Website: CA Edington's News, 2002
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These are the year 2002 entries to:CA'S LATEST NEWS.
Two other Americans--a Soprano and a bass--and I formed a small ensemble to perform for the Christmas party at the American Consulate on December 19th. We sang mainly “secular” numbers such as "The Holly and the Ivy" and "Winter Wonderland." It was refreshing to be singing with a smaller group after my experiences with a 90-member chorus, plus the rehearsals are all in English so I had no difficulty understanding!
On November 16th, I had the marvelous opportunity of hearing Yoyo Ma in concert. It was his first visit to Sapporo, and he was playing at Kitara Hall, only a few minutes from my apartment, on the same stage where I have sung a number of times! The concert was actually a piano-cello duo, with pieces by Brahms, Shostokovich, and Beethoven. My friends and I were somewhat disappointed that it didn't include a cello solo; nevertheless, it was such a privilege to hear this extraordinary musician. (The Yoyo Ma gif is from Apple eNews, Vol. 5, Issue 24, November 21, 2002.)
In October I was able to attend a workshop on developing presentations using PowerPoint. I tried my first one before attending the workshop and realized how much more successful it could be than a lecture. When I tried a short PowerPoint presentation on Plagiarism for my writing class, the students were really attentive and enjoyed the “anime.” I could easily get addicted to PowerPoint! [Note from the future: I later did addicted to Keynote, the Apple presentation software and much more user-friendly than PowerPoint.]
In September I was able to attend my high school class reunion at a resort in Illinois. It was amazing seeing all those familiar faces but so much more mature and without the inhibitions so many of us had as kids. (I graduated from Wheaton Community High School in 1962.) I was especially happy to be reunited with my best friend, Ellen Gilbert (in the photo with me, right), who hadn't changed a great deal except for no longer having long red hair. I won both a T-shirt and a cap for having traveled the farthest to the reunion.
The second week in September, I took Body-Centered Psychotherapy Training with Cia Ricco, the same instructor who had led the workshop I took in March. According to Cia’s web site, Live Life, “Body-centered psychotherapy uses rapid transformation techniques guided by your specific need to support you to overcome any blocks to your well-being and happiness. It achieves breakthrough results for problems that might take years with a more traditional method. Your body has an inner wisdom which you can learn to tap into in order to find out what is right for you.” The photo is of me receiving a group hug.
The first week in September, I took an intensive Hypnotherapy Training course. The instructor was my sister, Mary Elizabeth Raines, who is a certified instructor as well as hypnotherapist with the National Guild of Hypnotists. I am now a certified hypnotherapist, as well, and have started treating clients for stress relief, sleep disorders, weight loss, passing examinations, and many other areas.
In June the World Cup came to Sapporo. Because of the fear of “hooligans” (a word which was borrowed into Japanese, pronounced something like “free guns,” and meaning basically “foreign sports fans who cause trouble”), there were police everywhere. Even when I was walking in the park near my apartment, I encountered two sets of police officers patrolling the area, the first (and last) time I ever saw that. I used the opportunity to ask them about an area of the park where the lights hadn’t been turned on, making me a little nervous during my evening walks. (The next time I took a walk in the park, the lights had been turned on.)
There were no incidents during the World Cup games played in Sapporo, including the one between England and Argentina. In fact, there were numbers of British fans walking the streets in downtown Sapporo, and they were extremely friendly. However, on the day that Japan beat Russia, in Odori Park—the central park in downtown Sapporo—flowerbeds were trampled by Japanese kids and damage done to some of the fountains. In fact, I heard that the roofs of some outdoor toilets were broken because of kids stomping on them. So the true hooligans turned out to be Japanese young people!
On Friday, May 24th, my chorus sang the Faure Requiem at Kitara Hall. We also did a number of operatic pieces in Italian and Japanese, all by memory!
The third week in March, I visited my sister Mary Elizabeth, a hypnotherapist and professional background actress (otherwise known as "extra") who was living in Hollywood at the time. Although we don't usually do “touristy” things, we were able to visit the Kodak Theatre only two days before the Academy Awards took place there. My nephew, Damian, is involved in several aspects of filmmaking and had just returned from Amsterdam where he was the cameraman for a documentary.
On March 15-17, I attended the Lifering Secular Recovery convention in Oakland, California. There I met several members of my online support group for the first time. Although they had become good friends, I had no idea what they look like, although I had already met some of them at the convention in Florida last year and in France two years ago. I was happy to discover that I enjoyed them as much in person as online, and there were very few surprises, except that I was much shorter than they had expected. My biggest disappointment was that I had only a weekend to spend with them.
In early March, I went to to the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in western Massachusetts for two workshops. One was called Living as if Your Life Depended on It led by Cia Ricco, and the other Voicing Your Truth led by Claude Stein. They were both profound, I could say even life-altering, experiences that I hope to write about in more detail.
On February 27th, I was in the U.S. in time for my mother's 84th birthday. She lives at Tudor Oaks in Wisconsin.
On February 11th, I sang at the Sapporo Snow Festival with a small group of Americans. We met for the first time that morning at the Consul General's house. I hadn't been to the Consulate in over a year, so it was rather disconcerting seeing all the helmeted police with shields standing around.
With guitar, banjo, harmonica, and tambourine, we did three pieces: "Blowin' in the Wind," "Amazing Grace," and "This Land Is Your Land." Because of the nature of the songs, we were much more suited for a livingroom or small hall than the huge stage of ice and snow on which we performed. Also, I had difficulty adjusting to the microphone since I couldn't hear the others or how my own voice was carrying. Also, it was unusual singing for a crowd that happened to be passing by rather than one who had come solely for the purpose of hearing us. However, it was gracious of the Korean Embassy to host us.
On February 10th, I spoke at the Hokkaido Massachusetts Society luncheon. Hokkaido and Massachusetts signed a sister-state affliation on February 7th, 1990, and I have been a long-term member. Other than the guest speaker, I think I was the only American (out of maybe half a dozen) who had any real connection with MA. I had to give a short talk so first explained my connection with MA, that goes back to when my ancestors first came from England in 1629!
Then I talked about enculturation and that, no matter how long we live in another country, unless it's where we grew up, there are constant small ways in which we never stop experiencing culture stress (as differentiated from culture shock, which often occurs somewhere in the 1st or 2nd year of living abroad). I gave the example of being served coffee without being asked what I'd like to drink and, even though I stopped drinking caffeine 10 years ago, it's impolite to refuse, so I always take a few sips and, in a very Japanese-like way, say, "It's delicious." In that sense, I'm not completely enculturated, although I can fake it! You might say I have become enculturated when it comes to taking off shoes because it's practically impossible for me to go into anyone's house with my shoes on. Such a filthy habit! The main point of my talk, however, is that we can learn to respect and appreciate the positive aspects of one another's cultures.
On January 20th, I participated in the in-house recital for my chorus, Sapporo Academy Chorus. I sang two arias from Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro): "Voi che sapete" and "Non so piu."
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