Archive for March 2005

Five more weeks!

March 31, 2005

W

hen I was an undergraduate, I used to like going to my professors’ offices and talking. I would always have a legitimate reason for going–grades, questions about the subject in class–but if the conversation veered toward non-academic topics, I was more than happy to shoot the breeze. Personally, it was interesting to talk to those older than me, and hear their perspective of life. I mean, experience should count for something, don’t you think?

This did not happen very often, unfortunately. My professors ran their life very professionally, and office hours were strictly maintained. It sometimes had the feel of a doctor’s office: The Professor is IN/OUT. Perhaps because of this, there was always a distinct barrier between us. Not that this is a bad thing. A distinct border makes life easier: I knew where I stood and consequently I knew what I could say, what I could get away with, and what I couldn’t.

But as a student, I always appreciated those professors who treated me with some respect. This doesn’t mean that I expected him to shake my hand or be my best buddy, but I did enjoy those professors who would talk to me honestly and openly, giving me a little time to talk about anything and everything. And it was a bonus when he or she would manifest a personal interest in me: Did you have a nice spring break? How are your other classes going? What are you doing this summer?

As this is what I enjoyed from my professors as a twenty-something, this is what I try to provide to my students. I am interested in their day. I ask how their weekend went. I laugh at myself, much to their amusement. Perhaps I go a bit overboard at times. I am willing to talk about virtually anything, and at length. Do my students enjoy this or appreciate this? Am I going to far? Perhaps blurring the line between respect and familiarity, hopefully in a good way, but maybe to detrimental effect (READ: taking someone for granted)? These are, of course, questions only they can answer. I can only teach as I see fit. I am human, too, and will react predictably–to a degree–to certain stimuli.

Anyway, back to grading for me. From illness (twice), to INS, to a heavy teaching load (Do any of you college students know a professor who teaches five courses in one semester?), and now my allergies are kicking in: This has been the semester from Hell…

I just hope to survive it.

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Five more weeks!

March 31, 2005

W

hen I was an undergraduate, I used to like going to my professors’ offices and talking. I would always have a legitimate reason for going–grades, questions about the subject in class–but if the conversation veered toward non-academic topics, I was more than happy to shoot the breeze. Personally, it was interesting to talk to those older than me, and hear their perspective of life. I mean, experience should count for something, don’t you think?

This did not happen very often, unfortunately. My professors ran their life very professionally, and office hours were strictly maintained. It sometimes had the feel of a doctor’s office: The Professor is IN/OUT. Perhaps because of this, there was always a distinct barrier between us. Not that this is a bad thing. A distinct border makes life easier: I knew where I stood and consequently I knew what I could say, what I could get away with, and what I couldn’t.

But as a student, I always appreciated those professors who treated me with some respect. This doesn’t mean that I expected him to shake my hand or be my best buddy, but I did enjoy those professors who would talk to me honestly and openly, giving me a little time to talk about anything and everything. And it was a bonus when he or she would manifest a personal interest in me: Did you have a nice spring break? How are your other classes going? What are you doing this summer?

As this is what I enjoyed from my professors as a twenty-something, this is what I try to provide to my students. I am interested in their day. I ask how their weekend went. I laugh at myself, much to their amusement. Perhaps I go a bit overboard at times. I am willing to talk about virtually anything, and at length. Do my students enjoy this or appreciate this? Am I going to far? Perhaps blurring the line between respect and familiarity, hopefully in a good way, but maybe to detrimental effect (READ: taking someone for granted)? These are, of course, questions only they can answer. I can only teach as I see fit. I am human, too, and will react predictably–to a degree–to certain stimuli.

Anyway, back to grading for me. From illness (twice), to INS, to a heavy teaching load (Do any of you college students know a professor who teaches five courses in one semester?), and now my allergies are kicking in: This has been the semester from Hell…

I just hope to survive it.

Mom and Sushi

March 29, 2005

H

as it really been three years? It’s been that long since my mother died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can read a bit more as well as an amusing story I wrote last year commemorating her death that partially explains my weird sense of humor.

Be that as it may…

My mother and I were very close. Sometimes I wonder if I suffered from what the Japanese call mazakon, which is short for “mother complex.” I admit I relied on her a lot. I mean, I did my own laundry, could cook when I had to, and had lots of girlfriends, some of whom I wouldn’t/couldn’t introduce to her. But she was always the one I turned to when I needed to discuss problems and ask for advice. We also did lots of things together. We went to Dodger games together and we went to eat sushi together.

My first introduction to “real” sushi was in 1972. My mother had been working at the Consulate General of Japan since 1968 and with this job she had attained a degree of financial independence and a vast knowledge of the ins-and-outs of Lil’ Tokyo. I went to see her for lunch one day, and she asked me if I waned to eat at a “sushi bar”.

“A sushi bar? What’s that?”

She assured me it was good food, but all I could imagine was a bar with wine glasses hanging overhead, rows of liquor lined up in front of a mirror on the wall, and a fountain where a bartender jerked soda and water to mix with the alcohol he served. I soon learned that the word bar had more than one definition.

She took me to a place called Tokyo Kaikan in J-Town, where a chef named Toyo–now the owner of Sushi Gen in Honda Plaza–“tended” bar. I was totally blown away. Back then, sushi usually meant inarizushi (footballs) or futomaki (tires). And the image of raw fish was basically limited to maguro (tuna). But on my maiden voyage to a sushi bar, I experienced the wonders of hirame (halibut) and iwashi (sardines) and suzuki (sea bass). I didn’t know that sushi could be so wonderous. After that, we often went to eat together. When I started working, I tried to pay as often as I could–what better way to pay back a lifetime of being nurturing. The last time I got to go with her was in December 2001.

I rarely get to go back to J-Town and eat sushi, but when I do I try to visit Toyo at Sushi Gen. He always treats me to a sake in memory of mom.

Mom and Sushi

March 29, 2005

H

as it really been three years? It’s been that long since my mother died of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can read a bit more as well as an amusing story I wrote last year commemorating her death that partially explains my weird sense of humor.

Be that as it may…

My mother and I were very close. Sometimes I wonder if I suffered from what the Japanese call mazakon, which is short for “mother complex.” I admit I relied on her a lot. I mean, I did my own laundry, could cook when I had to, and had lots of girlfriends, some of whom I wouldn’t/couldn’t introduce to her. But she was always the one I turned to when I needed to discuss problems and ask for advice. We also did lots of things together. We went to Dodger games together and we went to eat sushi together.

My first introduction to “real” sushi was in 1972. My mother had been working at the Consulate General of Japan since 1968 and with this job she had attained a degree of financial independence and a vast knowledge of the ins-and-outs of Lil’ Tokyo. I went to see her for lunch one day, and she asked me if I waned to eat at a “sushi bar”.

“A sushi bar? What’s that?”

She assured me it was good food, but all I could imagine was a bar with wine glasses hanging overhead, rows of liquor lined up in front of a mirror on the wall, and a fountain where a bartender jerked soda and water to mix with the alcohol he served. I soon learned that the word bar had more than one definition.

She took me to a place called Tokyo Kaikan in J-Town, where a chef named Toyo–now the owner of Sushi Gen in Honda Plaza–“tended” bar. I was totally blown away. Back then, sushi usually meant inarizushi (footballs) or futomaki (tires). And the image of raw fish was basically limited to maguro (tuna). But on my maiden voyage to a sushi bar, I experienced the wonders of hirame (halibut) and iwashi (sardines) and suzuki (sea bass). I didn’t know that sushi could be so wonderous. After that, we often went to eat together. When I started working, I tried to pay as often as I could–what better way to pay back a lifetime of being nurturing. The last time I got to go with her was in December 2001.

I rarely get to go back to J-Town and eat sushi, but when I do I try to visit Toyo at Sushi Gen. He always treats me to a sake in memory of mom.

How closely do you read Onigiriman?

March 28, 2005

Rank Name Score
1 gyjcwang 100
2 Fuafuahamu 100
3 captaingaijin 100
4 ikerton 100
5 detachable 90
6 tinkariffic 90
7 LaMangust 90
8 Kizyr 80
9 kat 80
10 cgran 80
11 Purin-kun 80
12 steffy 80
13 SleepyWalnut 80
14 Bojo 80
15 chenchan 80
16 The Last Super Power 80
17 a famaliar stranger 80
18 daddylike 70
19 Hanzo 70
20 christine jiao 70
21 enygma 70
22 Tiff 70
23 Nanana 70
24 XanthochromeSum 70
25 SleepingCutie! 70
26 simply_marie 70
27 sleetse 70
28 takunishi 60
29 jerjonji 60
30 sunjun 60
31 Mephisto Dont Know S#*! 60
32 merrow 60
33 cjones80 60
34 silvermyst 60
35 jome 60
36 Kim 60
37 Ender 50
38 sugarvirgo 50
39 aznquarter 50
40 tanjf 50
41 iamthematrix 50
42 msbliss 50
43 J 40
44 enigma 40
45 dudedontdissrice 40
46 Sinji 40
47 burningsecrets 40
48 The Water Jar 40
49 Eechim 30
50 meawkitty 20

This proved to be kinda interesting. Fuafuahamu is a student of mine and obviously knows me very well. As cute as she may be, this kinda scares me. But even scarier is gyjcwang. Dude, you only know me through Xanga, so you must be reading every one of my entries–which is really flattering–or you are one lucky son of a buck. And detachable, baby! Your one mistake was a careless one, right? Oh well, almost 100%.

There were a number of people who put in names that I don’t recognize: kat (jammkat?), Nanana, J, Sinji.

DaddyLike: I got 7/10. I think I know way too much about you and that’s quite disturbing to me.
O-man: Sorry to disturb you, but as you can see, there are at least seven more who should be even more disturbed than you…

Eechim: 3/10 – i suck…
O-man: Not exactly how I would characterize you.

Mr_Mephisto: Nice quiz…I would like to add though that I am Quiz Master, because I am The Most Bored at Work Champion and was the 1st tp stumble across this lovely quiz-makin-website, which fellow KCGW members and Yamagata Bored-Has-Come-To-Have-A-New-Meaning JETs have started to learn to abuse as well. =)
O-man: Okay, okay! I always give credit where credit is due. Although I’m not sure if being the most bored at work champion is worth getting credit for.

Purin_kun: What? You hate insects more than rodents? What about squirrels? I think I deserve a 9/10. PS – Squirrels are rodents, right?
O-man: Yes, squirrels are rodents and I hate squirrels, but I hate squirrels because they caused over $500 worth of damage to my house, those dirty little buggers. But I truly hate insects and you would know this had you read this. So live with the grade you got.

takunishi79: 60%. That’s still passing. HAHAHA
O-man: Which school do you go to?

Jerjonji: 60%… and i knew those wrong ones- i just froze…lol! fun!
O-man: Egads, you’re as bad as my students. “I knew those wrong ones.” Likely story.

meawkitty: eeeeh? i got a 20… and I’ve only been to your site twice, this is the second time so I guess that explains it!! lucky you, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten featured content…no..I haven’t…and wait…you have a wife? you’re married? and a man? or are you a girl? *contemplates this information and has a brain overload* sorry, wired, and tired, not a good combination. YOUR A COLLEGE PROFESSOR?!
O-man: Hello there. You’re a new subscriber, right? 3/23 if I’m not mistaken. Welcome to the O-man’s site. I’m not sure what brought you here or why you decided to subscribe, but I’m happy to have ya’. Anyway, I’m not sure what the criteria for featured content is, because it is not just the number of comments or e-props–althought that is part of the equation I’m sure. This was the first time in about a year and its not a big deal, I think. I got a lot of hits from people I don’t know, and so there is little or no thrill in that. I want people to come to this site cuz they wanna read what I write, not because of some random link on Featured Content. Although I think I have a couple of faithful subscribers who found me that way, so I shouldn’t be dismissive of it… And yes, I’m married, which explains the fact that I have a wife. And I am a “man”. I am not Onigiriwoman. And I teach Japanese language and literature in college. Wanna take a class?

aznquarter: do you like half and half in your coffee? cuz i got 50% =P
O-man: I’m lactose intolerant but in your case I take some half and half.

burningsecrets: I got a 40! WAUUUUUUUH! I shudda used my first instincts all the way..
O-man: Yes, you could do worse than relying on your first instincts… like relying on my instincts. Heheheheheheh

inscrutable_soul: I got an 80, which is not so bad for guessing on half of the questions! Hope you and your wife are enjoying the weekend.
O-man: Yes, not bad, but you should be studying for these quizzes. Hope you aren’t guessing on your quizzes at school.

Anyway, you can click here and still Take the O-man Quiz. Not that it would fundamentally alter your experience on Xanga or anything, but it will indicate how intently you read this site–or any other Xanga site perhaps?–because every answer can be found in previous posts, and if you’ve got a good memory or have had the time and inclination to read my old post–the more popular ones can be found at the JAJournal and some of the newer ones (like DKLA) at my “under construction” beta site–then you have a good chance of doing well… Crap, what a run-on sentence…

Have a good week everyone.

How closely do you read Onigiriman?

March 28, 2005














































































































































































































Rank Name Score
1 gyjcwang 100
2 Fuafuahamu 100
3 captaingaijin 100
4 ikerton 100
5 detachable 90
6 tinkariffic 90
7 LaMangust 90
8 Kizyr 80
9 kat 80
10 cgran 80
11 Purin-kun 80
12 steffy 80
13 SleepyWalnut 80
14 Bojo 80
15 chenchan 80
16 The Last Super Power 80
17 a famaliar stranger 80
18 daddylike 70
19 Hanzo 70
20 christine jiao 70
21 enygma 70
22 Tiff 70
23 Nanana 70
24 XanthochromeSum 70
25 SleepingCutie! 70
26 simply_marie 70
27 sleetse 70
28 takunishi 60
29 jerjonji 60
30 sunjun 60
31 Mephisto Dont Know S#*! 60
32 merrow 60
33 cjones80 60
34 silvermyst 60
35 jome 60
36 Kim 60
37 Ender 50
38 sugarvirgo 50
39 aznquarter 50
40 tanjf 50
41 iamthematrix 50
42 msbliss 50
43 J 40
44 enigma 40
45 dudedontdissrice 40
46 Sinji 40
47 burningsecrets 40
48 The Water Jar 40
49 Eechim 30
50 meawkitty 20
This proved to be kinda interesting. Fuafuahamu is a student of mine and obviously knows me very well. As cute as she may be, this kinda scares me. But even scarier is gyjcwang. Dude, you only know me through Xanga, so you must be reading every one of my entries–which is really flattering–or you are one lucky son of a buck. And detachable, baby! Your one mistake was a careless one, right? Oh well, almost 100%.

There were a number of people who put in names that I don’t recognize: kat (jammkat?), Nanana, J, Sinji.

DaddyLike: I got 7/10. I think I know way too much about you and that’s quite disturbing to me.
O-man: Sorry to disturb you, but as you can see, there are at least seven more who should be even more disturbed than you…

Eechim: 3/10 – i suck…
O-man: Not exactly how I would characterize you.

Mr_Mephisto: Nice quiz…I would like to add though that I am Quiz Master, because I am The Most Bored at Work Champion and was the 1st tp stumble across this lovely quiz-makin-website, which fellow KCGW members and Yamagata Bored-Has-Come-To-Have-A-New-Meaning JETs have started to learn to abuse as well. =)
O-man: Okay, okay! I always give credit where credit is due. Although I’m not sure if being the most bored at work champion is worth getting credit for.

Purin_kun: What? You hate insects more than rodents? What about squirrels? I think I deserve a 9/10. PS – Squirrels are rodents, right?
O-man: Yes, squirrels are rodents and I hate squirrels, but I hate squirrels because they caused over $500 worth of damage to my house, those dirty little buggers. But I truly hate insects and you would know this had you read this. So live with the grade you got.

takunishi79: 60%. That’s still passing. HAHAHA
O-man: Which school do you go to?

Jerjonji: 60%… and i knew those wrong ones- i just froze…lol! fun!
O-man: Egads, you’re as bad as my students. “I knew those wrong ones.” Likely story.

meawkitty: eeeeh? i got a 20… and I’ve only been to your site twice, this is the second time so I guess that explains it!! lucky you, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten featured content…no..I haven’t…and wait…you have a wife? you’re married? and a man? or are you a girl? *contemplates this information and has a brain overload* sorry, wired, and tired, not a good combination. YOUR A COLLEGE PROFESSOR?!
O-man: Hello there. You’re a new subscriber, right? 3/23 if I’m not mistaken. Welcome to the O-man’s site. I’m not sure what brought you here or why you decided to subscribe, but I’m happy to have ya’. Anyway, I’m not sure what the criteria for featured content is, because it is not just the number of comments or e-props–althought that is part of the equation I’m sure. This was the first time in about a year and its not a big deal, I think. I got a lot of hits from people I don’t know, and so there is little or no thrill in that. I want people to come to this site cuz they wanna read what I write, not because of some random link on Featured Content. Although I think I have a couple of faithful subscribers who found me that way, so I shouldn’t be dismissive of it… And yes, I’m married, which explains the fact that I have a wife. And I am a “man”. I am not Onigiriwoman. And I teach Japanese language and literature in college. Wanna take a class?

aznquarter: do you like half and half in your coffee? cuz i got 50% =P
O-man: I’m lactose intolerant but in your case I take some half and half.

burningsecrets: I got a 40! WAUUUUUUUH! I shudda used my first instincts all the way..
O-man: Yes, you could do worse than relying on your first instincts… like relying on my instincts. Heheheheheheh

inscrutable_soul: I got an 80, which is not so bad for guessing on half of the questions! Hope you and your wife are enjoying the weekend.
O-man: Yes, not bad, but you should be studying for these quizzes. Hope you aren’t guessing on your quizzes at school.

Anyway, you can click here and still Take the O-man Quiz. Not that it would fundamentally alter your experience on Xanga or anything, but it will indicate how intently you read this site–or any other Xanga site perhaps?–because every answer can be found in previous posts, and if you’ve got a good memory or have had the time and inclination to read my old post–the more popular ones can be found at the JAJournal and some of the newer ones (like DKLA) at my “under construction” beta site–then you have a good chance of doing well… Crap, what a run-on sentence…

Have a good week everyone.

Do you know the O-man?

March 26, 2005

T

o commemorate my 50,000th hit, I have created a quiz about my favorite subject, ME. Narcissism knows no bounds. If you have read my entries for a while and with a modicum of interest, I think you should be able to score a 100%.

Click here to Take my Quiz! and then Check out the Scoreboard! Be sure to let me know what you get…

A special thanks to cgran for hooking me up with the quiz.

By the way, I’m still waiting for Ms/Mr. 50,000.