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2006-03-17 10:56 a.m.

new clothes for the old ceremony

A P.S.

Today was the elementary school graduation. (The Japanese love ceremonies. There's one for graduating preschool, one for entering elementary school, graduating elementary school, entering middle school, and on up as far as you care to go.) The now former sixth graders are my favorite class on the Rock. They always surprise me with their enthusiasm and smarts.

At the ceremony, after they received their little certificate, each kid said a few short words, either a statement of their goals or a thank you to their parents or both. One of my favorite kids in that class, a girl who is one of the first kids I met here and has been one of my favorites on the island ever since, said, "In middle school, I want to work hard studying English. When I grow up, I want to do work that requires speaking English." Way to make my day, kid!

Also, I should note that my brother-in-law did NOT in fact save my sister's soul.

And I'm not formally trained as a Buddhist scholar, either.

i thought i saw an eagle but it might have been a vulture,