College Life – Nov. 2019

Hello everyone,

Last week our school had many activities. One of them was a university visit for high school grade one and two students. I think they learned a lot about the schools, but I wonder… do they think much about life outside class? This term one of my writing topics for grade three was about their budget for next year. I got some really good ideas, so please read them and take a look!

This one has a lot of good details, and the last line is really strong! Click on it!

This one is also really good. Private universities and public universities have different costs. Although, when you write, be careful of the difference between a “million” and a “billion” yen 🙂

Have a good week!

Pockey Day ! – Nov. 2019

Good morning everyone. Today is November 11th, and it is Pockey Day in Japan. Why?   Because 11/11 looks like pockey snacks. Honestly, this is just a clever marketing idea by the company. If you can associate a calendar day with your product, then it will get more recognition. Another example is on Mother’s Day in Canada, many many people buy Kentuky Fried Chicken. They have succeeded in linking that event and their product as a way to “give mothers a break from cooking”. Clever, right?

Today I have a quiz for you. If 11/11 is Pockey Day, how about these other dates?

November 11 = Pocky Day!

November 29 =

January 5 =

August 3 =

August 7 =

December 3 =

Hints: Good meat day! One Two Three day! Strawberry day! Banana day! Honey day!

In other countries, November 11th has a much more serious meaning. Why don’t you search for “Remembrance Day” to learn about the Canadian holiday?

A busy Wednesday… – Nov. 2019

Hello everyone,

Today was a busy day at our school. In the morning we had a special mass to remember people who have passed away this year. There are many reasons to have a mass, some of them are happy, and some of them are serious. This was the latter. Students and teachers who wanted to remember someone important to them put flowers at the altar on stage.

During the afternoon in long home room class, junior high school grade one students received the lamp shades they made at Shin-ai junior college before summer. Each student named their piece of art, and they will be displayed in the hall near the M1 classrooms this month. Come take a look!

As for tomorrow and the next day, we have a busy school life.

  • M1: Tests tomorrow and then hiking in Kumanokodo on Friday.
  • M2: Off to Nagasaki for their school trip. Enjoy!
  • M3: Two days of work experience. It is hard, but a good chance.
  • H1 and H2: University visits. I hope you can experience some interesting lessons.
  • H3: Testing. Nose to the grindstone, this is an important time for you. Fight!

Good luck everyone, enjoy and do your best!

Bible Reading – October 2019

Hello everyone,

This week it was my turn to do the bible reading. I chose a passage about how to help people. I hope you can find some inspiration from it.

Good morning. Today’s bible reading is Matthew 9:10-13

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


In this story, Jesus shows us the best way to help people. Of course, it may be more comfortable for him to eat dinner with his friends, but his friends do not need his help. Jesus chooses to eat with the people who need his lessons the most.

Also, by doing so, Jesus is also acting as a role model for others. When people see his example of teaching, they can learn and understand his message.

In this way, at school, challenge yourself to help people who need it most. Of course, it is easy to help your friends. But, helping someone you don’t know might be more important. Do not help people to make yourself feel good, help people who need you the most, even if it makes you feel less comfortable.

If many people do this, they will be role models everyone can follow. We are all responsible for making school a good place for everyone. So, ask yourself, are you a doctor for the healthy, or a doctor for the sick?

Have a good Sunday and holiday Monday!

The Royal Family – October 2019

Hello everyone,

Last time I wrote about the special ceremony on Tuesday. Did you watch it at home? It was “history in the making”, which means an event that will become history is happening in real time.

The announcer on TV said that there were 2000 people at the event. Some of them were world leaders, and some of them were members of other royal families around the world. Take at look at the man in the middle of this picture:

Do you know his name? He is Prince Charles, from England. He is a member of the Royal Family of England. His mother is Queen Elizabeth. She has been queen since 1952, making her longest King or Queen in England’s history. Prince Charles has been waiting a long time to be king. He is 70 years old!

After Prince Charles are his two sons, Prince William and Prince Henry. They have started their own families now. One big problem for them is the media, or paparazzi. These paparazzi follow them everywhere, taking pictures to sell to newspapers and magazines. When William and Henry were boys, their mother Princess Diana was killed in a car accident trying to get away from them.

Today, the Royal Family does not have real political power. It is mostly cultural influence. Canada has a long connection to England because of our shared history. So, if you look at Canada’s money you will see Queen Elizabeth on the coins. One interesting thing is that the older the coin, the younger the picture. New coins have an elderly queen while old coins have a younger queen.


Some people in both England and Canada say that the Royal Family is not a good thing in today’s society. The people of the country pay for their lifestyle. Why should some people be born rich, and never have to worry? Other people say that the history and culture of the Royal Family is important to keep.

What do you think? Come tell me about it. Have a good week!

A new start – October 2019

Hello everyone,

Next week on Tuesday Japan will celebrate a special day. The new emperor, Emperor Naruhito, will have a ceremony to tell the nation and the world that Japan has a new emperor. In English it is called an “enthronement ceremony”.

On this day, many people who have done something bad in the past will receive a “pardon”. This means that the record of their crime will be erased, and they will have a clean slate in the future. This will help them when they want to get a new job, or make other big decisions in their life. The newspaper recently said that about 500,000 people be affected.

So as Japan begins a new chapter, and people in Japan recieve pardons, it is a good chance for us to think about what changes we can make to ourselves in this new era. Enjoy the holiday!

A Bench Adventure – October 2019

Hello everyone!

Today is the second day of mid-term tests, and it is a beautiful day outside. I hope you do your best this morning. Remember when you are studying to take a 5-10 minute break every hour to rest your eyes and stretch your body. Teachers too! When you are marking tests at your desk, take a break to refresh.

Last week we had our sports day at Big Whale stadium. I arrived early to help park the bicycles and saw something interesting. There was a new type of bench in front of the arena. And… there was some interesting English on it:

First of all, the katakana use of “adventure”+”bench” is super funny. Nice job. But secondly, look at that English! It sounds like someone is telling the bench itself not to sleep! Of course it should read “A bench you can’t sit on.”

As you take your tests, make sure you take the time to double check your answers when you finish. That way you don’t make a careless mistake like the adventure bench here. Good luck!

Sports Festival – 2019

Hello everyone,

Today is a rainy day as the typhoon moves between Korea and Japan. Let’s hope that it does not cause too much damage wherever it goes.

Ready to run!

We are lucky that the typhoon was not here two days ago, because we had our sports day at Big Whale on Tuesday! The first student arrived at 6:57 in the morning! So, I know everyone was excited.

Pass to baton!

Congratulations to the green team for winning the cheering contest, and good job H3H! They won the class relay against H2H and H1H. The seniors were victorious!

Finishing our day.

Everyone had a good day, and now it is time to get ready for mid term tests. Good luck with your studies.

Wakayama City English Recitation Contest – 2019

Hello everyone,

This past Saturday, two third-grade junior high school students participated in the 47th Wakayama City English Recitation Contest. Ms. Suyama recited Malala Yousafzai’s famous UN speech about putting education first. Ms. Takeda recited a story called “Fly Away Home”, about a girl leading a flock of geese south for the winter.

Both students practiced hard, so I was happy to see Ms. Takeda get second place in the contest! Ms. Suyama also did well, and was awarded a special prize from the Wakayama Lion’s Club.

Congratulations both of you! First and Second grade students, do your best for next year!

A helping hand – September 2019

Last week, one of my grade 1 junior high school students came to me with tears in her eyes. “Mr. Allen” she said, “I don’t know where my school bag is!” “Did you forget it at home?” I asked. “No, I lost it on my way to school.”

This problem happens once in a while, but most often it is the case where a student forgets their bag on the train or on the bus. A quick phone call to the station usually solves the problem right away. Unfortunately, I knew this girl came to school by bicycle. The strap that held her bag on the back rack had snapped, and that meant her bag was somewhere on the ground between her house and school. Worst of all, her bento box was inside! Lunch is important!

But, to be honest, I was not too worried. She was worried of course, because nobody wants to start their day with a problem like this, but I knew everything would be ok. That is because many of our students ride to school on the same road at the same time of day. Also, because the students at our school would definately stop and pick it up. That is the kind of students we have.

Sure enough, 10 minutes later, I got a call that another student had found the bag, picked it up, and had left it in the school office. Feeling relieved, we went to get the bag and the name of the student who found it. My student went off to say thank you, and I went to the teachers room for the morning meeting. Another day of school was ready to begin.