Back to school

Before it gets too late and I forget everything I should mention the first days at Hyogo University...


Monday... time for school! Taking the bus it takes about 5-10 minutes to get to the station. the station which is called 学園都市 (college university town) is centrally located between 5 college campuses (different colleges). From there I met Sakai-san and we walk the path to the college. The college is located on top of a hill surrounded by residential apartments. We reach what appears to be the administration building and head inside. We then go in what appears to be the main office. What amazes me about offices, faculty rooms, banks, and other office settings is the complete absence of cubicles. Instead of wondering what goes on behind the security and privacy of the particle board walls you can see everyone in action hard at work. It definitely gives an impression of efficiency and community, everyone working in the same space. I'm let into a back room and told to wait. Dr. Nishida briefly greets me and then the paperwork is piled on. Then walks in the mighty Matsuda Sensei, Japanese teacher of foreign students. She is quite nice with an extensive history in traveling living in New York, visiting Evergreen on faculty exchange, and teaching in Australia. She then shows me around the school. The campus in comparison to Evergreen is much smaller about 3/4 to 1/2 the size. After a somewhat disorienting tour of the school I get some lunch. Matsuda Sensei treats. We begin to talk about various things, my previous trip to Japan, the exchange program, how I am alone and obviously stick out.

As far as classes goes she explains that I'm required to be signed up for 10 but since I'm getting all of my credit from Evergreen I'm not required to attend all of the classes. Talk about confusing. After lunch I meet my teacher adviser Takii Sensei: Historian of Japanese Law and Germany. A very nice man who has an office of books piled up to the sky you can hardly walk into his room. For visiting I receive a history book and later (on a separate visit) a book he has written in translation. That was pretty much all for the first day. In fact I was told I had another week all to myself. Before leaving I got a few pictures of the campus.

Campus map

The clock tower, containing a majority of the class rooms

This is the library, not as massive as the Evergreen library although on a secret tour intended for graduate students I got to explore the innards of this building which contains a huge amount of books. The basement contains endless rows of books on strange book shelves capable of moving around and squishing people. Unfortunately there are no pictures.

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