Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Father Christmas finds Luna kids early!


Contrary to the previous blog posting, Santa (aka Father Christmas) does know where Luna's children like to hang out!

He found us just down the lane at the local kominkan - we can't fit everybody who wants to party with us into the school! Over 60 children and 28 mums & dads?!

With so many party-goers this year, we had to rotate people through four static activities. Marty had drawn a lovely Rudolph sadly missing his nose, which blindfolded rescuers tried to glue back in the right place. Ski gloves make that hard! Damian was multiplying snowmen in the crafty corner. Naomi had again produced a couple of amazing winterscapes for everyone to colour in as a mozaic, and Jim had competitive Christmas colour & paste ladder races for all ages. Everyone was a winner!

Boulangerie Ciel catered for us this year - we have outgrown the abilities of MosBurger to feed us, and Mac ran out of potatoes (can you believe?) when we needed them last time. So, healthy & local option win - win!

Santa found us after a speedy clean up; everyone sat on his knee & posed for photos (iPhones everywhere) before taking a present home.

The Big 2015 Xmas Party Recognise anyone? Please share on twitter, like us on Luna's Facebook page, download pics from Flickr...and tell your friends!

Most of our classes are already full for 2016 - hurry hurry folks!

None of this happened without Yukari's awesome organising skills...thank you xxx

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas in Japan

In class this week, my junior high school class was reading about Christmas for teens in the UK, in their Mary Glasgow magazine "Crown". We decided to compare our own answers, and this is what we found.

Do you like Christmas?

  • Yuta: No, because Santa Claus doesn't come to my house. Maybe I'm a bad boy?
  • Karen: No, because I don't get any Christmas presents.
  • Jim: No, because I don't like working until the very last minute and not having time to buy nice presents or prepare my home.
Did you get what you wanted last Christmas?
  • Yuta: No, I didn't. I wanted a Fender guitar.
  • Karen: No, I didn't. I wanted money.
  • Jim: No, I didn't. I got socks instead of books about cricket in Afghanistan & the West Indies.
What did you do last Christmas Day?
  • Yuta: I went to school, as usual. My teacher gave me some chocolate.
  • Karen: I went to school.
  • Jim: I skyped my brother's family in Australia & talked to my mum. After that, I started cooking with a glass of wine.
What did you eat last Christmas?
  • Yuta: I ate fried chicken (my mum cooked it) at home, with my parents. I didn't have Christmas pudding because I did not know what it is. I'd like to try it this year.
  • Karen: I ate chicken & Christmas cake at home with my family.
  • Jim: We ate a traditional Christmas dinner that I cooked - roast turkey & vegetables, gravy, as well as other things my wife's family brought (pizza, salad, cake...) and of course we drank champagne & wine. I ate too much!
How about this year?
  • Yuta: I want a new basketball, to play with my friends at school - no holiday.
  • Karen: I want a polaroid camera. School is off for Christmas this year. I don't know why!
  • Jim: I don't want socks. I want a gadget to turn my old analog stereo amplifier & speakers into bluetooth receivers. I hope my children do not get toy guns/swords/anything noisy!
Only one of us has a tree in the house (we have a big one outside the school)!

We'd like to know about how you celebrate Christmas.
 If you don't, what do you do instead?

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Overcoming challenges - Hirotada Ototake

Write about someone you know who looks 'different', and the challenges they had to overcome.

When I read the above sentence, I recalled Mr. Hirotada Ototake. He is a writer and a commentator. He is a person born without legs and arms and uses an automatic wheelchair to move around.

His most famous book is Gotai Fumanzoku (No one's Perfect – English title) that was published in 1998 and his experiences as the physically challenged are positively described. In the book, he says that “Handicap is inconvenient, but not unhappy”. He considers that his handicap is one of his personalities. When I read the book, I was surprised and moved by his positive message and life style.

After his graduation from Waseda University, he entered Meisei University to get elementary school teacher’s license and worked for a school. He also became an educational board member in Tokyo.

He got married in 2001 and has three children. When the first child was born, he took paternity leave. In the meantime, he is a member of rock band “Cowperking” and vocalist.

He entered a graduate school in April 2015 to study social issues. I expect he plays an important role in various fields regardless handicap.

An after reading task from Anne of Green Gables

Monday, 14 December 2015

Postcard from: Hawaii, USA

Hello, Jim-sensei

I enjoy Honeymoon with my husband in Hawaii!

It is the first time to visit Hawaii, but I love it.

We went to hy's Steak House last night. He was so excited to see and eat T-bone steak as he loves steak.

We don't want to go back to Japan!


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Amelia Earhart - after reading

Welcome back to the States, Amelia

Amelia Earhart was invited to the White House and received a big welcome by the thousands of people last night.

She just made the world record. She became the first woman who flew across the Atlantic. This is really brilliant record and everyone must admit she is a brave woman. Last year, Charles Lindberg did the solo flight from the States to Paris in France. Just one year later, Amelia proved the woman could fly across the Atlantic as Lindberg did.

Amelia joined the project as one of pilot. She flew together with Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gordon. The team left the States by the plane named Friendship and arrived at Burry Port of Wales. It was over 20 hours of flight. The weather was very bad. The plane had to go through the heavy storm and thick fog. They finally arrived in Wales though their original goal was Ireland.

After she arrived in Wales, one of reporter asked how her flight was. She replied, it was the challenging flight but the brave pilot, Stultz did a great job and managed to have a safe flight across the Atlantic. She also said she would like to make a solo flight across the Atlantic in the near future.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Multicultural London - a personal report

A London AEC Routemaster, RML 2473 on route 7 ...
I used the bus to go to the museum
I lived in London for four years about 5 years ago. There I felt that London is a very generous city. It accepts the immigrants from other counties.

The school I used to go to was called "Old Oak". There were students from more than 30 different counties, including me from Japan. We looked different, we had different colored skins, we had a variety of religions, but we had no discrimination. There was respect between each other. When I started to go to the school I couldn't speak English, but a lot of students took me to the play ground and taught me how to play football. I couldn't understand what they are saying, but I was very happy with their politeness.

 My best friends were from Afghanistan, Sudan, London and Morocco. People living in my street were from America, China, Sudan, Ghana and Iraq. I ate lots of different kinds of food, learnt about a lot of different cultures and religions.

English: John Perryn Primary School, East Acto...
John Perryn Primary School, East Acton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I think it will be a difficult thing in Japan to welcome immigrants who can't speak Japanese because the Japanese are shy, skeptical and conservative. In this way, I think Japan should imitate London's multiculturalism. Japan would be a more interesting and exciting place.

By Takuro

Monday, 7 December 2015

Remember remember, the menu of November

I realize we are already into December, but due to a bi-monthly class I haven't been able to share this work until now. With many festivities and celebrations occurring over the months of November and December, there has been a running theme where we have touched on Halloween, Guy Fawkes Day, Christmas to name but a few.
Japanese people tend to be big on food, so I was expecting great things from my class when I asked them to design a night time menu to go along with while watching fireworks on Bonfire Night. Definitely beats a jacket potato or a greasy burger!

Yoko's selection

Reiko's hearty menu

Misuzu' has her priorities right, hot wine only!

Misako's comfort food

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Postcard from Chicago, Illinois

Hi Jim-sensei

I am leaving for Japan tomorrow.

This time I had two full-day meeting and it was very productive one.

I hope I can work closely with my customer for future product developments


Love among the Haystacks - after reading

Under the stars. Write about a night when you slept outdoors

The elementary school that I went had an event to go for camping when I was fourth and fifth grade.
I was excited to go for camping because didn’t have a chance with my family. We stayed lodge when we were fourth grade, but we actually built tent when we were fifth grade.

Nowadays, tent might be light and easy to build. Back then, tent was thick heavy sheet, especially, the rental tent was nothing fancy green tent, but I was so excited to build it with my friends.

The tent seemed that it’s not big when I saw it from outside. However, I was moved when I went into the tent. My group was four people, and it was big enough to chat and sleep for us. The fifth grade camping was held in June. The sad thing is that the day was cloudy. In the night, gentle rain started.

Because of rain, I couldn’t hear much sound of frogs or birds. I only heard the sound of rain drop and river stream far away. I slept soon for that I worked hard that day to do activity, so it was not the problem anyway. The rain finished in the morning, and little bit foggy. It was magical atmosphere in the forest.

While I write this essay, I remember the joyful camp. Someday, I hope to have a chance to go for camp!