Weill in Japan Jason Weill Web Productions
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weill in japan: day 43

The presentation is over, my report is ready for printing, and there are just two days of class left. Will anyone actually be in class to see them?

My morning began in less than glorious fashion as I left the house after 7:30 AM. With both my backpack and laptop bag, I had to hustle to the train station with a lot of extra weight. I barely made it onto the 7:49 AM train, seven crucial minutes later than my ideal 7:42 AM train, and arrived with time to catch the 8:09 AM bus to ICU. (The next bus after that leaves at 8:23 AM, which would get me into class about 15 minutes late.)

My presentation prep had mixed results: I was unable to use the inkjet printer at home to print to transparencies, so my only other choice was to print on paper for later photocopying onto transparencies in black-and-white. Minutes after leaving the house, I realized that the classroom has a TV with RCA inputs, and there was an S-Video to RCA cable in my drawer at home. D'oh. I could have done the presentation straight from my laptop had I remembered to bring the cable.

Only eight people out of the 13 actually showed up today, our lowest level yet. The five absentees will likely not be seen through the end of the program. It's a sad end to the program, but everyone saw it coming. I'm more interested to see if any more people skip out tomorrow or Friday.

Presentations went fairly well, although it's still not much fun to sit and listen to people talk for two hours at a time. Although I didn't have my laptop video cable on hand, I realized that the three photos I would use in my project were on my digital camera. I had the cable for that on hand, so I was able to show pictures vividly on the TV. That earned me kudos from the other students and visitors.

I brought my laptop with me to type my report on campus, expecting the same throngs of students that I saw earlier in the week. That turned out to be unnecessary: most people seem to be done with projects for the most part, so I could have gotten by with my memory device alone. In any case, I was able to get my report typed up on campus to avoid having to do lots of work at home.

Money is holding up well. I forgot to carry a one earlier in the week, so I actually have a slightly larger budget than I expected. That means more money to spend on essentials like beverages, video games, and Famicom badges. I bought another capsule today, this one of the "Donkey Kong" title screen. My collection now includes five different designs out of the 15 offered.

The heat is still bearing down on Tokyo, and my heavy backpack doesn't make matters any better. I felt very weak after walking home with all that extra weight on me, despite eating a filling lunch on campus. A one-hour nap refreshed me before dinner, but I think I should save a little extra money for buying some 900-milliliter (30.4 fluid ounce) bottles of Pocari Sweat.


I miss chocolate milk. You can obviously make it by yourself at home, but it is not sold pre-mixed in convenience stores or vending machines. Instead, coffee milk is extremely popular. It is not as good as choco-mik.

Another drink you won't find in Japan: root beer. Just like in the U.K., many children's medicines were made to taste like root beer years ago. When companies tried to introduce root beer as a drink to the Japanese market, children hated it because it tasted like medicine. I don't drink root beer very much in the U.S., so that's not a big problem.

I attracted a couple of people today playing Taiko no Tatsujin. Maybe they were surprised by a 21-year-old white guy playing a game designed for pre-teen Japanese children, or maybe they recognized the songs I was playing along with.

There are just two days of class left, and then I leave on Saturday. I'm trying not to think too much about heading back, but class is over for all practical purposes. Welcome to garbage time.