My salad days in Washington, D.C.

カテゴリ:Exchange( 130 )

2004年 09月 09日

Drinks at TOMBS

Tonight my roommates took me to an American style bar right across my
apartment. (Which means, right across the Exorcist staircase as well.)
I had some alcohol outside for the first time here. Yey! (Father and
Mother, don't worry, I am doing OK!) Drinking alcohol while under 21 yrs
old is strictly prohibited here in DC, and the guys at the bar entrance
check every single person's ID. They gave me a stamp on the right
hand, which looks like a tatoo now, and I was able to order the alcohol.
We cereblated the job offer announced to one of my roommates from
Goldman Sachs in NY. Congratulations!

I think the time is approaching for me to decide my future, at least in
five years of time span. Slightly scared, but full of hope, I will make up
my mind.

by my-salad-days | 2004-09-09 13:18 | Exchange
2004年 09月 09日

The need of change, again

The highlight of my class schedule during the weekday is Wednesday,
which is today, because I have four classes in succession. It starts from
8:50, US political system, followed by a history class "US since 1945"
which I audit. In the afternoon, Geopolitics and Political Legitimacy/
Identity in SE/E Asia complete the schedule. I feel more optimistic than
I felt last week, because I have the notion that if I can overcome one
thing, I will be able to go through it.

That one thing is that I need to change my attitudes towards study.
More responsive, reactive attitudes are necessary in order to commit
myself to the classes. And, this attitudes are required when I start
reading assignments. I need to get ready to give opinions whenever it
is necessary, and putting thinking for later should be considered the
same as not thinking.

"Critical Thinking" was the key words that my home universtiy favoured
a lot, but thinking should be accompanied by speaking out, or rather,
interactive communication with other people. In my case, I am slow in
responding to the comments that profssors make, and hardly ready to
raise questions or my opinions when asked to do so.

May be this is why Japanese people are considered to be quiet in
situations when they are given the opportunity to speak. Besides the
linguistic problems, those who are brought up in Japanese education
system are not accustomed to be reactive to the lecturers. It may
perhaps be because of the confucian idea that students are not
supposed to give their opinions to teachers.

Anyways, excuses can explain anything. It is my responsibility to make
a change.

by my-salad-days | 2004-09-09 07:22 | Exchange
2004年 09月 07日

Lazy Labour Day

Today, Monday 6th of September is a national holiday in US. There are no classes, banks and offices are closed, and students are enjoying the last minutes of the holiday season. We had girls' PJ party in our room last
night, and I came to know most of the good friends of my roommates.
Another thing I found here is that people study hard, and they play hard. Once they start studying, which has already occured in my apartment,
they do almost everything they have to do. No neglection in the reading
assignments, no compromise in preparation.

a0022830_519361.jpgBy the way, have you seen the film "Exorcist"? I haven't, but I am living right across the staircase they used in the film. It is realy steep and
long. Every time I go down there to go to M Street or Potomac River
side, my hand grasping the handrail sweats, and I go down the stone
steps one by one. One interesting
thing is that the movie theater in
Georgetown have this more-than-
30-year-old film on screen in
September and October every year.
I think I must see it once before
the Halloween. I don't like horror
movies much, but let me compare
"Exorcist" with "The Hounted" which was the first film I saw in Cambridge
with my friend (do you remember that, dear? ), "Sleepy Hollows", "The
Final Destination", and "Ring", the Japanese version, which I saw only
one time.

by my-salad-days | 2004-09-07 05:18 | Exchange
2004年 09月 04日






 Anyway, I hope that time will tell.

by my-salad-days | 2004-09-04 11:03 | Exchange
2004年 09月 02日

Classes started!

Today was the first day of the classes. I had 3 courses today, all of
them I find challenging. Challenging in terms of the common knowledge
I have about US politics, in terms of the amount of readings given, and
the language skill. The 3 are "US Political System", "Geopolitics",
"Political Legitimacy and Identity in E/SE Asia".

US Political System Prof. Wayne
This is an introductory course to US politics. All the government major
students are taking it. Although this is introductory, I found it difficult to
share the laughter with other students when prof. makes jokes. So, I
decided to keep reading Washington Post everyday.

Geopolitics Prof. Pirtle
The prof. of this class is famous for his tyrannical way of teaching the
classes, although his basic principles are legitimate. He used to serve
in military, and the rules apply to the classroom as well. Still, I think I
can learn a lot from this course. This is a kind of classes that my home
university doesn't offer. We read books by Ikenberry, Measheimer,
Tammen, Kupchan, Gilpin etc. The empahsis he puts on this class is the
knowledge and theory rather than classroom discussion.

Political Legitimacy and Identity in E/SE Asia Prof. Steinberg
After Geopolitics with Prof. Pirtle, the prof of this class, who is actually
the head of Asian Studies in GU, seemed like a sweet angel to me. This
is a small class of 10 students, and we will have interactive class
discussion. I have been looking forward to this class since I applied to

After all, I felt hyper-exhausted after the 3 sessions, so I had a nap
back in my dorm. Can I go through it? Let me see.

by my-salad-days | 2004-09-02 13:04 | Exchange
2004年 09月 01日




 実際に車に乗っていった教会は、全く厳かな感じではなく、すり鉢状になった席の一番底に、コーラス隊がおり、アップビートに乗った讃美歌を中央で牧師さんがマイクを握って歌い、人々も楽しそうにハモッテいました。賛美歌が終わったら、この日は特例としてアフガニスタンで孤児院の世話をしているという、宣教師夫婦のお話がありました。このカップルは、教会からの援助を得て孤児院を建て、見捨てられた子供達の世話をしているそうです。話は、涙を誘う話もあり、またモスリムの人たちを "ugly" と形容する無理解さもあり、聞いていて複雑な気持ちになりました。長い間戦場だった国で、親もなく障害を持つ子供達へ愛の手を差し伸べるという社会的人情と、キリスト教至上主義の考え方と、両方ともが混ざった感じで、評価がしにくいな。。。。信仰と政治が両立しない様を見てしまいました。


 帰りがけには彼女の好意でグローセリーストアに連れて行ってもらい、何人分を料理するのだ???というぐらい缶詰や小麦粉(オーブンがあるから)、パスタ、バター、ミネラルウォーター等を買ってきました。因みに、ワシントンDCでの水道水は、飲んだらだめよと友達に忠告されました。確かに塩素のにおいは強い。それから、インゲンやほうれん草、トマト、モモ、冷凍食品もカートに入れて、お会計は $70也。これで数週間は重いものを抱えて買出しに行かなくて済むでしょう。帰りがけは、サリーの車で寮の部屋まで送ってもらい、またもや至れり尽くせりになってしまいました。今日の朝、彼女にお礼状を贈ったから明後日には届くでしょう。



by my-salad-days | 2004-09-01 11:08 | Exchange
2004年 08月 29日

Night Drive in Washington, D.C.

 D.C.で使える携帯電話を買いました。一年もしないうちにアメリカを離れるし、日本で言う住基ネットと同じSocial Security Number も持っていないので、保証金は目玉が飛び出るほど高かったです。でも、まあ日本で言えばドコモみたいな会社のにしたので、いつでも電波は届くでしょう。番号を知りたい人は、メールください(笑)。
 買った機種はKyocera、一番クールなのは日本ではもう当たり前になったパコパコするやつですが、電話とText Message ができればいいやと思って、折り曲げないやつにしました。分厚くてコロコロしています。My roommate helped me a lot when buying it.
Thank you, though I have said that to you!


 " The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." by F. D. Roosevelt

by my-salad-days | 2004-08-29 12:25 | Exchange
2004年 08月 28日





by my-salad-days | 2004-08-28 03:42 | Exchange
2004年 08月 25日

Hello from Georgetown

Thank you for those of you who are checking this site regularly. Three
days have passed since I arrived here in DC. Sorry for typing in English,
but my lap-top is still off line. Things are going alright, I find problems in
speaking English, though. It is just expressing my point of view is a
frustrating (but hopefully full of pleasure) labour, especially when
speaking with the natives.

One thing I can say about this place here, however, is that THIS IS A
GREAT PLACE! YEY! Other exchange and international graduate
students are just "awesome", I will be greatly encouraged and inspired
by them and hopefully I will be able to contribute to them as well. I am
really excited about the coming weeks.

PS. I had no troubles at Chicago Ohare, no problems at the immigration
office! Though the flight was long and the plane from Chicago to WDC
was so small that there were only 64 seats for passengers, I had safe
trip to DC. And my hostmother, who kindly picked me up from the airport
to my university dorm, greatly helped me move in to the dorm. Without
her help, I guess I could have done nothing.

by my-salad-days | 2004-08-25 12:47 | Exchange
2004年 08月 21日






by my-salad-days | 2004-08-21 01:29 | Exchange