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!
  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.   Do you like puzzles?  This is a perfect time to put together a 1000 or more piece puzzle, then share your completed puzzle online.
  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.
  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)
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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

Signs of the timesタイトルをクリックしてください

I made two new signs last week.  What do you think?   In English "sign" is either a verb or a noun. Verb form:(動詞) Could you please sign this form? Would you mind signing my t-shirt? Noun form:(名詞) I missed the sign for Starbucks, did you see it? Turn left when you see the Gusto sign. Or, sign is also used as "しるし"。 Signs of the times. 時のしるし。 I hope the Corona Virus is not a sign of things to come.   DON'T ASK, "Can I have your sign please?"  This is wrong.  In English, we would say either; "May I have your autograph (or signature)? or Would you sign this for me . . . .I'm a big fan!" Also, sign is used to ask someone's astrology. 星座。 What's your sign?  I'm a Libra.See the source image When I woke up this morning, I had an email that another school is closing for the Spring semester.  I sure hope this is not a sign of things to come. Let's all keep a safe distance apart, clean hands, and a positive attitude.  We can all get through this together!  Here is a sign!    

Wash your hands and knock out Corona!タイトルをクリックしてください

So, I'm "enjoying" a long vacation, thanks to the Corona virus.  I have cancelled my plans to go to America, and I'm watching way too much T.V. How long will this last?  When will school start?  Will the Olympics open as scheduled?  WHO KNOWS??? A few things we do know are, wash your hands, don't touch your face, social distancing, and STOP HOARDING! Wash you hands.   The CDC has issued the following instructions for hand washing:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIyk_d_XrUQ   A very nice Vietnamese song about Corona:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k520bb6zbcU   Don't touch your face.  The easiest way to get Corona is touching your face after touching something the virus is on, door handles, money, etc.     Social distancing.  This new catchphrase has become widely used as an effective way to slow down Corona.  Try to keep as much distance as possible between you and others, at least 6 feet (two meters).   Stop hoarding!  There is no need to buy too many things.  The supply chain seems to be okay.  Buying too much toilet paper, food, water, makes it harder for those who really need something to find it.  Here are two photos I took in Akita last week: Now for some my sister-in-law sent from America:               Now that is just CRAZY!!! Let's all stay calm, and try to help each other.   I'm sure we can get through it together.  See you soon???


As we come to the end of the school year, many problems are facing the world and Japan.  Corona virus, the Olympics, finance, etc. I posted many phrases on the bulletin board in my classroom to the students who will graduate this year.  I think they are good for all of us to remember at times like this!

  • Good luck!

  • Go for it!

  • Never give up!

  • You can do anything!

  • Fight!

  • You did it!

  • Way to go!

  • Never stop!

  • The future is yours!  Take it!     未来は君のものだ!掴み取れ!)

  • We know what we are, not what we may be.             現在の自分はわかっても未来の自分はわからない。)

So, good luck to Japan, good luck to the graduating students, good luck to those starting new jobs, and good luck to the world.  We need it!

NEW CLASS INFO   新クラスタイトルをクリックしてください

5月より新しい、子どものクラスをはじめます。   毎週水曜日 定員:7名 月謝:4,500円

  • HOP クラス:(1-2年生) 4:00~4:50 (あと2人)
  • STEP クラス:(3-4年生) 5:00~5:50
  • JUMP クラス:(5-6年生)     6:00~6:50
お早目にお申込みを、お願いします。 Thanks to your continuing support, I am happy to announce three new children's classes on Wednesday afternoon.
  • HOP CLASS:          4:00~4:50(2seats open)
  • STEP CLASS: 5:00~5:50
  • JUMP CLASS: 6:00~6:50
Please register early, first come first served.

Death and Taxesタイトルをクリックしてください

As promised last week, here is part 2 of TAXTAXTAXTAXTAXTAX   Tax is used as a verb, a noun and an adjective.  Here are 10 common phrases using TAX.

  1.  Pink tax.  This is not really a tax, but it is the higher prices charged for the same amount of women's items, compared to men's.
  2. Sin tax.  This is the tax on harmful things, such as alcohol and cigarettes.
  3.   Tax and spend.  This is how we describe a government.  He was attacking the tax and spend policies of his opponent.Image result for tax and spend
  4.   Death and taxes.  Something that is certain.  Winter used to be as certain as death and taxes, but not this year.Image result for death and taxes
  5. Tax shelter.  This is a technique used mainly by rich people to avoid paying taxes. President Trump has many tax shelters in Panama.
  6.   Taxing (adjective).  Something or someone that is difficult or strict.  My Junior High English teacher was a very taxing woman!Image result for a taxing woman
  7. No taxation without representation.  This was the rallying cry for the American Revolutionary War.  England was taxing the colonies, but they didn't have any representatives in parliament.Image result for no taxation without representation
  8.  File your taxes.  確定申告をする。We only have two weeks left to file our taxes.  Don't be late!Image result for file your taxes
  9. Tax return. 確定申告書 The forms used to file your taxes.  Have you finished filling in your tax returns?Image result for tax return
  10.   Death Tax.相続税 The final tax! An estate or inheritance tax.
It's time for me to file my taxes.  I think I'll finally go this week.  Wish me luck!


Before my computer crashed last year, I was planning on talking about the new 10% sales tax in my next post.  Unfortunately, my computer was down for three months, and now it's "old news".  Oh well, better late than never right?   On October 1st, the Japanese sales (consumption) tax, went up from 8% to 10%.  I was wondering how this compares to other countries.  Here are  a few to compare.  For a complete list, look here. The highest is, Bhutan, 50%!!! The lowest is, Oman and the USA, 0%!!! (see below). These countries are all the same as Japan, at 10%: Afghanistan Australia Cambodia Comoros Djibouti Haiti Indonesia Japan Laos Malaysia Mongolia Papua New Guinea Paraguay Solomon Islands Somalia South Korea Suriname Vietnam Here are some of the highest countries, at 24-27%: Hungary Croatia Denmark Norway Sweden Finland Greece Iceland While the USA doesn't have a national sales tax, there is a state sales tax that differs from state to state.  Click here to see a complete list. Alaska is 0%. (but there are some local taxes). California is the highest at 7.25%. My home state, Utah is 4.85%, confusing!! What do you think of the new tax?  More on this next week. Today's BGM, 

Taxman The Beatles One, two, three, four, one, two Let me tell you how it will be There's one for you, nineteen for me 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman Should five per cent appear too small Be thankful I don't take it all 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman If you drive a car, I'll tax the street If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman Don't ask me what I want it for (Ah ah, Mr. Wilson) If you don't want to pay some more (Ah ah, Mr. Heath) 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman Now my advice for those who die (taxman!) Declare the pennies on your eyes (taxman!) 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman And you're working for no one but me (taxman!)

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