Have you ever been tossed from your feet expecting to land in a soft pile of goodness only to hit the hard packed ice-like snow caused by hundreds of skis and snowboards endlessly passing from morning until night? When it's your first time snowboarding, or skiing, for that matter, it seems you spend more time on your face and your rear than on your feet enjoying the real potential of what a snowboard can actually do. With each advance and fall we progress as with anything, but the progression is a slow and tedious one--I guess a metaphor for my progression in Japanese as well. This ski/snowboarding trip which I speak of was during the week of February 1-7th in Niigata prefecture. The IFL (International Friendly Lunch) Club, which I have previously spoken of, put together a winter trip for all its members following the dissipation of final exams. Most went by bus, but those who signed up late, like me, had to go by train. It was a first for me, thrown into a snow-filled world, like something out of a story book I could only dream of as a child growing up in Hawaii. I was a kid all over again, running, sliding, falling, and rolling in the snow, but it seemed strange, having an entirely new experience like this, in a foreign language.