Friday, 29 September 2017

A musically inspired postcard

Dear Jim,

Hi, I'm in China now. I'm writing this postcard on a beach with a beautiful red sky on my back.

My holiday started in Thailand. I met traditional people and they show me a dance. their clothes were beautiful too. After that I rode a long boat through the villages. It made me calm & I could feel the nature.

Next day, I flew to Beijing, China. At night, people were singing & dancing in the city!! I was shocked. I saw kung-fu too. I learned a little bit, but it was too difficult for me. There were a lot of children, and their movement was amazing and so cool! You should do it some time.

The day after, I drove around beijing and the other big cities. The food was delicious and the people were so kind.

The guide man told me that there is a famous alien museum in Beijing, so I'll go there after I finish writing this.

I couldn't have enough time time to go more, but this trip was fantastic! I want to come here again and you should definitely come.

See you.


Written under FCE-style time pressure, after hearing 6 short instrumental/vocal chunks of music & challenged to draw what came to mind immediately. Writing from the picture announced afterwards, otherwise it instruct the free-range of ideas. Inspiration chunks courtesy of Bjork/Anoushka, The Reverand Black Grape, Mark Knopfler, Clannad, Carolina Chocolate Drops, - and if I could access my own iTunes library on my home PC I'd tell you the other one! Tomoro has never been to China or Thailand, except in my classroom!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

My favorite photo - Mount Jonen Spectre

My favorite photo is of a Broken Spectre. I took the photo in the summer of 2016 when I was climbing Mt. Jonen.

A Brocken spectre is a very
rare and beautiful phenomenon. The phenomenon can be see when the sunlight comes from someone's back and the shadow is projected to a cloud or fog in the mountains. In the phenomenon, you can see the shadow of yourself and the shadow is surrounded by a circular rainbow. In the past, German people believed that the shadow is of a spectre.

In the morning, we watched the sunrise on the top of Mt. Jonen. While we were going down to the mountain lodge, we saw the Broken Spectre by good fortune.

I keep the photo on my tablet and on my portable HDDs.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Postcard from a wino, France

I'm sure both you gentlemen will agree with these honourable sentiments!!

Weather crap.

Wine good and plentiful which is why I am looking so good (see pic)!!

Alors buvons


Tuesday, 26 September 2017

My Culture Shock in Paris

When I was 18, I stayed in Paris with my friend for a few days.  One day, while we rode in a metro, suddenly a man was getting on our carriage and started playing music with his accordion.  His performance was so skillfully.  Though we were surprised at that scene, the local passengers didn’t seem to be surprised.  After the performance, he asked for some tips around them before he got off the carriage.  During stayed in Paris, we met that types of metro musicians several times.  I had never seen the situations in Japan.  From that experience, I decided to hold some Euro coins in my pocket wherever I go in Paris.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Postcard from Moscow

Hi Jim,

Here are pics as promised.

Sorry I have not visited any touristy places and I doubt that will have time to... .
Anyway, this is indian summer in Moscow: the best season here.

Best wishes,


Friday, 22 September 2017

Luna's Open Week

A flipped classroom this month with Jim and Damian coming under the microscope for a change. Luna was open for eager parents, sleepy siblings and any other family members who were curious enough to sit in in classes or watch via webcam in the waiting room.

Quizzing mum
Luna holds an annual 'Open Week' to give an opportunity for busy parents to have a peek, see what goes on in our classrooms and sit down and have a good old chat with the teacher. A full-on week (for students, parents and the Luna team!) where our younger learners show that they are CAN DO students and are using English as an effective communicative tool in the classroom. Of course not everything goes perfectly swimmingly or according to plan, but we did get through the week with minimal tears, tantrums and mishaps. More importantly, however,  there were smiles all round and plenty of fun was had! Even mums and dad feeling the pressure when thier kids are asking them questions in English!!

Big smiles!
A few parents did express their concerns over the lack of exposure or opportunities to use English at home, so for some mums and dads it was an eye-opening experience to see their children really enjoying themselves and being right in the thick of it in an English speaking environment. We do put an emphasis on what our learners can do, and strive for our students to build their confidence and feel comfortable taking on challenging tasks. I'm sure returning mums and dads can vouch for us when I say there has been progresss in their children's linguistical ability, self-confidence and social skills.

We do have a few ideas on the backburner to further improve our Open Weeks in the future. The parking congestion we suffer definitely needs sorting, especially since many over our classes overlap so we have 2 sets of parents in a rather tight space. We're also looking at spreading out the Open Week into an observation period. It can be extremely draining for teachers when they have to be on their A-game class after class after
consecutive class for an entire week. Extending our Open Week to 2 weeks would take the pressure off a bit and allow us to take a breath and collect ourselves in between our observed classes.

Janken race in full flow
A huge thank you for each and every one of you who came to view your children, nieces/ nephews etc. We appreciate all of your feedback, which allows us to change and adapt to provide a better education for our learners. Also don't forget to thank Yukari for all of her hard work she was involved in leading up to and during the observations. See you all next September, but hopefully sooner!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A teen prefers not to have a mobile phone!

Almost everybody has a mobile phone. But is it a great invention? 

I think there are both advantages & disadvantages.

The first advantage is that we can keep in contact with friends easily. It is small enough to put into pockets, so we can call people from anywhere. Secondly, it is helpful in emergency or trouble. The alarm tells us about missiles & earthquakes immediately. Thirdly, there are many other uses. For example, you can take a photo, listen to music or see a map.

On the other hand, there are also disadvantages. For example, using a mobile phone too much kills conversation, as people avoid talking face-to-face. Also, personal information might be shared a lot, putting you or your family in danger.

In conclusion, although having a mobile phone has some advantages. I think it is better not to have one. We should try not to use them all the time, and talk to each other.

Posted for Tomoro

Monday, 18 September 2017


Ohagi is one the Japanese traditional sweets. It is a sticky rice ball covered by red bean paste. Red bean paste is made from Azuki, which is believed to be to shut unhappiness away. In Higan, an important opportunity to appreciate our ancestors, people visit their family graves and hold a memorial service by offering flowers, incense and Ohagi. Nowadays, people enjoy Ohagi all year round.

How to make
Rice 1cup
Glutinous rice 1cup
Water 1and a half cup
Sugar 3tbs
Boiled Azuki 400g
Roasted soybean flour 30g
Sugar 3tbs

1, Wash the rice and Glutinous rice. Mix them in a bowl and soak in the water over 30min. Steam them.
2, Put Boiled Azuki in a pot, and mash them. Put it over a fire, knead them.
3,Put steam rice and sugar in a bowl, and smash them. After cool down, make 12 rice bolls.
4, Cover 6 rice bolls with Azuki bean paste and 6 rice bolls with mixed Roasted soybean flour.

My grand mother used to makes Ohagi for me. To be honest Ohagi is not my cup of tea, however my grand mother hand made Ohagi was really lovely sweets for me.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cambridge First lads succeed at Luna - Can Do!

Congratulations from Damian
A proud Wednesday evening recently as Damian and Jim were both able to hand over Cambridge First (FCE) certificates to successful students, who have worked very hard to achieve this very credible benchmark. 

FCE is not the kind of exam you can just stroll along to and get lucky with; you need to prepare carefully and understand the nature of the tasks required of you. Listening is not a matter of connecting the dots or remembering a telephone number...the writing paper is seriously hard & comes with considerable time pressure - an essay? a report? an article? Reading requires mental dexterity, a sound grasp of unfamiliar vocabulary, and ability to process quickly without panicking/getting bogged down. There's a lot of heavy duty grammar to control as well.

Damian & Jim both know these two lads can cope with the speaking part of the test...both of them could talk the hind leg off a donkey!

And a well done from Jim

Postcard from... Helsinki (Viking country!)

Dear Jim-sensei,

I'm in Helsinki waiting for my flight to Berlin.

When I read "Viking Tales" I didn't imagine I could have a chance to come to Northern Europe.

Everything is very cute and I hope I can spend more time when on my next trip.