Showing posts from December, 2012

How I Warmed-up To The Japanese Hot Spring

For those of you who haven't had a peek at myAbout page, I am from the U.S. of A., and my experience of bath taking is pretty much summed up in my embarrassing childhood photos; stark-naked playing with GI-Joes.       Bath taking is generally thought of as a kid's thing to do in the U.S. In fact, it's almost a right of passage to adulthood to graduate from the bath to the shower. Not to mention, having to take a bath with mom or dad isn't exactly a family bonding experience for a 12 year old.       This is why when I came to Japan taking a public bath (温泉) wasn't exactly a relaxing a moment in heaven for me. The prospect of having to take a bath completely naked with a bunch of other dudes I don't even know (without any GI-Joes, for that matter!) wasn't my cup of tea. Needless to say, I made the leap and entered my first public bath in a small resort town in Japan.       There was only one other guy in the bath at the time, which made the experience a lit…

The Healthcare Debate And What We Can Learn From Japan

Aside from all things Japan and Apple products, reading about and discussing politics are a few of my favorite pastime activities. I am passionate about politics but I am not the type to turn an ear away simply because you affiliate yourself with a specific party. I have my opinions of course, but generally speaking, I am very open-minded when it comes to political discussions. So with that, think of this as an open-minded discussion as you are welcome to comment on the issue as well, but please, be respectful.
Healthcare is one of the hot topics in U.S. politics these days. Is it constitutional? This is the number question being asked right now. While I agree this is an important question, I think an equally important question that is not being asked is: How will a universal healthcare system fit into a country that takes pride in its individuality? The healthcare debate in the U.S. is much more about social issues than it is political, for the foundational arguments on both sides of …

The Eikaiwa Experience: Teaching English in Japan

*This article addresses private sector jobs, not government sponsored jobs like the JET program.In its over 100 years of practice, the previously, highly romanticized dream job for many who held an interest in the culture and people of Japan has taken a back seat in the nose bleed section of dead-end jobs. Or has it? Starting in the late 80's to early 90's, English teaching in Japan was considered a hot job. It paid nearly twice the annual salary it does now and job security was much more stable as the business was booming at that time. It was one of, if not, the best jobs a native English speaker could get if he/she wanted to make a living in Japan with minimal effort (20-30 hours a week tops). However, as the global economy tanked, and China's economy began to grow at an exponential rate, the market began to show signs of struggling. Like the housing boom in the U.S., the market grew faster than the demand. Schools were popping up on every street corner in all the major …

Mt. Fuji from afar

I had a small break between classes and caught this rare moment on camera thanks to a co-worker. Its hard to see, but if you look closely in the far distance you can see Mt. Fuji. It's a rare occasion to see it from where I'm at (Ibaraki Prefecture). Tonight it was clear and crisp allowing for such a rare sight. It really is a beautiful mountain. No wonder so much poetry has been written about it.

Teaching English in Japan: A Year In Reflection

They say your first year is the hardest: getting used to the school; getting used to the kids; getting used to the lesson plans; and getting used to being a buffoon for the better half of your day. Not to mention, trying to get used to your life outside of teaching English. This post is more of a reflection rather than a guide to anything, but you just might find something useful, so please, read on my friend. I was doing the dishes the other day when it dawned on me (odd fact: many of life's lessons have dawned on me while doing the dished, I honestly don't know why), my English lessons have gone through a pretty noticeable progression. When I thought about it more I was able to break it down into four specific stages:
1. Introduction 2. Conflict 3. Restructuring 4. The odd couple
Before I get into these stages let me outline my job so you know what I deal with on a daily basis. I teach at a private English school in Japan. I teach lesson to kids as young as 2 years 6 months old to…

ESL: A Collection of Warm-Up Activities

My new interactive iBooks Textbook for the iPad has been approved and is currently available worldwide via iTunes.
For all you ESL teachers abroad this is the perfect way to get technology into your lesson. It's quick, it explains itself, and best of all, it's recyclable material. For all you ESL learners this is a fun and interactive way to brush up your English skills. It's easy to understand and fun to learn with.
Try it out by downloading a sample today. If you like it, pick up a copy and be sure to rate my book write a review. I will periodically update the book so it helps to get good feedback.
ESL: A Collection of Warm-Up Activitiesis an interactive textbook complete with:
-12 chapters containing some of the most commonly misunderstood grammar points
-over 150 review questions
-a complete glossary with over 100 example sentences
-Interactive animations for all grammar points
-explanations for ALL review questions
-video, audio, and much more