screens to boot, and some nice koto music playing in the background. It is a bit of a hike from the station (about 10 minutes) and in the opposite direction from school, but almost no other students go in there and so it is a peaceful place to enjoy a repast.
I am feeling a little melancholy today as I think about my time here coming to an end. I never really integrated into the social life here, which, I must say, is hard for anyone that did their bachelor's someplace else. Still, it's times like this, when I realize that I don't really have a social circle here, that I think I should have tried a little harder to make friends. One of the things that made grad life at UMass fun was the comraderie that developed during hours spent in the asian reference room and over coffee in the Campus Center. Granted that Gakushuin's campus is rather small and, as such, there are few places to relax and have a quiet coffee (let alone to study), but it might have been nice to have some folks to talk with about my research on a day-to-day basis.
Well, it's now five past three and I feel secure heading home. I rode the train in today and I should be able to crank out some emails and do some exercise planning for my English class tonight.
Oh, in other news, I met up with Ben and Gren and Jason and Kozak last night for a few whiskeys in Hiro. B&G seemed a little tired from all the travelling around they did, but it seemed as if they had a nice vacation. In a couple of weeks we will be seeing Oly and Kim, and hopefully hitting up Bourbon Street.