Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Masashi's cousin Masashi (yes, same name, but different family name) lives on an island south of Tokyo called Hachijojima. We went there for a short visit the past weekend so that Masashi could help Masashi with some computer-related things.

It takes about 8 hours to get their by boat, but only 35 minutes by plane, so of course we flew. The view is wonderful...Tokyo Bay and Mount Fuji, and several other small islands on the way to Hachijojima.

While the Masashis were busy, Masashi's cousin's daughter Nana took me around to some of her favorite spots on the island. We rented a couple of bicycles, because her mother's motorized one was too heavy for me to use, and Nana's old one was much too small for her.

We went to the ocean, of course, but we also went inland to a park which has a small stream with a waterfall, and fireflies in the summer.
It was really lovely, the kind of place I was always happy to find in Wisconsin. We had to take off our shoes and walk across the stream to get to the top of the waterfall. Nana says it is a wonderful place to cool off in hot weather. All we could hear was the sound of the water and the birds... I only wish there was a place like this in Tokyo.

After the Masashis were finished with the computer stuff, we all went for a bath at a hot spring. There are several on the island, all a bit salty. Then we went for dinner at the Korean restaurant run by Nana's mother. Nana went home after that, but the three of us adults went out to the Anchor Pub, run by an Australian guy and his Japanese wife.

We were only in Hachijojima for one night, and it was only April, so we didn't do any snorkeling, but maybe we'll go back in summer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


For this semester, I am on sabbatical: a whole six months for research, during which I don't have to teach.

I had the option of asking for one year rather than six months, and I also had (and still have) the option of asking for an extension of six months or one year (which I might or might not get), but for a lot of reasons, I decided to just ask for six months.

One is that I kind of want to be around at SILS (the School of International Liberal Studies) during the final semester for our first graduating class. Another is that I had promised to work on an on-going fall semester project. But the biggest reason is that probably because I was worried that if I took one year or more, I might waste too much of my time. With only six months, I really have to get to work, don't I? And if I take six months instead of one year, I will theoretically be eligible for another sabbatical much sooner. (Of course, how soon I get to have another depends on who is on the committee to decide that when I apply next time...)

In the first few weeks, I have just been been trying to get my wrk schedule figured out. In the past, it has always been true that I can't get any work done in the mornings, and that still seems to be true. For the first few weeks, I was feeling bad about goofing around or sleeping in the morning, but now I have just decided to give in, and just plan to work in the afternoon and evenings. But that means that I need to eat less for dinner (I don't work well on a full stomach) and not drink alcohol with dinner... Or else just do the dinner preperations early and eat late, and work in between. That might be the best plan of all.

Why am I even making dinner at all? That is one of the joys of being on sabbatical, I think! WHen I am working, Masashi and I don't get to eat together enough, and we also eat out a lot. I really enjoy cooking when I have time.

During this sabbatical, I am working on two main projects, and a lot of little ones. But maybe I'll save that for another post.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Starting this blog...

I haven't updated my web page in a LONG time, and I never seem to get around to updating my news. I'm starting this blog, linked to my web page, to see if I can get myself to post more regularly for friends and family who are interested.