STRESS / RELAX!!!タイトルをクリックしてください

July was full of stress for me, how about you?  I had a speech to give at the end of the month, so I spent most of the time worrying, not preparing.  Also, I was worried about the resurgence of Covid 19 throughout Japan and the world, add to that some family issues.  It made for a very stressful month.  I finally finished the speech on the 25th, and my classes are on Summer schedule now, I can finally RELAX! Here are a few phrases about stress.

  1. I'm at the end of my rope!Idioms for Kids - At the End of My Rope - Free Printable Classroom ...

  2. I'm at my wits end.wit's end - YouTube

  3. I'm coming apart at the seams.to come apart at the seams

  4. I've had a lot on my plate recently.Have a lot on your plate" means "to have a lot of things to do ...

  5. I've been tearing my hair out.Tearing My Hair Out! – Fountain's Thoughts

Last Saturday, I was able to get out to Oga for the first time this season.  It was HARD, but really relaxing and refreshing.  Here are a few pictures. So, here are 5 phrases about relaxing.
  1. I was tired, so I just chilled out on Sunday.Chill Out Music - DIGLE(ディグル)

  2. Why don't you let your hair down.LET YOUR HAIR DOWN! | Toluna

  3. No Kanto Festival this year, so I'll just take it easy.Take it easy! | アニマルネットワークのブログ

  4. I'm going to need some time to unwind after July.Relax Soak Unwing Bathroom Motivational Poster. Vector Vintage ...

  5. Put your feet up and take a break.New study: Does putting your feet up = power?

I hope you all have some time to relax, and enjoy a stress free August.  On that note, I will be taking a break (again) from my "Mark's Phrase"  updates.   I'll be back in September, I promise!

The Good Points of Akitaタイトルをクリックしてください

I was asked to give a speech to the 秋田英語ボランティアガイド「よくきたんすなの」 on Saturday.  The title is, "The Good points of Akita from the eyes of a foreigner".  I've been looking through my old photos, searching my memory, and asking my students what they think the good points of Akita are. Actually, this week, I think the best point of Akita is that we have no new Covid 19 cases.  These days I feel like I may never want to leave Akita again. I've been living in Akita for 35 years now, much longer than I lived in America, so it's hard for me to look at Akita with fresh eyes to see the good points.  Sometimes I guess I focus too much on the bad points, like anyone does in their hometown.  I'm glad I have this chance to think again about the positive aspects of Akita. Here are some pictures I've found from my history in Akita. The first photo I took in Akita is a little shocking.  I was living in a small apartment in Izumi, and there was a house fire on the day I arrived.  This is my first photo: But it got better after that.  Old Akita Station Ekimae My first Azaleas in Senshu Park And of course, the best thing about Akita for me. Akita has changed so much, but I haven't changed a bit! When my family visited for the first time, I wanted to show them the best parts of Akita, and here are a few of the places we visited.  Senshu Park Suishinen Wisteria blossoms Amasagi Yuen  Kanto Museum But as usual, the best part of Akita is the people.  I had a barbecue party at my house and my family had a great time meeting my friends. Do you remember Swiss Mura? My first family camp in the wilds. Swimming at the beach with my first child. and at Oga for my first time. Akita was so nice, we decided to build a house and stay. And finally, a few random memories: Kawarage Jigoku camping Hawaii?  . . . no, Noshiro, Enajium Park Natsuze Onsen, Dakigaeri Keikoku Migaeri Waterfall Akata no Daibutsu Senshu Park Wisteria A sad goodbye to my daughter Now she lives in Kyoto. Climbing Mt. Chokai with some students. Climbing Mt Taihei alone. The kindness of strangers, the goodness of Akita People . . . it's a long story, ask me someday. Kawarage Jigoku in Autumn Minato Festival And finally, a beautiful sunset taken from my car window on my drive back from Honjo.  I drove their once or twice a week for 30 years, and finally stopped last March. There are so many more memories, that I could go on forever, but I hope this gives you a little positive outlook during these dark days of Corona.  There are so many places we can "GO TO" in Akita, no need to leave.


Adding a Live Online Class to Your Course - Faculty Focus | Higher ... I'm sorry for missing all of June.  I was finally busy again.  Almost all of my classes returned to "new normal".  On top of that, I was feeling a little down about the return of Corona, President Trump's dishonesty, and the racial problems in America.  I celebrated the 4th of July last Saturday with very mixed emotions.  I hope the coming year will be better for America and the world. On the bright side, my beautiful niece was married today in Texas.  I have missed most of my nephew and niece's weddings because I live so far away, but this time I was able to attend online.  Since none of the family in America could attend either, they decided to have an online wedding. Many things have moved to online these days.  Many teachers and students are doing online classes.  There are online drinking parties, online business meetings, the list is endless.  Have you changed to anything online?  I tried a few lessons online, but it was difficult to really connect with my students. With the upsurge of Corona in Tokyo, I'm a little worried that I may have to return to online classes again.  Let's continue wearing masks, and try to keep Corona out of Akita!

Animals (part 2) 三頭、四羽、子猿、子象、群れタイトルをクリックしてください

So, today is my second and final post on animal words.  Let's start.

  1.   One fish,  two fish,  a baby fish is called a fry (かわいそう), and a group of fish is called a school.Physics - Fluid Interactions Help Fish in a School Swim Faster
  2.   One octopus, two octopuses, a baby octopus is called a hatchling, and a group of octopuses is called a consortium.
  3. One alligator, two alligators, a baby alligator is called a hatchling, and a group of alligators is called a congregation. (とてもへん).Congregation of American Alligators (Alligator mississippi… | Flickr
  4.   One bear, two bears, a baby bear is called a cub, and a group of bears is called a sloth, or a sleuth.Get Bear Smart – Black Bears | The Winton Foundation for the ...
  5.   One cheetah, two cheetahs, a baby cheetah is called a cub and group of cheetahs is called a coalition.Fast Five" Cheetah Coalition take down a Wildebeest - YouTube
  6.   One elephant, two elephants, a baby elephant is called a calf and a group of elephants is called a parade!A Parade of Elephants | tjfeeley9 | Flickr
  7.  One kangaroo, two kangaroos (or roos), a baby kangaroo is called a joey and a group of kangaroos is called a mob.10 Interesting Kangaroo Facts (With images) | Kangaroo facts ...
  8.   One giraffe, two giraffes, a baby giraffe is called a calf and a group of giraffes is called a tower (of course).  A tower of giraffes - Jim Zuckerman Photography
  9.   One ape, two apes, a baby ape is called an infant, and a group of apes is called a shrewdness.  (strange).Ten of the best collective nouns | Books | The Guardian
  10.   Okay, 11 is not actually an animal, but it was interesting and I have been fighting them this week in my garden!!  One caterpillar, two caterpillars, a baby caterpillar is called a larvae, and a group of caterpillars is called an ARMY!  That's right!  That's how I feel.
Army worms retreat: no invasion in 2016 | Duluth News Tribune Today's song The Unicorn Song - The Irish Rovers A long time ago when the earth was green And there was more kinds of animals than you've ever seen They'd run around free while the earth was being born But the loveliest of them all was the Unicorn There were green alligators and long necked geese Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born The loveliest of all was the Unicorn Now God seen some sinning and it gave Him pain And He says "Stand back, I'm going to make it rain." He says "Hey brother Noah, I'll tell you what to do Build me a floating zoo. And take some of them... Green alligators and long necked geese Some humpty-back camels and some chimpanzees Some cats and rats and elephants, but sure as you're born Don't you forget My Unicorn." Old Noah was there to answer the call He finished up making the ark just as the rain started fallin He marched in the animals two by two And he called out as they went through, "Hey Lord, I got your..." Green alligators and long necked geese Some humpy-back camels and some chimpanzees Some cats and rats and elephants, but Lord I'm so forlorn I just can't see no Unicorn."    

Animals 一匹、二匹、子猫、子犬、群れタイトルをクリックしてください

I want to completely forget about Corona Virus for awhile, so today, I will focus on animals.  It seems basic, but there are some interesting word differences related to animals.  Today we will learn 10 of them. In Japanese, 一匹、二匹、子猫、子犬、群れ。  English is a little more difficult.

  1.  One cat, 2 cats, a baby cat is called a kitten. and a group of cats is called a clowder.Cats crowd the harbour on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan - Thomas Peter/Reuters Stuffed Animals, Bebe Logo, Group Of Cats, Cat City, Cute Animal Pictures, Cat Drawing, Japan, Beautiful Cats, Animal Rescue Shelters
  2.  One lion, 2 lions, a baby lion is a cub, and a group of lions is called a pride. Pride of Lions Kills 5 Poachers in Sneak Attack - A pride of lions killed five poachers who were illegally hunting within the Zimbabwe National Park. Wildlife Photography, Animal Photography, Lion Facts, Africa Destinations, Sneak Attack, Lion Pride, Trophy Hunting, Most Visited, Animal Rights
  3.  One dog, two dogs, a baby dog is a puppy and a group of dogs is a pack. There were a total of 11 dogs living on the property where the attack took place
  4.   One goose, two geese, a baby goose is a gosling and a group of geese is a gaggle.Amazon | A Gaggle of Geese (English Edition) [Kindle edition] by ...
  5. One crow, two crows, a baby crow is a chick and a group of crows is a murder.Crows are among the most intelligent birds and even mourn their dead
  6. One monkey, two monkeys, a baby monkey is an infant, and a group of monkeys is a troop.Spy Monkey Mistaken for Dead Baby and Mourned by Troop (FULL CLIP ...
  7.  One cobra, two cobras, a baby cobra is a hatchling and a group of cobras is a quiver.A quiver of Cobras | National geographic, Animals, Interesting animals
  8.   One cow, two cows, a baby cow is a calf and a group of cows is a herd.Herd of Cows and Sheep Grazing in the Meadow, by Kokhanchikov ...
  9.  One whale, two whales, a baby whale is a calf and a group of whales is a pod.We need to understand the culture of whales so we can save them
  10.  One chicken, two chickens, a baby chicken is a chick, and a group of chickens is a brood.Cooking Funda: Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) : Just Delicious
Sorry my mistake!! Here is the correct picture.There are so many different terms for chickens--juvenile, cockerel ... I want to try a few more next week.  If you have any specific questions, please ask me. Today's BGM, At The Zoo, by Simon & Garfunkel Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo I do believe it I do believe it's true It's a light and tumble journey From the East Side to the park Just a fine and fancy ramble To the zoo But you can take the crosstown bus If it's raining or it's cold And the animals will love it if you do If you do, now Somethin' tells me it's all happening at the zoo I do believe it I do believe it's true The monkeys stand for honesty Giraffes are insincere And the elephants are kindly but they're dumb Orangutans are skeptical Of changes in their cages And the zookeeper is very fond of rum Zebras are reactionaries Antelopes are missionaries Pigeons plot in secrecy And hamsters turn on frequently What a gas, you gotta come and see At the zoo At the zoo At the zoo At the zoo At the zoo At the zoo At the zoo At the zoo Writer/s: PAUL SIMON  


体験レッスン、見学もZOOMでどうぞ。 How are you all doing?  I've been thinking about how to move ahead with my classes in this "new normal".  Today I will test out ZOOM for online lessons with my children's class. Starting Monday (May 11th), I will resume the normal schedule in the classroom, BUT, I will also offer a ZOOM connection if you want to join online.  The choice is yours. You can download ZOOM here. If you want to join by ZOOM, please email me and I will send you an invitation and password for the class. It's really easy.  Give it a try.

10 things to do.タイトルをクリックしてください

How are you all doing?  Are you staying at home?  I am, and I only go out for grocery shopping or long walks. So how do you spend your time at home?  Here are 10 ideas of things to do while you STAY AT HOME.

  1.   Try a new (original) recipe.  Something you've always wanted to try, or, using ingredients you have at home, make something new!30 Recipes From The Past That Show How Everything Has Evolved ...
  2.   Have an online drinking party.  This is a new fad in Japan.  I haven't tried it yet, but I want to soon.3密とは無縁! 巷で流行!【Zoom飲み会】みんなやってみて ...
  3.   Do you like puzzles?  This is a perfect time to put together a 1000 or more piece puzzle, then share your completed puzzle online.Amazon.com: SUNSOUT INC The Big Boy 1000 pc Jigsaw Puzzle: Toys ...
  4. Visit a famous museum . . . online.  There are many virtual tours available for museums around the world.  Google Arts & Culture can help you get started.E-Tickets for Louvre, Paris | Tiqets
  5.   Everyone has a few books that they've "always meant to read".  This is the perfect time.  It's now or never.  I've finally started reading Hemingway for the first time in my life.  Right now, I'm on my second book, "The Sun Also Rises".(日はまた昇る)  I just finished "The Old Man and the Sea".(老人と海)Amazon | The Old Man And The Sea (English Edition) [Kindle edition ...
  6. Write some actual letters.  I used to write many letters every week, but that all stopped with email.  I think a letter is much more thoughtful than email.  This is your chance to renew a fading habit.Letter Writing Day (1st September) | Days Of The Year
  7.   Pull out and play some of your old favorite games.  I love Monopoly, Risk, and Rummikub.  I think there is a lot more conversation with analog games than video games.Amazon | Rummikub | ドミノ | おもちゃ
  8.   Go through your closet.   Now you have time to hold each piece of clothing and ask yourself, "does this spark joy?"  (KonMari) Then throw it out or donate it.  2nd street takes old clothes and donates them to needy countries.Konmari method of cleaning clutter | Konmari, Declutter your home ...
  9.  Organize your pictures.  I don't know about you, but I have boxes of old pictures upstairs that I have to put in albums.  Also, since I got a smart phone, I have too many pictures of nothing, that I don't need.  It's a good time to organize and delete all the photos you don't need.How to organize your pictures In Google Photos | The Burn-In
  10.   STUDY ENGLISH.  There are many online resources and APPS that can help you study at home.  How about 15 minutes or a half hour a day?
If you have some good ideas, please send them to me through my homepage.  I will put up some more next week. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVXR2LYeFBI

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