This means basically that there has not been any real work for me to do during the last two weeks, and I have had to really use my imagination to use this time effectively. I decided to spend most of my time researching on the Internet, and this required that I make requests for resources to make this possible. These requests were filled, and now there is one computer which can access the Internet through a modem and a dial-up server (not a dedicated connection). Since everyone wanted it but was afraid to ask for it, I was glad that I did.
On the cultural front, Gifu-ken extended an invitation to my wife and I to attend their reception for a doll nicknamed Miss Gifu. Before World War II, citizens of the United States sent some blue eyed dolls to Japan as a peace offering, and Japan responded by returning Japanese dolls. During the war, many of the Japanese dolls were intentionally abused, mutilated, or destroyed, or at least lost, and Miss Gifu was one of the few survivors. Furthermore, she was still in perfect condition. This week, as a symbol of peace and friendship, a museum in Chicago returned her to her home, Gifu.
We attended this dinner reception as official token Americans. It was very interesting to witness the politically correct exchanges made between the official representatives from both sides. Some of it seemed quite superficial, pointing out in my mind that while the killing has stopped, there may still be quite a lot of resentment between the United States and Japan. In fact, it might be reasonable to say that the main reason Japan and the United States are not fighting each other militaristically is that Japan no longer has a military.
I know that you guys at Poly Sci have said that you are too busy to give us any feedback regarding our papers. I'm OK with this and don't think it's the end of the world. However, I do hope you understand that I am taking the liberty to assume that no news is good news, and that you are satisfied with the work I am turning in. If you are not, then please let me know now. It would certainly be unfair to be told, after I got home, that I did lousy work.