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Well, it's August already, I can't believe it! That means I have only a few weeks left, and with the holidays and everything, only two teaching weeks! It's going to go by so quickly. We're gearing up to welcome our new teacher, Megan, who will be joining us mid-this month for training and shenanigans!

It's times like these when i reflect on how blessed I have been to have come back here to this wonderful school and this charming town again. I was a little nervous coming back because I had so many happy memories of this place, I was worried that coming again I wouldn't possibly be able to have a better time. But I have! Instead of the thrills and excitement of discovering Kurashiki and Japan for the first time, this time I felt like I was coming home and everything was warm and familiar. Like they say, there's no place like home and the feeling of homecoming just can't be beat.

During the Obon holidays, I don't think I'll be doing anything too exciting. Just kicking back and relaxing, barbequing, watching fireworks and maybe if I can, doing a little bit of Hachijuhakkasho (the Shikoku 88 Temple Tour). Knowing this is the last stretch for me to save a bit of money for school before it starts has got me in a bit of a panic to keep a tighter hold on my wallet.

In any case, these next couple weeks I'll be looking more wistfully at all my students and at everything around me in lovely Kurashiki and taking lots of group pictures.
by hello-eigo | 2012-08-07 17:38

Goo-sensei's Battle with Japanese Automatic Doors

Hey readers!

And here it is, what you've all been waiting for, the Monday Hello blog brought to you by Goo-sensei (formerly known as Elisa-sensei, but has since melted into Goo from the merciless summer heat!)

I'm afraid that I don't have much to report this week, other than a rather funny encounter with an automatic door. I was on my way into the supermarket, approaching the entrance and looking down at my cellphone, assuming the automatic door would do it's job and automatically open, when to my surprise I simply crashed into the door! What the...!? "遅っ!” I exclaim as I pick up the broken pieces of my cell phone, which had fallen apart on impact. As I pick up the battery, the door slides open.

This brings me to my topic, or rather my rant, for the week. What's the deal with automatic doors that don't open until I'm standing right in front of the door with my nose pressed against it!?

That's all for now.

Goo-sensei\'s Battle with Japanese Automatic Doors_a0164603_2028265.jpg

by hello-eigo | 2012-07-10 20:28

Scrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches

Hi everyone!

Topic of cultural interest for the week: Scrunchies (shu-shus)

Last week, my co-workers and I were out at an Indian restaurant and in walks a group of young women all sporting big fluffy scrunchies in their hair.

"Ewwww, scrunchies!" I said through a mouthful of nan.

Scrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches_a0164603_16481758.jpg
"What? Why?" asked my co-workers "Scrunchies are cute!"

I gaffawed at them and gulped down my nan. "Scrunchies," I began "are an unforgiveable 80s fashion faux pas. They are ancient relics, like kaboodles and gem-studded jean jackets, and can only be found hidden away in bathroom drawers to be used to tie back your hair for nighttime face washing, but never to be worn in public" I nodded impressively. "Wearing a scrunchie would invite a hail of ridicule from both friends and family, just like a matching denim jacket and jeans set would."

Scrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches_a0164603_18252456.jpg"Well, they're popular in Japan. Guys love girls with scrunchies. There's an AKB48 song that's dedicated to scrunchy ponytails you know" explained my co-workers.
I didn't believe them but later watched the video for myself. Wow! Maybe I'll dust off my old Elementary school scrunchie and try it out...Now where's that old kaboodle?

On another note, the Hello Elementary kids are doing really well so far with their recital speeches! We decided this year to have each level do the same speech instead of individual speeches. This way it's easier to practice pronunciation and intonation and the kids can compete against each other, which they love to do.

I chose three of the most well-loved children's books for the students to recite, each having a great story and varying levels of difficulty. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Where the Wild Things Are and The Giving Tree. The younger Pre-Elementary students will recite the beloved Louis Armstrong classic What a Wonderful World as a poem.

Scrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches_a0164603_16505195.jpgScrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches_a0164603_16505822.jpgScrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches_a0164603_16511263.jpgScrunchy Culture and Recital Speeches_a0164603_16522596.jpg

The kids will also have a chance to animate their speeches, which will make each performance uniquely their own and will engage the audience more, especially those that don't speech English. We're really looking forward to it!

Keep up the good work!
Until next week,

by hello-eigo | 2012-06-11 16:57

HELLO生 Mihoちゃん! 見事!フライトアテンダントになる夢実現!Congratulations & Festivals

Miho has been coming to Hello twice a week for over a year to work on her English and improve her chances of landing an ultra-competitive flight attendant position.

HELLO生 Mihoちゃん! 見事!フライトアテンダントになる夢実現!Congratulations & Festivals_a0164603_16335059.jpg She finished her flight attendant courses in Osaka and has been applying and interviewing tirelessly in hopes of realizing her dream. Every week we would ask “How did the interview go?” and she would shake her head sadly “I didn’t get the job” but then she would rally herself again with a smile and say “I have another interview next week, so I have to focus and prepare for that!”

Each time she reached the final interview stage for some company we held our breath, crossed our fingers and felt the excitement with her. Each time she was denied we felt the disappointment with her. But we were all inspired by her determination and spirit, because she just kept trying harder.

*drum roll please*

We are simply ECSTATIC to announce that this week Miho was offered a cabin crew position with JAL International!!! She was chosen out of over a thousand applicants and will start her training this fall in Tokyo. When we asked her how she felt (after many hugs and congratulations) she said with a smile “If you have a dream, never give up! You can realize it!”

Congratulations Miho!!!

HELLO生 Mihoちゃん! 見事!フライトアテンダントになる夢実現!Congratulations & Festivals_a0164603_16344045.jpg In other news, I went to Hiroshima yesterday for a festival with Akiko and some friends. We all wore yukata robes and geta shoes, ate taiyaki (sweet fish-shaped bean-filled pastry), visited some local restaurants and even checked out a haunted house!

In America, haunted houses usually have skeletons, spider webs, vampires, ghosts and severed limbs but the Japanese one has strange traditional o-bake(monsters) like Ittan-momen, Rokuro-kubi and Oni. It was for kids, but I’ll admit I might have screamed in earnest once or twice.

HELLO生 Mihoちゃん! 見事!フライトアテンダントになる夢実現!Congratulations & Festivals_a0164603_16353323.jpgHELLO生 Mihoちゃん! 見事!フライトアテンダントになる夢実現!Congratulations & Festivals_a0164603_16363166.jpg HELLO生 Mihoちゃん! 見事!フライトアテンダントになる夢実現!Congratulations & Festivals_a0164603_1637258.jpg
Festivals and yukatas make it official everyone, it’s SUMMER!! Hooray!

See you next Monday,
by hello-eigo | 2012-06-04 16:43


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