I am back blogging in Japan! For the next two months, I will be living and researching in Kobe. Please join and follow my adventures.
So, where am I now?
The short answer: about to head back to Japan!
The long answer….
After my Fulbright year in Japan ended, I returned home to Boston. I worked at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology in the paleontology and entomology departments. Basically I photographed butterflies and I cleaned rocks. It was great fun. I made some wonderful friends. I also gave tours at Louisa May Alcott’s house in Concord, Massachusetts. On my days off, I swam in Thoreau’s Walden pond.
In the meantime, I applied to graduate school. I was accepted to the psychology department at University of California Santa Barbara. Last fall, I moved to California and began a PhD program studying with Dr. Heejung Kim researching the effects of culture on human behavior and thinking. I started with a study on how auditory attention differs between European Americans, Asian Americans, and Japanese.
This summer, I am heading to Kobe to conduct a two month study in collaboration with researchers at Kobe University. I am so excited! Looking back at my last post, I pondered “the next step” and wondered if I would ever be back in Japan.
I am still full of doubts and questions. I still do not know what I want to do. Graduate school is hard and sometimes I feel like leaving. Whatever happens, I am happy the next step will take me back to Japan. It will be a beautiful moment. And, for now, I am just trying to enjoy that.
Good-bye Japan. The final glimpse.
I keep intending to write a proper end for my year in Japan.
But there is no tidy conclusion. Yes, I left Japan and I am back in the States adjusting to life here. However I am not sure of the next step. I am not sure where to take my love of biology. And I am not sure if or when I will ever be back in Japan.
All I can say is- it was a wonderful year. Many thanks.
When I first arrived to Japan, the abundance of umbrellas was almost overwhelming. Umbrellas seemed to be everywhere I looked- in stores, in racks in front of stores, in plastic bags inside of stores, in lockers outside of museums. As soon as it would start raining, everyone would seem to magically have an umbrella even children.
Now arriving back to the States, I am shocked in reverse. Today although it was raining steadily, few people were carrying umbrellas. Many people were not even wearing raincoats but instead just walking down the street getting quite soaked.
Kyoto Tower, Kyoto.
An unconventional view of Kyoto Tower. Looking up from the underground Porta shopping mall.
Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end?
I seem to have made it. I still feel a bit disoriented though.
Let the over-dramatic last’s continue. My last meal in Japan.
(I will be fasting for the next 24 hours to help reduce jetlag.)