I hope this finds you happy and healthy and enjoying this season’s sakura and hanami.
I am getting very excited about my trip to Japan in May (May 18th-June 8th) and hope to meet many of you while I’m in Japan.
Ok, so I have some questions/requests for you:
1) I have now sent out packages to everyone in our study but for two people who have moved recently. Please email me with your current mailing address so that I can send you your packages complete with thank you gifts and instructions (there are currently 10 people in our study, 6 men and 4 women, all in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, or Australia). PLEASE SIGN AND MAIL THE INFORMED CONSENT CONTRACT BACK TO ME AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – I’ve only received 4 so far.
2) Please email me if you are free to meet with me during May 18-June 8th. I will likely attend a GLBT picnic in Yoyogi park in Tokyo on May 23rd, and then come to Osaka/Kyoto later that week. I’m free to come to Nagoya as well! I already have an appointment made with one of the male participants in Tokyo, and will of course meet many of my Kansai friends while there, but let’s start setting up meeting times! You don’t have to meet me, it is not a requirement, but it would be nice, deshou?!?!
3) Due dates: Please have your English language learning histories completed by the time we meet in Japan. Ideally, if you could finish this by May 15th and email it to me as a .doc or .rtf file, or just pasted into your email, that would be wonderful. This way, I can read your story before we meet in person. If you need additional time, please tell me. I CANNOT COMPLETE THIS PROJECT WITHOUT YOUR HELP, so please let me know how I can make this as easy as possible for you.
4) June: Once your English language learning history is complete, I will provide you with a set of final questions to help you more deeply consider the ideas in your writing. This last step is what we call autoethnography, or writing about oneself in order to answer a specific research question related to culture. Your final writing prompt is: “Now that you have completed your history, what relationship, if any, can you find between your English learning and usage experiences and the ways in which you a) think about or understand your sexuality, b) reveal your sexuality to others (coming out), and/or c) perform your sexuality (sexual behavior, social behavior, etc)?” I’ll ask you to find examples from your language learning history that answer this question. This is the most exciting and interesting part of the project; this is a form of self-analysis.
5) July – Sharing stories: Once all your writing is finished, I would like to put all your stories together on our project blog, but I will remove your names and identifying info. No one else will be able to read your writing at this time, only participants in our project. Your identities will not be revealed and will always remain private. I would then like to ask you to read over some of the stories and share your reactions, responses, ideas, etc. For example, did you write about something similar? Did you read something that surprised you? Did you find someone’s story to be completely the same as your own, or perhaps totally different? This does not have to be an “essay”, just some short responses will be perfect. I think you are going to find each others’ stories to be fascinating.
Ok, so let’s make this project a success!!! If you know anyone else who may be interested in participating, please have them email me!!
Itsumo arigatou mina-san,
Mr. Marlen Elliot Harrison, ABD
Adjunct Faculty, Department of English
Doctoral candidate, English Composition and TESOL
Indiana University of Pennsylvania