Saturday, December 7, 2013

The end of the semester is just around corner!

Year 2013 is closing to the end as this semester is finishing up.  I am really hoping everyone left in classes pass somehow this semester.  But the number will not tell a lie so I am scared myself!

2 classes of 1101 next semester have already a dozen students in each class so they will run!

1102 has about 15 students, which is really good!

Spring trip has 6 students registered now and a couple more students are likely coming!

Good ending of the year 2013 and also promising 2014 is welcoming GTS!   Superb!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Spring Semester Regitration goes well so far!

Morning 1102 has already a dozen students including some from the night class and it will be filled up!

1101 classes (daily morning and late afternoon) are gradually filling so looking good!

2201 afternoon class may have only a few students as the current 1102 class has only 9 students!  Yet the class will go as there are all excellent students.

2202 class is quite promising and there will be about a dozen excellent students to enjoy with GTS with many smiles and, of course, some bitterness!

2252 (the 6th semester class which is the final sequential class at COD) will have 4,5 students

Spring trip is getting bigger as well!

There are 3 officially registering to THE 2014 SUMMER STUDY ABROAD!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Spring Registration Began!

As the fall semester is getting closer to the final, the registration for Spring semester classes has begun.

1100 Japanese culture class (with INMP Special project) has already 3 students in it.
1102 morning daily class has already 7 students in it!
2202 the fourth semester class has already 4 students in it.

It seems to be the good start.

Besides, summer study abroad program has already 3 students for sure!

Spring trip has 4 registered students and 3, 4 are waiting a bit longer so it is promising!


Sunday, October 27, 2013

All classes have been shaped up!

1101 classes now hold 58 students (which began with a bit over 70 students) and 1102 has 11 original students (Great!). 

2201 (third semester) class holds 15 students and 2251 (5th semester) class shrank to 6 as things got harder.

Spring trip during the spring break time has officially 3 students and now 3 are waiting to register for sure, so this is quite bright!

Spring semester registration will begin in a few days, GTS is fairly optimistic about having all planned courses' realization.

2252 will probably very small or may not be held due to the low enrollment but since it is the 6th semester class, it is quite natural.

Summer Study Abroad program is also very promising and it might be a larger group than that of last year!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spring Trip information Corrected!

Former announcement for GTS Spring Field Trip to Japan had wrong dates!!!!

Correct dates must be falling into the Spring Break period of COD, therefore

Departure from Chicago will be on Friday 3/28/2014.
Return to Chicago will be on Sunday 4/6/2014.

The theme of this trip is Tradition and Modernity but Japanese National Flower "Sakura" (Cherry Blossoms) must be in full bloom!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Study Abroad Promotional Event has successfully done!

Study Abroad Open House was held today and over 70 people showed up including some 20 students from GTS morning class.  One of past participants of Japan Program spoke about the trip and GTS added some comments.

It was kind of special as I invited the rep from Temple University Japan (TUJ) for transferring process from COD to TUJ, which is one the greatest way to finish college education.

Temple University is a well known accredited university in Philadelphia and has a campus in Japan holding 10 majors and other programs.

This is the only US institution recognized by Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

Students can finish college with regular US Bachelor's degree with Japanese language skill!
Tuition is a lot cheaper than many private institutions in the US!

Hope some would transfer there.  There are quite a few students from my class in the past successfully completed the program there!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

First test was completed for every class!

Every class had a first test and now we will probably see some withdraw!  1102 and 2201 students know that the real challenge come to them so I don't expect them to withdraw
as we all work together for survival!

Quite a few students show their real interest in summer study abroad program so I am fairly optimistic about the program.

There will be the study abroad promotion event on Tuesday, 10/8 and all my 1101 morning students will show up there to feel the opportunity by themselves.

Believe it or not, Spring Break Japan Trip has already two people signing up and I began getting excited about the Spring already!

Japanese Culture Club soon has a meeting!

Friday, September 6, 2013

JCC/GTS first dinner this academic year was overwhelmed by over 20 participants!

First Friday night of the month today was the dinner night and over 20 people showed up for exchanging smiles and some recent news!

Students from over 10 years ago and former study abroad participants as well as current students at COD enjoyed talking among others at this first dinner!

October dinner will be on Friday (10/4/2013) and GTS anticipates that the newest students will join us!

Great smiles and great laughter are always energizing not only myself but also everyone!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

No.1 Growth in Liberal Arts Division Humanities Subdivision! Go GTS!

Though we regrettably canceled one morning class of 1101, the total number of Japanese program participation exceeds way over 100 head count!

Within Humanities subdivision (All the languages, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Humanities, History), Japanese got number 1 growth by increasing about 20% compared to last year number.

Japanese will continue to grow for sure under GTS leadership!

Summer study abroad, and Spring field trip to Japan are both accepting registration now!

Spring Trip to Japan will be between 3/21/2014 and 3/30/2014.

Summer Study Abroad Japan will be between 6/20/2014 and 7/25/2014.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One Class short this semster but the waiting list begin working!

Though we canceled one morning class of 1101, another morning class needs a waiting list!! Over all out of possible 75 seats of 1101, only 4-5 seats are left and I do anticipate these 4 seats be taken by the beginning of the first class on Tuesday night!

1102 fortunately has 10 students even though we had a very limited number of survivors of 1101 last Spring and I am quite happy to see this happening.

Retention for 2201 is really great and 17 students signed up, which is very exciting.

Surprisingly 8 students signed up for 2251 and 6 of them are from 2202 of last spring semester.

This is the great number and GTS is now very encouraged.

GTS is now planning on China Study Abroad which will begin the summer 2014.  GTS will lead the trip in the summer 2015. 

GTS may teach one Chinese class or two soon!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bitter beginning of the Academic Year 2013!

GTS is now experiencing the bitter beginning of the academic year!  For the first time in my history at COD, one 1101 morning class was cancelled yesterday due to the low enrollment!

Fortunately another 1101 morning class was completely filled and probably be overflown.

1101 classes in the evening have still some seats!   It is the bitter start!

Good news, on the other hand, is the good retention for the upper classes!

1102 has some 10 students, 2201 has over 15 students, and 2251 has 6,7 students and this is great!

Study Abroad Japan 2014 and Spring Beak Japan Trip are now accepting students!

Those who want to go to Japan in Christmas Break, contact me at

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Anyone wants to go to Japan during the Chrismas time?

There is no COD field trip to Japan until next Spring break in 2014 but if you are interested in traveling to Kyoto area in Japan in the winter break, contact GTS at

Fall Registration continues!

Fall semester at COD classes will begin 8/26/2013, which is a bit later than usual so registration speed has been slower as those who register classes must pay the tuition at the same time.

Japanese 1101 class at 11am daily and two night classes will be filled soon BUT 1101 class at 10am daily still has a lot of seats!  Please join us!

Japanese 2201 class at 7pm (Mon/Wed) will be filled BUT off-sequence Japanese 1102 class in the afternoon (Mon/Wed) has a plenty of seats!  Those who want to refresh Japanese learning are all welcome!

Japanese 1100 at 6pm on Thursdays include some unique features, such as film watching, global classroom (real-time conversation with college students in Hiroshima), etc.  We can have a lot of fun together!!   Join GTS!

Those who have been in Japan and highly motivated students can join Japanese 2251 on Tuesday night!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Study Abroad successfully ended and ready for Fall Semester!

Study Abroad Japan has completed successfully and now the focus is on the Fall Semester!
Japanese language classes in fall are Japanese 1101, 1102, 2201, 2251. 

Japanese culture with Global classroom (real time connection with the class in Hiroshima Jogakuin University in Japan) will be Japanese 1101 every Thursday night!

Japanese 1101 will be:
Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu    10:00am-10:50am, 11:00am-11:50am
Mon/Wed                   5:00pm-6:50pm
Tue/Thu                    7:00pm-8:50pm  (taught by Imamura-sensei)

Japanese 1102 will be
Mon/Wed                   1:00pm-2:50pm

Japanese 2201 will be
Mon/Wed                   7:00pm-8:50pm

Japanese 2251 will be
Tue                           5:00pm-7:50pm

Join GTS class!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Farewell Party, Entertainment, and Tenjin Festival Fireworks!

The commencement has been completed with presenting the Certificate of Merit from the principal.  Farewell lunch party was held with host families and each class presented the final project of Play as usual.

Pizza, Sushi, Chicken and Creme puff made everyone full and the extreme game of Watermelon Break was fun and everyone had a chance of eating a piece of watermelon.

Final night is the most famous OSAKA Tenjin Festival with super exciting fireworks!

We are now getting ready to go back to Chicago!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cooling down at the Kyoto Aquarium almost at the end!

A Hot and humid day continues and so we went to the Kyoto Aquarium which opened in Kyoto three years ago.

Marine animals and fish gave us some cooling feeling as well as fun during the Dolphin Show!

One more day before finishing up the program and the final night will be celebrated by big fireworks at Osaka Tenjin Festival!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sushi and Paid a visit to GTS' elementary school in heat!

Everyone took the final exam yesterday and today was the Sushi day on which everyone had a chance to make sushi rolls!

Some looked great and those went to teachers and other staff at school as well as GTS.

Some looked "failure" though their taste is probably good!  After Sushi, we went to Kamigamo Shrine area where GTS went to his elementary school, which was still standing great, and some public parks and small in known path ways etc.

3 more days to conclude the program and now everyone must begin packing!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Buddhist Scripture Calligraphy at Daikaku-ji Temple!

Under the hot and really humid weather, we went to Daikakuji Temple in Arashiyama Area where we visited its Monkey Park last time!

Everyone had a chance to get the experience of writing with brush of Hannya Shingyo Scripture of the Buddhism.

After visiting this temple we began walking in the Sagano bamboo area path under some rain!

There will be few more days left in the program and we will do our best!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Slope and 250 steps took us to the Tanukidani Fudoin!

Raccoon dog statues everywhere in the Tanukidani Fudoin temple welcomed us after walking up the slope and climbing up 250 steps!

Head monk, Ryokai, who is the sempai of GTS welcomed us and explained in detail about the demon-gate of Kyoto (northeast) and its history!

About 5-6 degree lower than temperature of the city! Physical stamina is now challenging us!

Well, Ramen Museum will be waiting for us tomorrow in Osaka!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gion Festival and Sake Museum!! The best combination!

Today was the very day of the Gion Festival on which many floats was marching!!  It was hot and humid as usual but students could have a chance to see the best scene of huge floats' turning the street without steering wheel!

People and bamboo and water worked collaboratively and the parade proceeded smoothly!

After watching several floats, we visited Horino Memorial, the original sake distillery 100 years ago (Kinshi Masamune).

We had a chance to see Kyoto traditional style house and got a chance of tasting some products!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Perfect Weather for Mt. Kurama!

Heated weather had a little break this afternoon so we had a perfect weather to go to Kurama Temple on top of the Mountain and went down to Kifune Shrine being famous for the water deity and also happy couple fortune!

Gion Festival is now at the peak and there will be the main parade tomorrow to which students will be led by teachers!

I will take them to Kyoto Traditional house which is now Kinshi Masamune Sake Museum!

We are getting to the end of the program but will be very eventful as usual!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Heat, Heat, Heat! Money, Monkey, Monkey!

Hot and humid weather of Kyoto recklessly continues but we challenged this by climbing up Mt. Iwata where the famous monkey park is located!

Monkeys are plunging into the pond like human kids!  They are chasing apples and peanuts that students were trying to give!

We were in the cage to see monkeys outside.  AND monkeys are observing us in the cage!

The long weekend begins tonight until Monday and some are going to Tokyo by night bus!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Heat, Heat, Heat but Dear Deer Deer in Nara!

100F day continues here yet we are on schedule as usual! We went to meet with many deer in Nara Park!  On the way we lost some several times!

Huge Buddha is still there to welcome us and we went up to the February Hall of Todaiji from which we could view entire Nara city!!

Our trip went on to Wakakusa Hill to Kasuga Grand Shrine and back to the Train station through
the Shopping Street!

We will meet monkeys tomorrow!!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Osaka Castle was way bigger than Hiroshima Castle!

Under the heat wave, we visited Osaka Castle which everyone could compare with Hiroshima Castle we went to a few days ago!

Not too many people in the Castle because it is Wednesday today! We lost a few people here last year under the heavy rain but we were together this year!

Enormous Buddha will wait for us tomorrow in Nara and we will do greet him no matter what!

Another hot and humid day is coming up!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Heat wave continues! Over 100F we felt! Yet we move forward!

Heat wave still continues and the rainy season officially ended yesterday.  So this over 100F day is now normal here in Kyoto. 

Many areas in Japan had many people passing out because of this rather sudden heat!  COD group did challenge against this heat even by climbing through thousands of Torii gates in Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine.

Our group this year keeps up with me well so we could reached Tofukuji temple over the mountain before closing of the temple!  Last visit was three years ago as we could not make it in time last couple of years!

Our exploration will continue tomorrow and the day after by going to Osaka Castle and Todaiji temple in Nara!

Indeed, this trip should give students PE credits!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Heat wave carried us to the Meiji Snack Factory!

Real Kyoto hot and humid summer began today and felt hotter than our body temperature!  The rainy season seems to be ended and we are now in real summer Kyoto. 

The air conditioned train took us to the station from which we could walk to the Meiji Snack Factory being famous for some snacks such as, Karl and Kinoko no Yama.

We got some snack packs for souvenir and went through actual factory line together.

Very hot and humid but smiles of the factory character tried to ease our being tired from heat!

NO rain seems to be in the rest of this week!  Yay!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hiroshima One Day Trip accomplished!

We were "lucky" to have an opportunity to visit Hiroshima even for a few hours to hear from A-Bomb survivor about what happened on THAT very day!

It took 5 hours by bus via highway to get to Hiroshima.  On its way, we had a chance to enjoy service area in Japanese style!  We were roughly about for 4 hours in Hiroshima before heading back to Kyoto!

We did have an ambitious plan so we shrunk the plan and visit Hiroshima Castle besides the Peace Memorial Hall.

Students will have a chance to compare between small Hiroshima Castle and Huge Osaka Castle soon!

The mission completed at 10:30pm!  It was a long day but a good day!

Friday, July 5, 2013

First Heated Humid day visited us!

Because of some rain (not really complete rain), we had a very humid day like sauna today!  It really reminds us of being in summer Kyoto!

Newly designed and re-opened Kyoto City Zoo brought us some smiles and everyone got some comfort from innocent animals which also experience this same kind of heat!

We are getting ready to go to Hiroshima which we could not visit last two years due to extreme weak dollars.  Fortunately we could visit Hiroshima as a day trip, which is hard but interesting!

Wow, two weeks have already passed!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Occasional Heavy rain but the mission completed!

Really heavy rain but we could avoid it by getting on the bus.  By the time we get to the destination it stopped raining!

We could proceed to the largest Shrine garden in Kyoto at Heian Jingu Shrine.

Today is the first day of the national election for upper house in congress!  So it will be really lively city atmosphere until the voting day of 7/21!

Well, the weather could be worse in the rainy season and we are still on the right truck!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Supposed to be raining but we were lucky!

It was quite lucky for us not to be caught in rain this afternoon to the Nijo Castle!

Students had experience of walking on the squeaking corridor in the main hall before enjoying the garden walk in the castle.

The rain seems to be waiting for us tomorrow but hopefully rain in the middle of the night and get cleared tomorrow morning! 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Seimei Shrine famous for medieval Exorcism in Japan and KIMONO

Our afternoon excursion took us to Seimei Shrine enshrining the famous medieval Exorcist.  Just 3 minutes walking away is the Nishijin Textile Center where kimono fashion show is held.

Several beautiful kimono were introduced by kimono fashion models on the stage.  Another cloudy day today and it seems that we will have rainy days next couple of days.

But so far we have been lucky to have cooler days!  Hope it continues!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Eikando Zenrinji Temple to Nanzenji Temple meeting GTS' mom!

Right in front of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, City bus took us to Eikando Zenrinji temple from which we could see the eastern center of Kyoto city! 

In the Eikando, our group bumped into with Bowling Green State University (Ohio) group led by Prof. Akiko Jones!  What a coincidence!

We will probably meet with them in Hiroshima as their schedule is exactly the same as ours!

From Eikando, we could walk through Nanzenji temple and Kyoto Canal to get to the bus stop in front of Heian Jingu Shrine Big Torii Gate!

On the way students had a chance to meet with GTS' mom to greet with each other!

Another great breezy day has passed

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hanshin Tigers WON! Ball Park experience!

Japanese professional baseball experience today at Koshien Ball Park.  Hanshin Tigers (Osaka) won over Hiroshima Toyo Carp (Hiroshima) from behind!

Everyone got some souvenirs from the Game and got excited! This is the first exploration in Osaka in this trip!  And some more are waiting for us soon!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Another exceptionally cool day in Kyoto!

Exceptionally cool windy day welcomed us today and made our afternoon excursion to Kiyomizu-dera Temple a bit easier!  Yet we lost several students on the way to Yasaka Shrine.

At the end there are 5 students who kept themselves with GTS fortunately ended up in the Yasaka Shrine as planned!

There is no worry in the area even though being lost as main street is just around there!

First week has passed quickly and we will be heading the ball park tomorrow to enjoy the Japanese style of baseball watching!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Weather recovered! Silver Pavilion embraced us!

Nasty rain stopped so we could get back to the original schedule now though not completely clear sky for us!

After having lunch around the Silver Pavilion area, we had a nice view from the mountain in the Silver Pavilion garden.

We walked through the Philosophers' trail to get down to the main street where we could catch a bus to go home!

Nice re-beginning of the afternoon excursion!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nasty Rain today so we greeted 1001 Bosatsu Statues!

It is the first and probably/hopefully the last day of annoying rainy day today.  Instead of visiting the scheduled Silver Pavilion, we went to Sanjusangen-do to greet 1001 statues!

Before getting to Sanjusangen-do, we had a short lunch break in Kyoto University area.

We are planning to visit the Silver Pavilion tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Flea Market and the Golden Pavilion

The weather is still quite comfortable in Kyoto and cool wind from time to time refresh us.  25th of the month is the Tenjin Flea Market at Kitano Tenmangu right in front of the school.

So many people are gathering this monthly event and we, as if avoiding this event, went to Ritsumeikan University to have lunch together.

After lunch we walk up to the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji-temple) to enjoy not only the golden pavilion but also giant bonsai boat, carp in the pond, and white snake mounds and the original tea house before finishing up.

We will be heading to the Silver Pavilion tomorrow to compare and contrast with the Golden Pavilion!

Monday, June 24, 2013

First Day at School and the Rock Garden!

Everyone got to school on time on the first day this year, which is a good start!  After placement test, everyone enters his/her tentative class while teachers are assessing for first few days.

We took a group photo for the beginning of the program and went to the first excursion place, the Rock Garden (Ryoanji temple). through Hirano Shrine and Ritsumeikan University where everyone experienced first college cafeteria for lunch!

Real hot and humid Kyoto weather has not attacked us yet but soon!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Study Abroad Japan Group safely arrived in Kyoto!

Without any problems except some turbulance in the air, GTS group this summer landed in Kansai International Airport last Saturday.

On Sunday yesterday, each student practiced his/her commuting from the host family with some problems,
which was anticipated before actual beginning today!

I am hoping that everyone comes to school on time (I am writing this just an hour before their coming to school).

Kyoto weather is exceptionally well now but I know it will get hot and humid soon!

THE Adventure begins!   Stay tuned!

We will get to the Rock Garden (Ryoanji Temple) after having lunch at Ristumeikan University Cafeteria!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

About to leave for Japan for COD Summer Study Abroad!!

Wow, one and a half month has quickly passed!!  In the meantime, we had a orientation weekend for the study abroad to be ready for getting to Japan in a couple of days.  

Thanks to whatever and whoever have been working for foreign exchange, the dollar value goes up about 35% since the last summer program, which enabled us to get to Hiroshima during the program.

Last two weeks during the first half of June, GTS was working in Salt Lake City for AP Japanese Scoring as one of the leadership and exhausted for a while and now I am beginning to be ready for Japan Trip!!

COD is now preparing CHINA Study Abroad and I might help the establishment of the program with other language faculty soon.

Fall Registration is open and Fall classes are:
Japanese 1100 (Culture and Civilization, not a language)  6-9pm on Thursday
Japanese 1101 (First Semester of language)  10-11, 11-12 Mon-Thu; 5-7 Mon/Wed; 7-9 Tue/Thu
Japanese 1102 (Second Semester of Japanese)  1-3 Mon/Wed
Japanese 2201 (Third Semester of Japanese ) 7-9 Mon/Wed
Japanese 2252 (Fifth Semester of Japanese ) 5-8 on Tuesday

Spring Break Japan Trip will be 3/21/2014 through 3/30/2014
Summer Study Abroad will be 6/20/2014 through 7/25/2014 (Tentative)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Academic Year 2012-2013 ended!

Finally number of the survivor of Japanese 1101 is still unknown but about 22 students seem to survive out of 44 students (at the beginning of the Spring semester). 

Well, 50% survival rate is very usual and I do hope those who pass with the letter grade of A or B would continue on to the second semester in Fall 2013.

Summer study abroad students seem to be 11 this summer, which is rather a small group yet an interesting group to go!

Students this summer is a bit luckier as the value of US Dollar has been going up about 30-35%!

We will be able to visit Hiroshima during the trip fortunately! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Almost end of the semester!

ARTCOT was very successful.  Foreign Language Honor Society Induction ceremony is coming up this coming Friday on which over 20 students be inducted from a variety of language classes.

Unfortunately there is no student from Japanese but our chapter, Alpha Mu Gamma, has been very active!  The club received two great awards as well!

Summer Study Abroad is still accepting the applicants but so fa we have a dozen students going to Kyoto, Japan with GTS.

Actually summer program in 2014 as well as Spring Trip to Japan in 2014 are now under preparation and soon be officially announced.

The 1101 classes have been shrinking as predicted and there are about 25 active students in two classes.  There were originally about 45 students but hopefully those who are surviving continue into the fall semester!

Friday, April 12, 2013

ARTCOT at Pierce Downer Elementary School!

Japanese Culture Club with many active member students will participate in ART COT at Pierce Downer Elementary School as representing JAPAN!

GTS will bring Japanese Calligraphy Materials by which every comer's name be written in Japanese in ink.

Certainly Origami, folding paper will decorate the given room and every JCC member will welcome comers with Japanese Traditional Happy Coat!

GTS is very glad that students are very active and energetic thanks to our leadership in the club.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

GTS/JCC Dinner sparked!

Before recovering from the Jet lug, dozen people showed up for the dinner.  A couple of students who are going to Japan with me under COD summer study abroad came to meet former participants who went to Japan with me in the year 2012, 2010, 2002!! 

Special guest Rina, 3-year old GTS' daughter enjoyed accompanying with everyone and draw pictures with them, etc.

As of now, 12 confirmed participants (7 man and 5 women) will go to Japan this summer.  The exchange rate between the Japanese YEN and the US DOLLAR is now moving towards our favor!!

Dollar gained almost 25% since last summer (last summer $1=75yen, now $1=100yen)!

So excited!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Heading back to CHICAGO!

2013 COD Spring Field Trip to Kyoto, Japan is about to finish!  It was one of the luckiest spring trip with Cherry Blossoms in full bloom, no troublesome rain and coldness and no serious sickness or injury!!

The student group this year is rather small but very active and digest daily program vigorously with so much energy maybe because everyone is a lot younger than GTS!

We will have a train and a monorail ride to Osaka Itami Airport so that we can catch the plane to Narita International airport from which we will get to Chicago directly!

The JCC/GTS dinner will be on Friday 4/5/2013!

Osaka Castle with Cherry Blossoms in Full bloom!

Final excursion was to Osaka Castle in the perfect day! 

Cherry Blossoms on the way to the castle, around the castle on the way back from the castle were all in full bloom and superb way for giving us the farewell greeting!

We will be heading back to Chicago tomorrow and get ready in the classroom on Monday.

This Spring trip is one of the best trip in terms of weather, cherry blossoms, temperature, places we visited!

GTS will be back here again with some dozen students in June!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Giant Buddha smiled at us in NARA!

Everyone had a little chance to sleep in this morning, so we left the hotel at 10am heading to the Kyoto Station from which we began the trip to NARA.

While being surrounded by many deer we had a chance to greet to the Giant Buddha in full bloomed cherry blossoms.  Then we move forward to Todaiji the February Hall from which the entire Nara city view was gorgeous.

Through Wakakusayama Park we got to the Kasuga Grand Shrine, and Meoto Daikokusha. After enjoying many turtles and snappers in Sarusawa Pond , we headed back to the Nara Station through Higashimuki Shopping Arcade.

It was a great weather and now everyone began preparing for returning to Chicago.

Tomorrow?  Yes, Osaka Castle is supposed to wait for our visit!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

First rainy day but not too bad!

It was raining a little bit in the mornig while riding the city bus to Daikakuji-temple where everyone had a chance to do caligraphy writing of buddhist scripture. 

During the activity, it stopped raining and we continued to walk in SAGANO area and dropped by at NONOMIYA SHRINE which is famous for love in the Tale of Genji.

In the afternoon, the Tenryuji temple garden gave us some spring feeling with bloomed cherry blossoms and let us be heading though the Bamboo Trail to the top of Arashiyama.

Togetsukyo bridge brough us to the Arashiyama Park where 90% bloomed cherry blossoms smiled us!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Silver Pavilon through Eikando temple via Philosopher's Trail!

Silver Pavilion near which GTS was born, welcomed our group though not quite full bloomed Cherry was ready.  Some were bloomed along the Philosopher's Trail and the trail took us to Nyakuoji Shrine and Eikando temple.

Beautiful garden and pagoda impressed us before heading to the Handicraft Center.  For the first time in the COD trip, we went to one of the largest shopping mall in Kyoto Station area while avoiding raining.

We are ready to go to the Western city area tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Full Activities continued!

Last night at the performance two students from COD volunteered to become a tea ceremony guest among over 100 audience!!  Great job done!

Our long walk began this morning to the Nijo Castle through Shinsen'en.  After enjoying the Castle, Kyoto City Subway took us to Daigo-ji temple.  This visit was the first time for COD trip and we experienced full bloomed Cherry and some shopping mall visit!

In the afternoon, same subway took us back to the NANZENJI temple area which is famous for water canal bringing water from Lake Biwa to Kyoto city. 

On the way to Heian Jingu Shrine (the largest Kyoto garden), everyone has a chance to meet GTS' mom!

Another great day ended with very tired legs!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Little Chilly but great Monday in Kyoto!

Compared to yesterday, it got a bit colder today yet had a great day without rain.  We began visiting the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji temple rock garden in the morning.  Lunch time?  Yes, we ate at Ritsumeikan University which GTS was graduated from about 25 years ago. 

The cafeteria food has been healthy unlike some univeristies in the US and the price was very reasonable or even cheap!

After lunch, 60% bloomed Cherry Blossoms welcomed us at Hirano Shrine.  Then we joined the famous monthly flea market at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (God of Scholarship) which is located just south of Kyoto International Academy where COD summer study abroad program is held!

After enjoying some festivity feeling at the shrine we stopped by Nishijin Textile Center where students enjoyed Kimono Fashion show and traditional souvenir shopping.

Before heading back to the hotel, we dropped in SEIMEI SHRINE which is famous for exorcism in medieval Japan.

At night we will have fun at the Gion Corner about many kinds of traditional performing arts!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

We walked and walked and walked!

First full day of the field trip began with a short subway ride but we walked good 10 miles day. 
From Minami-za (Kabuki theater), Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Kodai-ji temple, Ryozan Kannon, Kiyomizu temple, Myohoin temple, Chishakuin temple, Sanjusangen-do, and Phoenix Pavilion in Uji Park area.

As if our class is PE class, we walked and got healthy day!!

Weather?  Perfect!    Cherry Brossoms?   Almost perfect!

We will be ready for Golden Pavilion and Rock Garden, and Flee Market at Kitano Tenmangu tomorrow!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

GTS and 5 students got to KYOTO in full bloom of SAKURA

5 students and GTS got to Kyoto via Tokyo Narita and Osaka safely on-time.

All seem to be exhausted but so excited to actively enjoying full bloom of Cherry Blossoms!

This is really the first time for the group to hit the middle of full bloom and here they are 5 lucky students.

We will begin walking and walking tomorrow!

Phoenix Pavilion, 2002 Kannon (Buddha for Mercifulness) statues and more are waiting for us with Sakura tomorrow!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Leaving for Japan!

Spring Break Cherry Blossom Flower viewing trip begins tomorrow with 5 students.  3 students are former and current students in GTS Japanese language classes.

According to news reliable news source, Cherry Blossom or SAKURA blooms a little earlier this year and we will be right on time to see its full bloom!

Weather seems to be very nice or at least better or warmer than that of Chicago! 

We will be tasting Japanese Spring and breeze of flowers during the trip!  Summer study abroad is still accepting participants and it seems to be a good group of a Dozen enthusiastic students!

Stay tuned for the daily news from Kyoto!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Flying into Japan in three weeks!

Spring Break Flower Viewing trip to Kyoto is coming up in three weeks.  There are only 5 students yet 3 of them have/had been in GTS Japanese language class which hopefully assist them during the trip!

It is almost the middle of the semester and so first year Japanese language class began farther shrinking.  Hope everyone could hang on!!

March GTS/JCC dinner will be coming up on Friday (3/8/2013) There will be Japanese Language Speech Contest held in the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago on Saturday, 3/16/2013 and GTS will be one the judge while the speech performance!

GTS 50th birthday was great but at the same high blood pressure treatment medication began kicks in.   Uhhhhh.

Must see a Cardiologist, too. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Time really flies!

2 weeks have just passed so quickly.  During last two weeks, GTS went to Los Angeles to attend the workshop for post-secondary Japanese program coordinators.  There have been efforts made for the world standard of Japanese language proficiency based on so-called "CAN-DO" statements list.

It is my hope that I can develop some Can-Do list for students to utilize their own skill in Japanese during the summer time.  

The challenge for us community college programs is that we have to prepare students to be transferred to senior institutions where GTS students can function without losing their faces as well as GTS'

GTS also participated as an official interviewer for JET program by the Japanese Government.  In the meantime, I was pointed out that I have high blood pressure (which I have known for a long time) and unfortunately with reservation, I have to use medication.   Oh, well....  Aging!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

First GTS/JCC Dinner tonight!

The first GTS/JCC dinner in 2013 is coming up tonight and I am looking forward to meeting many new students as well as former royal students.

JCC will help the elementary school in Downers Grove to hold the event for diversity in April 12th.
We will decorate their school classroom and introduce some cultural activities.  It is very exciting opportunity for the first time for JCC current team!

Spring field trip has 5 students and GTS is still expecting more to join in the trip.  Trip to Kyoto will be the last week of March and Japanese Meteology Agency announced a few days ago that the full bloom of cherry blossoms in Kyoto Area be 3/25, which is perfect!!!

Sumer Study Abroad began getting applications and 5 are already officially registered and about 5 are in the process at a moment.  Hopefully we will have a big group like last year! 

First test of all the classes have passed!

The average score of the first test of Japanese 1101 and 1102 are both 75%, which is predicted.   One for Japanese 2201 and 2202 are both 65%, and this is a bit lower than expected so I have to raise this score in the next test.

Usually first test is difficult for students as they have never seen before and the second test on, it gets a bit easier for them to expect and prepare. 

As a result of the first test, I may lose a few students from Japanese 1101 but not many from other courses because students have already an idea of how GTS keeps challenging them!

The second test will be more accurate as student anxiety will drop considerably.  (I Hope)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Spring Semester began!

The first day of the semester has neded peacefully.  Japanese 1101 morning class was full with some in the waiting list! 

Japanese 1102 has 18 students, all from last semester and seem to be ready for possible challenge by GTS.

Japanese 1100 is finally coming back to COD with 10 students and we all enjoyed self-introduction among others and be ready for performing as one Group called JAPAN during the new project of INMP (Illinois Negotiation Module Project)!

Japanese 1100 night class is still getting students and a few more to be filled!!

This is the great start!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spring Semester is now coming up!

GTS has driven back to Chicago after the round driving trip to Orlando, FL for 10 days!  Refreshed and ready for the new semester!

Well, it seems to be a bit slow for every student to register classes.  So I am hoping that every class will be ready on Monday 1/7 before the beginning of the semester on 1/10!

So far,
Japanese 1100 (culture and civilization of Japan, not language)---- 7 students
Japanese 1101 -----41 students (just enough)
Japanese 1102 -----30 students (more than expected)
Japanese 2201 -----7 students  (a little more needed)
Japanese 2202 -----6 students (I know there are at least 5 more students to wait for registering to the last minute for financial reason!)

Spring Trip has 3 registered, hope fully a few more students join to go!
I will take them to Japan even if it is a smaller group!

I am just waiting for number rising!!