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 About the "Dan in Japan" Digital Archive Last updated 
19 Mar 1999 

What is This? 13 Mar 1999
It's a digital collection of my experiences in Japan. I decided to study abroad during my last term of college at Michigan Tech, and I chose Japan because I've always been intruiged by the language and the culture. Armed with a digital camera, a laptop, a tape recorder, and experience with Web design, my goal is to capture as many of my experiences as possible by weaving them into this Web site. I named it "Dan in Japan" because it has a nice ring, and my boss (I work at an Internet company in Michigan) was nice enough to provide the "www.daninjapan.com" Web site address for me. Initially the Web site helped me keep in touch with my friends and family, allowing them to experience Japan vicariously through my photos and narratives. Now the project has become much more, so I polished it up and am attempting to create one of the most comprehensive journals ever. Since I'm still in the process of creating this Web site (at the time of this writing), it exists on the Internet -- but I have no doubt that it will find its way onto CD-ROM once it is completed. It will hopefully be something worth archiving.

How Did This Come About? 19 Mar 1999
During my last term at Michigan Technological University (in Houghton, Michigan), I decided to take Japanese for fun (and to fill some credits). I had always wanted to take Japanese (I find languages -- computer and human -- interesting), but never really found the right circumstance. I knew it would be difficult to learn on my own, so I took the college class. It was a great class, but because it was only 10 weeks long, it only brushed the surface. During the class, we had a visitor from a place called "the Japan Center for Michigan Universities." He told us that Michigan college students could go to JCMU, in Japan, and stay for 8 months (an academic year) or 4 months (a semester) to study Japanese.

There was a price, but he instantly gave out $1000 scholarships that could be applied to it. I found out that I could also use my existing college scholarships to pay for various fees. When I found that out, I made the decision in about 45 minutes! That decision was quite a weighty one (I made the decision near the end of September), and I spent the next few months preparing for the occasion.

Now, here I am in Japan, typing this paragraph. I now know enough Japanese to get around, ask questions, and carry on simple conversations. I know just enough to read some signs and labels. It's an amazing thing to study a foriegn language in a foriegn country. I'm learning not only Japanese language and culture, but things about myself and humanity in general. In addition to all that, it's fun!

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