Saturday, February 26, 2011

March is just around the corner!

Time really flies. 1101 started with 28 student in January but now 21. By the mid-semester (early April) I suspect about 15 students will be settled and that is a good number for me. knowing that they may not pass the course, some may stay to have fun in class! First week of March is the JET program interview week and I will become one of the interviewers, who gives some nasty questions! I have attended the reception at the official residence of Consul General of Japan last night and enjoyed mini Oboe concert and sushi. Friday next week (3/4) is the JCC/GTS Dinner night so I hope many show up this time. The reservation is 6:30pm. This Dinner tradition is now 15th year! While I enjoyed birthday comments from everyone, I forgot renewing my Driver's License!! (I successfully renewed 19 days after my birthday without much problem!) Hope to see you all in a week.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

2nd Test of 1102 passed!

The average of the first test wasn't too good (65-70%) so this test got better (about 75%) though getting more polarized than before, which is quite usual. So the better grade/points group average is over 80% while another end group is 40-50%. Yet this score will never represent each student's hidden linguistic ability as I know many members of the latter group later got successful in many fields with 'Japanese Skill.' It is rather cruel to put 'a rather negative label' on their back but the schooling gave a tough life to each student. Those who somehow managed to pull through can get to the brighter future statistically! GTS is still hoping everyone could eventually make it! the number of 1101 students began decreasing as well. After the second test next week, 1101 class will be shaped up a bit with less members. There are several availble helpers this semester, so hopefully more students would survive!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Study Abroad Japan Grows!

It is about the time to begin finalizing to organize the group of 2011 Summer Japan Program. There are so far 17 students being committed to the program and began excited to have the adventurous life in Japan. Some may still join and could become almost the largest group in the 13-year history of the program despite this notoriously low value of the US currency! In light of most expensive summer airfare in the history, we have to modify the program a bit and cancel the first few-day orientation/peace study visit to Hiroshima and directly get to Kyoto. In return, students can stay one more weekend at the end of July and come back to Chicago on Monday, August 1. (complete 42-day or 6-week program this year!) Hiroshima peace study visit will be realized one of the weekend during the program, instead. Let's hope DOLLAR goes up! 「ドルさん、がんばってください。」

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Nice JCC/GTS dinner in February.

Recent JCC/GTS dinner has been rather small maybe because it begins late, so I decided to have March dinner on the 4th, which is the first Friday night and begins 6:30pm, so plaese show up at 6:30pm, I will be there! (oh, well it is 3 weeks away so ....) The dinner last night got those who have not seen a while except communicating through 'Facebook.'
It was good to see one new associate from 1101! I hope it would grow more. For classes, I suspect 1101 will shrink next week after returning the first test as you can imagine. The summer study abroad, though still accepting, became a nice sized group of 15 students (6 female students and 9 male students). 11 students are from either my current or previous classes. There is one from Harper CC and another from Oakton CC. Well, hope some more can join us. Horribly expensive airfare and exchange rate, we have to skip the initial Hiroshima Orientation study (it happened in 2008) but I successfully extended the trip a few more day at the end to include one more weekend before returning to Chicago!

Departure: 6/21 (Tue) by American Airline
Return: 8/1 (Mon) by American Airline (42 days 6-week!)
Daily Japanese Language class: 9:00am-12:30pm
Daily GTS Excursion: 12:30pm-5:00pm

Cost: $4200 plus $900 (tuition for 7 semester hours regardless of where you live. No In and OUT district stuff!)
(This includes everything but lunch)


Thursday, February 10, 2011

GTS/JCC dinner this Friday night (Tomorrow)!

One month passed very quickly and the dinner is coming up tomorrow! It is a national holiday in Japan (National Foundation Day, which is highly political since nobody knows when Japan was formed!). I hope many will show up! The first test of 1101 finished and I lost 4 students so far (well, the average score was 70%!) 2202 also finished the first test and the average score is about 75% but everyone stick to the class and they can overcome together.
Summer Study Abroad Japan program has now 15 students in it and it seems to be a nice big group of us. I have decided to extend the program dates until 8/1 so that we can include one more weekend! Sad thing, on the other hand, is that we have to cancel Hiroshima orientation peace study due to the high price of airfare! We will visit Hiroshima in the middle of the program, which is planned by the host institution in Kyoto.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ah! GTS Birthday today!

After the big snow storm, GTS birthday arrives. When I was born next to Silver Pavilion in Kyoto so many years ago, I heard that it was a big snow in Japan and everything was stopped except me coming out to this world. Usually no need to go to the office at college but after two-day unexpected off, I must catch up several things there as well as final preparation for the weekend workshop! Our little dog, TARO still has parasite to get rid of and I must bring his stool sample to the Animal Hospital. TARO loves snow just like other dogs but in order to avoid those harmful salt on the road, he was digging and running the snow backyard! Well, too much personal matters!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Japanese Teaching Workshops in Chicago!

After unexpected two-day Blizzard off, this coming Saturday and Sunday have workshops for Japanese education. Two worshops will be held at Japan Information Center (attached to Consulate General of Japan in Chicago). Saturday one is for K-16 Japanese teachers in the area (mostly IL, IN, WI, IA) and Sunday one is for teaching Japanese as a Heritage language. Teaching Japanese, to second-generation Japanese-Ameican kids as well as to those who has a Japanese-speaking parent, has a different meaning for them so we have to focus some effective methods. Oh, well writing about this will need 20-page paper so I should just prepare two workshops. Good thing is that I am just a organizer and the facilitating specialist will come from California! I hope flight from Los Angeles would arrive on time and have a welcoming dinner here!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard closed the school but not GTS!

Once in 40 years blizzard attacked Chicago area and almost all the schools were closed. COD was closed right after 1102 students' taking the first chapter test this semester. Thanks to the Blizzard ironically created time for me to mark every test and find out who were "injured" and who were "defenced well." The average score of the test is just about 70% so I would say it was a bit harder but it was quite usual at the beginning of the semester. Blizzard gave more time for 2202 students to prepare the test due to the cancellation of the class so I am expecting that they will perform great on Monday! I am rather busy for organizing two up-coming workshops this weekend held at the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago! Oh, yea my birthday is coming up on Friday!