2013 Tokyo Program

2013 Tokyo Program

Tuesday, July 9: Day 1

Phew, we made it through our first official day and what a day it was!  My roommate, Kathleen Hambel, and I started the day at 4:00 a.m. suffering from jet lag.  We decided to hit the hotel gym and by 4:30 a.m. we were getting our sweat on.  We found an unusual exercise machine that we’re still not sure what it is used for.  The motions of it resembled that of a mechanical bull.  Perhaps a secret Japanese ab workout?...perhaps, but like I said, we still don’t know what it is.

Ride 'em cowboy!

After our workout, we got ready, went to the hotel restaurant, and dined on our first meal in Tokyo.  We ate croissants, cereal, and the cooks even made Kathleen an egg white omelette, special for her allergic needs.  Then off to the races we went.  Dr. Inoue and Masami Inoue lead seven loud and clueless Americans through the Shinjuki train station.  It’s reported that 3 million people pass through this train station every day and I think I saw every one of them.  I’ve never seen so many people in one place at one time.  I’ve even been to Las Vegas and New York City for New Year’s Eve and I still haven’t seen so many people.  As our train arrived, people just poured out of different sections of the train like water.  It was incredible.  What was more incredible was in the quiet and orderly manner the passengers walked from the train and through the train station.  There was no pushing, shoving, or short tempers.  They were quick and efficient.

So patient, these two.

So we made it on the train then over to Waseda University.  We were warmly welcomed by Professor Asada and the Waseda students, many of which spoke English.  We spent the entire day discussing teaching methods, analyzing video, lesson study, and organizing thoughts in a new way to me called the KJ Method.  The KJ Method stands for the man who came up with it whose name is Kawakita (last name) Jiro (first name).  It’s a method to analyze field notes that was developed in Japan.

Waseda University students and me working on KJ Method

KJ Method
After we took care of business, we got the party started!  A big group of us, at least 25+ Americans and Japanese walked to a restaurant where the Waseda student hosted a welcoming party for us.  We had some drinks, cut loose, and this is where friendships begun.  I was given an informal lesson on proper ways to bow from Shun.  There was lots of conversations and giggling throughout the party.  It was around 10:00 when the party was over and we all went back to our homes and hotels.  The long ride home had most of us sleeping during some parts of it.  I even captured Dr. Inoue dozing off too (he he he).  When we got back to the hotel, I think all of us got in our pj’s and were out for the rest of the night.  For me, it was an unforgettable day.
Shun and me at Welcoming party


"My heart is hot"

Exhaustion and delirium set in

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