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Move to my new blog address...

I made my new blog on "Bloggers" by Google.
I thought it might be inconvenience for English-speaking users to post comment on this blog because some the commands or information are written in Japanese here. So, please click here to move my new blog. I hope you enjoy reading it!

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Winter has come!

It's so cold today!
I think Winter has come to Japan!

It's already November, so fast!
This year is going soon and next year is waiting just around the corner!


I started to join a new English language study group last week. The member is a teacher and 4 adult students(including me).

I hadn't had a good motivation to continue to study English until the study group started. I hope my can-do attitude coming back soon!



By the way, it's mid term election day in the US, right? I'm excited about it a little bit because I've heard that the Democrats could defeat their enemy. I hope Democrats win with a land-slide victory and change the Iraq-war situation as soon as possible.


My kitty, Gara!

gara4

gara2

Kokoyakyu!!

I'm a sports person. Especially, I love baseball.
This time of summer is my happiest season because I can enjoy watching not only pro-baseball games but also the national high school baseball tournament - Kokoyakyu -!!

If you read this page, you got more knowledge about what the tournament is like and I'm sure you'll like it! This page is about the documentary program by PBS in the US. I hope they air this program in Japan in the near future!


Today, the final game was held. Actually, the tournament was supposed to end yesterday but the finalists got even after fighting 15 innings at their full powers. Almost all people in Japan were impressed with the game. They fought again today. And the champion was decided. The team is Waseda Jitsugyo highschool, which Mr. Sadaharu Oh, who is one of the famous baseball players in the world, was graduated from.

We know Mr. Oh had a stomach surgery recently and is fighting with a cancer. I think this big news encouraged him a lot!!

Thanks for the wonderful days, all players played in the tournament!!


100degrees!!

I know it'd been over 100 degrees in NY last week.
Today, here in Japan, it was around 100 degrees in Osaka! And 102 or so in Gifu prefecture, which was the highest record in the history in Gifu.


We stayed at home mostly and just went to the nearby supermarket to get some food.

Summer should be hot, but too hot was it today!



Peace

What is peace?
How can we have true peace in the entire world?
I don't know...


When President Bush and PM Koizumi had a joint conference in the White House last month, Mr. Bush said, "The people of Japan can be proud of the contribution their self-defense forces have made in the war on terror, and Americans are proud to serve alongside such courageous allies." I felt uncomfortable with that. How can we be proud of our SDF's contribution for the "WAR ON TERROR"? I think we can be proud of that if our SDF have made contribution helping Iraqi people to maintain their normal lives. We can be proud of the humanitarian assistance by the SDF, but cannot be proud of doing so in the war on terror. I really hate the term, "war on terror". The words, "war" and "terror" are irrelevant.


Recently, one of our neighbor countries fired off missiles. Some experts say we must have the U.S. military in our country to protect us. They also say we should have stronger forces, stronger arms or weapons. Is it really so?? Should we really do like that? I don't want to understand that way.

On the next day of the missiles firing, as I was walking on the street in downtown, I thought like this, "If they now launched missiles to Japan, and hit right here I am walking, what could I do? Could I prevent it? No... Maybe not. I couldn't do anything. So then would I think Japan should go on war against them? No...!!! I don't want to live in the country where we have war against any country. Why have they done such a crazy thing? We should have U.S. military to protect our country? We will be attacked if we don't have them? I don't know! I rather die if we have to have war in our country or even in another country." .....like this. Am I wrong? I don't know....


Why does every country stop developing arms, nukes? And why do countries, which even have nukes, say other country shouldn't have it or shouldn't develop it? Why do they stop to have any arms first and say to other countries not to have arms? There is some contradiction here... for me... at least. Why should we have forces or arms to protect our country? Why? We have words, we have promises.... why can't we understand each other?



I don't know....


I want to learn a lot of things to know all of the reasons why we can't have true peace in the entire world. Can't we have true peace? Yes, we can! I want to believe that. Do want to believe that.

"Golden Week" has started!

Another holyday week has been started here in Japan. It's called "Golden Week", began with Yesterday, the 29th of April, Greenery day. Today is Sunday.

May 3 is the Constitution Memorial Day, May 4 the National holiday, and May 5 Children's Day(Boy's day).

So quite a lot of people tend to take days off on 1st and 2nd of May so that they can take 9 days consecutive holidays. All airports were so crowded with people who were going abroad yesterday. They do it although they know the budget is extremely high in this season!!

As for us, we don't like the crowd so we've been enjoying most of the time at home this year. We enjoyed watching ballgames at home and are very happy that our Tigers beat Swallows on Saturday and Sunday!!


Having relaxing time at home is my most favorite thing!!

Let the whole world move forward.

I'm very glad that Japanese abductee's family gave heartful, or I should say heartbreaking, testimony in a joint hearing of House International Relations subcommittees.

I hate to say this but, OUR Japanese goverment have moved so slowly with this issue. I think it's about time for us, hopefully all people in the world, to move forward to tackle with this issue.

I know there are numerous important problems in the world. However, for the family, there is no time to put it off because the parents of the abductees have passed away one after another. It's very sad to see their painful deaths. I don't want to see it any more. Instead, I do want to see the scene, where they meet their daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, for the first time in decades. I believe many of the abductees are alive in a desperate situation.


I heard some of the family are scheduled to meet with President Bush at White House. It's going to be a great improvement, I believe!! Through this event, I want people in the world to see the situation deeply and start to help with each other.

related articles:
Japanese Mother Tells Congress of Anguish on Washington Post

and

Mystery of Japan abductee deepens
Mother's plea for N Korea abductee on BBC

optional writing homework for tomorrow

I wrote a short essay on the issue of bringing laptops into college classrooms. I was inspired to write it by the segment of The Brian Lehrer Show aired last Thursday.


*********************************************
Is it another matter of generation gap - ban on PCs in classrooms?

A part of my daily routine is listening to my favorite program on the web stream radio at night. I've been doing so for over three years. The program is a two-hour-long call-in show airing from New York.

Last Thursday, as I was listening to it, my ears were struck by a segment which was about a law school professor’s banning her students from bringing their laptop computers to her classroom.

It made me remind of a scene in the movie, "Legally Blonde", where a girl entering Harvard Law School to revenge herself on her ex-boyfriend's betray. I remember that almost all of the students had their laptops in classrooms to take notes of teachers' instruction. It was as if they were required to do so. So, I'd expected that, in American universities, especially law schools, students should have been allowed to bring their PCs to classrooms.

Getting back to the case on the segment, the professor claimed that it was extremely difficult for her to make eye-contact with her students in the current situation, where most students bring their laptops to classrooms. She wanted her students to pay all attention in what she was saying, however, it was hard for her to confirm whether or not they were doing well because all she could see was a sea of gray plastics, the laptops.

The guest on the show was a reporter from an IT magazine. According to him, younger generation, who grew up using IT devices, tend to prefer to take notes using PCs. To meet their requests, more and more colleges embrace high technologies. Students are often required to have their own laptops or sometimes bring them into classrooms. Whereas elder generation, who are mostly professors, tend to think students shouldn't be allowed to bring any kinds of their IT devices into classrooms, such as computers, blackberries, and mobile phones.

I have to admit I’m quite addicted to the Internet and IT devices. I exchange e-mails every day not only with friends in Japan but also with ones living abroad, do research whatever I find curious, read various kinds of newspapers and blogs in both English and Japanese on the net, fax to my mom using my PC, I could go on and on! My life indeed depends on the IT benefits. So, I think I understand younger generation’s - possibly students’ or younger professors’ - thinking of the efficiency of taking notes instantly by typing into laptops in classrooms, and also the productivity or usefulness of googling whatever research related to the topic of the lecture at once all together. However, I strongly believe it’s worth taking notes by hand and reorganize or retype or even rewrite them later at home, because it takes time to acquire new knowledge into our brain, so it needs certain processes. I don’t believe all of us, as humans, are capable of multitasking. I don’t think many of us could concentrate on what teachers are saying if we were on line at the time and had chance to surf here and there behind the teacher’s attention.

For these reasons, I’m against bringing laptops to classrooms although I’m very much PC-friendly. I don’t know where we are going with this issue down the road, but one thing is clear that our brain functions won’t become computerized, or could it be?
*************************************

the relevant segment, "You Got Compuserved"

my daily life goes on....

It's been a long time since I wrote something here last.

I don't know where to start...
OK, I'll introduce my recent days.


The new term in my English school started 2 weeks ago. I take a class called "English Workshop", being held once a week, every Wednesday morning. We have a male British teacher and 8 female students in their 20's to 50's. I've enjoying this class because all the students are motivated and cheerful. I like the atmosphere very much. There are some who have grown-up kids and came here to find something new excited or make them improved. Or one has a new-born baby and came here to find her own time once a week away from raising up her baby while her mother takes care of the baby. Another runs NPO which helps foreign students to settle in Japanese society. Also there is an English teacher for kids. We have wonderful people who have various kinds of background so it's very interesting and useful for us to exchange information each of us brings to our class.


Apart from school matter, I've been enjoying listening to the Internet radio and my favorite program is of course The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC in NY. Now I'm looking forward to hearing from the regular host, Brian, who'll come back from spring holiday tonight.

What's more, I've been reading a mystery novel "the Murder Of Roger Ackroyd" in English, written by Agatha Christie. Now I've reached at the right middle of it. I can't wait for finding out who is the murderer!!


Oh, before I forgot, I felt very sorry when the White House Spokesman, Scott McClellan, announced his resignation. I thank him because he has been my English teacher in some means. When I started to look for any good places where I could learn natural conversations or questions and answers after learning ordinal English materials which I started to find a little bit boring, I found that the White House Website provides everyday basis press conferences between Scott and the White House press corps. I thought it was absolutely helpful for me, so I read the scripts out loud and afterwards listened to it, looked up new vocabulary, and listened to it again... I've done it as many times as I could. I couldn't do it not so often, but I found it so interesting because there was real dialogues. Sometimes Scott seemed to try to hide something(I don't know the fact though...), or didn't willing to mention what was going on.... and every time the press tried to make him reveal the hiding facts. I have learned from them a lot! So, in fact, I wrote to him a thank-you mail. I hope he will have a wonderful life with his family spending a plenty of time which he mustn't have been able to have while he has been in such a busy position.


My life is going on like this way.



I hope everyone had a great spring holiday and come back to a normal life with wonderful memories!






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