Do Something Different

28.07.2014 § 1 Comment

I have always pondered why mountain climbers, especially the ones who have regular jobs, climb such high mountains. What is their motivation—besides being interested in the sport—that they will risk their lives for it?

From what I’ve observed, doing something different is one of the best ways to relax and refresh our minds. Sitting in an office five days a week and climbing a snowy mountain are definitely two different things.

I too am doing something different. I am in Tokyo at Waseda University for an intense, three-week Japanese course in this hot, humid summer weather. It would definitely be less of a challenge if I were visiting during the lovely cherry blossom season or in a cool autumn. I was forewarned by a Japanese native: “Tokyo’s summer is disgusting.” But I wasn’t intending to be a tourist anyway; this is exactly the different kind of experience that I was seeking. « Read the rest of this entry »

Manner of Articulation

23.07.2012 § Leave a comment

In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech organs are involved in making a sound.

This morning I needed to look up a few English words while studying Japanese. I was thrilled to learn these new words because they are so rare to me; that always piques my interest. I had come across these terms in Chinese when I was serving the Chinese language school as a volunteer teacher.  Now learning Japanese in English is like killing two birds with one stone: I get to learn both languages. « Read the rest of this entry »

Power of Movies

18.07.2012 § Leave a comment

I was looking up the meaning of “paradigm shift” and came across a website that talks about the history of the phrase. I found it interesting, but it did give a lot of information. In the same search, a YouTube video popped up. Although the content of the movie is a bit different than the scientific definition I was reading about, nonetheless it left an impression on me. The availability of movies like this in digital format is a paradigm shift for how people learn. People who have a sharper visual sense have more options now that movies, instead of only text, are available as learning tools. However, my worry is that the power of language may weaken as a trade-off.

Same Moon

14.12.2011 § Leave a comment

This past summer when I took a Japanese composition class, my Japanese teacher was a Japanese American. She has been supporting a group of psychologists in Tokyo who run a social program to help counsel the Tsunami victims. At the end of the semester, she brought little knick-knacks to the class to fundraise for the program. The money is used to buy “American” candies or toys for the children when they come together.

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (bottom right)

Midwest Japanese Association publication image

Program Event (right side)

« Read the rest of this entry »

Young and Innocent

19.07.2011 § Leave a comment

I took a Japanese course this summer at the Oakton Community College.  The teacher asked me why I wanted to learn Japanese.  I couldn’t really tell her why.  I wanted to do something crazy when I turned 50 but could not find anything crazy enough.  I think learning Japanese can qualify for my wish on my 50th birthday.   « Read the rest of this entry »

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