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CA's JOURNAL, 1999

These are the year 1999 entries to: CA'S LATEST NEWS.

In November, my site was accepted by Phenomenal Women Of The Web.

Fumio Miyashita
On October 15th, Fumio Miyashita, a Japanese musician specializing in healing music, gave a concert a Kitara Hall near my apartment. I was disappointed that I couldn't go. The audiences at his concerts are often said to fall asleep because the music is so relaxing. However, I went to the Hall and was able to purchase some CDs. They provide a wonderful background for yoga, meditation, and massage. My calligraphy teacher often plays his music during class. I also had his music played during my operations on my arm. You can listen to samples of his music.

September was computer month for me. I switched my phone line from analog to digital (ISDN), which is apparently going to make downloading e-mail and all faster. For that, I needed to have more memory installed in my PowerMac but was still having problems. I ended up erasing and reinstalling everything on my hard drive. As a result, I can have a lot more applications open at once, and it's running much more smoothly.
In addition, I finally bought a printer, an Epson Stylus Photo 750 at Yodobashi Camera. Because I've used only school printers since I came back to Japan, it makes such a difference having my own printer. The color photos I print from my Kodak 210 digital camera are excellent when I use special high-gloss paper.
An even more exciting purchase was my new PowerBook G3 that I bought at Tsukumo Denki. It's the first powerbook I've ever owned, and I still haven't gotten used to the idea that I'll now be able to take a computer everywhere! I'm working on ideas for using it in the classroom, particularly for my writing classes.

Friends at the Beach
In the summer of 1999, we had record heat in Sapporo. Usually the temperature doesn't go above 30 degrees centrigrade for more than a few days, but this year the heat wave continued for several weeks going as high as 36! It was difficult for us since there is very little air conditioning. (If you aren't used to temperatures in Centigrade, you can convert them here.)
One of my students, a journalist for the Hokkaido newspaper, said that not only was it the hottest summer for Sapporo in recorded history but also it was as though Sapporo had been moved 3000 kilometers south! I don't know if there were any human fatalities as a result, but 275 dairy cows and 29,000 chickens died of heat stroke.
In my case, you can see in the photo that one way I spent my time was going to the beach. It was the first time I had ever swum in the water off the coast of Hokkaido, and the water was actually warm!
On August 15th, I observed Obon (see photos), a Japanese festival commemorating the deceased, by placing a paper lantern in the river near where I live; on the lantern is written the name of someone who has died. This is a Buddhist tradition that symbolizes the souls of the departed floating back to the spirit world. It was especially moving for me since my father had passed away this year.

July 30th and 31st I attended an international symposium on Faculty Development at Universities of Education for the 21st Century at the Iwamizawa campus of Hokkaido University of Education. One of the most impressive presentations was a symposium which included TV conferencing with members of the Media/Distance Learning Center at Idaho State University.
I was very interested in the presentation on "Post-graduate Programs for Secondary School English Teachers in Hokkaido -- What are the Needs and Obstacles?" by Don Hinkelman (Sapporo Gakuin University), Yuko Fujikane (Institute of Education, University of London, England), and Hiroshi Morita (Hokkaido High School of O-Asa). I hope to be involved in a graduate program for secondary school English teachers in northern Japan that they are proposing.

On Monday, June 28th, my chorus, Sapporo Academy Chorus gave a concert at Kitara Hall. It featured Mozart's Requiem. A Japanese friend of mine who attended the concert wrote, "I had a wonderful time at the concert last night. I was impressed sometimes to hear dramatically sounds, as this is the first time to hear REQUIEM for me. Actually I am weak in to hear classic, but the beautiful songs make me often brimming with tears. Thank you CA, I have a good time really. You got a big success!"
In May, my passport was upgraded from Instructor to Professor since I'm now teaching at a university. Not only that, but I was able to get it extended for 3 years. It looks as though I'll be in Japan until at least the spring of 2002!
In April, 1999, I started my own school, CA's Academy of English! I also started teaching conversation and academic writing at Hokkaido University of Education-Sapporo and Hokusei Women's Junior College.

March 26th was the Sayonara Party for our ESL Program at Heidelberg College Japan.
From March 2nd to March 21st, for the past three years, I have been joining my friend and colleague Kathleen, who is Baha'i, on their traditional fast. You can read more about the Baha'i Faith here.
After my 3rd operation [see December news below], two days before Valentine's Day (!), I began rehabilitation on my fingers and arms at Sapporo Medical University. I go there two or three times a week for treatment. It hurts! But I can now take a tissue out of a box with my left hand.

Family at Memorial Service
On January 14th, 1999, I returned to Wisconsin for the Memorial Service for my father on Saturday, January 16th. In the photo on the right, you can see my mother, me, my Aunt Joy, (front row) my sister, my Uncle Ernest, and my Aunt Taeko (back row). At the service, my uncle and I sang, my sister played the piano, my mother read the 23rd Psalm, and my Aunt Joy and several other people gave heartfelt remembrances of my father.

On January 6th, 1999, my father passed away. You can read about his life in the Obituary that my uncle, my sister, and I wrote.

On December 22nd, 1998, I slipped on the ice near my apartment and broke my arm. See the saga of my two operations and stay in the hospital at My Worst Christmas Ever complete with photos.

See more news from 1998.




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Last updated December 28, 1999.