Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Do you enjoy your job?

Yesterday a woman visited me; she is also a teacher belonging to the same franchise English class. When we met at a meeting she showed a big interesting to my teaching materials. So she came to my house. She asked many questions one after another. So we didn't have time to have tea calmly.
I was really happy and excited to show my handmade materials and collection of my picture books. She seemed to be also happy.She said "You really seem to enjoy teaching.
"I haven't thought about that. When I get up, usually I suffer from headache. So I manage to inspire my self to spend the day without troubles. Doing morning house chores, sitting at PC, preparing today's lesson and going to 30 minute exercise, they are what I usually do in the morning. And after practicing the piano my job starts. And at 9:30 it is finished.
I’m usually relieved to finish the job without cancellation.Yesterday from her words without intention I realized that I enjoyed my job though I'm really bad at enjoying something.
This year it is few inquiry of new students but I have still some students. So I thank of remaining students --though it doesn’t pay off very much.

Monday, January 29, 2007

What do you ask for to governor of your prefecture?

Yesterday I attended a meeting managed a man. I'm a house wife and private teacher, so it is a few chance to talk with men except my husband. (It's interesting, when I was in my 20's and 30's I seldom had a chance with women except my mother and two friends.) The members attending the meeting make a speech within a limit time. There are various speeches; a long speech, a short speech. The themes are decided by the chairman on the day or we can decide by ourselves. Probably if the all attendance were women, something political couldn't be chosen as a theme.
Yesterday the theme I was given was that "what do you ask for to governor of your prefecture?”I was really puzzled, because I've never thought of such thing.
My speech was that; it’s really difficult to talk about such thing immediately; I always manage to accept this situation hard, so I've never thought of asking for something.But If I asked for something to our governor to live more comfortable, I'd ask for three things.
The first one is building more public high schools. There are probably about 20 public high schools and most of them are concentrated in the main city. For these decades many companies came to this area so living area gets wider. Elementary schools and junior high schools are reconsidered where they are needed, but high schools are not reconsidered. Now it is the time to reconsider where they are needed and they have to build equally around the prefecture.
The second is making more parking area in the urban area. Probably every body thinks the same thing. Apparently doughnut-phenomenon occurs. The main transport way is "car" in this area. So to make the urban area more active, more parking area is necessary. If it is easy to go there, people go there even if there are a few interesting shops. BUT more people come, more interesting shops appear.
The third one is selling more local veg. We have lots of field. BUT we buy other prefecture's veg or agricultural product at shop. What a good thing if we bough veg or auricular product directly by farmer. Probably it is difficult, but I think it is possible to get such things by short-cut way than TOKYO. It is funny to buy veg the same way of big city.
That's all.I hope these sentences make sense

Sunday, January 28, 2007

To belong to a group

There's a space for consultation from readers in the newspaper. It is interesting to me to read it. Something is fun, something is like my worry and something is rid******.(I can'tsay it directly).

The other day I saw an interesting contribution. It was from a senior high school girl.
According to her story; She is really friendly with two girls, she belongs to the friendly group. But these days she seems to be disliked by one of them. Being with them she feels like being left behind. She can't bear the situation. But she can't move to other groups now because other groups are already fixed. She is getting to dislike to go to school. She said "what should I do?"

I can really understand her worry. My daughter and my junior high school students have been worried about the same thing.

The counselor says; Why do you cling to "group"? Try to put away the way to think that "to belong to a group means to have a good friend". I understand this advice too. But probably it must not solve her worry.

To belong to a group is , I think, easy to live school life calmly. Being alone is really scary for the adolescent. But it is hard to keep being a good group. I think this is a typical issue not only for the adolescent but also Japanese women.
Even for me, I sometimes think about a group, though in my case I belong to a group or not. Because having a group seems to be easy to live a usual life.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Now all members of my family are into "YUZUKOSYOU". Finaly I put it on my daughter's lunchbox. Can you see where the "YUSUKOSYOU" is.

If you are Japanese, you might think "ss it OBENTOU for a teenager, really? It's like for a hungry boy". BUT she loves such bold, simple OBENTOU, and I love it because it is easy to cook.

I put rice into her lunchbox, and put grilled beaf (tasted Korean sauce) , sauted cabbage with salt & pepper, and a little green "YUSUKOSYOU".

She alreday knew the contents of today's OBENTOU. Because she has alread eaten the same thing for breakfast. Now my hourse is full with the smell of this grilled beaf, not "YUZUKOSYOU". I'm also going to eat the same thing for my lunch with lots of "YUZUKOSYOU"

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yesterday's troubles.

Some small troubles happend yesterday, though they were all solved.
At first the morning when I opend an important file attaced on an e-mail, it wasn't open. Nevertheless a waring messge was shown from the anti-virus program "Norton". I was really shocked. Though I thought my computar must have been safe, I checked my computer using a security program. It took 4 hours. I couldn't do any computer work. My computer was safe, the problem seemed to happen "yahoo" server. The problem seemed not to be solved yet.

Next at noon, my mother, who lives in TOKYO by herself lost (dropped) her small bag with her ATM card. She seldome uses the card, so she had the bag and wallet apart. As she noticed that, she went back to the bank immediately (30 minutes later after she drew some money at a bank she noticed that) and she made her card invalidate not to be used by other people. Actaully the rest of money was at bank safely. Though she is old, she could deal with this accident smoothly and immediately. She braged of her self saying "I'm not in my dotage".

And at midnight my husband came home by taxi from "a station". Yesterday he went to TOKYO on bisiness trip. It takes 10 minutes by taxi (at midnigt) from the station nearby.
As soon as he opend the door he shouted "give me some money". Why? Didn't he have some pennies? No, it costed really really high! Because he slept over and rode past 1 stop by bullet train. He came back from the next station driving "high way road". Though he could sleep in his bed as usual, it was a really really expensive business trip.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

6 day school week system resumes??

Now it is becoming a big issue to studying deficiency. A five day school week system was phased in about 12 years ago. At that time it was said everybody (teachers and kids) were too busy to have relax time. But for this decade many thing haverapidly changed (or progressed) for example, computer games, cellphones appeared.

Now it is said having more free time makes kids lazy. So some students are busy to attend cram schools, and other students are busy playing computer games. Apparently the difference of studying is getting bigger.So some education authorities voiced to resume 6 day-school week.

I'm not sure whether it resums or not. But it might be one way to eliminate the problem. Now rich people is able to let their kids attend cram schools, but poor people can't do it. I thought every kid had to have same opportunity to get education.

BUT ---Teachers , who are "workers" will become busy, and "parents" and "kids" have to get up earlier on Saturdays. It must be hard to return to such a busy life. For many family "Saturdays" are really important family days.

Anyway unified preliminary examination for state-run and other public universities is done.this system is not changed for long time. When kids become high school students they have to face to study hard for the examination.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The second meeting of reading English picture books

I was really glad that more than 30 people came to listen to our stories. The audience was from babies to adults, showed wide generation.
Each readers made an elaborate show, though it was not job. Paper dolls appeared, "panel theater" appeared, big books appeared, and books with some devices?? (I'mnot sure what they are called) appeared.
What is "panel theater"? I think it was invented in Japan. Please look at the photo. I made them. The each characters are drawn on the thin clothes and I tell a story using the big white cloth board ,because of static electricity (probably) each character put on or take off freely.
Well, the highlight was a Chinese story by a Chinese lady. China is near our country, and lots of Chinese live here, but we seldom have a chance to hear Chinese. For everybody it was a new experience. It sounded really calm (or her voice seemed to be suitable to the story)
We are going to this meeting 4 times in the rest of year. I wish if some forefingers joined and talked the country's stories by the native language like her.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the later part of this week has started

Today in the morning I'm going to go to a nursery school nearby to read English books to kids. And today's lesson (my job) is going to start from 1 P.M, and end at 9:30 P.M. (though I have a rest for snack time and supper.) Probaly today it would be the buiest day of this week.

I don't like the word of "busy". Correctly I don't like hearing the word of "busy". Because I envy pepople saying "busy". And though it hears strange, I don't like the word of "free", beacuse I'm not good at spending free time well. So probably today it would be a suitable busy day for me.

Well it is difficult to describe my feeling in English. Do these sentences make a sense? Do you understand my feeling?

The book I'm going to read is "five little monkies".

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My mother-in-law has caught a cold

My mother-in-law lives alone in TOKYO. Usually she is really fine though she is about 80. She belongs to verious circles ; dance, singing, sawing, golf, and a volenteer group to help "elder people" ( usually she helps younger people than her.)
She is really active.
BUT once she becomes sick, she gets really depressed.

At night of the day before yesterday I got a call from her in weak voice.
And yesterday I called her: one, two, three, four, five times.
She said when she heard other's voice, she felt fine and tried to eat something.

I understand her feeling.
Yesterday night my elder daughter went to see her with some fruits.
She said her granmo looked very happy and gave her some pocket money.

In this situation we can't live near her yet. BUT it is the time to think about my mother-in-law life.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Chocolatier Erica

Do you like chocolates?
I got it from my English teacher who is from New Zealand.
He really recomemded this Japanese chocolate, and the first lesson of this year he presented it to my family.

At first I didn't know how to eat it. According to him only cut it.
It was the first time to "cut" chocolate by knief to eat. (it's not a chocolate cake, it's a chocolate.)
It was the first surprsied thing.

The next surprised thing was that;
Can you see what the inside is?
It has small marshmallows and walnuts.
I know marshmallows with chocolate, but it was the first time to have the opposite patter; chocolate with marshmallows.

Not too sweet, not too thick, not too heavy, not too plain.

Monday, January 15, 2007

It reaned to a usual life.

Yesterday a shrien near by made a small fire that is called "OTAKIBI". On the day old "OFUDA" (in Shintou, every year they get a lable that is said to protect themselves from evil, from the shrine) is burned. I don't know the reason , probably bad things of the last year were sucked by the label and they were burned to strike them out.
Anyway when I see a small fire I think usual days started.

So I tidied up the New Year ornamnets, and put some ornamnets and books for he Valentine's Day. I have to prepare some chocolates for boy's sutdents and my husband in Fevurary.

Friday, January 12, 2007

1000yen cleaning of ventilator at kitchen

As I always tell you, I don't like cleaning. BUT I don't like something dirty. The end of the last year I cleaned rouhfly in the area where I could see and I could reach without a ladder. So I didn't clean the ventilator. BUT it was till on my mind to have the ventilator cleaned.

The other day I got a call of 1000 yen cleaning.
I accepted the offer.
I thought it might be fraud, or high-pressure sale. So I asked a friend to come to watch the cleaning together.

Yesterday one "boy" came. Actaully he was a 20-year old boy.
As soon as he came home, I thought "our OBASAN(middle aged women) power would overcome him, if he pushed somthig ou us".

He cleaned the ventilator carefully.
And he seemed to be really confuesed with our OBASAN talk.

Finally I had the boy cleaned the ventilator in oil professionally and now it is off my mind.
I'm really happy to see the clean ventilator in my kitchen.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


What are these? They are kind of "potatoes" called "JINENJYO". They grow in the mountain naturally. We don't suceed to cultivate them. So they are expencive. Good JINENMYO is fatter. Yesterday my friend said to me "though my husband found thin JINENJYO, would you like to want them?". Of course my answer is "PLEASE".
Usually we eat grinding JINENJYO raw. But I'm too clumsy, and they are too thin to grind them. So I made TEMPURA of JINENJYO.

When I was cooking, my daughter brought her friend. I asked her if she would try to eat them.
Her answer is "sure". She had never eaten such TENPURA.
We ate them dipping sault.


I think you can't image grinding JINENJYO.
Look at this site.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My class has started.

From the day vore yesterday my husband's job started, from yesterday my daughter's school started, and, from today my class has started.
Yesterday I was tidying up the class room. It took all day long. The end of the last year I actaully cleard up the room, this time I tried to tidy up the materials for lesson. So it took long time.
Now the season when I have to look for (recruit?) new students. I'll insert circulars in newspaper once or twice until March. (My class is a franchise school, so I have to do it.)

If I get an inquire, I invite the kid and parent (usually mother) to my class to addend my free lesson. This time I'll use these picutre books.

What books do you remember when you were babies?
Or if you are English learners, what books do you recomend to read for kids who start to study English?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

travel to HIROSHIMA -3-

I'll introduce other the local foods.
HIROSHIMA is also famous with oyster. So at the hotel the dinner was full of "oyster"; oyster-pot, grilled oyster, baked oyster with cheese, deep fried oyster and oyster-rice.

Oyster season is from Novembenr to March. Durin the summer the typcial local food is congers (similer to eels, but not eels)
We saw congers-CHIKUWA at a fish shop.
Chikuwa is fish paste cooked in a bamboo-like shape. so the kanji of "chiku" is "bamboo".

And typcial sweet is "MOMIJI"-manjyu. Momiji manjyu is maple shaped sweet manjyu, usualy the inside is bean paste, but my youhger daughter doesn't like bean paste very much. And we are tied of usual "momiji" manjyu.
So we eat deep fried momij manjyu, and she chose momiki majyu with custard cream.
Do you like it?

Monday, January 08, 2007

travel to HIROSHIMA -2-

We stayed at MIYAJIMA, which is an small isalnd taking 10 minutes by ship from HIROSHIMA . ITSUKUSHIMA shrine in MIYAJIMA is resistered as a world heritage site.
The shrine has two intereseting faces, At high tide it looks as if it would float. And at low tide we can see the foundations, so we walk to the main gate. ( Can you see the people walking to the gate?)
You know how deep from the left photo.
We arrived there at dusk, so all lanterns were lighted. It was really beautiful, mysterious and solemn. At that time it was at low tide, so wewalked to the main gate and touched it.
In the morning, it was at high tide. It was really beautiful,clear and brilliant.
If you go to MIYAJIMA you should stay there and watch the two faces.
Well, these photos were taken by my younger daughter. During this travel she really enjoyed taking photos.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

travel to HIROSHIMA -1-

We went to HIROSHIMA, which is in the western Japan. In Hiroshima they have a world heritage sight "Atomic Bomb Memorial Dome".

Of course we visited there, but our "aim" of this travle was eating "OKONOMIYAKI of HIROSHIMA". Many people know that "OKONOMIYAKI is a kind of unsweetened vegetable pancake". Actaully OKONOMIYAKI I make is like a pancake.

BUT OKONOMIYAKI of HIROSHIMA is completely different. It is like a Sansandwich with fried noodle and vegetable (mainly cabbage and beansprouts) between thin crepe and thin fried egg. We ate at three OKONIYAKI restaurants, basically they were same but the sauce (kind of worcester sauce) was different. "DELICIOUS!"

Though my husband is almost into "HIROSHIMA OKONOMIYAKI", but unfortunately we don't have such "HIROSMIHA-FU (like) OKONOMIYAKI" restaurants. That's too bad.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year

Last night we came home with all members of my family. Since this summer all the members gathered.
How is your new Year Holidays?
On New Year's Day at my mother-in-law's house her three son's families gathered. (My husband is her second son.) We had "traditional Japanese feast", which is called "OSECHI". Actaully they are not so welcomed by kids except some dishes. But putting dises into "OJYU" is fun, this year this job was kids'.
After that my family went out to buy "FUKUBUKURO".
Though there are various "FUKUBUKURO", of course what we wanted are "women's clothes FUKUBUKURO". Usually my husband doesn't like to go such shopping, but this year he came with us. I think he seemed to enjoy being together.

As soon as we came home we went to KARAOKE. But he didn't go together. Probably he was tired with driving and shopping, and "tired of" being with three ladies (it means , of course, his two daughters and his wife"me")

Now it's 3rd. I'm happy to have dinner together, so I'm doing mother's job hard.
(Well, in the daylight my husband went to tennis, my daughters went to meet friends, and I took a nap lisning to music)

From the day after tomorrow we're going to go to HIROSHIMA, and our "family" winter vacaiton will fihisn.

Now I'm enjoying our "family "winter vacaion.