diary of mikes life

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      Merck Final Class Party...

I remember when my Merck (pharmaceutical company) class first started, it was way out in Saitama. It took about an hour and a half just to get there and required me to ride two trains and take a taxi for about 15 minutes. Had to do this every Wednesday for what seemed like forever. Then miraculously, two of my students changed offices and another one left for a different company. The office the two students transferred to happens to be within walking distance of my place so suddenly Wednesdays went from being stressful to super easy.
Also one of my longest running classes, the course ran for just over one year, which is unusual since most of my classes are only a few months.
Here we are after the last class, celebrating at a nearby izakaya. From left to right: Chie, Aya, (me of course) and Takeshi. All three of them were positive, energetic, and enjoyable to teach. Good luck in the future guys!


Toyo Glass Year End Party...


Merck is actually my second longest running class, but Toyo Glass is the clear winner. I've been teaching here now for close to two years without pause. When I first started, the class had about 14 students, but over time this number dwindled down to two core students: Joe, sitting to my left, and Shio, sitting at the far right of the picture. Cheers to both of you for hanging in there while most of the others have given up. There are about 3-4 other students that come occasionally, some only once or so every two months, others for only half the class time.
Toyo Glass as you migh have guessed, makes glass. Glass bottles to be specfic. They also happen to be located way out in the industrial heart of Kawasaki, Kangawa, so getting there and back is a bit of a pain, taking about an hour and a half one way. Still, I've been working with them so long now it would feel strange going anywhere else Friday evening.
Seeing how it's once again the end of the year, we all went out to celebrate like last year. This year though, Toyo Glass paid for our little party. Nice! Cheers guys!

      Mike's Bakery Strikes Again!
  More treats that can be made without an oven! I was hoping to make my personal favourite of my mom's Christmas treats: peanut butter marshmallow squares, but finding one key ingredient, butterscotch chips, turned out to be impossible. I must have checked about 20 stores, 5 of them foreign food stores, but no luck. Anyway I figured that I'd make them with a new twist, and use chocolate chips instead of butterscotch. Well you can see the results to the right, although you can't taste them. Too bad for you because they turned out awesome. I served them at a little christmas party I had and they were a sensation. I also made fudge for the first time in my life. I had no idea fudge was so simple. Just melt chocolate chips, add condensed milk and some vanilla, pour into a tray and chill baby, chill. It also turned out to be dangerously delicious. Damn I'm good. Just imagine the things I'll be able to do when I do get an oven!  
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