It seems like my husband, Barry, just started attending Spalding MFA’s Creative Writing Program, but this July, he graduated in Kyoto, Japan. That means there are two — yes, two — Spalding grads in the house!
What an honor and privilege to be there to cheer on all of his hard work, hear him do his graduation reading, see him receive his well-earned hood. Barry, I’m so proud of you. Much love!
A highlight of every Spalding trip is spending time with writing friends, old ones and new. (Please, no comments about my hair. Let’s all agree that it does not travel well and leave it at that.)
I’m passionate about architecture, and Japan’s was refreshingly different, from most countries we’ve visited. We were staying about ten minutes from Toji Temple, so we took an early morning stroll one morning to view both the temple and its extensive grounds.
The group took a day trip to Hiroshima. It was, as you can imagine, a sobering experience. We heard a survivor talk about her experience and we visited the various monuments and museum.
There were more casual gatherings, like the night a group of us went out to karaoke. We gathered in a room, maybe a dozen of us, at a long table. Passing down drinks and mics, we ended up singing most of the songs together. Lady Gaga songs were a favorite, as well as songs by the Beatles. Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of the evening, but it was so much fun!
Here are miscellaneous shots of our hotel. I spent time writing in the lounge pictured. The hotel had kimonos and Samurai outfits for us to try on, so of course we did.
If I’m not mistaken, I’m the student/alum who has been on the most trips with Spalding. I was on the program’s second trip abroad, and have been on every trip since as a student or an alum. While Barry and I are welcome to go on any future trips we want, it will likely be a few years before we go again. (Which isn’t as sad as it sounds, because there are plenty of places in the U.S. we want to visit.)
I’ll close with random photos from the trip and try not to cry when I imagine not getting together with our Spalding family abroad soon. I’m sure we will go to homecoming, though, most years. At Spalding, you’re always family.