Monday, October 3, 2016

Visiting Tsukuba U

I had an opportunity to speak at one of the top Exercise Science Labs while I was in Japan.  The lab is that of Dr. Kyoji T.  I finagled an invitation through my old friend, Dr. Wojtec C., whose wife got her Ph.D. from that program.

It is a pretty long way from where I son David lives to the Tsukuba U, which is North-north-east of Tokyo.  We caught the bullet train from Kakegawa, with David and family escorting us to the train door.  After several stops we pulled in, right on time as always, to Tokyo Terminal.  Here we were supposed to meet some of Dr. T's graduate students.

What a madhouse!!  People going every direction in every square foot.

Fortunately, we knew to go to train platforms 2 &3- which we did.  No one looking for us at either platform.  As we stand there looking confused, I guess, a kind older Japanese gentleman approaches us in broken English and asks if we need help.

Do we!

Fortunately I had been clever enough to get a telephone # from Dr T.  Two phone calls later and a few minutes wait and a smiling an apologetic young man comes running up to us.

Whew, we instantly feel MUCH better.  unfortunately two other grad students seem to be lost and wandering around looking for the three of us.

I was scheduled to speak at 1300 (1 PM), and it was about a 90-min drive to the Uni from Tokyo. It was almost 1100. Time was of the essence, but wasn't anything we could do but wait.

Finally we met up with Wong, a Chinese Ph.D. student at Tsukuba.  She guided us to the train to the subway, and eventually to the bus.

We made it with only about 2 mins to spare to the University Classroom where I gave my talk to grad students who seemed remarkably interested.  Surprising to me, I spoke in English- well that wasn't surprising- the surprising part was there was NO translator.

Now this is a challenge, becasue this was a pretty technical talk.  Despite my slow and careful choice of words, I am sure the complexity of the issues made it pretty hard for the listeners.

But there is a key lesson here.  G^d must necessarily speak slowly and simply to us too-- but-


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