San Francisco, CA
Konichiwa! I’m about to hop over the other pond and land in the hamlet of Tokyo. And while I’m understating things… I’ll be staying under a thatched roof and eating some rice and fish.
The Baba Foundation has hosted the National Teacher of the Year for many years now, and so I will have the unique opportunity to tour Japanese schools, a science museum, a high-energy particle accelerator (KEK), meet with the Vice Minister of Education, sightsee in Tokyo and Kyoto, drop in on the U.S. Ambassador, and even teach a couple of science classes to Japanese junior high students! I wish I was feeling remotely prepared.
I’ve been cramming a bit after returning from Switzerland two days ago: memorizing a few phrases (“My futon is too short, may I please have a longer bed?” and so on,) reading up on Japanese culture and history, and listening to a book-on-tape to hone my diplomatic skills (Dave Barry Does Japan (which is actually a pretty good primer on touring in Japan. Really.))
This should be an interesting week. And that may be the biggest understatement yet.