Some previews of
this email are  meeting with many Japanese principals and English teachers,
how not to get directions, and the lack of a Mt Fugi trip :(

On monday I, along with 2 of my office mates went to get gas for my
car...nothing too specatular except the gas hoses dangle from above.  So
that is a pretty interesting site.  My Japanese language class for the
remainder of the day went into a couple major cities around here...that was
fun...I bought a couple CD's..."This is Mozart" and "This is
Beethoven"...too bad all the inside is written in Japanese but I figure
music is pretty universal and actually both CD's are great.
        On Tuesday, my boss points to the door and says "Meeting"...okay so
this is news to me...come to find out I was meeting with all the principals
of all the schools I will be teaching in.  I sat with my superiors and one
of the principals, who knows english and I guess was there to translate
somethings for me.  For 2hrs all of them were going over my schedule and
things like that...or at least that is what the principal next to me
said...I really couldn't tell ya what they really said...but when I heard
"sportsman", which is how my boss sometimes refers to me my ears perked up
and everyone smile and nodded.  It is still very much debated how much I
should teach...some principals want me to teach below 4th grade also while
others think it would be too much for me..I will keep you posted.
        Also I visited the local history museam, which is right across the
street from my office.  Some interesting things there were a ninja uniform,
and a picture of some Japanese people from the town visiting Washington
D.C. in 1860.  They had somethings from WWII which was kinda
interesting...nothing about the A-bombs though.  Oh yeah..there were lots
of photos...I would imagine of their equivalents to Washington, and
        This week I've been studying how to read some of the Japanese
characters.  Okay here is a brief breakdown of Japanese writing that you,
if you can remember it, can amaze all your peers with your vast knowledge.
3 writing systems...kanji (5,000 characters..really difficult) which are
actually Chinese characters...I won't be learning these anytime soon.  The
second is hiragana..which was began by women who weren't allowed to write
kanji...there are 46 or characters, and then for all foreign words there is
katakana...also 46 there you have it.  I'm learning
hiragana right now...though I can read it I have no idea what it means...I
guess that is the next step of my computer program.
        So I wanted to find my way to my favorite train
station...Shibukawa.  I asked my Superintendent about how to get there and
what followed was an hour process that involved pretty much everyone in the
office.  So you think the way to this station must be really difficult
since it involved so much effort?  Actually it is only 2 turns...a little
advice if you ever find yourself in Japan and can't find a place that you
have to get to quickly...take a taxi (pay the yen) or just find it yourself
because by the time you get CORRECT directions you could have gone on your
own...gotten lost a couple times and bought some funky tea out of one of
the vending machines.  I do have a wonderful map that was produced from the
meeting of the includes many train stations (keep in mind I was
driving and was actually told after the stations were drawn that I wouldn't
be able to see any of them from the road) and several other roads that
wouldn't have affected me at all...pretty detailed...with one exception so
I asked "What about Route numbers to these roads?"  "oh there are no
numbers"...well I  found my own map...guess what there are numbers...but
then again how many of us know all the route numbers of the many roads
around us?  Still I got there just fine...but I don't think I will ask
directions for a while.
        My Mt Fugi trip was word...Typhoon.  Yes I went
through my first typhoon...which was just a lot of my trip was
cancelled since the road leading up to the mountain was experiencing
landslides.  Though I haven't mentioned it before this is my second
"natural" experience since I have experience a couple trimmers in another
location...and I think here the other day..though that could have been a
really big truck driving by.
        That is about it on this side of the world.  I hope all is well
with everyone everywhere else.