It's official, as I have just mailed the acceptance documents to the appropriate people. I will be arriving in Japan on September 12, 2005, and will remain until September of 2005! At the moment, it is has not been confirmed as to where I will be located while I am there, however, that information will follow shortly.
So, what will I be doing there? Well, just about anything I want! (hehehe) Not really, but as close as one can get to it! I will be spending 12 months in Japan improving my Japanese language skills, examining Japanese public policy, education, and history, and researching International Influences on Japanese Public Policy, as it relates to Education. Building upon my prior experiences at "Sunshine" Elementary school, I will use my time in Japan to examine the Japanese education system and recent education reform. I will most likely be placed at a Japanese university in an area outside of Tokyo, and from there will be classified as a "research student" and will be allowed to structure my own program as it relates to my research project.
Meanwhile, I am excited, anxious, and nervous! As you may recall, my first trip to Japan was full of self-discovery, and provided excellent insight into Japanese culture. My only regrets were that I did not have much money to explore the country as I would have liked to, and my Japanese language ability did not improve much as I would have liked. This was mostly due to the heavy course load I was taking as well as my tendency to gravitate towards feorigners as a opposed to Japanese. Upon departing Japan after my first trip, I delcared to myself that if provided the opportunity to return to Japan, I would like the following: the freedom and resources to explore different regions of Japan without having to worry about funding; the opportunity to devote myself to Japanese language acquisition; the independence in conducting my own research on a Japanese issue of interest to me. Well, here is my chance EVERYONE! I will be provided freedom, funding, independence, opportunities, + even more! Thank you GOD :)! I am ready to go! Well, not right now.... But I will be soon. (hehehe)
I have a lot to do, before I leave! The top of my TO DO list is IMPROVE MY LANGUAGE ABILITY! I want to place myself in the best position possible to exceed not only the program’s expectations, but also my own! This time, I am going to be prepared for Japan- armed with a conversational understanding of the language, and an ability to navigate throughout Japan by myself! -This Sista will be going many places throughout Japan- and I have to know what I am talking about, I also have to know what others are saying too!
I am already creating a list of sights to see, places to go, and things to do! The first on my list is:
1. Learn to Ski!- From what I hear, Japan has wondeful ski opportunities! Well, although I don't like the snow (really the sight of dirty "DC snow", I am planning to learn how to ski in Japan. (I can already see the most hilarious post about my experience) After my "learning to swim" experience this past semester@ Howard University, I am now ready to conquer my fear of the unknown!
2. Visit/Climb Mount Fuji- I wasn’t able to do this the last time due to funding restraints, so this time, Fuji-san, here I come! If I remember correctly, it is possible to climb it, or walk up a long staircase. Whatever the case, I am going to do it!
3. See the ROOTS Perform LIVE- In 2003, the Roots were performing in Tokyo around my birthday. Well, I had to choice purchase an expensive ticket or, save the money and purchase my host family parting gifts of appreciation. I chose the latter, and have waite patiently to see the ROOTS live in concert ever since! From the looks of their schedule, I will have just missed them, when I arrive. They will be performing on the 13th of August, however, it’s @ a music festival. I am patient and will wait. Plus, I want to see them in a lounge or small club with incense in the air anyway!
4. Drink Sake under a Beautiful Cherry Blossom Tree!- (laughing) I just have to laugh on this one. I just realized I wanted to do it! Oh yeah, my tree will jumpin' with laugher, smiles, and the sound of the “Gypsie Kings” playing in the background. “(music) Bomboeloooooooooo.”- Just recently purchase the CD and whenever I here it I feel I feel that the world is mine to travel and have fun! A must have in your collection.
More to come…