| I've been out of touch with many of you for a long time. Basically, I have been writing my dissertation/finishing my PhD, hanging out with Setsuko, fathering Ariel, stressing over physical stuff, and teaching. That's pretty much it.
Going back to school was tremendous but also enervating. Regarding the final push to get my dissertation completed, I owe a great deal to Setsuko for her undying support, friend and colleague Don Whittaker, and to Dr. Les Wade, my advisor. He was a true mentor who guided me through an exceedingly laborious process. (If you ever have trouble sleeping, surf over to Ham's dissertation. Guaranteed to put you right out!) I learned a great deal about how to write in the process of putting ideas together in a (somewhat) readable way.
Coming back to Japan was an excellent decision for us. Japan is always home. I was able to have the lack of distraction to write and Ariel and Setsuko could enjoy seeing family. Unsurprising, Setsuko has a lot more work here as well. I'm so proud of the work that she has done with Montessori education. It looks like she may even be going through the Montessori International Certification course herself in January. Ariel and I will support her all the way.
Regarding my Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), many of you know that I have suffered intense facial pain for about eight years. Medication was expensive and debilitating. Brain surgery was necessary but prohibitively costly. Well, hallelujah for Japan's excellent National Health insurance! My fine neurosurgeon at Yokohama Rosai Hospital opted to perform the noninvasive Gamma Knife radiation procedure and now I am without any pain and medication-free. I have lost sensation in the right side of my face but who needs to be bilaterally sensational anyway? I feel blessed to be on the other side and focusing on the rest of my life.
This year I have been teaching at Aoyama Gakuen and Ferris Universities and developing a variety of online sites and courses.