Saturday, March 17, 2018

Teaching English with Marvin Gaye

Are you wondering what Marvin Gaye has to do with teaching English? Good!  Keep reading.  

My upper level students study idioms  "expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements, or from the general grammatical rules of a language."

One common idiom is "I heard it through the grapevine", which means:  To hear something through the grapevine is to learn of something informally and unofficially by means of gossip or rumor. The usual implication is that the information was passed person to person by word of mouth, perhaps in a confidential manner among friends or colleagues.

When I hear this idiom, I can't help but think of Marvin Gaye and this song, although I know it was recorded by others too.  I love idioms, but I know they are difficult for my students.  Idioms just don't make sense! 

Do you have a favorite English idiom or one you just hate?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Toilet Conversion

Japan is a toilet mystery.  There are high tech toilets that do everything but wash the dishes.  

Then there are the traditional squat toilets.  

The Japanese government has been promoting the modernization of the squat toilets in public places before the 2020 Olympics when about 40 million travelers are expected to come to Japan.  Many foreigners are reluctant to use Japanese squat toilets.  Japan's major tourists spots have around 4,000 public toilets and about 42% are the squat type. The problem is that it costs several million yen to renovate a toilet building.  

What do you think about toilets?  Do you mind using the squat toilets or do you prefer western toilets? Do you know what all the buttons on the high tech toilets do?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Stitch Group - New Project

One finished redwork project - a pouch with four red fabrics and a red zipper!

Four of us met last Sunday and started a new project, with the finishing of the redwork projects continuing.  

The new project is a bargello bell, which can be finished into an ornament, or maybe a brooch.  We'll see.  The project uses nine colors of DMC floss, plus some gold metallic thread, stitched on 28 count linen.  There was a lot of concentrating, so not so much talking.  I did learn one new word though- ケチ (kechi), which means miser.

At tea time we saw these little neighborhood cats curled up on the back porch.  How cute they are!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Ghost Bird

One afternoon when I was teaching, my two students and I heard a really big thump on the window.  We ran over and saw this ghostly outline of a bird on the window.

We looked down and saw this stunned bird below the window (my classroom is on the second floor).  We were concerned that it would die because it stayed there a long time.

The last time we looked, the bird was gone, so we hoped it had flown away.  My classes aren't dull.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Morning Star Count - Week 45

Yellow must mean spring.

Week 45 of the temperature quilt 

March 4 - 10  

70, 57, 55, 46, 46, 55, 52

Sarah at Sarah Did It! is hosting a link up on Wednesdays. Check it out.

This is my temperature/color (Fahrenheit) scheme: 

100 + Brown 

90-99 Red  

80-89 Orange 

70-79 Yellow  

60-69 Green  

50-59 Blue 

40-49 Purple 

30-39 Pink 

20-29 White 

10-19 Black

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Clothes Drying in Japan

When I lived in the US, I had a washer dryer set.  I hung some delicate or knit items, but most things dried in the electric dryer.  

(not my W/D, but I had something similar)

The only clothes drying machines I've seen in Japan are the coin laundry variety in a hotel.  

Most people in Japan hang clothes to dry.  In Hokkaido, I hung clothes inside in the winter, where they dried quickly because of the dry indoor heat. Here in Shizuoka, people can hang clothes outside year round.  

How do you dry clothes in your area?