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Adventures In Shiiba -- April 1996
White Day This last "White Day" was the best I've ever experienced. The reason it was so much fun was that every time I went to an office to give a woman candy, they would say "hajimete" (first and only candy I've received). Usually they would hold the candy close to their heart and smile while saying this in a voice loud enough for all of the men in their office to hear.
Letter Campaign More people from Shiiba are going abroad for long periods of time in order to work and to study. For example one of my English Conversation students (Mariko Kurohara) is now in the United Kingdom and will remain there until July. Another is going to America for four months. In March, I had all of the students at Shiiba Junior High write to Mariko Kurohara. Mariko said she was very surprised and very happy to get so many letters from home. Right now there are several students from Shiiba who are getting ready to go to foreign High Schools. My hope is that this type of letter campaign will become a tradition here in Shiiba.
Computer Club I would like to help organize a Computer Club here in Shiiba. I think the club should be for regular people who want to use computers for personal and business purposes - not for "Otaku" (Japanese computer nerds) . Club members could exchange books, magazines and demonstration software. In addition club members could give advice to people who want to buy software or computers; learn new programs; etc. I also think that such a club should be responsible for developing a new home page for Shiiba Village. Because things such as "handmade" and "from the heart" are important parts of the "Pasocon Jidai" (Computer Age). A popular saying is "Think Globally, act Locally."
Erik, what happened? You look like a teacher! Graduation season has come and gone. After each of the graduations people asked if I cried. I usually replied "no comment." In a few months, I too will graduate for my position as Shiiba's JET ends in July. In my case "no comment" means I was on the verge of crying a couple times. As everyone knows I don't like to wear ties. So, many people were very surprised to see me wearing a tie on March 18 (Graduation Day). There were many jokes about this rare occurrence, but the best was made in English by Kouichi Higuma. Kouichi said, "Erik, what happened? You look like a teacher!"