A colleague recently introduced me at a back-to-school event by mentioning I’ve traveled this summer to Japan and Minnesota. That sounded like summer flew by so fast. Given the rich memories I brought with me, it also sounded incomplete.

I traveled to Japan to present at, and attend, the International Communication Association, and had the privilege of visiting Nagasaki and Fukuoka. Possibly my strongest experience was standing at the hypocenter of where the bomb dropped on Aug. 9, 1945. The Nagasaki Peace Park usually has quite the number of visitors walking around, with and without guides. Yet I was standing alone, in the rain, at a place that changed the course of history. It felt very humbling and chilling at the same time.

Then yes, I traveled to Minnesota. I attended the convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. I served as Vice-Head of the Cultural and Critical Studies Division this past year, so this particular conference gathering was very, very busy and tiring, with all the commitments I had (and next year, as Head of the Division, should be even greater!). It also meant, however, that I go to see so many old and newer friends and colleagues from across the world. Two special moments were to take an annual picture with both great friends from graduate school, now mature academics with families and children, and with my dear co-author and frequent roommate.

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