12/31/2018

December 31, 2018

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31,  1月 1-6 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

Check back tomorrow.  New post coming soon!

12/30/2018

December 30, 2018

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31,  1月 1-6 は休みです。

Please study English at your home on those days.

12/29/2018

December 29, 2018

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31,  1月 1-6 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

12/28/2018

December 28, 2018 Cleaning?

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31 は休みです。

Please study English at your home on those days.

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Cleaning?

Let's get started!

I imagine many Japanese people are busy today cleaning. Not me!  I prefer to wait until Spring when I can open all the windows, let the fresh air in, and get the dust out.  I vacuum behind the furniture, wash the windows, dust everything off, and make everything "spic-and-span". American people call it "Spring Cleaning".  By the way, where have all the Christmas decorations gone?  I went out last night and couldn't find any anywhere!  American people are quite lazy about putting them away. Sometimes, you can find Christmas decorations still hanging in the end of January!

Have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day!

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12/27/2018

December 27, 2018 Japanese English

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.


Japanese English


Let's get started!

1. First, watch this video:

2. Now click here and listen.


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12/26/2018

December 26, 2018 Listening Quiz - Pig Grass

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.


Listening Quiz - 





* If you want to practice your listening more, try doing dictation while listening to my blog, and then check your answers after.

Good luck!


Thank-you for reading my blog! If you like it, please copy the link below and share it with your friends!

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12/25/2018

December 25, 2018 Listening Quiz - Don't run onto the train

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩


12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

Merry Christmas, Miami!  Was Santa good to you? Did he bring you nice presents?  Today, I have something special for you...a quiz!  Enjoy!


Listening Quiz - Don't run onto the train





* If you want to practice your listening more, try doing dictation while listening to my blog, and then check your answers after.

Good luck!

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12/24/2018

December 24, 2018 Santa is coming!

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31 は休みです。

Please study English at your home on those days.



Santa is coming!

New words & phrases:

  • pout
  • coming to town 
  • naughty
  • for.....sake


Let's get started!

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is comin' to town

He's making a list
He's checking it twice
He's gonna find out
Who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is comin' to town

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
So you better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is comin' to town


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12/23/2018

December 23, 2018 Taxi

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

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Taxi

Let's get started!

One thing I love about Japan are the taxis. I like how the door opens and closes automatically. They are always super-clean inside and out, the driver is dressed neatly and even wears white gloves.  Compared to American taxis, I feel like I am riding in a limousine! It is quiet and relaxing, I don't have to worry about if the driver is going to cheat me, nor do I have to worry about leaving a tip. Good job, Japanese people!

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12/22/2018

December 22, 2018

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

12/21/2018

December 21, 2018 Christmas Cake

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

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Christmas Cake

New words & phrases:


  • Apparently
  • tradition
  • at random

Let's get started!

I was surprised to find during my first Christmas in Japan that Japanese people eat Christmas cakes. I had never heard of Christmas cakes before I came to Japan.  Apparently, it is a British tradition.  In the U.S. we don't have Christmas cakes, but instead have fruitcake.  However, it is not very good and no one wants to eat it.  Sometimes when we do Secret Santa at a Christmas party, someone brings fruitcake as a joke. Secret Santa is when people bring gifts without names written on them to a party.  They are placed on a table and then given out later at random. Every one laughs when one person opens their gift and finds....fruitcake.

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12/20/2018

December 20, 2018

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.


12/19/2018

December 19, 2018 - Christmas Songs

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

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Christmas Songs

Let's get started!

One of the best things I like about Christmas is the music. Christmas songs are a great way to study English because you can hear them everywhere when you go out.  Every time when you walk into a store and hear a Christmas song, you can sing along. When I was in elementary school, I sang in the chorus every year for Christmas. We had an electric piano at home.  My mother would play Christmas songs, and I would practice singing. She was very strict and made me sing the same song over and over again.  The most difficult time was when I had to sing a Christmas song in German! Unfortunately, I don't remember any of it now.

Here are some of my favorite Christmas songs with lyrics. Practice your English and enjoy Christmas!





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12/18/2018

December 18, 2018 - Bohemian Rhapsody

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

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Bohemian Rhapsody

Did you see the movie, "Bohemian Rhapsody"? I finally saw it.  I thought it was really good. My favorite character in the movie was the man called "Miami Beach".  It was so funny.  After watching the movie, I watched the actual Live Aid concert on YouTube, and it was even better than the movie.  The only part I didn't like in the movie was the kissing scene.  Definitely not my cup of tea.

Anyway, I was moved by his passion for music and by his ability to connect with his audience.  If you haven't seen it yet, you should go and see it.  I give the movie two thumbs up!

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12/17/2018

December 17, 2018

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

Have a wonderful day!

12/16/2018

December 16, 2018

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

12/15/2018

December 15, 2018 - Christmas: Rudolph

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.



Christmas: Rudolph

New words & phrases:
- aspect
- ostracize
- reindeer
- buck
- doe

Let's get started!

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer".  There is a story that goes with the song.   It is about a reindeer who is ostracized by the other reindeer because he has a bright, shiny, red nose.  But in the end, it is because he is different that he becomes the hero and saves Christmas.  It teaches us an important aspect of American culture; that being different makes you special and important.

There is a claymation movie that is played on TV every year around Christmas.

By the way, do you know the names of all of Santa's 8 reindeer?

dasher dancer prancer vixen comet cupid donner blitzen

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12/14/2018

December 14, 2018 - 47 Ronin

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

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47 Ronin

Let's get started!

Do you know what today is? It is the day of the 47 Ronin. There is a big festival held in Sengakuji on December 14th every year.  Sengakuji is the site of the graves of the 47 Ronin.  When I visited, my clothes became covered with the smell of incense as there was incense burning at each of the 47 graves. During the festival, a bunch of people dressed up as Samurai and marched down the street to re-enact the scenes from long ago.  I remember thinking how cool they looked as they came up the road. In the front of the procession, one of the samurai was carrying something tied to the end of a long pole.  It looked like a lunchbox to me, but it was actually the head of their enemy.

There is also a really cool Hollywood movie about the 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves.

If you have time today, you should definitely check out the festival at Sengakuji!

Have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day!

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12/13/2018

December 13, 2018 Dozing off

午前はクラスありますよー。😀


午後はクラスありません。💩

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

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Dozing off

Today, when I got on the train, I did as I usually do.  I checked my email and replied to any messages. After that, I opened my laptop to get to work on my blog. However, today it was so nice and warm on the train and it gently rocked back and forth. There was the soft murmur of conversation in the background. I felt like a baby in a cradle as I slowly dozed off.

Now, I just woke up and found that  the train is about to arrive at Kamiooka, so I am rushing to write something for today's blog. Sorry it is so short, but maybe it is better than nothing.

Have a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day!

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12/12/2018

December 12, 2018

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。


Please study English at your home on those days.

12/11/2018

December 11, 2018 O'Christmas Tree 日本語

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (slow)


ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (fast)
**********************


O` Christmas Tree

New words & phrases:
- decorations
- huge
- garland
- contain
- around the corner

Let's get started!
There was one large box that contained our Christmas tree.  Many other families chose to have a real tree, but my family always had an artificial one.  When I was little, it seemed so huge to me, but after I had grown up, it didn't seem so big at all. Actually, it was only about 4 or 5 feet tall, but it was special to me. It had been in my family my whole life. 

Just after Thanksgiving had passed and all the turkey was eaten, the feeling that Christmas was just around the corner started to settle in. It was time.  I was excited as I helped my mother bring in the large cardboard boxes from the garage that contained all the Christmas decorations.

Every year I would help my mother decorate it.  There were so many different decorations that covered our tree, it is amazing that it could hold all of it. Glass bulbs of blue, red, gold, green and silver reflected the christmas lights which wrapped the tree. Little ornaments were hidden here and there among the leaves, along with candy canes that were hung on the garland. A red cloth covered the bottom of the tree, and a star with an angel was placed at the top.

At night, we would turn off all the lights and watch Christmas shows on TV next to the beautiful sight that was our Christmas Tree.

感謝祭の直後
すべてのターキーは食べ尽くされました。 
ついに、クリスマスが始まります。

クリスマスの飾り付けの入った大きなダンボールを、車庫から持ってきて、母の手伝いをする事が 私の楽しみでした。

私達のクリスマスツリーの入った大きな箱があります。
ほとんどの家族は、本物のツリーを選びますが、我家は いつも人工的なものを選んでいました。

私が幼かった頃、それはとても大きく見えましたが、大人になった今、4〜5フィート(120〜150㎝位)の高さのツリーは、これっぽっちも大きく見えません。

でも、私にとっては "特別" でした。
私の家族、私のこれまでの人生においても。

たくさんの飾りつけを施されたツリーは、感動的に 素晴らしい‼︎

青、赤、金、緑、銀 の ガラスの電球は、
ツリーに包まれたクリスマスライトを映し出していました。

小さな装飾品は、花輪に掛けられたキャンディーケーン(杖の形をした飴)と一緒に葉っぱに混じってあちらこちらに隠されていました。

ツリーの根元は 赤い布で覆われていて、
一番上には 天使と星が 置かれていました。

夜、全部の電気を消して
テレビで クリスマスショーを見るすぐ隣で 
私達のクリスマスツリーは
美しく魅せます。

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12/10/2018

December 10, 2018 ABC - Christmas Lights 日本語

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 10, 23-31 は休みです。

Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (slow)

ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (fast)
**********************




Christmas Lights

New words & phrases:
- decorations
- preparation
- fond
- intricate


Let's get started!

In Japan, many people refer to the lights hung as decorations as "illumination".  However, I have always known them as "Christmas Lights".  They are hung along with all the other decorations in preparation for Christmas.  Almost everyone decorates the outside of their houses with Christmas lights, and it becomes a kind of competition as everyone has pride in their decorations.


My father was really into this.  He would spend a whole week intricately decorating our house with lights.  Every year we would go to the store together and decide what new lights we should buy this year.

During December, many times on the way home from somewhere in my family's car, we would drive around looking at everyone's decorations. It is such a fond memory.

There was one house in my neighborhood that really stuck out.  They had so many lights that they had to start preparing 3 months in advance. They opened their home until 10 pm and let anyone come inside to visit their house as they had decorated the inside as well.

日本語

日本では 沢山の人が 飾られたライトを " イルミネーション" と 呼びます。

でも、私は 以前から それを
"Christmas lights" として
知っていました。

それらは、クリスマスの準備の為に、他のすべてのデコレーションと一緒に 飾りつけされています。

大部分の人は  戸外に
Christmas lights と 一緒に飾っています。

そして それは 誰もが自慢であり、一種 競争のようになっていました。

私の父は、この真っ只中にいました。

彼は まる1週間 凝った飾りつけをする為に費やした。

毎年、私達は 一緒にお店に行き、その年の新しいライトを決めます。

私の近所のある家は  とても目立っていました。

その家のたくさんのライトは
3ヶ月も 前から準備を始めなければなりませんでした。

12月の間ずっと 
家の途中の 全部の飾りつけを
車で何度も
あちこち 見て回りました。

そんな 懐かしい思い出があります。

それらの家は 10時まで 開いていて
誰でも 中に入ることが でき、
その中も同様に 美しく飾りつけが 施されていました。


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12/09/2018

December 9, 2018 ABC - Baseball pt. 2 (with 日本語)

休校です。Sorry, no class today.💩

12月 9, 10, 13,  23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (slow)


ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (fast)
**********************

Baseball pt. 2

New words & phrases:
- past time
- play catch
- driveway
- die-hard fan

Let's get started!

Baseball is known as "America's favorite past time", but it seems to me that baseball has become a Japanese sport. When I was a child, I always played basketball with my friends after school.  My next door neighbor had a goal in his driveway, so I was there almost every day.  On the weekends, sometimes we would play American football. However, I don't remember playing catch very often.

Japanese people seem to really love baseball.  There are many fans among my students, and even a few die-hard ones. I have never been to a professional baseball game, but after listening to them talk about their love for baseball, it makes be wanna go check it out.  Maybe I will go see the BAYSTARS.

日本語

野球は アメリカ人の
一番の娯楽として
知られています が
日本のスポーツに なって
いるみたいですね。

子供の時、学校が終わったあと 友達と一緒にバスケットボールをしていました。

隣人の車寄せに (バスケットボールの)ゴールが あり、ほぼ毎日そこにいました。

週末は、時々アメフトをしましたが キャッチボールを よくやっていたという記憶は ありません。

日本人は 本当に 野球が
大好きなように 見えます。

生徒さんの中にも たくさんの
ファンがいます。そして、中には 熱狂的なファンもいます。

私は プロ野球を 観戦した事が
ないので BAYSTARS観てみようかなー😊

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12/08/2018

December 8, 2018

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 9, 10, 13,  23-31 は休みです。


Please study English at your home on those days.

Have a super special day!

12/07/2018

December 7, 2018 SMILE!

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 9, 10, 13,  23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (slow)


ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen. (fast)
**********************



SMILE!


Let's get started!

One thing I like about living in Japan is that everyone is always smiling. Well, almost everyone. It makes me feel good.

Sometimes when I feel a little down, I see a mirror on the train platform that reminds me to turn my frown upside down.  I always thought it was so strange that there are mirrors on the train platform. I thought maybe so the ladies could prepare their make-up before getting on the train, but that doesn't seem to work.

Sometimes western people misunderstand and think that Japanese people are being fake, or not being sincere. But I don't think this is the case.  We have a saying in English, "One bad apple spoils the whole bunch".  So, when one person in the group has a frowny face, everyone else will tend to have one too,  So, remember to smile and spread some cheer. What goes around comes around!

How did you like today's blog topic?

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12/05/2018

December 5, 2018 ABC - AGE

クラスありますよー。😀


12月 2, 6, 9, 10, 13,  23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen.
**********************
Image result for in the blink of an eye

ABC - Age


New words & phrases:
-  printing company
- serious
- forty-something
- in the blink of an eye

Let's get started!

I remember turning 6.  I was sitting at the kitchen table in front of my Superman birthday cake that my mother made for me. I looked at the clock and thought to myself  "I am half-way now". It seems like yesterday when I was 19.  I remember at that time thinking that I wanted to be older. Older men had money, looked cooler, and had girlfriends. I was still living in Florida. I had just started college, scuba-diving, and had my first serious girlfriend.

Then, it seemed like the next day I was 23. I was living with my girlfriend in Rhode Island, worked at a printing company, and then I joined the Navy. Then suddenly, I became 30.  I was an instructor in the Navy now. I had already lived in Japan, studied Aikido and Japanese language, and had a lot of experience on a Navy warship. I felt like I was becoming a serious-minded adult now.

A few days passed, and now I am forty-something, ha ha.  I now have my own English school in Japan and can dance Argentine Tango and Salsa.  Life passes in the blink of an eye.

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12/04/2018

December 4, 2018 Don't run onto the train

クラスありますよー。😀

12月 2, 6, 9, 10, 13,  23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen.
**********************


Don't run onto the train!

New words & phrases:

かけこみ乗車はキケンです!
かけこみ- last minute rush, stampede.
乗車 -passenger
キケン -danger
力いっぱいはスポーツで。
力 - power
いっぱい-full

Let's get started!

One benefit of living in Japan is being able to read and practice my Japanese skills daily.
The advertisements and posters on the train provide a great opportunity for study.
Here is a poster that I saw on the train today. It is a warning for people not to run into the train as the doors are closing.
One time, as I ran onto the train, the doors closed and my backpack was caught between.  I was so worried about what would happen.  Luckily, the doors opened again, and I was able to free my bag.

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12/03/2018

December 3, 2018 NAVY - Becoming the Leader

クラスありますよー。😀


12月 2, 6, 9, 10, 13,  23-31 は休みです。
Please study English at your home on those days.

*********************
ブログを聞きましょう。
Click here to listen.
**********************


Becoming the Leader

New words & phrases:
- Cryptology
- cadence
- nerd
- rigid
- ironic

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My home in Florida is close to a Navy base.  The base has a special school for Cryptology. I remember when I was about 19, lying in my bed in the early morning, I could hear the Navy people singing cadence as they went on their morning run....at 4 am.  I thought to myself that those people were crazy! In the afternoon, I would get on the bus to go to college.  The bus drove through the Navy base.  I remember seeing the Navy guys and thinking to myself, "What a bunch of nerds!" Their uniforms looked so uncool, they walked so straight and rigid, and their hair was cut so short. At that time, my hair was down past my shoulders, I woke up at 11am or later when I didn't have school, and the only exercise I got was when I was running to catch the bus.

About 10 years later I found myself on that base again.  This time, it was ME in the Navy, wearing the uniform, having the short haircut and LEADING the students out on a morning run at 4am. I became a Navy instructor at the school of Cryptology.  How ironic!

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