2018-04-24

A Missing Sketchbook, (More Scenes Inspired by the Regency House Party)

This imagined ending is inspired by the missing sketchbook in The Stable Master's Daughter arc of the Regency House Party. I hope it is not too sacharine:



Mr. Noyce stood in the door, cap in hand. "It still seems me uncomf'table, Mahlord, to call mah master mah son. And ah am right glad, an muckle shy, that mah concerns, eight weeks sence, were proved so unfounded."

"I am right pleased to call you father, sir. And I am just as pleased that your concerns have been so well answered." Furl, Lord Mellencamp bowed to his father-in-law.

"Mah dear daughter." Words failed the rough gentleman, and he embraced his daughter one last time before turning to leave.

"Thank you Father Noyce, and good night. We'll see you on the morrow."

He turned his head and smiled slyly, "Or the day after, perhaps."

"Good night Father!" Tears of joy welled in Lady Mellencamp's eyes yet again.

As her father walked down the path, Lady Mellencamp reached up and placed her hand on Lord Mellencamp's shoulder. "Shall we retire, Milord?"

Lord Mellencamp turned, and swept his bride into his arms, carrying her again across the threshold. "How have I survived, Milady," he asked, rhetorically, eyes only for his wife's eyes, "one house party that turned my world upside down, your father's doubts, and the need to aswage his wrath, six weeks of the banns, and the friendly sharivari that lasted far longer than I had considered possible?"

The warmth of her smile, and of her hands clasped behind his head, brought that heat into his soul, from the fires which he had kept carefully banked.

"Your brother and his own new Lady, the former Miss Autumn, seemed most determined to outlast us in the sharivari -- had it not been for her father's intervention. Have you and your brother always been so competitive?"

"I'm afraid so."

"You could put me down."

"Not yet." He carried her through the halls to the bedchamber, and set her gently on the bed. She would have pulled him down, but he stood back, his brow wrinkled in some mysterious concern.

"I have a confession to make."

Her brow knit in amused consternation as she sat up. "Well, then, please do so."

He stepped back, leaving her a view of her bureau, with it's large vanity mirror reflecting the glow from the candlestick in front of it, showing the contents of the top spread under the unreliable light of the candle. Something on it seemed out of place.

"I had in my possession ... an item that belonged to one of the young ladies at the house party, and I have procrastinated its return until I am afraid I shall never be able to return it to the young miss."

"You speak in riddles, but if you have something that belongs to one of my friends, I can return it."

She would have turned to look at her husband, but something on the bureau top was drawing her attention. With a small cry, she stood and gathered up the sketchbook. "I thought I had lost this! I so feared that it had fallen into the wrong hands."

"I must apologize. I hope you can find a way to return it to its rightful owner."

She turned and raised her face to his for a kiss, and he responed willingly.

"It is done, and she tells me that you shall be forgiven."

"I fear for the tense of that verb."

She opened the sketchbook, and together they looked at her sketches, recalling their friends, and some of the events of the party.

"We owe a bit of a debt to the Duchess."

"She seems to have her own wisdom." She set the sketchbook open to a sketch of Furl, from when she had not yet begun to believe he would have found interest in her.

"My dear, sweet Margarette, you have no idea how much pain that likeness of myself caused me. So stern. So unflattering."

Smiling, she opened the middle drawer and removed a package which she had placed there that morning. "I had the presence of mind," she said as she unwrapped it, "to remove some pages which might have been the cause of embarrassment. Mr. Arachnit, for instance." She spread a page out for him.

"His shadow shows something of your impressions of his character. I see horns there."

"Thank you for being there when he tried to force his attentions on me. I am afraid I owe my honor to you."

"I do not wish to think of it now, but I am grateful I was able to prevent needing to prove that I would have loved you no less had he succeeded."

She reached around his back and they gazed into each others eyes for an interminable moment before she allowed her attention to return to the papers in her lap.

"What do you think of this?" she asked, spreading out another of the removed pages.

"Your opinions of me were not nearly as strict as I had imagined!"

She smiled, and he kissed the back of her neck.

"My Lord, may I have one last request before we retire?"

"What is that, my love?"

She opened another drawer and found charcoal, and took her husband by the hand, leading him back to the bed. Sitting down, she patted the bed beside her.

Puzzled, he sat.

She indicated the mirror.

"No."

"Yes, my love." She opened the sketchbook to a blank page.

"Well, one more hour wouldn't hurt."

"It won't take that long, I promise." And she began roughing out a sketch of their reflection in the mirror.

Fifteen minutes later, she held up her work.

"I think I shall treasure this one forever," he said.

She set the sketchpad on the bureau, and we are not privy to the rest of their evening.

2018-03-01

ジョーンズ婦人と (Me and Mrs Jones -- Japanese)

(Without Japanese. 以下はボクなりの翻訳です。 ジョエルマシューリース作・訳。
Copyright 2018, Joel Matthew Rees)

Bing-bong-bing.
ピンポンピン

I wait for maybe fifty seconds and reach to ring the doorbell again. It feels awkward ringing this bell, but it should. This apartment used to be mine.
ベル鳴らすのは妙に気分。当然だが。一昔ボクのアパートだったの。

The door opens and a vision appears before me. I blink, and the vision fades to real colors, which are still not unattractive.
50秒ぐらい待って、押し直そうと、開ける玄関に幻影が現れる。瞬き、美の幻が実世の色に衰えるが、まだまだ魅力が残る。

"Mr. Jones, long time no see."
「ジョンズさんですね。お久しぶりです。」

"Uh, hi, Mrs. Jones. How have you been?"
「あっ、ああ、ジョンズ婦人様、お元気ですか?」

"Not bad. Yourself?"
「まあまあ、元気よ。アナタは?」

"Well, enough, I guess. Uhm, well, except, look, I'm really sorry about this."
「充分というしかないが、えっ、ただ、あのね、申し訳ないこと…」

"What? It's not like there's child support you aren't paying."
「どうした?子供の養育費なんかアタシが待っているわけでもないし。」

"I'm not here on personal business."
「個人的にきてるんじゃありません。」

"The uniform is not just to impress an off-duty nurse, huh? What is it, then, George?"
「制服のままは番外れの看護婦を感動させるつもりじゃなかったの。」

"There's been a complaint. Medicine missing at the hospital. I have to take you in for questioning."
「苦情があったよ。病院の調剤がなくなったりして、取り調べになってしまって…、庁舎に連れて行くことになった。」

My ex-, or, should I say, estranged wife sighs and turns around. "I'll go get my purse and a jacket. Do you think it'll take long?"
元、イヤ、別居の妻は溜め息つくと後ろ向く。「カバン取ってくる。ジャッケットも。ながびくと思う?」

Watching her from behind, not-faint echos of memories lodge in my mind. Medium brown hair, but it was once my privilege to run my hands through it. And I shouldn't mention my memories of the rest.
後ろ姿を観て、かすかではない記憶の響きが心に突っ込む。頭髪の茶色だが、いつだってその髪の毛を手櫛で整えるのがこの俺の特権だった。それ以上の出てくる思いは言うべきではない。

I shake myself. "Can't tell you even that. They should not have sent me. The office knows it's a conflict of interest. I can't ask you what happened, and I can't even offer advice."
心を振っとく。「そんなの言えないよ。ボクがこの使いに出されたはずもない。関係か利益か、心の相反行為になってしまう。何があったかも聞いてはアカンし、助言するすら富んでもない行方になる。」

"Can I make myself a little more presentable?" she asks as she picks up her purse and goes into the bedroom.
「もっと告発にふさわしい身なりにしてもういい?」と、財布を拾って寝室に退く彼女。

"Sure."
「ええ。」

"I want you to know my side of things."
「アタシ方の話、わかって欲しい。」

"Wait." I recite the litany of rights you tell people before you arrest them or question them. "Got that?"
「待て。」尋問や逮捕する前に告げる人権の通例連祷を唱える。「いいかい?」

"So I'm being accused?"
「…っていうこと、アタシが容疑者なんだ。」

"I can't answer that, either."
「それにも答えれへん。」

"Well, I want you to know what happened, even if the police office is deliberately trying to get me to waive my rights."
「で、技とアタシが市民の権利をゆずってまうように警察署がやってくれるにしても、何があったか知ってほしいよ。」

I'm not allowed to stop her from talking, either.
話を止めるのも俺の権利ではない。

"So get out your recorder and make this official," she adds.
付け加えて「録音機を付けて公式にしてよ。」

I pull out my standard-issue phone and thumb the recorder app. "It's recording."
公布支給の携帯を出して親指で録画機能を稼働させる。「録画中よ。」

"Four times in the last two weeks, I've found some patient's prescription in my purse. The first time, I didn't find it 'til I got home. But I called immediately and told my boss and the physician in charge. Since then, I've checked my purse every day before I go home. Three more times, and each time I took what I found to whoever was in charge at the time before I left."
「この先2週間の間四度も、患者の調剤を自分のカバンに見つけたことがあるわ。一度目は家にもどってきてから気がついたの。直ぐの上司にも日直の先生にも連絡したんでけど。それからずっと、病院を出る前にカバンを確認している。あと三回も出てきている。カバンに入ったものをその日の責任医者に、職場を去る前に持って行っているのよ。」

She waits for a comment.
ボクの発言を待つ。

"You know I can't say anything here."
「ここで言及できるコト無いってわかってるね。」

"The third and fourth time, I checked my purse after I took it out of my locker, and there was nothing there. Then I checked it again after I changed clothes, and there it was."
「三、四度目はロッカーからカバンを出したところ診て、ナニもなかったのに、着替え終わってからあったよ。」

I continue to wait, looking around the once familiar room.
いつだって普通と思った部屋を見回しながら、待機するしかない。

"There was only one person besides me who was there both times. I think you know her." Her words are vague. Making sure I can see through the doorway, she imitates a hairstyle I recognize.
「その2回とも、一緒にいた人は一人しかいなかった。ご存じの方かも知らない。」曖昧な言い方。ドア超し視えるのを確認してから、俺がわかる髪型の真似をして見せる。

Julia Gomez. The chief's daughter. The reason Georgette and I have been separated for three of the eight years we have been married. I have no kind words for the woman, but I can't say so. Not under the circumstances. 'Gette knows, anyway.
ジュリア・ゴメス。署長娘。ジョージェットと俺が結婚して八年間のこの最後の三年間を別居している原因となる人物だ。その女に優しい言葉をあげることは全く無いのを、話しては行けん、この状況では。兎にも角にもジェットのわかっていることだ。

Something clicks in my brain.
脳にカチッと閃く。

Chief Gomez runs his unit like a fiefdom. He keeps the force under his thumb, by hook and by crook. One mistake, and he uses it to blackmail you. If he can't catch you at something useful enough, he sends his daughter to do his dirty work.
ゴメス署長はな、部署を封土のように司るようなものです。罠も棒も使って部隊を親指の元に抑える。一度失敗すると、それをネタに、脅迫を使う。利用可能な失敗をしないひとにはその娘を使わして汚す。

I don't give in, so, four years ago, she took it up a level. Manufactured a compromising situation, and even though I didn't fold, it was my word against hers.
俺は負けん。4年前に、あの娘が攻撃を一レベ上げてボクの名誉を汚す罠の仕儀を掛けた。ボクが屈服しなかったが、証言の対立だった。

And she has made it more of a personal battle since then. I have become the thing she can't have, and she can't stand not getting what she wants. Now I understand that she is using my estranged wife against me again.
それ以来は個人戦争にする女や。その手に入れることができない俺。あの子は欲しがってるものが手に入れんと、負けん気が出る。そして今も別れさしてしまった妻を俺にかける武器にするようだ。

The chief would not usually allow going this far, so she must be out of control. Or, ... I am also one of the few officers on the force not under his thumb. He has this thing about things he can't have, too.
ただ、署長はここまでにその娘が暴れるのをほうっとくことはないだろう。もう署長でさえあの子を制御できなくなったのか。…それとも、署長の闇部下にまだなっていない俺、あの署長様も、手に入れん俺が気に食わん。
 
I go to a window and look outside, being careful not to disturb the curtains or show my face.
窓に寄り、カーテンを動かさず顔もが外から見えないように気を張って、外下を覗く。

I see I have backup I didn't know about down on the street five floors below us. Two cars that I can see from here. There may well be more. There should be no need for that.
五階下の路面に、知らない内に応援に来た警察の車があるのが見える。ここから見えているのは二台だが、もっと在るかも。応援の必要がないのに。

Then I notice the hardware. Subconsciously, I recoil.
物体道具に気が着く。無意識に跳ね返る。

I could walk 'Gette downstairs and keep her too close to shoot without hitting me, but I couldn't protect her at the station. And I can't guarantee that they would avoid shooting me, calling me collateral damage of the war on drugs.
ジェットを連れて降りるとき、くっついて歩いて俺を打たずにジェットを撃つことができないようにできるだろうが、庁舎に戻るとそれ以上守ることができない。それなのに、俺を撃つことを避けてくれる約束がない。俺のことを麻薬戦争の副負傷者にするかも知れん。

Walking into the bedroom, I say, roughly, "Can't wait forever for you to put on your pretty face. Nobody at the station'll be persuaded anyway."
寝室に戻って荒れた声で言う。「美しい顔をメークするのを永久に待てん。庁舎の奴らってそれに意見替えることないやろ。」

'Gette looks up at me in surprise. I quickly hold up two fingers and point to the window, then do cherrytops with my finger. I turn sideways as her eyes go wide, and do a charade of shooting with rifles.
ジェットがびくって俺の方へ振り向く。俺が2指を見せて窓の方へ指し図して、さくらんぼ回転灯を指で真似ねる。ジェットの目が大きくなりそうで、横に向いて小銃を撃つのをも真似る。

"No use delaying things."
「遅らす意味がない。」

"A girl's got her pride." Fortunately, she also remembers we're on record. I told her some time ago that the recorder on our police issue phones immediately transmits what it records to the station. The benefits of permanent connections.
「女だって、自慢の心があるわ。」幸いに、ジェットも録画中だと忘れてない。警察公布の携帯なら録画するものはすぐ庁舎に放送されてしまう話を以前に教えてあげている。付けっ放し接続のお陰や。

"Okay, one more minute."
「後一分ちょうだい。」

It is also fortunate that, with the phone on my belt, the camera is at such a level that I can keep my gestures out of the viewfield. But I can't risk too many more clues, and we are probably out of time. I point toward the elevator, then the emergency stairs and point down. I think that racing the elevator down is our best chance.
更に幸運は、ベルトにはめた携帯のカメラが低い位置なのでボクのジェスチャーが映像の範囲に入らない。だがずっとヒントあげることもできない。もう暇がないだろう。 エレベータへ、また階段へ、下へ指図する。確率の良い道はエレベータとの競争だとボクが思う。

She makes some finishing touches and puts her makeup away. "Let me get some snacks, just in case it takes a while."
仕上げ終えて化粧箱を片付けるジェット。「おやつがほしい。取らしてくれる?庁舎での話は暇かかるかも。」

I follow her into the kitchen and let the camera record her putting soy bars and a couple of cans of apple juice into her purse, then casually turn away so she can grab her piece from its drawer, quietly. She puts it in her purse, too.
台所へ俺が跡を付く。ジェットが大豆菓子やりんごジュース2本をカバンに入れるのをカメラに映させる。気軽に、映さないように向きを変えて、ジェットが引き出しから密かに武器を取るのを見送る。これもカバンに入る。

Why a nurse needs a handgun may be beyond some people, but she has been the target of stalkers in the past, including the recent past. I'm not the only one who thinks she is beautiful.
看護婦には拳銃を持つ必要が在るわけは、人によってわからないかも知らないけど、ジェットは以前にストーカーの的になったことがある。最近でも。美しいと思っているのは俺だけじゃなさそう。

She also grabs a jacket and two backpacks she keeps as seventy-two hour kits for natural disasters and such.
序にジャケットも拾った、災害など用意の72時間キット用に揃えているリュックサック2つも持ち出す。

"I'm ready."
「用意いいよ。」

I lead, so the backpacks won't be picked up by the camera.
リュックサックが写らないようにボクが先をとる。

She locks the door behind her, and we go to the elevator. When it opens, we walk in, and then I drop my phone.
自分の後にドアの鍵をかけたら、エレベータに行く。エレベータのドアが開くと二人も入って、ボクは携帯を落としちゃう。

"Careless of me."
「俺の不器用や。」

I turn the camera facing the wall and leave it there as she steps back out, and then I follow her. She hands me one of the packs. When the door is safely closed we both break into a run for the stairs.
携帯のカメラを壁に向けてそのままに置いとく間、ジェットはまた外に戻る。その後にボクもエレベータから出る。リュックの片方を俺にくれる。ドアが閉めると二人が同時に階段の方へ駆け出す。

But she heads up, not down, gesturing to me to follow. I throw my nightstick down the down stairs and follow, dropping my pager near the wall on the first landing up, hoping they'll think I threw it there from below. GPS in those pagers, useful if the officer needs to be rescued, not so useful if he needs to be rescued from his own fellow officers.
だが、ジェットは下へ降りず、後をついてよと、ジェスチャーで呼びながら上へ登る。俺が警棒を階段の下へ投げてジェットに従っていく。ページャーを、下からそこに投げたかのように、一つ目の踊り場の壁に近いところに落とす。ページャーなんて、器内GPS全域位置測定機能装備済なのが警官を救い出すときに便利だが、同僚の警察から救い出さなアカンとき、不便や。

On the roof, the next building over is only six feet away and at the same level. This whole block is close like that, the only block with tall buildings in this town. She doesn't wait, just runs for the edge.
屋上に行くと、隣の屋上がたった2メートル離れていて同じ高さだ。このブロックのビルの皆揃って隣近く、この街の高層ビルがここに集中している。ジェットはためらわず端を目掛けて走る。

I follow, and check below as I go over the edge. It appears that the officers on the street are focusing on the ground floor, waiting on the elevator. At any rate, no shots ring out from below. The building after is at the same level, and we clear the edge together. The third building is taller, but there is a fire escape we can reach by leaping.
またボクが従う。端を飛ぶと、足の下を確認する。路上の警察は全員1階を集中して監視し、エレベータを待っている様子だ。少なくとも、銃の発射音がない。次のビルは同じレベルにあって、二人揃ってその端をクリア。三つ目のビルはもっと高いけど、非常用の外階段が飛べる位置にある。

Fortunately, the fire door opens from the outside. Safety code.
また幸いがあってここの非常口が、安全法のため、外から開ける。

Inside, we run down the stairs. I follow her into the basement.
中に入って階段を走って降りる。またジェットに従って地下へ行く。

"There's an underground maintenance accessway that opens in this building," she says. I know about it, and we find the entrance. I wave her back, but there's no sign of anyone, so we enter the accessway and make our way under the street.
「保守用の地下道の出入口がこのビルの下にあるよ。」と。ボクも知っているので、すぐその場に着く。払い除ける合図をして安全を確保しようが、見張りなど、人の気配がない。入って、道路の下に渡る。

Back at surface level across the street is an indoor mall, which we enter from beneath. We come up in an employee access hallway.
その向かい側の地面階に戻ると、屋内モールです。二人で下から入ると店員の出入り廊下に着く。

"Your fashion sense sucks."
「服装の趣味が悪いのよ。」

"I do stick out, don't I? I think you should change, too"
「目立つやな。お前も着替えたほうがいいかな。」

"There's a Team Captain."
「チームキャプテン在るわ。」

We slip in the back of the sportswear shop and I hold my conscience at bay as we lift T-shirts, shorts, and running shoes.
こっそりとスポーツウエアの店の裏に入って、良心を抑えながらTシャツ、短パン、体操着と、運動靴をも万引きする。

Back underground, 'Gette pulls off her shirt, and I freeze.
地下に戻るとジェットがシャツを脱いで、俺が固まる。

"We never did finalize the divorce. Get changed."
「離婚届けの書類は未だ途中のままや。着替えな。」

It takes me a minute longer to change, and we stuff our clothes in our packs.
俺が一分遅れて着替えるとその服をリュックに突っ込む。

Once again on the surface, we cross the mall and walk as casually as we can to the bus terminal.
地面に戻って、なにもなく落ち着いた身振りしてモールを渡ってバス駅に歩いて行く。

As the bus pulls out, we hear sirens and watch police cars closing in on the apartment building from all sides.
バスが発信するとサイレンの音が聞こえて、警察の車が八方からアパートビルを攻めてくるのを見つめながら去っていく。

"I think I'm glad I read your mind back there."
「一心伝心で読み取ってよかったわ。」

"Me, too. I'm glad I figured out what was going on."
「さよ。策略が読めてよかった。」

"What'll we do?"
「じゃあ、どうする?」

"Hang out in hotels in Cincinnati and further east? Watch the news for a week and post incriminating hints to Twitter from netcafes?"
「シンシナティ市でももっと東方でもぶらぶらする?一週間ぐらいニュースを見ながら、ネットカフェから証拠になるような手がかりをツイッターにでも投稿したりする?」

She leans against me, her head on my shoulder, staring out the window. "Well, if this is the end for us, at least we have a little more time to spend together."
ジェットがあの頭を俺の肩に載せ、俺の体に持たれて窓の外へじっと見つめる。「でわでわ。アタシたちはここまでだとしても、少しだけの間でも、一緒の時間ができたわ。」




目次 次: N

Originally inspired by a question in the LDS Beta Readers Facebook group, by Cheree Mackay Myatt, on plot elements to get a long-term separated couple back together for a week. She ended up with a list of ideas long enough to consider using in creating an anthology.
元々 LDS ベータ読者のフェースブックグループへシェリー・マッケイ・ミャットさんが投稿した質問に促された発想から生じた話です。その質問は、長い間に渡って別居している夫婦を一週間だけ付き合わせる話の流れの要素についてでした。最終的に、超短編選集を作ることを検討するほどの要素ができたとミャットさんの言及でした。



[Edit record starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2018/02/backup-me-and-mrs-jones.html.]

2018-02-28

Landmark: Kōmyōji in Takino-chō (Katō-shi) (注釈付き - Annotated)

Landmarks (a sample) 

(旅行の)名所 (見本)

Kōmyō-ji

in Takino-chō (now Katō-shi)
滝野町(現在の加東市)の

光明寺


Kōmyō-ji Temple 光明寺本土
Photo by Corpse Reviver, edited by Joel Rees
撮影 Corpse Reviver、 訂正 Joel Rees
Courtesy Wikipedia ウィキペディアによって:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Komyoji%28Kato%29_42.jpg
Licensed under GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0
許諾は GFDL もしくは CC BY-SA 3.0

(Without Japanese)

Example Presentation (minimum level):

(基本レベルの)発表の見本

Komyoji is a Buddhist temple.
光明寺とは仏教の寺院です。


It is located in Katō City, Hyōgo, Japan.
日本の兵庫県加東市に在ります。


You can throw plates off of the mountain for good luck.
運を招くために山のところからお皿を投げ捨てることができます。

It has a nice view.
景色の)素晴らしい眺めが有ります。 


The autumn leaves at Komyoji are beautiful.
光明寺の紅葉がきれいです

The nearest train station is the JR Takino Station.
最寄りの電車の駅はJR滝野駅です。

You should visit Komyoji Temple.
光明寺を訪れるべきです。(行ってみたほうがいいよ!) 
 

Example presentation (high level):

(高レベル)の発表の見本

Kōmyōji is a Japanese Buddhist temple in Katō City, Hyōgo, Japan.
光明寺とは兵庫県加東市に存在する日本の仏教寺院です。



It is located near the top of Mt. Gobu.
五峯山の頂上に近ところにあります。



It is also called “Gobu-san”, after the mountain.
その山に因んで「五峯山」とも呼ばれます。

I used to live at the foot of Mt. Gobu.
昔は、五峯山の麓に住んだことがあります。



There was a war between the Ashikaga brothers near the temple around the year 1352
およそ西暦 1352 に、寺院の付近に足利兄弟がお互いに戦争しあった。



There is a memorial for the war behind the temple.
寺院の浦川にはその戦争の記念物があります。



The image of the founder rests in the henjōin commemorative hall.
遍照院記念に、創設者の像置いてます。



Throwing plates off of the mountain is a tradition for bringing good luck.
山からお皿を投げ捨てるのが運を招く伝統です。



There is a deck that you can throw the plates off of.
お皿を投げ捨てる様のデッキが整備されています。



The deck has a nice view.
そのデッキいい眺めです。



The autumn leaves at Komyoji are beautiful.
光明寺の紅葉はきれいです。



The nearest train station is the JR Takino Station.
最寄りの電車の駅はJR滝野駅です。

It takes about an hour to hike to the temple from the station.
駅から寺院まではハイキングにするとおよそ一時間かかります。 



The view from the parking lot is spectacular!
駐車場からは見事の眺めです。



You should visit this temple.
この寺院に行ってみたほうがいいでしょう。


JR Takino Station JR滝野駅
by 沙羅星人, edited by Joel Rees
撮影 沙羅星人、訂正 Joel Rees
Courtesy of Wikipedia ウィキペディアによって:
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%AB:%E6%BB%9D%E9%87%8E%E9%A7%85.JPG
 Assigned to the Public Domain 作者の指定に由って公有とされています。



This is an example of projects I sometimes use in teaching English.
英語の授業に使う一つのプロジェクトの例です。

The students choose a landmark (in this case) outside of Japan and find information about it.
学生は外国の(この場合は)名所を選んでその名所の情報を調べます。

Then they make a poster and present some of their research during class.
ポスターを作って、研究の一部を授業の間に発表します。

We use it to help the students gain confidence in composition and in making presentations in English.
このプロジェクトによって、学生は英語の作文や発表を経験し、若干の自信が着きます。

2018-02-01

Me and Mrs Jones

(With Japanese. By Joel Matthew Rees.
Copyright 2018, Joel Matthew Rees)

Bing-bong-bing.

I wait for maybe fifty seconds and reach to ring the doorbell again. It feels awkward ringing this bell, but it should. This apartment used to be mine.

The door opens and a vision appears before me. I blink, and the vision fades to real colors, which are still not unattractive.

"Mr. Jones, long time no see."

"Uh, hi, Mrs. Jones. How have you been?"

"Not bad. Yourself?"

"Well, enough, I guess. Uhm, well, except, look, I'm really sorry about this."

"What? It's not like there's child support you aren't paying."

"I'm not here on personal business."

"The uniform is not just to impress an off-duty nurse, huh? What is it, then, George?"

"There's been a complaint. Medicine missing at the hospital. I have to take you in for questioning."

My ex-, or, should I say, estranged wife sighs and turns around. "I'll go get my purse and a jacket. Do you think it'll take long?"

Watching her from behind, not-faint echos of memories lodge in my mind. Medium brown hair, but it was once my privilege to run my hands through it. And I shouldn't mention my memories of the rest.

I shake myself. "Can't tell you even that. They should not have sent me. The office knows it's a conflict of interest. I can't ask you what happened, and I can't even offer advice."

"Can I make myself a little more presentable?" she asks as she picks up her purse and goes into the bedroom.

"Sure."

"I want you to know my side of things."

"Wait." I recite the litany of rights you tell people before you arrest them or question them. "Got that?"

"So I'm being accused?"

"I can't answer that, either."

"Well, I want you to know what happened, even if the police office is deliberately trying to get me to waive my rights."

I'm not allowed to stop her from talking, either.

"So get out your recorder and make this official," she adds.

I pull out my standard-issue phone and thumb the recorder app. "It's recording."

"Four times in the last two weeks, I've found some patient's prescription in my purse. The first time, I didn't find it 'til I got home. But I called immediately and told my boss and the physician in charge. Since then, I've checked my purse every day before I go home. Three more times, and each time I took what I found to whoever was in charge at the time before I left."

She waits for a comment.

"You know I can't say anything here."

"The third and fourth time, I checked my purse after I took it out of my locker, and there was nothing there. Then I checked it again after I changed clothes, and there it was."

I continue to wait, looking around the once familiar room.

"There was only one person besides me who was there both times. I think you know her." Her words are vague. Making sure I can see through the doorway, she imitates a hairstyle I recognize.

Julia Gomez. The chief's daughter. The reason Georgette and I have been separated for three of the eight years we have been married. I have no kind words for the woman, but I can't say so. Not under the circumstances. 'Gette knows, anyway.

Something clicks in my brain.

Chief Gomez runs his unit like a fiefdom. He keeps the force under his thumb, by hook and by crook. One mistake, and he uses it to blackmail you. If he can't catch you at something useful enough, he sends his daughter to do his dirty work.

I don't give in, so, four years ago, she took it up a level. Manufactured a compromising situation, and even though I didn't fold, it was my word against hers.

And she has made it more of a personal battle since then. I have become the thing she can't have, and she can't stand not getting what she wants. Now I understand that she is using my estranged wife against me again.

The chief would not usually allow going this far, so she must be out of control. Or, ... I am also one of the few officers on the force not under his thumb. He has this thing about things he can't have, too.
 
I go to a window and look outside, being careful not to disturb the curtains or show my face.

I see I have backup I didn't know about down on the street five floors below us. Two cars that I can see from here. There may well be more. There should be no need for that.

Then I notice the hardware. Subconsciously, I recoil.

I could walk 'Gette downstairs and keep her too close to shoot without hitting me, but I couldn't protect her at the station. And I can't guarantee that they would avoid shooting me, calling me collateral damage of the war on drugs.

Walking into the bedroom, I say, roughly, "Can't wait forever for you to put on your pretty face. Nobody at the station'll be persuaded anyway."

'Gette looks up at me in surprise. I quickly hold up two fingers and point to the window, then do cherrytops with my finger. I turn sideways as her eyes go wide, and do a charade of shooting with rifles.

"No use delaying things."

"A girl's got her pride." Fortunately, she also remembers we're on record. I told her some time ago that the recorder on our police issue phones immediately transmits what it records to the station. The benefits of permanent connections.

"Okay, one more minute."

It is also fortunate that, with the phone on my belt, the camera is at such a level that I can keep my gestures out of the viewfield. But I can't risk too many more clues, and we are probably out of time. I point toward the elevator, then the emergency stairs and point down. I think that racing the elevator down is our best chance.

She makes some finishing touches and puts her makeup away. "Let me get some snacks, just in case it takes a while."

I follow her into the kitchen and let the camera record her putting soy bars and a couple of cans of apple juice into her purse, then casually turn away so she can grab her piece from its drawer, quietly. She puts it in her purse, too.

Why a nurse needs a handgun may be beyond some people, but she has been the target of stalkers in the past, including the recent past. I'm not the only one who thinks she is beautiful.

She also grabs a jacket and two backpacks she keeps as seventy-two hour kits for natural disasters and such.

"I'm ready."

I lead, so the backpacks won't be picked up by the camera.

She locks the door behind her, and we go to the elevator. When it opens, we walk in, and then I drop my phone.

"Careless of me."

I turn the camera facing the wall and leave it there as she steps back out, and then I follow her. She hands me one of the packs. When the door is safely closed we both break into a run for the stairs.

But she heads up, not down, gesturing to me to follow. I throw my nightstick down the down stairs and follow, dropping my pager near the wall on the first landing up, hoping they'll think I threw it there from below. GPS in those pagers, useful if the officer needs to be rescued, not so useful if he needs to be rescued from his own fellow officers.

On the roof, the next building over is only six feet away and at the same level. This whole block is close like that, the only block with tall buildings in this town. She doesn't wait, just runs for the edge.

I follow, and check below as I go over the edge. It appears that the officers on the street are focusing on the ground floor, waiting on the elevator. At any rate, no shots ring out from below. The building after is at the same level, and we clear the edge together. The third building is taller, but there is a fire escape we can reach by leaping.

Fortunately, the fire door opens from the outside. Safety code.

Inside, we run down the stairs. I follow her into the basement.

"There's an underground maintenance accessway that opens in this building," she says. I know about it, and we find the entrance. I wave her back, but there's no sign of anyone, so we enter the accessway and make our way under the street.

Back at surface level across the street is an indoor mall, which we enter from beneath. We come up in an employee access hallway.

"Your fashion sense sucks."

"I do stick out, don't I? I think you should change, too"

"There's a Team Captain."

We slip in the back of the sportswear shop and I hold my conscience at bay as we lift T-shirts, shorts, sweats, and running shoes.

Back underground, 'Gette pulls off her shirt, and I freeze.

"We never did finalize the divorce. Get changed."

It takes me a minute longer to change, and we stuff our clothes in our packs.

Once again on the surface, we cross the mall and walk as casually as we can to the bus terminal.

As the bus pulls out, we hear sirens and watch police cars closing in on the apartment building from all sides.

"I think I'm glad I read your mind back there."

"Me, too. I'm glad I figured out what was going on."

"What'll we do?"

"Hang out in hotels in Cincinnati and further east? Watch the news for a week and post incriminating hints to Twitter from netcafes?"

She leans against me, her head on my shoulder, staring out the window. "Well, if this is the end for us, at least we have a little more time to spend together."



Table of Contents Next: N

Originally inspired by a question in the LDS Beta Readers Facebook group, by Cheree Mackay Myatt, on plot elements to get a long-term separated couple back together for a week. She ended up with a list of ideas long enough to consider using in creating an anthology.



[Edit record starts here: http://joel-rees-economics.blogspot.com/2018/02/backup-me-and-mrs-jones.html.]

2018-01-15

A Little Regency Flash Romance: "Caroline's Confession"

A bit of speculative Regency flash fiction, inspired by the House Party:

(I say speculative because it started as speculation on the direction one of the relationships seemed to me to be heading. Other directions look more probable now.

Changing the names to separate their work from mine seems to have changed the characters, as well. I think it's a fragment of a similar but separate story, now.

It's turning into a space Regency set in a starfaring hollowed-out asteroid.)



Sepculation about how one of the story lines might end
temporarily unavailable. 
I apologize for the inconvenience, 
but this was written a little too close to someone else's stewardship.
God tells me I should be a little more considerate when I play God 
with other people's stories. 
When that person's story is complete, 
maybe I'll be allowed to put what I had written back up. 
For now, I'm working on a little more thorough separation of story lines.
If I succeed, I may put the rewrite up here.


Enough of the plot of the House Party has been made clear that
I think it's okay to put this back up:
(The space regency story I mention above 
will require more time to write, however.)



"Well, I'd say the Lady Douglas is quite pleased with herself. It seems her little party has made quite the additions to my household."

"I'm sorry, Father."

"For what? I am not at all displeased with the results."

Caroline smiled with mixed emotions, looking around the room.

"Four of my sons are betrothed to wonderful women." He continued, beaming at his children and their collected intended, gathered for a family council on the logistics of having four banns in parallel, and four marriages soon after. The four women and their mothers were seated around the room, each with the brother they had agreed to marry standing nearby.

Caroline sat near her father, and Jerrold stood beside her, next to Gregory and Alicia, his betrothed.

Four brothers, and a fifth, as good as a brother, and she, had attended the two-week-long house party together. The four brothers had all found agreeable matches, rather contrary to their initial expectations. She and Jerrold had, in fact, been more than a little instrumental in bringing about the matches. But neither she nor Jerrold had came away with any particular prospects of marriage.

Her father continued. "And neither my daughter, nor the son of my friend, who is almost a son to me, has been entangled in any match they would regret."

Gregory chuckled and elbowed Jerrold, who was a little more quiet than usual.

"Auspicious results indeed." Her father nodded again. "But tell me, dear Calico, was there no one at the party who caught your eye, who is still single? We could yet arrange for some smaller parties."

Caroline shook her head. "No."

"No one?"

Caroline hesitated. "Well, there is one." She felt, more than heard Jerrold shift his weight beside her. "I doubt he would be interested in me, though. He never seems to see me as more than a friend." Now she heard him stir, and looked up at him. His face gave no hint of his thoughts, but his green eyes were clouded, and would not meet hers. Once again she thought she could tell that something had greatly disappointed him.

Jerrold, the dear friend who had grown up practically as one of her brothers, who had shared so many secrets with her when she was younger, was hiding something, something she had been seeking to discover for several years.

"Who is the cad who would ignore my sister?" Frances asked, winking at Jerrold. Caroline wondered at the wink.

"No hint of interest?" Julianna, Frances's betrothed probed.

"No interest more than brotherly, I'm afraid." Again, she felt Jerrold's weight shift and looked up, to meet his eyes probing hers in sudden interest.

"Something might be done in that direction," Samantha suggested from her seat near Frederick, ".. friendly visits, or family business."

"Indeed. Maybe we can talk about it later, Calico?"

She shook her head. "I would prefer not to embarrass him, Father."

"Well, I suppose we shall have to think about this some more. And you, Jerrold? Was there no lady to catch your eye, with whose parents we might put in a good word for you?"

"I'm afraid, sir, that my situation is much the same as Cali's".

Caroline almost let a groan escape her lips. She studied his face discretely as he spoke, recalling how her feelings had changed towards this man who was as one of her brothers, and yet not her brother. And she felt, again, the frustration of wanting his attention as a suitor but not wanting to risk his friendship.

And now he was as much as admitting that there was someone else that he loved.

"I know she considers me a friend. Sometimes I think I have reason to hope she sees me as more than a friend, but then she reminds me that I could never be more than a brother to her."

Caroline caught her breath. Why did he use such a phrase, more than a brother? Oh, how it hurt. Who could this other sister be? Oh, to think there was indeed someone else that he could feel such things toward.

The party had done nothing to convince her that she could love any other. Quite to the contrary, she had only become more convinced that she could trust no other man as she trusted him. And, yet, her feelings seemed not to be answered.

Her family was among the minor nobility, and Jerrold's father had been a tradesman. His mother had abondoned her noble rank for love, and hard times had fallen on their family soon after. Some rumors had said that a spurned suitor's bribe had been responsible for the accident in which Harrold Whitcombe had lost his right arm.

Caroline's mother and Mrs. Whitcombe had been good friends, and she had prevailed on her father to hire Mr. Whitcombe to manage the estate's local manufacturing. With Mr. Whitcombe's help, her father had brought the estate to a level of prosperity envied by their neighbors.

Jerrold had not spent all his time playing with her brothers, of course, and had learned much from his father before his father passed away. He now held his father's position on the estate, promised for as long as he chose to remain with them. He and her eldest brother, Henry, ran most of the estate's day-to-day business as partners and best friends.

"Have you asked her father for permission to court her properly?"

"I have often thought about it, sir, but it would be awkward. She is somewhat above my station."

"Any woman who would care about such things would not be worthy of you, Jerr."

Caroline caught her breath at her own words. When it was just her brothers, she spoke her mind, but there were eight women in the room who just might be scandalized.

And yet, they all nodded in ready agreement to her words. Her father grinned.

Of course her brothers would choose well, and none would be inclined toward a prejudiced woman.

These women were, in fact, all her friends, and had been even before the house party. Perhaps the matches might not have been made as readily without the formal introductions, but none of the matches were particular surprises.

Her father chuckled, and Jerrold turned to her.

"Do you really think so, Cali?"

Jerrold's eyes implored her in a way she had not often seen from him, and her heart missed a beat.

"Most definitely."

"But I would not risk her friendship."

"If someone else marries her, you will lose both her friendship and her love without even trying."

What was she saying? Why would she encourage him to court another woman?

But that was part of her love for him, to want him to be happy. That was why she refrained from making her feelings known. She did not wish him to feel duty-bound to respond to her affections.

"Cali has a point," Gregory nodded, and no one disagreed.

"Son, I think you should talk to her father at once."

Caroline reached out and squeezed Jerrold's hand. "Be brave, Jerr." Jerr looked at her and what she read in his eyes shocked her. She forgot to breath, much less retrieve her hand.

"Should I, sir?" Jerrold did not turn away from her.

"I really think you should," her father's words were warm.

"Could I ask her, sir?"

Caroline squeeled, eyes open wide in shock and just a little fear mixed with joy.

"You should probably go ahead and ask her."

Jerrold dropped to both knees in front of her and raised her hand to his lips.

"I know this is sudden, but we have known each other a long time."

"Yes!"

"May I have the privilege of seeking your hand in marriage?"

She retrieved her hand and slapped him over the head.

He recoiled, and she put a hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry, Jerr," she whispered.

He looked down in misery and started suddenly to stand and turn away. But she grabbed his hand again, rising with him. He turned and walked toward the door and she followed him out, keeping his hand.

"Why did you slap me?"

Their voices floated through the door.

"I was expecting a different question."

"What question?"

"I'll wait until you're ready to ask it."

"You didn't answer me."

"Well, the answer to that question is also --"

And the outside door closed.

"Well, who wants to inform the Lady Douglas she's six for six for our family?" Henry asked as Marguerite stood to follow him to the front room, where they could quietly keep an eye on his little sister and his best friend outside in the afternoon sun.



2017-10-16

Pink Heels and Rusty

Rusty's electric blue eyes bored into me, his expression a total cipher.

"You're mad at me."

"Mmm-mmm," he shook his head without taking his eyes from mine or changing his expression. I couldn't look away. The grass under my feet scratched.

"Then what?" Yeah, I was asking the obvious.

"You said your shoes would match my hair." His voice was matter-of-fact, just a shade cool, revealing no hint of what he was really thinking. "I just want you to know that my hair is not hot pink."

My ears burned. I held up my heels, pleading with my eyes.

"And my hair is not fuzzy. Curly, sure. Not fuzzy."

The fake fur ankle straps. Mom had called them excessive. Did the corners of his mouth twitch?

"But they're cute, aren't they?"

"Sure. But nothing on my head is as sharp as those stilts, not even my nose."

Relief flooded me. "Oh my gosh. You had me going."

He tilted his auburn head. "You wear those tonight and your ankles'll be killing you before you leave." I couldn't tell if he was warning or joking. Maybe both. Then he bent down without changing his expression.

"Uh, what should I do?" I asked as I watched him. I didn't know whether to squat down with him or remain standing. Either way was awkward.

He pulled one shoe off. "Well, you could go barefoot. Myself, I never pass up a chance to go barefoot." Then he pulled his sock off and wiggled his toes. I know it sounds stupid, but his feet were as perfect as his face.

I think I would have died if he had let his focus drift even for a moment to my thighs.

When I was choosing my outfit, my thoughts had been different. I chose the tight denim hot pants and loose, light blue v-neck tee-shirt specifically to keep his attention on me. But when I arrived at his house for the party, I could see I was out of place.

He had met me on the front sidewalk before I could quite decide whether to say I must be at the wrong house, and had stared, just for a moment, at my high-heeled shoes before saying, "Nice heels! Wanna take a look at the back yard? It's where we'll be dancing later."

Not knowing quite what to do, I had removed the shoes as I followed him around the corner of the house, before both of us came to stand in the soft but scratchy grass.

And now he had removed his shoes.

I do not not know how he managed it, but he straightened up without looking once at my legs.

"Let's put our shoes on the porch."

"Rusty!" A girl's voice called through the back door. "What ..." The door swung open and Rusty's sister stepped out. "Ah, you must be Cheryl. Rusty said you would be coming."

"Hi." I didn't know what else to say. I was planning on seducing your little brother? Right. That joke would not fly in this house, not in this group.

"Cheryl, this is Reba, my big sister."

"So nice to meet you. Lovely outfit. Where did you find it? Could you come with me? I could use some help. Mom wants to talk with you, Rusty."

"Thanks, Reeb."

"Uh, ..." I looked back to Rusty.

He just grinned, and my awkward feelings seemed to vanish like mist. "Reeb's a good friend. I'll go see what my mom wants."

Reba came down the steps and hugged me. "Bring your heels. Wouldn't want'em walking off without you."

I followed her up the back stairs, carrying my shoes.

"I'm gonna change to jeans, and I want your opinion," Reba said as she led me into her room.

"Uhm, ..."

"Mmm?"

"I'm dressed wrong."

She started pulling pairs of jeans out of her closet. "Whattaya think o ' this pair?"

"I guess I misunderstood when Rusty said casual. Those look nice."

"Think so? I have an old pair that matches these. Not your kind of casual? Here. Do you think they'd fit you?"

"Maybe. Not my ... usual casual, I guess. Fit me? May I?"

Ten minutes later, we descended the front stairs in matching jeans and tees. She had found me a pink camisole to go under my tee-shirt, and picked a tee of her own that matched the blue of mine. And we were both barefoot. And friends.

I don't quite know how Rusty's family made me feel so at ease so quickly, but I had even forgotten to worry what Mrs. Ellison would say.

"Ah, Reeba, Cheryl, there you are. Come help me with the finger food."

Of course Rusty was right. I would have broken my heels or my ankles or both, dancing in the grass.

The music was loud enough to dance to, but not loud enough to bother the neighbors. In fact, some of the neighbors joined the party at different times.

And it was fun. Reeba and her date led a bit of formation street, and some of their church friends showed us how to dance ballroom style. And there were parlour games, which are kind of like drinking games without the drinking. And nobody paired off to go submarine racing in the bushes or anything.

I got to help clean up, and I found myself driving home thinking that she who had come to conquer was the vanquished. And I didn't exactly hate the idea.

2017-09-25

Asking for a Letter of Reference

A letter of reference is a lttle different from a letter of recommendation, and a reference is not a guarantor.

reference:
  参考、参照、参照できる人、参考になる人など

letter of reference:
  参考になってくれる人からの参考になる(手紙などの)文

つまり、推薦状でもなく、保証人の申し出でもありません。

You provide a letter of reference to give someone an idea of what sort of person you are.
人柄を考えるときに参考になる為に、この文を送ってもらいます。

A referee is completely irrelevant to letters of reference. When you think "referee", think of the guys who call the plays in football and other sports.
"Referee"  と言うのは全く関係ありません。審判のような者です。

[This is not exactly true in the field of law. I'm talking about letters of reference for school and job applications.]
[法律の分野ではちょっと違うことがある。入学志願届けや求職の応募などの話です。]

So I have put together a little sample conversation to help understand the concept and the usage.
以下は概念とその利用について説明するための対話実例です。

-------------

Hana: Professor Williams!

Prof.: Uh, hello.

Hana: Do you remember me? Hana Kinoshita.

Prof: Uhm, sorry, give me some more clues.

Hana: I took your class in foreign language teaching methodologies at Nanboku University seven years ago.

Prof.: Nanboku University ... Ah, yes, I remember teaching there. I was also teaching at Touzai University at the same time.

Hana: Oh, dear. I was hoping to ask you for a letter of reference.

Prof.: You would get a better letter of reference from a tenured professor, I'm afraid.

Hana: But I was hoping for a letter of reference for the methodologies class. I'm applying for post-graduate teacher training at a college in the US.

Prof.: Well, if I were at my desk where I could look at my records, I might remember better. Can you send me an e-mail to refresh my memory?

Hana: Oh, well, I guess I can.

Prof.: And maybe you should get a letter from one of the tenured professors, as well.

Hana: I'll try. Can you write down your e-mail address for me?

Prof.: Got a pencil?

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Don't worry. Forgotten but not forgotten.
忘れていると思うのは仕方がない。記録はあるはず。記録を見たら、思い出せるでしょう。ただし、さらに一人、違う人にも頼んでもいい。

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To: jill7williams (at) groupmail.net
From: hana.yesterday (at) rose.readmail.ne.jp
Subject: Letter of reference I asked for today

Dear Prof. Williams,

Thank you for taking time for me this aftenoon.

I was a student in your foreign language teaching methodologies class at Nanboku University in 2010.

One of the things I remember you teaching were methods of engaging the student. You demonstrated how pretending to forget what words mean can be used to invite the students to help in class.

I really appreciated the teamwork assignments. You had me leading a team twice, once in techniques for elementary schools and once in techniques for high schools.

Sometimes it was hard for me to finish on time because I was also taking a class in using novels as a teaching tool, and had to demonstrate use of four novels for that class over the semester. You helped me several times when I was having trouble getting projects ready to turn in.

I need a letter of reference for Southwestern Teachers College in New Mexico. Could you write one for me? I am asking one of the tenured professors, as well, at your suggestion.

The address to send the letter to is

Admissions Office
Southwestern Teachers College
Santos Pisces, New Mexico 99999
USA

Please let me know if you can.

Respectfully yours,

Hana Kinoshita

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That's a little formal for e-mail, but this is a formal request.
e-mailにしてはやや形式に染まったものですが、礼儀に従うところです。

Note that prompting the memory, as Hana does here, is okay, especially because Professor Williams asked for help remembering.
華さんがここで思い出してもらうために情報を足しているのは特に問題ありません。ウィリアムズ教授が「手がかりください」って言っているし。

Asking the professor to say specific things is usually considered a breach of protocol.
教授に書いていただきたい内容を特定するような発言は気をつけるべきです。礼儀だけではなく、ルール違反になりかねるのですから。

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To: hana.yesterday (at) rose.readmail.ne.jp
From: jill7williams (at) groupmail.net
Subject: Re: Letter of reference I asked for today

Dear Hana,

I have checked my records and refreshed my memory.

I recall encouraging you to work hard on the novels class.

I also recall you falling asleep a couple of times in class because you had been practicing late for the drama club. Remember to use those drama techniques in your classes.

I will be happy to send your letter of reference (and I won't mention the falling asleep in class ;-).

I checked the address for Southwestern Teachers College. The best place to send letters of reference for graduate school applicants is the graduate admissions office, so I will send it there.

Let me know how things go at STCNM.

Sincerely,

Jill Williams

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This is where Hana's involvement ends.
これ以上は、華さんが関わって行けません。

The letter should usually be sent by regular post (physical mail) directly from the professor to the school.
大概は、教授本人がこの letter of reference を直接その学校に送るべきです。

If a professor can't send a positive letter of reference for some reason, the professor should decline, to allow the student to find someone who can.
なんらかの事情があって生徒のためになる letter of reference を送ることができない場合、教授は控えて、生徒が別の方に、参考になる人になってもらえるようにするべきです。