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Part XIV Guam is nigh

December 1, 1998

I have been practicing to fulfill my official role as "email slacker extraordinaire," and I think I have been doing a good job, if I do say so myself.  I promise more juicy, jumpin', jargon-filled, jingoistic, Japanese updates when I get back from the tropical paradise that is Guam ("Where America's Day Starts" according to the brochure).  Sunny beaches, quarter pounders, and American green-backs.  Plus, they drive on the right side of the street. And that is right as opposed to wrong, not as opposed to left.  Did you know that everyone who lives on Guam is an American citizen?  Neither did I.

And now, some Janglish.  This little gem was written on a handout that I received at conference last week about how to be a better English teacher:  "Making students who have motivation and interest in using English positively and continue to use English, and grow up their expression mainly."  That is always a major teaching goal of mine.

Or this one, which I saw on the back of someone's sweatshirt.  Better English, but almost as funny: "You can cheer yourself up whenever you can pick and choose the outfit which makes you feel as if you are dancing in the bleeze."  There were no typos in that (at least, I didn't make any).  The Japanese have difficulty sometimes differentiating L and R.  Hence the time that I was able to sing karaoke to that favorite by Blondie.  You know, "Heart of Grass."

And who can forget the indispensable advice given to me on a handout by my advisor before I had even visited my first school:  "First, think of the easy."  Boy, has that stood me in good stead.  For my whole life, I have been thinking of the hard first.  No wonder I'm not supreme dictator of the world yet.

By the way, for those of you who have not heard or are not sure or who have been getting mixed messages from me, I have finally puckered up and made a decision.  I am staying in Japan a second year.  And no, this decision was not based on the fact that the three day seminar I attended last week had co-ed naked hot springs.

No, I'm not kidding.  I also didn't participate.  Call me a prude.  Call me a square.  Or, call me sober.  Since no one who did participate was.  I guess liquid courage is what it takes, and my tank was running on empty.

Anyway, the point of this is that, since I am staying a second year, I expect people to visit me.  (That was a non-sequitur; that is, I don't expect people to visit me for the co-ed naked hot springs, but rather for the blessings and goodness which my company provides.)

In a final, celebratory note, I am happy to announce not one but two engagements.  Most of you already know all about these, and the rest of you probably don't care, but that's just tough.  My brother David and my sister Rachel are both getting married in 1999 (albeit just barely in David's case), so it will be a banner year for my family.  Heartfelt congratulations to both of you, and to your future spice.  Since I am not in the States to give you a hug, I figured the next best thing would be to announce the festivities in this little newsletter that I seem to have started.  So, you can't back out now -- it's been published.