Archive for the 'IbaDai Stuff' Category

Higher Education in Japan Today…Here’s what it sounds like

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Just in case you were wondering, I made some recordings this afternoon after my third-period class.
Outside the Humanities Building (468 KB MP3).
Inside a first-floor classroom inside the Annex opposite Hum (616 KB MP3).
Second-floor classroom inside the Annex (728 KB MP3)
Outside again, further away than first recording! (276 KB MP3)
And the absolute worst: outside the first-floor […]

The Myth of the Japanese Gardener

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I’d really like to know where the Western (or at least North American) stereotype of the Japanese gardener came from. Because it sure as shit (for fertilizer) didn’t have anything to do with the way the art of horticulture is conducted in this country these days.
Arrived at uni today to find idiots cutting down trees […]

End of an era…

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

I tried logging in to our e-Learning site yesterday from the office and discovered that the MySQL server was down. Logging in via Terminal and firing up the Server Admin apps, I discovered that the server had rebooted on March 18, two days after I had last logged in. (Since I had disabled login for […]

My water is theirs

Monday, February 5th, 2007

I just learned the other day that after the refurbishment scheduled for the second half of the upcoming academic year, our offices will not long be equipped with the little sink and mirror we now have. We’ll have to trot halfway down the hall to get water to boil for tea or coffee, to wash […]


Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

No, it’s not the sound of my underware coming off my head!
OK. So they’re done for another year. Senior theses, that is.
And I’m fried and going back to bed. Probably for most of the rest of the day.
This is absolutely the last time I’m doing this. I’ve already decided.
We haven’t made up our syllabuses (syllabi?!) […]

Men Doke Sigh

Friday, January 5th, 2007

(Alternative title: I work for idiots.)
Heard an interesting piece of news while at work today. Seems that come August, they’re going to start redoing my wing of the building, strengthening it against earthquakes. So I will have to move to another office for the last half of the year and then probably move back after […]

Mini-Composition: Photo Captions

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

Every Tuesday, Gaijin Biker over on Riding Sun does a “Tuesday caption contest” (up to #70 now) in which he posts a photo and commenters try to come up with the best caption, with the winner announced on Fridays.
I pinched this idea and applied it in a task for my composition classes. In its current […]

Learning from students

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Sometimes we teachers can learn from our students as well.
Several of the seniors this year are again doing their thesis on topics or authors whom I know little or nothing about. (Elizabeth Gaskell, anyone? The development of the American fast food industry?)
And one of my second-year composition students has written about an art exhibition she […]


Monday, December 4th, 2006

I’m telling you, they don’t call it “BF E…Ibaraki” for nothing!
I stopped off to check my mailbox on the way back to the office after my 3rd-period class and the little lady from Sômu caught me on the way out. Seems the kakari-chô who retired back in March stopped by and left some produce from […]

This long Mito afternoon…

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

Kind of a slow day today here at the office.
I brought the camera along for sheets and geegles, so here’s a shot from the little balcony on the third floor, facing in the direction of the main gate. (Those are the Education Department buildings there on the left. Nothing else really worth mentioning stands out […]

What floats to the top

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

The brain trusts in the administration evidently have decided that, since it worked out so well last year (=sarcasm!), they would again let the company(ies?) responsible for the construction of a new building on campus take up part of our (ALREADY LIMITED!!) parking area with their temporary prefab office building, materials and equipment storage, and […]

Friday Cat Blogging: Under the Wire

Friday, July 28th, 2006

Running a bit late (it’s been a strange day), but this should make it in before midnight and still qualify as Friday.

Coco, as she was eventually named, is really getting big. I stopped by the student lounge Thursday evening before leaving to say howdy.
I found out that the highschool student who originally found her and […]

One mystery solved, another revealed

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

Well, with the generous help of someone who went beyond the call this afternoon as far as volunteering his own time & expertise, the e-Learning site is back online. The source of the ftp, mail, and SSH failures soon became apparent: the DNS name server address setting had, at some point, joined Elvis and left […]

Wanting to walk away

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

I spent most of Friday and yesterday setting up a temporary area here on for use during my first class Monday morning, on the off chance that I can’t get the MySQL databases working again.
The fact that I have to worry about this technical shit at all is one of the fundamental problems at […]

Why our e-Learning is a failure

Friday, July 21st, 2006

The short answer: because of an almost total lack of support from the university and other English faculty.
Minimal possible technical assistance from the former, no content provision and little interest from the latter.
I have learned that some things in this world just aren’t worth the hassle.
Doing anything extra for IbaDai is rapidly starting to […]