2008 April 1 Tuesday.

It may be April Fools' Day, but I am not fooling when I say that Eastern Hokkaido got socked in with about 70 cm of wind blown snow during this long cold day.

What a nasty surprise for the people living in that part of this beautiful island. In Asahikawa, it was cold, but calm.

Very few natural disasters ever happen in the Kamikawa Basin 上川盆地.

Another item of good news is that, I got an email from my skinny little sister telling me that she had received the birthday card that I had sent her about 10 days ago.

That made me feel better, after wondering out loud in yesterday's blog, about whether or not I had actually sent it, or not.

Well, Thank Gawd I don't have Alzheimer's Disease!!!

Anyway, getting back to today, I had the privilege and opportunity, to attend a Teachers' Meeting of the Kosei Nursing School, that was held at the Asahikawa Grand Hotel, starting at 18:00.

As with just about every year at the general meeting, the staff and other teacher's commented on how the learning level of the students seems to be going down, year by year.

Personally, I feel that a big reason for this is that most young people these days, spend a lot of time communicating by mobile phones, and less time communicating face to face with other people.

They spend a lot of time pushing buttons, not just on their mobile phones, but also on PC or TV games as well.

As a result, they have no real self confidence when dealing with real people, face to face.

Even though these students can memorize most of the complicated facts presented to them during their three years of nursing school, most of them have trouble connecting all of the facts together into a whole, so that they can see the BIG PICTURE.

And believe me, it is not just this school. Far from it.

It is a general trend in society at large, and not just Japanese society either. In general, I call it a DUMBING DOWN of society.

Most likely, it all started way back in the early 1950s when the first black and white television sets, became freely available to the general public.

Since that time, people have been spending less and less time interacting with other people, and more and more time interacting with electronic devices, of many kinds.

The internet included. Anyway, after the general business meeting was finished at about 17:00, we all moved over to the room next door for a dinner party that lasted for about 90 minutes until 20:30.

At the end of the dinner party, one of the other teachers, a retired physics professor, invited me to walk into town with him, and go to a Karaoke Bar. I said; "Yes!", and so we went there.

I haven't been out to sing Karaoke in about,... let's see when was that last time,.....????

Oh, yeah!

It was exactly one year ago and with this same professor, last year at this same time.

Wow, I am really becoming a stay at home type of guy.

Anyway, we both had a great time singing lots of songs in Japanese until about 3:00 in the morning hours.

I used to do this type of thing a lot, but not much any more.

Sometimes it is a good thing to do something totally different, and break you usual daily routine.