Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Creating Links

Today's class is about writing/editing code, specifically we will add links to our blog that allow us to access other peoples blog. Writing code is not necessarily easy, but it is very doable for this class, and should take about an hour, giving us some time to work on our other assignment as well. You just have to pay attention, follow instructions AND ask questions if you need help. You will need to access your email, download and open the word document I have sent you AND have two browser windows open: one on this post and one on your blog's template page. Ready? Let's begin by checking your email, saving the document I sent, opening it, the getting signed into your blog.

Today's Events:

Adding a link to our class Blog
Adding other blog links.
TODAY's GRADED ASSIGNMENT/QUIZ: Adding additional, useful Links.
For additional practice

Once you have finished all of this, I would like you to post a short comment to this assignment, and let me know any questions or problems you had today so I can make this lesson better and more valuable.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Assignment for Monday

Hello, I don't know how many of you are checking this blog, but in case you are, I just wanted to clarify the assignment for Monday which is to read those three tales and write a short paragraph of desciption about each of them. At the end of this assignment, you should have three paragraphs (¶ ), each will most likely be shorter than 8 sentences. Your summary will be typed, double-spaced. Below I will explain a bit more in detail; summary as a skill, what makes for good summary; and what is meant by short.

Summary writing is an exercise to get students able to quickly report the main ideas of a text, to look for and quickly mention the gist (the central idea/ideas) in your own words. Summary is not a list of copied sentences from the text, it is a writing that condenses the main ideas of the text into short, compact units which usually means you have to write it yourself. There is room for borrowing well-written or well-worded ideas from the text in your writing, but you should mostly aim to use your own words. Summary is a condensed version of the original, you need not add your thoughts or interpretations, nor do you need to mention every action or occurence in the story -- you need to only mention the most important stuff, but what is the most 'important stuff?' That is what you have to decide. Think of a well-known story, like "Momotaro" how would you summarize this story in a few sentences? If you mention every action and every character, it will take too long to write. If you don't give enough details, it will be rather meaningless.
  • An old man and old woman with no children found a baby inside a peach who they raised as their own son.
  • 'Peach Boy' grew up very strong and brave.
  • One day he heard of a group of evil ogres threatening people and he decided to do something about it so he traveled to their base.
  • On the way, he made friends with a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant who all agreed to help Momotaro defeat the ogres.
  • Momotaro & his friends fought the ogres in their lair and beat them.
  • After their victory, Momotaro and his friends found great treasures and riches that the ogres had stolen.
  • The friends took the treasure and the king ogre as a prisoner and returned to Momotaro's home, where he and his parents lived rich and happily ever after.
7 main ideas to re-tell Momotaro. Is this the only way to tell the story? No. It isn't, there is no one right way, but it is a way that meets the assignment goals of being short, concise and touching on the main points of the story. Now with my notes from above, I need to write a paragraph.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to write to me, or better yet, post them here. See you Monday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Wednesday April 20th

So you have to write a post, at least one a week. How will you acomplish this? What will you write about? Here is a good oportunity to brainstorm some writing topics for our group.

A good place to start looking for ideas to write about are your own interests, so you might suggest people write about things you like, enjoy talking with your friends about. Keep in mind these are open journals so you want to focus on topics that you don't mind other people reading.

As a short exercise, and as a way to teach people how to make comments on other people's blogs, I want you to try and come up with a list of as many topics as you can think of in the next 10 minutes. Once we are finished, we will take a look at the posts. We should have quite a list to work with.

A couple things to keep in mind:
  1. Although we only have 16 weeks in the semester, you don't have to stop your list once you think of 16 topics. I mean one post a week is the minimum requirement.
  2. This list is to help you think of many ideas, not restrict your ideas and topics. You don't have to write about the topics we have brainstormed. You can write about anything: you can use another person's idea, or if something during the week gets you excited, write about that instead.
  3. Feel free to ask questions during the brainstorm posting.

Monday, April 18, 2005


There are a lot of terms and words you need to understand and be able to use in order to discuss literature, indeed to discuss most subjects at the University level. As such, I strongly encourage you to keep a vocab list of the new words you encounter in class and to ask questions or for definintions of these words when I use them. Please stop me in the lecture, ask for definitions look up the words outsiide of class. It is important for your education. As I mentioned in class, I will periodically ask to see your list of words so don't lose them.

In our first couple classes you have been subjected to many lectures with what I assume is many new terms. Are you all okay with these words and terms? Are you comforable and able to use them? I hope so, but if you want help on these words and terms, you might try posting your questions here. What words are you not clear about? When you post your vocab, I expect you to make an attempt to guess or try to define the term on your own as well. It lets others see your thoughts and know where you are coming from, your base of knowledge that they have to work with, it helps make the definition more useful and focused.
good luck!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Wednesday April 13th Class

So I have been reading the emails you all have sent me and instead of answering each and every question individually, I figured it would be helpful to list them here and take a whack at them all as a group. Your questions are in red, my answers are in black.

How old is your daughter?
As of today (wednesday) she is 16months old. Her name is Naomi which is one of the only names common in both Japanese and Western societies. I figured it was a good name since she was born here.
If I am late for the class because of train accidents, will it be tardiness?
Hmmmm.... No that sounds like a good excuse: if you are in a train accident I won't mark you tardy, but please try to contact me as soon as possible to let me know you are alive!
Why did you decide to teach English in Japan?
Why did you decide to teach English in Japan? What was the prompt?Why did you come to Japan?
I am from Seattle and there is a lot of contact between that city and Japan: many of the students in high school were san-sei, my grand parents had hosted many Japanese exchange students, food, culture, arts, etc. I guess I was interested in Japan. And it didn't hurt that your country pays a lot more for teaching than most other countries in Asia.
How was our class's first impression?? If you were not a teacher, what do you want to be??
My first impression was good: you seemed to be a happy enthusiastic class. If not a teacher? hmmmm.... Well I wanted to be a Vetrinanrian waaaaaaay back when I was first entering University, and I wanted to be an Anthropologist for a while as well.
Please tell me what is the most atrractive point of your country.
Where to begin, there is so much that is attractive about the US! First of all is the diversity: it has everything in terms of people and natural settings. I guess that to me is the most attractive aspect of the US: its large size makes for a very diverse and varied place, which means that your expereinces there can be so very very different depending on where you are and the people you meet.
Please tell me what is good point of studying abrord.
Its a great experience that helps you mature as a person. Studying abroad exposes you to new cultures and new peoples and if you approach it with an open attitude, you will learn a lot, grow as a person and probably meet some very interesting new people. Studying abroad is not simply fun though, it can also be challenging, but I think challenge is good for people. In short, if you approach it with an open mind, and see it as a learning esperience, then it can be a wonderful, if sometimes challenging expereince.
Are there any other thing to do when I send Email to you except to sign my name at the bottom? Don't I have to write in MLA style in Email?
I don't know if there is an MLA-style for email and if there is, i am not going to make us learn it. Still there are a couple things i would like you to do and this is an important question (so I hope everyone is reading this). The most important thing to remember is to use the subject line. For emails you send to me, I want you to being them with IES-H and then you can write whatever else you want. This IES-H in the subject line will help me track your emails better, and allow me to answer them quickly. If you don't add IES-H to the subject line, I might not respond or even find your email for a while.
Are we going to do presentation in this class?
I think so, yes.
When you sudy foreign language, what skill do you improve for communicating at first? And what do you do for improving your speaking skill of foreign language?
Must we write blog everyday?
Nope, at a [i]minimum[/i], you must post to your blog once a week, but i hope you will want to do more (and students who want to improve their english skills will certainly do more). I hope that once you start blogging you will find you actually enjoy this sort of homework, and will want to write more on your own blog and on other student's blogs too.
Additionally, along with your own blog, I will sometimes ask you to respond to questions I place on my blog as well. These questions will be related to assignments in class and answering them should help you prepare for our class.
Why did you decide to be a teacher?
A: There is an old addage "those who can't do teach" and beleive me, I thought it was true for a while in high school, but when i got to college, I found people who enjoyed their work and made it fun and interesting to think and discuss. I enjoyed school and enjoyed thinking and discussing things and helping new students learn to
Finally, I want to ask you how many times do we have to
write essays?
Uh, I don't really know, to tell the truth. To me an essay is a long, finished writing, somethign you would turn in and have graded on grammar [i]and[/i] content. We won't have a lot of long, finished writings, but we will have quite a few shorter writings where i ask you to write a page or two and grade you mostly on ideas. If I had to guess, I'd say probably 2-3 'essays'
You said you have been in Japan for five years. What is the most favorite city in Japan?
Beffore moving to Hirakata-shi, I have lived in very 'country' cities of Japan; Aomori and Kanazawa. I liked both of them a lot, I especially liked Aomori in the winter because I love to snowboard, but Aomori is so small and far from stuff and my internet access there was TERRIBLE! I liked Kanazawa a lot as well -- they had all the seasons especially the rainy one and the food was very good, but again it felt very far from everything. I like Hirakata since it is close to Osaka and Kyoto, but here the food is SO expensive and it is TOO HOT in the summer and NO SNOW in the winter. So I like all the places I have lived, but haven't yet found a perfect one. Favorite city? Sapporo or Sendai.
What is traditional food in our hometown?
Seafood, coffee, apples and beer are all foods and drinks that Seattle is known for.
Where do you like Japan?
I enjoy visiting the big cities of Japan and the mountains too. My favorite places in Japan have to be Shiritoko-hanto, (NE tip of Hokaido) Mt Hakoda (Aomori Ken) and Fushimi-Inari (Kyoto). There is also this yakitori place in Kanazawa called Kagadaiko which we named 'the home of the dancing cockroach' and that too is one of my favorite places.
Why phone mail is not good? I don't have real one so I have to come
far school to send E-mail. It is un convenient for me. I have cell
phone always so I want to communicate with you with my cell phone.
I am sorry that using real email is inconvienient, but you still have to do it. I know that sounds mean, but I don't have another solution. I do know that students take less than 10 koma a week and that means there are at least another 5 koma (that is 7-1/2 hours) during the weekdays (not including Saturday) where the school is open and you are not in class. My suggestion is that you find time in those hours to visit the computer labs. The problem with cell phones is first they don't allow for really long messages, I can't send text file attachments, and you dont improve your typing skills ( a very very useful skill) when you are typing with only your thumb. No, I am sorry: cell phone email just doesn't work.
I want to see your blog. How do I have to do to see your blog?
Well you are here now, so this is how you do it!
Have you ever taken part in class party?
Class party? No, I don't think I have done that. Maybe if you tell me more about it; what it is, what you do, and the other details I will understand this 'class party' thing better.
Do you have a good way to improve my listening skill?
Yes I do! I call it 'get involved in conversations.' the best way to improve your listening skills is to use them. put yourself in a situation where you have to use the skills and they will improve.

whew, that was a long post and now my fingers need a break. See you soon!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

hello Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

there is a very good reason i have never created a blog in the past, the blank page is always so daunting. oh sure if someone is talking, i like to spice up the conversation with comments and thougths, but just typing into cyberspace, these important thoughts, weighty comments that start a thread, that seems a bit more challenging, and i guess without a bit of coffee, i am simply not up for it. oh well. we shall see if things change as we move forward.