Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Golden Pavilion welcomed us!

It began with light rain today but kept us from being caught in rain unlike yesterday! The Golden Pavilion was shining in light rain and high humidity got us sweaty! A couple of students got a little lost on their way to school this morning, which was quite normal and the best thing in this group is everyone is rather athletic and keep up with GTS fast walking! Hey, I love it! We will conquer the Silver Pavilion after having lunch near the hospital where GTS was born forty some years ago!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Nobody was late for the first day in school!

Everyone in Study Abroad Group came to school on time!! Pretty amazing! New strict feature of 「Kiritsu(stand up straight)」 and 「Rei(vow)」 let students feel like studying JAPANESE! During the break everyone began socializing with Chinese and Korean students in Japanese which is the only common language among themselves. Good Start! After class, everyone enjoyed cheap meal at Ritsumeikan University's cafeteria and headed to the Rock Garden of Ryoanji! During the long walk from the temple to the familiar bus stop we were all caught in rain but hey we are in the rainy season now! Smooth start! I liked it. Very cooperative!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Study Abroad Group reached Kyoto safely!

After the peace study in Hiroshima, the group arrived in Kyoto by bullet train by which everyone enjoyed nicer ride than by airplane. Everyone has been reminded of Kyoto's hot and humid weather right away! Students were picked up by each host family one by one and will begin commuting to school by themselves tomorrow! Let's bet how many students will have a trouble getting to school on the first day tomorrow. I certainly hope it would be ZERO but....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Study Abroad Group arrived in Hiroshima on time!

Last year COD group went to Nagoya via Shang-hai, China because of United Air's mechanical problems! Learning from it, we came to Japan with All Nippon Airways with very comfortable ride! Lay over time was a bit longer but a lot better than going through China! From Hiroshima Airport an airport bus took us to Hiroshima Train station where we switched to the street car to get to Hotel. Next day, everyone walked around the Peace Park as well as its museum to learn. After lunch the A-Bomb survivor's lecture let everyone think of how to live towards the better future. Students energy was endless and blasted at the Hiroshima's newly built Mazda Ball Park for the professional baseball game 'Carps vs. Dragons.' Everyone is in good condition now to be ready for the program!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ready to fly to Japan for summer study abroad!

In less than half a day, COD summer study abroad group will take off from Chicago heading to Hiroshima via Narita(Tokyo) by All Nippon Airways. Hiroshima Peace study schedule has just been re-confirmed with the Peace Memorial Hall and 10 baseball game tickets have been secured for experiencing the Japanese-style baseball game entertainment at the newly built ball park with students from Hiroshima Jogakuin University. Japan is now eagerly waiting for GTS and his lovely students! Stay tuned for our arrival in Japan.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sad News from Japan before getting there!

Finally GTS was liberated from AP Scoring 'Prison' in Kansas City and got back to lovely Chicago and become ready for Summer Program beginning next week! Well, then a big sad news came in from Japan that GTS's father passed away rather suddenly today. It will give no effect on the COD summer program and the group with GTS will get to Tokyo/Hiroshima on 6/25 (Thursday) and then to Kyoto on 6/28 (Sunday). I wish he could make it until I get there! I heard he was quite fine and walked around until yesterday. At a moment things seems to be a mess but should be settled soon. As he used to tell me to prioritize professional activities, my life goes on! By the way, Hiroshima Jogakuin University students are ready to entertain COD students to go the ballgame (Carp vs. Dragons) and Miyajima (floarting huge Torii gate).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

AP Scoring in Kansas City continues!

Over a week has just passed for GTS's life in Kansas City, MO. Being kept for all day long everyday in a little partitioned room in convention center is truly challenging! At least, I feel good about the fact that about 2000 high school students were able to take the exam which needs a really high proficiency level in Japanese. It is also a good opportunity for meeting with teachers from colleges and high schools all over the US including actually Japan though the total number of teachers here for scoring are just about 45! Well, 74 spots are left for 1101 in fall semester at COD and seems to be a good pace to fill each spot at a moment. In 2 weeks, COD summer program group will get to Hiroshima! How exciting!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

GTS in Kansas City for AP Scoring!

GTS is now in Kansas City in MO for AP Japanese scoring and have been already very tired from sitting in front of Laptop Screen (provided by ETS) from early morning to evening every day. Though it is partly enjoyable because of meeting with many Japanese teachers across the country, making a reliable scoring guideline is a pain. Towards the next weekend I am planning to go to a ballgame of Kansas City Royals vs. Reds and that will be the only entertainment during the 2-week stay here in Kansas City! I forgot to mention! One block away has a newly opened (this January) grocery store selling Kirin and Sapporo, and that is a bit comforting!!