Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Wada Affair

The drive was cloudy; I cried for a good 20 minutes. I thought back on our 7 year musical journey as  "The Wada Affair". While many people came and went, Jason, Mr. and Mrs. Wada, Jun, and I have been a constant. Now, one of us has left. 

Today we toasted Jason, his irreplaceable contribution as lead guitarist, blues harpist, and my partner in silliness. J and I have known each other since we were students here in Japan. Then, we both came back to teach English on the JET program. One day he called me and said he had joined a band and wondered if I would be their lead singer. 

For the first 4 years in the Wada Affair we would ride to practice together, talking the whole way about our former lives as wanna' be hippies, as Americans, as children. We talked about Japan and Japanese. And of course we talked about music: PHISH, Dead, Talking Heads, John Lennon, Pizzacato, Cibo Matto. What I now realize is that we never talked about people, at least not in the perjoritive sense. We just talked about topics that made us laugh because they involved good memories or good music, or helped us to reflect on parts of our lives that we needed to or had already changed. 

I was there when he met his wife, Hiroko. She is perfect for him. I mean, really perfect for him. I know she will take good care of him when they go. She is grounded and sensible, but still silly like us. She played guitar with us for 3 years, too. I love her laugh and her easy going disposition. She is very easy to be around. 

With them leaving, the band is heading into very unknown waters. I am not pleased. I love all the members, but if we were a family, Mrs. Wada was Mom, Mr. W was Dad, Jun was our uncle and J and I were the brother and sister. While you love your Mom, Dad, and Uncle, you aren't close in the same way. Your sibling speaks the same slang (in our case the same first language, too), and they like the same music. They get your DL remarks, they can read your mood, and they can make you laugh while everyone else talks about adult stuff. 

Jason, you were a great brother! I'll miss you and I wish you and Hiroko lots of luck in the U.S.!

Monday, June 1, 2009


Moving to Kyoto has been the best thing Hiro and I have ever done as a couple. Possibly getting life insurance will someday take it's place; but let's hope not. Until then, I will remain convinced that Kyoto kind of saved me! 

Training to Graduation

I gave my first collegiate teacher training on Saturday. I say collegiate because it was for a college, not a professional organization or publisher.  I am extremely pleased with how I did it. It was not just a "Things you can do on Monday" training, but one which incorporated brainstorming and reflection. A balanced approach. 

One teacher commented after, "You have philosophy, something Japanese teacher education lacks." I am not sure if that is wholly true, but I suppose that has been her experience. I didn't have philosophy before my MA, and it really made me feel that the two hard years I spent going for it were totally worth it! I leave for graduation on July 15th! 

Happy that Daddy is coming to see me walk. Happy too that I can talk with the current second year students about my research. While I consider it a bit of a mess (it was my first one), it makes me happy to give some pointers about maybe what NOT to do, and that even if it is messy, you will still get something very valuable out of it. And once it is done, you have so much sleep to look forward to!