E-mail to Allison 5.19.2004

Hi Alli-san!

Sorry for the late response.  They are keeping us busy in Japanese class and
actually giving us work!  I don’t know where they get off making us work and
stuff,, it’s almost like a university class almost.  But actually my main
sensei is Korean and she will beat me if I don’t complete assignments.
Although I do enjoy certain beatings from time to time, I am a bit shy when
it is in front of my classmates.

E-mail to Mari Mogami 5.3.2004

Hi Mari Mogami!

Great to get your message!  Your Spanish is perfect!!!!  It’s not fair!!
I’m guessing that your English is perfect as well, so no need to write in
Spanish this time!

Thanks for your message!  I’m glad you can take some time to relax with your
family and I’m happy for your uncle!  What a great story that he worked so
hard and can now finally do what he wants.  That’s great.

E-mail to Yuichi 4.24.2004

Hello Yuichi.

I’m still in Japan and this is my last semester to study Japanese at Waseda.
I quit going to the gym at Waseda because I have been going to the Big Box
gym since last year.  At Big Box, they have a student discount, sauna, nice
shower room and hot tub.  I really like it there so I don’t mind paying
8,000 a month.

How is English study going?

4.17.2004 – E-mail to Dad

Good Morning Dad!
How is everything at home?  Is Mom’s brother still there?  How long will that last?  I know it must be a challenge. 
The semester has started here and we’ve just completed our first week of class.  I’m really going to enjoy this semester since they have revised the  curriculum.  There are now two core classes for each level.  There is the “A” class which uses the textbook, employs normal teaching methods and is the class most students have chosen.  I on the other hand, have chosen “B” which does not have a book, but centers around the writing of a theme.  We develop our themes and discuss them for the majority of class.  There are also days when we do grammar yet it is much more concerned with conversation and developing our speaking ability. 
Most students have chosen ordinary academic topics which tend to become boring after a while, but my theme is sure to spark controversy as far as the eye can see.  The title “Why America is the Best Country in the World.”  hahahahahahaahha.  I tell you it sure got the other students talking and I can’t wait for the lively debates it is sure to spark.  There is no danger of offense, because they all know me and I’ve explained my reasoning quite well.  One of my principal arguments is that anyone from any nation can come to America and become American.  Yet, for someone like me who tries to learn about other cultures and languages, I am always shut out or can only go so far in the culture.  I cannot become them, like they can become American as we are. 
They are all impressed that I can speak the languages I do, and my the thoughts and ideas I put forth in class most often amaze them, so there is no chance of causing offense since they understand my reasoning.  Further, I believe we put other’s mentality, intelligence and character before nationality in America.  Yet outside, it is nationality over the individual which is important.  Therefore, I will always be expected to act, think and speak like an American even though I try so hard to become like others so that I may understand them.  Thus, for my theme, I will think 100% like an American since it is precisely that which is expected of me.  They are in for a great ride during my tirades which are to come.   It should be fun to poke and jab while explaining that all good things, technological advancement and the salvation of the world time and time again are all from America. After all, if it wasn’t for us, they would all still be riding donkeys or in Japan’s case, walking everywhere right!?  hahahahaha 
I’m will mail you the tax information this week, I’m sorry about being late on that. 
One comment about the state of affairs in Ohio.  It seems that Ohio is in the news a lot lately for terrible things.  This morning I sat down and watched the 10 t.v. newscast and saw the beating on the bus and the video of the Ohio hostage in Iraq.  It made me very sad that they even put these images on T.V. for the public’s entertainment.  Yet it goes to show how decadent society has become since I well know that people will tune in and increase the ratings which is what the editor of the program is after.  These horrible images bring profit, and I don’t see why in the future a T.V. producer shouldn’t pay someone to beat the hell out of another, record it, and sell it to the savages known as the public.  OH wait,, they did that already didn’t they and it’s know as “ultimate fighting” or the wildly popular K1 here in Japan.  Why shouldn’t there be killing, beatings, death and a host of other atrocities in real life,,, it is what the public desires and entertains themselves with in a purley masochistic fashion. 
Ok, I was going on a tirade.  I’m writing all this down in a book I posted on my website if you ever have a chance to look.  Apparently a writer has woken up in me Dad, and I can only surmise that it is genetic.  I will find a job in business, but it is starting to be writing about my own thoughts and observations about which I truly feel passionate. Or perhaps, it is the “over-learning” of languages and cultures which has finally caused me to lose all my marbles. 
Thanks for everything Dad!

E-mail to Allison 4.7.2004

Hey Baby!

Sorry for the late response.  As usual I’ve been a drunk and got wasted on
Monday night with a few of my friends from the gym.  The next day I felt
like complete hell, but still managed to make it to work but not the Waseda
Orientation!!  I didn’t miss anything really important and the Italians and
Germans filled me in on what I had missed.  Then today I had to get my ass
up and go schedule classes.  They changed the entire system and basically
you have one of two choices.  One of them is a textbook class where you
follow the book everyday.  The second one is like “sogo” (sp?) and you have
to write reports and have more of a chance to speak.  I opted for the second
class since I hate textbooks.