Taki Matsuki at LSU
|(4: From Aug. 10, 2002 through March 14, 2003)
|(3: From Aug. 22 through Sept. 16, 2001)
|(2: From Aug. 28 through Sept. 19, 2000)
|(1: From Aug. 26 through Sept. 28, 1999)
(Yoshiyuki) at Disneyland of LA
(On his 4th year birthday, Aug. 25, 1999)
(Other pictures 1,
Visit to CAMD (Lab for High Energy Photon at LSU)
Impressions on the U.S. viewed from
matured Japanese eyes
- This time I brought my children. It's fun to put children into schools.
I first experienced buying school supplies. Going WalMart in the night
and looking for those written in a supply list with my wife and children
is a kind of fun. I found it's a big business now in U.S.
- To put my older son into the so-called U-High (LSU's Laboratory school)
is also a new experience. The Director was first talking about my son's
credit and once he knew that my son doesn't demand any credit from
school, then he agreed to accept him for two and a half months.
- To attend an open house where all teachers explain what they are going
to teach was very fun for me and my wife. Listening to their
explanations, if we were young we would be happy to be a student again.
It looks like very fun to take classes in Lab school. All teachers
have at least master degrees in each field.
- We put my younger son (first grade of elementary school) into University
Terrace which has ESL (English as a second language). We were surprised
that there is no recess between classes which my son told us. We actually
attended a class for an hour to see what my son is true. The big
ladey teacher is tough enough to continue classes on and on and on till
the lunch time. That's why my son dislikes the school in U.S.
- Why do people keep a wrinkled brown sack and throw away a plastic
sack at lunch time? They bring a wrinkled sack everyday. I guess
they keep it for at least three months.
- I forgot how to speak in lunch time while I have been busy in Japan
doing administrational work. It's important to speak about jokes and
have to laugh loudly.
- There are people who don't want to regard ousiders as fellows. It might
be because this is South.
- In the States even a janitor in the night looks masterfully. To me it
looks like arrogant.
- People like to listen to a radio it doesn't matter whther young or old.
Maybe people feel alone in their office or just they do what they want
because in their room they are the king.
- Americans don't count pencils or notepads with different units. But
if you want eat lunch, you must know what kind of ham you want to have
in bread, what kind cheese, etc. There are so plenty of names for foods,
especially on dairy products and meat. I just point what it looks like
- Second visit to the US gives me a different looking of US/people. I might
be seeing the essentials.
- Everybody has complaints. At a first meeting, they don't tell. You have
to visit there at least twice.
- When people get older, they become milder. But when they are young, they
are aggressive, especially in US. It is almost arrogant.
- Physicists in the U.S. also consider that they are not working for the
money. I am relieved with this fact. They are smart enough to make money
but they are interested in doing physics because they like it.
- Life in the U.S. is simple. I work during the day time, in the evening
go home, make cooking, and eat supper with wine. Sometime have practice
bycycling, swimming, etc. And I can have a good sleep after doing all
these things with a good dream. In Japan, I am too busy to do these
things because of many meetings and too much consensus for each meeting,
together with, of course, teaching.
- One must walk slowly so that when one faces another each can step aside
- When one argues against something then the other person tells you what
he/she really thinks about. Otherwise the person is always a visitor.
Nobody tells you the truth.
- Young ladies don't try to see me. Instead rather late twenties/early
thirties students (?) say "Hi" to me. They notice my age even though
I am an asian. Do they think I am also a student?
- I gave rice cookies wrapped with seaweeds to secretaries. But they left
them on the shelf. They absorb moisture very quickly, so in the evening
I took them to my palce after they left and ate them all. (Secret!)
- Lady's beauty lasts up to 19 or 20. It doesn't matter wherever you go, either in Japan or in the US.
- Yong ladies smell in the same way. They must use the same perfume.
- Americans have at least 20cm longer legs than me even if the height is the same. Why. I don't know. Poor Taki.
- Big cockroaches are flying in the sky and walking on the pavements in the night. People don't mind.
- If you don't laugh loudly when Americans say some jokes, then they will serously ask you if they make some mistakes.
- They feel uncomfortable if I don't speak. Silence is awful thing for them. They don't know the saying that silence is gold. If you don't speak, they regard you as an idiot.
- Students now notice that I am older than they are, so they step aside for me when I face them. 15 years ago when I was a Postdoc, they didn't. I don't know I should be glad or not.
- My wife used to say that I don't admit my mistake. My colleagues in Japan say the same thing. This all happened after I came back from the US. Now I see people living in US do the same thing. It doesn't matter whether he/she is American or not.
- Chairman determines who teaches more courses than others. Dick, who invited me to LSU, is chosen to be those classified as researchers, who teaches only 3 classes per semester. The chaiman is great.
- Dick as well as ordinary Americans enjoy talking with people especially with ladies at parties. I, like a father of the hero of the "Back to the Future" in his high school, am hesitating to talk to people especially to ladies. Americans enjoy talking and talking. There is a rule. Don't be serious at parties. Don't speak ill of anything. Just praise everything. Make up a story if you forget.
- Dick is responsible for constructing a new Physics and Astronomy building. He is in charge of everything, which means he isn't necessarry to have meeting with other people. Hence many people visit Dick's room to claim my section should be bla bla bla ... Compare it with Japanese counter part who has a meeting at least once a week to have concensus among all the attendants.
- Faculty meeting is held once a month. No other meeting is held. Compare it with Japanese faculty members who have faculty meeting once a month as well as other voluntary or involuntary meetings assisting administrational works.
- There are only faculty members attending in faculty meeting. Who's going to take a record of the meeting.? Of course, it's the yongest fresh faculty member.
- A preacher must have a good voice and must be a good singer.
- A preacher's duty is of course to preach people and to collect money. He has to have a humor then.
- Where are those funny sounding songs in a church coming from? Some sounds like Japanese songs and others like Chinese. But verses are different. Preachers must take songs out of many countries and make up verses so that they fit into what they want. But people enjoy singing together.
- After singing together, there comes coffee and conversation, which is good for singles. Churches give singles to have a chance to meet each other.
- Treatment by Americans is energy consuming. I have to eat more meat. But They don't seem to eat meat everyday. Where does that energy come from? There must be a secret. Let me look at their drawers. There must be an apple or confections.
- I can eat $10 dinner at an ordinary restauraunt but I can't eat $13 meal. It's too much. Why do Americans can eat them all? Look at their body. You understand?