So 2007 is all over, and 2008 is off to a good start. Last year had it’s ups and downs, but it finnished on a good note. I had a chance to meet the staff and teachers at the Ekimae branch for a nice party. After that, I headed up to Hirosaki to celebrate the New Years in traditional Japanese style. American traditions of champagne, pork dinners, and fireworks were replaced with sweet sake, soba bowls, and hot spring visits. Not a bad trade… As for 2008, its off to a good start. I have started full time at the Izumi branch and I am meeting new students every day. I am looking forward to meeting more students, making more friends, exploring Japan, and learning more of the Japanese language. Good luck to everyone in the new year and come visit the Izumi crew when you have the time. Peace. /SENDAI Study Advisor Stephen M