Newsletter 2007

BB Comer

Vol. 6

April 2007

Welcome alumni, students, and friends, to the Japanese Language Program E-Newsletter. The E-newsletter is for exchanging information between anyone connected to the Japanese Program at The University of Alabama.

To add information or make comments, please write


Alumni and Friends,


If you have visited the UA campus lately, you may be surprised how much the campus has changed. The student body boomed so much in these 2 years (Now we have 23,000+ students) and several new dormitories are built south of the Comer Hall. [Well, it is now harder to find a parking place on campus, even though many parking buildings have been added.

Japanese language programs are growing too in terms of enrollment and educational quality. We have 10 students in JA302 and 5 students in JA410 this spring semester. All the 2 sections of JA102 and JA101 are full (17 students registered for each section, and it is the maximum our classroom take). I think we are now one of the biggest and best Japanese language programs in the South. Please visit us when you have time and say “hi” to your KO-HAI.

— Dr. Koji Arizumi


Moraya CortezAlumni: Moraya Cortez (graduated with Japanese minor December 2006)

Moraya Cortez has been accepted as an ALT in the JET program. She has studied at Chiba University in Japan for one year as an exchange student. She has also attended Kansai Gaidai University with Dr. Koji Arizumi and his summer in Japan. While studying Japanese she has been an active member of Nozomi Daiko.
Adam Debter Graduating: Adam Debter (graduating May 2007 )

Adam is a graduating senior in New College majoring in . He is accepted as ALT from JET Program. and going to teach English in Japan this summer. Adam has been in Kansai-Gaidai for one semester as an exchange students.

Adam is now observing and practicing teaching language in JA101class for his independent study in Japanese pedagogy. He is selected as honor student in Japanese language program this year.


Rex Wooten

Graduating: Rex Wooten (graduating May 2007)

Rex is majoring in Political Science and graduating this spring. He is accepted as an alternate ALT for the JET Program.

“I’ve been studying Japanese language and culture for nearly three years now, and it has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. From learning about Japanese literature (classic and modern), and films, to attending culture festivals and events, such as Sakura Matsuri, to simply learning the language and meeting lots of Japanese exchange students, my time in the Japanese Language Dept. has been highly satisfying. I’ve actually met and made lots of life-long friendships with not just Japanese students, but also students from around the world. Plus over the years, I’ve developed great relationships with the various professors in the Japanese and Critical Languages Depts. Overall it’s been a great and enriching experience for me.”

After Rex graduates, he intends to eventually attend Law School, and continue his language and cultural studies in Japanese, as well as in Hebrew. Rex hopes to be completely fluent in both languages someday.


Exchange students: Gus, Morris, and Christina

The new semester has just gotten under way at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, and our Study Abroad students Scott Morris and Gus Hahn-Powell are studying hard while enjoying the distractions of beautiful Kyoto springtime cherry blossoms, and other fun activities.

After spending the two month spring break in South East Asia and travelling around Japan, it’s doubtful either Scott or Gus are looking forward to the academic year end this August. They have been enjoying Zazen meditation in the early mornings at Myoshinji, which is a short five minute walk from their apartment building.

“The whole experience is really fantastic. Studying abroad is a cultural as much as a life experience, that can really put you in touch with who you are, and who you want to be. I can think of very few other places I’d like to be for a year, Kyoto will always be another home,”

Scott Morris says, “I’m very excited that the University of Alabama has provided me with this sort and quality of opportunity, and I’d like to thank every one who made that possible.”

Even though only 15 more weeks of their experience in Kyoto remain, the students are trying to pack in as much fun as possible.

Gus says, “Every day you don’t get out there and do something is one less day you’ll be able to enjoy memories of when you’re back home.” He and Scott went to the same High School, and were even in the same theater troupe. “We’ve really had an opportunity to see each other grow.” Scott says. Although Christy Butt also started the program last September, some family concerns have caused her to cut her stay short and head home. “In the seven months I’ve been here, I’ve had so many incredible experiences, and learned so many things not only about Japanese, but about life.”

The impending lack of a summer vacation for Gus and Scott is compensated for by the incredible spring break they had. While they may not necessarily be looking forward to the day when they have to get back on a plane headed west, at least they can enjoy some treats they have missed, like Mexican food!…


Ohashi Tomoyo

Friend: OHASHI Tomoyo

The University of Alabama started an exchange program with prestigious Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. As we have three students in Ritsumeikan University this academic year. We have one exchange student from Ritsumeikan. OHASHI Tomoyo has been a very good student, enjoying UA campus life with a lot of students who are studying Japanese. She is also active as a member of Nozomi Daiko and playing the flute in Tuscaloosa Winds.

Tomoyo said “I like Tuscaloosa so much. My friends are awesome. I like studying here because the courses are very interesting and teachers are also nice. ここに来られて良かったです”

We need more information what our alumni are doing. Please let me know to encourage UA students to study Japanese