AGU in America 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sweet Sorrow

Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet: "Parting is such sweet sorrow." Indeed, it was a sweet sorrow to see the group off at the airport on Wednesday, exactly two weeks (or a lifetime?) after they arrived. On August 2, we went there knowing only their names. Now, we knew their faces, their thoughts, their love of fun (and shopping), and much more. How sad we were to see them go!

Laura and Tim met the group at the Quality Inn and rode in the vans with them to the airport, where Ji Won, Kevin, and I went separately. We stood on a long, slow line to check the luggage in, and then Ji Won generously treated everyone in the group to coffee. We drank our coffee, talked, sang, took pictures, cried, and hugged until it was time for them to go through security. We five stood and waved as each AGUer, with Tatsuya Uchida bringing up the rear, passed through the security checkpoint and into the restricted area. We continued waving until we had lost sight of the very last person. Even then, we stood around and talked about what an amazing experience these two weeks had been for all of us. "It was the best part of my summer," Tim said, and I do not think anyone disagreed.

After we went with Kevin to the United Airlines counter, we went to the parking lot. Ji Won had his car, and I took Tim and Laura back to the Quality Inn. Then I went to MEI to finish some paperwork. It felt strange to walk on campus, knowing that "my kids" were gone. I kept imagining I was seeing them!

When I awoke this morning, I checked the ANA website and found that the plane had landed safely at Narita Airport. As I write this, it's about 1 p.m. on Thursday, so that means it is 2 a.m. on Friday in Japan. I imagine they are all sound asleep in their own beds.

Now that "AGU in America" is no longer in America, it seems appropriate to end the blog and to recommence with a new way of keeping the group united and in touch. I am going to investigate GoogleGroups and YahooGroups and will let everyone know how to register for an "AGU in America 2006" group. I hope that the students will continue to post to their blogs as a way to practice writing in English (including pictures and slideshows!). I still plan to add a few pictures or slideshows and perhaps a few links to the sights we saw, so I hope people will not stop checking the blog just yet! However, I think this particular blog should come to an end with this post. I have really enjoyed doing it!

PS I will set a date for our first intercontinental chat around the middle of September. Watch your email for details!


  • Hi Nina, now I'm in my house. I miss everything. I feel that the living together at Maryland intend to continue forever. But now that the program was over. Sweet Sorrow, which is the word you choose, is the best suitable word, I think. To write my feeling is beyond my description. I would like to improve my English to write such a compricated feeling, so keep studying.
    Thank you for everything.

    By Blogger Fumi, at Thu Aug 17, 06:23:00 PM EDT  

  • Hello!Nina!
    I'm in my house now. This morning,when I woke up, I had a illusion; I was still in Maryland. So, I feel my mind is still in Maryland. And now, I had some emptiness in my heart.
    But we have to send a life in Japan. Then someday, I'd like to go back to Maryland!
    Finally, I want to express my great thanks for you again at here.

    By Blogger Hiro, at Thu Aug 17, 11:17:00 PM EDT  

  • Hi nina!!
    I miss you(ρ_;)
    I came home yesterday. I talked about my staying with my mother. My mother is like one of my best friends. Today, I showed her your blog and your picture. And now, listening to the song that is my favorite sad song, I am writing comments in your blog. I want to cry. Remember you, Kevin, Tim, Ji-Won, and Laura, I can not but missing all of you. Though we can always talk with each other on the Internet, we cannot see your real faces. But I will make efforts in Japan. And someday, I will come back to Maryland(o^-')b I am happy to see you. Thanks☆

    By Blogger Reco, at Fri Aug 18, 12:45:00 AM EDT  

  • Hello!Nina!I wake up just now and felt as if I dreamed. This 2 weeks seem a dream. It was very fun and included many new experiences. I never forget this summer.
    Thank you for your love.

    By Blogger yuiko, at Fri Aug 18, 12:57:00 AM EDT  

  • Nina, thank you so much.
    These past two weeks were interesting,pleasant,delightful,enjoyable,nice,good,lovely,and HAPPY!!
    I cannnot forget many happy memories.
    I'd like to go back to Maryland someday.
    I'm looking forward to seeing you again.
    ありがとう☆(Thank you.)

    By Blogger SERI, at Fri Aug 18, 05:29:00 AM EDT  

  • Hi Nina!!!

    I still can't believe that I'm in Japan now. Your voices and faces come into my mind. I'm very sad. However,I'm glad that we are connected through a PC forever.

    I will by all means go to Maryland again!!!

    By Blogger Sayaka, at Fri Aug 18, 01:19:00 PM EDT  

  • My life in Maryland was great!!
    Everything in America is fresh to me.
    It is my treasure.
    I never forget this summer!
    Thank you, Nina.
    You are our great mother in America.
    I’d like to see you soon!

    By Blogger KAORU, at Fri Aug 18, 09:10:00 PM EDT  

  • I arrived my home safely. I am sad that the sudden storm to prevent our plane from taking off didn't happen!
    I can't thank you enough. This program was one of the most valuable experience in my life.I'm very happy I joined this program.
    It was just the best of my summer.

    By the way,the following is the continuance of The Aoyama in America Song.
    "But finally we arrived here in Maryland.
    The weather was hot
    Go swimming we did not
    We didn't have enough time for that

    We have a lot of fun on trips to Washington
    We went to the top of the Washington monument
    We saw memorial but no Baltimore orioles
    Then we went back to the Quallity Inn

    We went to Mt.Vernon
    George Washingston's home
    On the way back we fell asleep on the boat

    We wrote a lot in our blog
    And talked about Sponge Bob
    We ate pasta in Georgetown restaurant
    We went to the Fair
    We saw big races there
    Some of us sang karaoke too

    We ate lunch in the Student Union and missed our Japanese food
    We saw the Prange Collection of publications
    We touched the turtle and saw free concerts
    all this we did in two weeks

    We look atour of WashingtonPost
    We used coin laundry to wash our clothes

    We came from Aoyama to U of Maryland
    We hope that we will come again
    Its never goodbye
    It's always see yousoon
    So see you soon, see you soon."

    I think Kevin is a wonderful lyricist!!

    By Blogger izumo, at Sat Aug 19, 01:12:00 PM EDT  

  • Hey, everyone! I'm still not exactly home. I'm in California but at a conference. It's so great to look at these pcitures and see your sweet faces. I'm wondering, what were the first experiences you recounted to your family and friends about the USA?

    Kevin (Cat 2X)

    By Blogger Kevin Dubblekat, at Sat Aug 19, 04:08:00 PM EDT  

  • Hello! Nina!
    I wake up early because I was in America. The life in America still exists in my mind.
    It is hard for me to describe the experience in Maryland. I saw many things. I felt many things.
    I have to keep studying. Someday, I will meet with you and we will talk about the two weeks. Then, I will be able to describe my experience in Maryland.
    For me, America is Maryland, Kevin, Ji-won, Laura, Tim and you. Thank you very much.

    By Blogger NOBUFUMI, at Sat Aug 19, 06:01:00 PM EDT  

  • Hi!
    How are you doing?It seems that I had a time lag!! Even today I was really sleepy all day!!
    I had really good time in Maryland. I can’t explain enough my thanks to you!! I owe it all to you!! I wish I would attend your classes!! I wanted to be told more English lessons besides morning blog time!! Someday I’d like to attend your classes again!!!
    By the way, when I saw your daughter I was so happy! Because I found your daughter was reading Japanese comics!! I was glad to know your daughter was interested in Japan! Someday your daughter might come to Japan!! When she does we show a lots of famous things!!
    Since I visited U.S I want to study at U.S. especially MD increasingly!! But I need rather much time to do so. Because I have to make money and study English more and more!! Of course I want to talk with you or students about many kind of things!!
    I’d really appreciate your kindness to us!! See you later!!

    By Blogger Tetsuya, at Mon Aug 21, 08:39:00 AM EDT  

  • Hi Nina. Nothing more sad to say good bye, arrivederci, sayonara, adiós.

    By Blogger Horacio Idárraga Gil, at Tue Aug 22, 05:08:00 PM EDT  

  • What an experience, Nina!!

    As a teacher in my place (Rosario, Argentina) I can understand how you feel after having shared two delightful weeks with this beautiful bunch of students from Japan. This is the most enjoyable and memorable side of our profession, as we get to know great people, now with this additional, far-reaching tool as it is the Internet.

    I hope we can meet one day f2f and go on exchanging experiences like yours, which enrich our daily life.
    A hug from Argentina!


    By Blogger RitaZ, at Mon Aug 28, 12:36:00 PM EDT  

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