Nagasaki Presentations – Oct. 2021

Hello everyone.

Wow, the weather has really cooled down this week. Jackets are on at school, and soon the leaves will start decorating the sidewalk in front of our school. It also means that the time for our school trip is near. Last year my class could not go to Nagasaki because of covid-19, but this year it is ok. So, in homeroom time, we have been studying about Nagasaki. On Monday we made group presentations and shared our knowledge with each other. Now we can all go together and enjoy! We leave in two weeks, so I hope we can be safe and healthy before we depart. Take care of yourself!

  • Allen

Bible Talk – Oct. 2021

Hello everyone,

Sorry that I am late to post Saturday’s bible talk. It was a crazy busy day! I hope you understood my message and can practice it in your daily life at school. Here it is:

Good morning, today’s reading is Hebrews 10, 23-25

23   Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.

Last time I spoke to you I talked about three words that could mean “一緒に”: together, cooperation, and unity. Today I want to add one more work to this list: fellowship.

When I was a boy in Vancouver I went to church every Sunday. Of course, I listened to the sermon in church, as well as the Sunday school lessons taught in the children’s center. But, my favorite time was the tea and coffee hour at the end. It was my chance to meet church friends that went to different schools, and also meet my parent’s friends and grandparent’s friends. We all met on Sundays to share the message of God. Fellowship.

During these days of covid-19, meeting together has been difficult. We are told to “stay apart” and “stay home”. However, we shouldn’t forget the importance of fellowship. Like the bible says, when we are together we can “encourage each other”, and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds”. Right now, school is probably the best place to practice this. I hope all of you take the chance you have everyday, to fill our school with good deeds, and to fill our friends’ hearts full of love.

Why is it called October? – Oct. 2021

Hello everyone,

Your mid-term tests are finished and now we have started October. In two weeks we have sports day, go red team! (That is my color this year…)

Have you every wondered why the months in English have names? After all, in Japanese they are just numbers, one-two-three-four-five-etc. Actually, the names for the months come from Roman times. That means October has been called October for more than 2000 years!

But, if October is the 10th month, why is it called October? Shouldn’t it be the 8th
month? An octopus has 8 legs and an octagon has 8 sides. Well, 2000 years ago, the Romans only had 10 months, and October was the 8th. Over time, two more months were added, and October changed position (but kept the name).

December has the same story. Decimus meant “10th” to the Romans. That one is easy to remember because “deca” words mean ten. A decade is ten years and a decathlon is an event with ten sports.

Other months are named for gods, such as June (for Juno, the queen of the gods) and March (for Mars, the god of war… and also the red planet in the sky).

The history of words is very interesting, and useful when you study a new
language. You never know when the topic will appear!

Have a good week,

Allen.

Passports – Sept. 2021

Hello everyone,

It has been a busy couple weeks here as we get ready for mid-term tests. Teachers are making tests and students are studying hard afterschool. Next week we have two days, a refresh day on Wednesday, and then two more days after that. Good luck and do your best!

Today a friend of mine came to school because he needed my help. His three sons were getting their Canadian passports, and he needed me to sign as a witness. That reminded me to check my family’s passports too.

My family members all have Japanese passports, and they look nice, but I think that Canadian passports are some of the best in the world. Every page has a different design, with a story about some Canadian culture or history. But, once you put the pages under a UV light, the passports are AMAZING. Check it out:

This is my favorite page. It features Terry Fox, one of the most famous people in Canada. I taught you about Terry Fox in your M2 English lessons.

These are the parliment buildings in Canada. On July 1st, Canada Day, there are fireworks there.

There are many other pages and interesting picture. Search for them if you are interested. Do Japanese passports have any secrets inside? If so, please tell me about them. Have a good week, good luck on your tests!

9/11 – Sept. 2021

Hello everyone.

For every generation, there are days and events that are “turning points” in life. For many people in Japan, the Hanshin earthquake in 1995 or the Tohoku tsunami in 2011 are major events. For people my age in Canada and America, the terror attacks on Spetember 11th, 2001 is an event we will never forget.

I was living in Canada at the time, studying at university. On September 11th we had just started a new school year. I remember that I was in the cafeteria buying breakfast when the cook told me that something had happened in New York. All the students that came to school watched the events on TV that day. Nobody went to class.

9/11 actually involved 4 airplanes. Two hit the World Trade Center in New York, one hit the Pentagon building, and one more crashed in a field because the passengers, who learned of the first three planes, fought the terrorists. Their heroic actions saved lives.

All other airplanes flying to America had to land somewhere else. Many of those planes came to Canada. The tiny town of Gander, population 12,000, accepted 38 planes and almost 7,000 passengers and crew. People opened their homes to strangers in need. It is now a famous story of friendship between Canada and America.

After 9/11, America went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Only recently did they leave Afghanistan, making the 20 year war the longest in America’s history. A whole generation of children in both countries have never known peace. The image of muslims around the world was damaged by these events, leading to prejudice and fear.

Even though it was 20 years ago, every 9/11 I wake up thinking about that day. I probably will for the rest of my life. For you, it is something from your history book. Today, covid-19 is the defining event of your generation. You will remember pre-covid and post-covid, how things were before, and how they were after. Hopefully if we all work together, it is something that your children will only read about in their history books.

May the peace of the lord be with you.

Curling … in summer? – Sept. 2021

Hello everyone,

The topic in our M3 conversation book this week is “Sports”. In the reading section, it mentions curling, which was the sport I played when I was in high school.

Most of my students don’t really know how to play curling, or what the rules are. So, I thought this was a good chance to teach them a new sport while using English. First we watched a short video about the rules. Second, we watched some professional curling shots. Third, I gave them a little quiz about how to count points. For example…But, all of that doesn’t matter if we can’t play. Unfortunately, there are no curling rinks near our school. With a little imagination, some paper, tape, and some poker chips, we managed to find a good solution.
It is fun to learn new English, and it is easier to remember if you use it in action. Have a good week!

Term 2, Start! – Sept. 2021

Hello everyone,

It has been a long time since I last wrote on this page. I thought of some different topics but it was difficult to find some good news. In Japan we had wild summer weather, more rain than I have ever seen in August. On the other side of the world, there was no rain at all and fires were a big problem. Amidst all that, covid continues to cause problems everywhere and seems impossible to slow down.

So, with the start of the new term, it is important to refresh ourselves. There are many good things that are happening right in front of us that we should take the time to enjoy. Reconnect with your friends, do your best on a test, and take on a new challenge for fall. If we have success in our own lives, we are more optomistic and able to help the world at large.

Have a good week,

Allen

An Early Morning Visitor – Aug. 2021

Hello everyone,

Summer vacation has started! I hope that you can relax and refresh during this time. Of course, some of you are still coming to school to study, do homework, take extra lessons, or meet with your club. Do your best!

I am here a few times this month as well to open the online English room afterschool. I also have a long “to-do” list of jobs I couldn’t finish during the first term. Also, the gym is free in the morning and I enjoy shooting some baskets and listening to music to start the day.

The other morning I arrived at work early and found that someone else was even earlier than I was…

This little guy was inside the school checking things out! I got him on a piece of newspaper and put him outside where he belongs, but later that morning I found another crab inside. Was it the same one? Was it a brother? Why are all these crabs so far from the ocean? Can we give him a name?

Anyway, enjoy your summer and see you in a few weeks.

The Olympics have started! – July 2021

Hello everyone,

This week we have parent-teacher meetings for three days, and then closing ceremony on Thursday. Hopefully you can use these three days to start your summer homework. The earlier you finish, the more time you have to relax!

The other thing you can do on these hot summer days is watch the Olympics on television. These Olympics have been controversial because of the corona virus, but now that they are happening I think we should support the athletes who have worked so hard.

Last night I enjoyed watching the judo competition. I don’t know much about judo, but the announcers were so excited because Japan’s althetes were doing so well. At the end of the day, I was amazed to see that a brother and sister, Uta Abe and her brother Hifumi, both win gold medals on the same night. Can you imagine how happy that family is today?

Hopefully there will be more positive stories to come from these games. Of course, there are negative points that need to be talked about too, but balancing both of these things should be our goal. Have a good week,

Allen

Hifumi with the pin.
Uta, after winning gold.
Brother and sister together at the end.

Long and Short vowels – July 2021

Hello everyone,

The term is almost finished, and we only have two more days of classes left. This week in my M1 class, we talked about long and short vowel sounds.

Unlike Japanese, which only has five vowel sounds, English has 20! So we took some time to practice some of the long vowel sounds that you see on the left, and the short vowel sounds you see on the right. How did we practice? By playing karuta of course.

After I said the card color, I said the vowel sound. Students had to be the fastest to get the card, and then hold it up for me to check. After we finished our karuta game we had 5 minutes left. So, what did we do?

We made card towers of course!

The next two days are holidays, Ocean Day and Sports Day. You can watch the start of the Olympics if you like. See you on Saturday!