Saturday, February 01, 2003

February 2

I've just caught live coverage on CNN of the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia. Of course, harkening back to the 1986 Challenger disaster is natural, but I also remember Columbia's launch as the first mission of any shuttle in history back in 1981. ABC's Frank Reynolds covered the nationwide coverage. Even a guy as unflappable as he was couldn't help whooping it up when it went up that day. Now, the oldest shuttle is gone.

Friday, January 31, 2003

February 1

Finished a pretty busy week. I had to take care of some final student reports and then do some micromanaging of that mixed level class. I think out of all the classes that I do, that one drains me the most. Luckily, the students are nice and down-to-earth. I even got invited to their party later this month.

Tokyo is being double-whammied by 2 colds: the virus kind and the weather kind. So far, some of the teachers have been reporting a lot of their junior highs are calling off classes due to a 50% absence rate, and I see a lot of snifflers packed into the subways and trains. Can you say "virus breeding farm"? Also, it's been pretty chilly of late, and we've got a snow forecast for Sunday.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

January 30

Pretty tiring afternoon for me after handling that mixed-level class. It's one of those classic scenes of where one tries to please everyone and ends up pleasing noone. But perhaps I speak too harshly; some of them are getting something out of it. It doesn't help that there is a cold bug out there and it's just plain cold, period. I'm just glad that I got to come earlier than usual.

Monday, January 27, 2003

January 27

As an addendum to the last paragraph of my last entry, one of my landmines managed not to explode today. The class went pretty well, but it was still one of those half-hearted ones with some spurts of learning and activity. Sure enough, today was cold and rainy. Now I can see how the Carpenters got their "Rainy Days and Mondays."
Well, at least, I did get to go to my favorite eatery today in the Ginza, the Farm Grill. The food isn't spectacular though it's a California-style (why California?) buffet, but you can't beat the price: 970 yen (about $8 US). In this city, that's a true bargain. Plus, it's all you can eat. Double plus, the weekdays are far less crowded than on the crazy weekends so I can actually prep for my classes on the table. And definitely, I can avoid the "hungrys" in the evening.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

January 26

Had dinner with an old friend who just recently moved to my hometown as a landed immigrant. His first few months there haven't too great in his estimation. He hasn't made any friends, he failed his GMAT and he hasn't scored a job. I did feel rather sorry for him; it can be rather rough sailing being in that situation, especially when there are -35 degree wind chill factors and tons of snow all around you. I hope he can get some better luck when he returns there.

His talk made me reflect on my time here, which is now 8 years and counting. I think I've been inordinately lucky in that I had a group of friends waiting for me here in Tokyo and there was even an apartment waiting for me. It certainly hasn't been easy but neither has it been an ordeal.

Having said that, I think it may be time to move on. It's getting to the point that I'm starting to find the weekends speeding by a bit too fast and the weekdays filled with a few landmines of company classes to teach. For me, when one starts to wish for the weekend even before the current one is over, it's time to whip out the old resume again or think about new things.