I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and majored in history at U.C. Berkeley. With a longstanding interest in Asia, it still took me quite a few years and quite a few turns to get to Japan. Trying and failing, first in the Seventies, then again in the Eighties, I finally turned up in Japan to stay in 1994, with a backpack, no job and no money, but the determination to make it work this time. Beating the bushes for a job, I went through the local phonebook in Suwa and found a jukucho who was willing to give me a chance. My first boss also happened to be the Shinshu JALT chapter president, so I joined JALT immediately and became a chapter officer. After seven years working at the juku and in eikaiwa, I completed my Master’s degree in Linguistics (TESOL), and gradually transitioned to university teaching. I am glad to know that I am finally where I was meant to be: in JALT and in Matsumoto, Japan.