My Summer Vacation Plan

Summer, Books and Exploration

So, the summer vacation season has come. We feel we can do almost anything in this season. Especially as a teacher, being free from daily classes and coaching club activities or any kinds of disappointing troubles is the biggest attraction of it. That’s the beauty of summer vacation. However, without any kinds of plans, we can go nowhere. Therefore, I’d like to list up the thing that I want to achieve in this summer vacation to make the most of it.

To Read 5 English Books
Teachers in Japan is said to be a busiest teachers in Japan (I’m an exception though), so they sometimes doesn’t seem to have enough time to read books in the daily lives. They are simply overworked, and doing too much outputs to me. However, excuses doesn’t create anything. During summer vacation we don’t need to the classes, so less outputs and more inputs we can do. Moreover, I’m an English teacher who wants to publish an English book someday, so I need to input more English. Actually, it was really difficult thing for me to finish reading a whole book even in Japanese until I became a university student and realize how great the reading habit is. After reading difficult and deep 10 books, I came to realize it, so maybe after reading 10 English books, can I be good at reading English books?

Prioritize Actual Experiences
I used to check the smartphone every 30 minutes or less than 30 minutes to check how many like I’ve got so far and messages (50% chances no messages). Checking after coming home, eating with watching video contents, lying on the bed with smartphone and waking up with alarm of it. Then I realized I have been totally manipulated. Then I thought, I wanted to read more and more actual books which has the true value proved by the history (by the way, what YouTube or Instagram content would still be watched in 2200s future world?). I want the real experiences. Not a virtual one. If I wondered what should I do in free time, I would have chosen watching videos on YouTube lying on my bed, but from now, I will rather choose to move and go or travel somewhere I’ve never been to.

Write a Fiction
This is really shameful confession. I’m always feeling and thinking of writing a fiction. However, I haven’t created even one descent chapter. Hmm… Actually, I’m always thinking like I should do this before writing a story, or I can’t find enough time to tackle with a story or like that. I need to be brave enough to write for now. There was an impressive quote from a really famous Japanese musician “There are people who want to do something, but people who become somebody has already begun doing something”. This is it. No excuse anymore.

Anyway, I hope you will have a great summer vacation!

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

We Should Spend More Time for the Real Experience, Not For Social Media’s Virtual, Free and Cheesy Experience

These days, I really feel something wrong on my usage of social media, or you could say, the relationship between me and my smartphone. Coming back from my workplace with exhausted feeling and lying on the bed without having supper, start watching a video clip whose thumbnail says “You Must Watch This Otherwise…”. Actually these videos are not boring in a way, but you can easily forget the content because you don’t even pay for it, and you are lying on the bed. Since YouTube might recommend you the next video like forever, YouTube videos hack your dream and you realize you fell asleep during watching and the sound of a video still go next to your pillow. Then I think, how awful, meaningless life I have lead these days.

Since it’s almost free to access any contents which seems worthy at the time, at one glance, smartphone is definitely a magic tool human has ever invented. It can be a TV, movie theater, book, newspaper, game, phone of course, radio, calendar, reminder, mail, dictionary, …you name it. So, you can fulfill your satisfaction with 5G speed. However, on another level, can’t we say these are “virtual” experience? We used to enjoy a kind of real experience. We needed to turn on the TV and watched one program with family members, we needed to rent a video from a video shop, we needed to look up a dictionary and found interesting words. However, these experiences has almost gone now. We can’t make a failure, which would be the best part of our experiences and learning.

If you are happy with today’s 5G, IoT kind of environment, that’s just great, so go for it. However, there must be people like me who feels rather uncomfortable for today’s too convenient, less experience situation. We can learn most from stupid and shameful mistakes. When you find yourself checking customer or viewer’s review, it can be said that you lose the opportunity of the real experience because you would never make a big mistake as long as you check the review. I do love review things, but you know, basically our life can be evaluated by any Amazon customer’s reviewers. So why do we always try to avoid making mistakes which is actually the only way for us to make our life really meaningful?

Then, here is my solution. I deleted almost all Social Media apps from my iPhone.

Even a Plane can fly in the screen

I felt I really need to do something for me to lead a meaningful life with real precious experiences. So, My decision is like this. I will spend more time with the real experiences which can be troublesome or a huge mistake. But then, I realize I can get much more healthy and great information for my life. I would not watch Spain’s sightseeing videos, but I would rather try to go to Spain. Instead of watching boring video clips, I would rather read books, travel with my car, and have lunch with my friends and family. That must be the best solution to have a good relation ship with social media or smartphone in this era I think. If you feel the same way, why don’t you try it together? Let’s face our life experiences more that is much much cooler and more interesting than virtual experiences.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

When was the moment you knew you were “grown up”?

Summer’s cloud is sometime shown as a metaphor of growing here in Japan. It expands quickly and the summer is the best season for students shine in each fields. Today’s question is “When was the moment you knew you were ‘grown up’?” Actually, I cannot say anything about this question. I’m still so childish in a way, and so old in a way.

There was a time everything seems new to me. There was a time everything was unknown. I couldn’t imagine how do I feel when I travel in New York, be in a relation ship with a cute girl and walking with drinking a cheap beer can in a foreign country through the night. But, by accumulating these kinds of experiences in my life, I found myself feeling a bit bored against my life. Or, maybe this is because I live in a country side which is totally unlike to Tokyo kinds of place.

I’m afraid of becoming a boring person by growing up. Becoming matured sometimes can work in a negative way. Grown up can mean stopping growing. There are words “developed country” and “developing country”. Perhaps I live in the latter country now, but I sometimes dream if I could live in the atmosphere in a developing country where everyones think tomorrow is the better day like I felt in Vietnam 10 years ago. I want to be grown up someday, but I never want to be grown up in the future.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

Have you ever wished you’d made a different choice?

Hello and I’m 29 years old now, and becoming 30 in this December 23rd. Becoming 30 sounds like becoming a new creature or “evolving” thing in the Pokémon world. However, I still don’t know what kind of person do I want to be or what is my life goal. That’s 30 to me. You are nobody but want to somebody. That’s what 30ish me thinking these days.

A professor whom I really respect once told me that the most students would have realized their calling or ideal life style around 30 years old, then that became a kind of curse to my life. I need to find out what I want to aim by 30 or like that. But, please laugh at me. This is so funny but I still don’t see anything in the coming future.

Have you ever wished you’d made a different choice? My answer is yes and no. I can say that I’m happy living this life. But sometimes, I dream of myself being a totally different kind of protagonist of my life. What if I couldn’t have met my precious friends? What if I was brave enough to go New York and live as a standup comedian. What if I didn’t have a steady job like I have today? What if I became a cafe owner? What if I got married with ex girlfriend? What if I haven’t followed what my parents said to me? What if…

Actually, the process dreaming of my imaginary choices is such a fun thing. I’m feeling so good dreaming of different types of me in the same age to me, and wonder, do I have any kinds of regrets? No I don’t. I can’t say it with 100% of my confidence though. I can say with 75%.

Our life is created by countless choices or decision makings of my or somebody. We maybe are affecting each other everyday. We have no idea when we would die. So, maybe we need to try to change our life during we live, not after dead.

Let’s celebrate every choices more. Our life is full of choices and that makes the life much more interesting or fun to live. As long as not a crime, we can do anything that we want to choose. And for that, thinking about today’s question would be a meaningful one. Please try with your version.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

Friend in need is Friend indeed

I have a wonderful friend who really care about me, my dream and my ideal life. I’m not talking about my girlfriend thing, but true best friend. She comes from Illinois, US to Japan as an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher). Fortunately I and she have been teaching English together for more than a couple of years. We are the same age, so we can share a lot of unique thoughts without any generational gaps. I have never seen a foreigner whom I can talk with more friendly or without any stress.

She is of course a genius and inspirational English teacher, and at the same time, she seems to have great talent to make a wonderful gifts. In the last time of my birthday, she gave me a cool, leather touch black notebook and pen. I thought she gave me this because she was disappointed with me, who is always talking like I want to be a writer or novelist, and haven’t finished writing a decent story. However, the moment I opened several pages of the book, I was so surprised because there was memos inside of the book, the topics for me to write about. There are topics I would never hit upon but wanted to write about somehow. And the first memo was like this.

Tomo’s Idea Notebook Happy Birthmas! (*my birthday is December 23rd)

I hope you enjoy writing in this notebook. I found some writing prompts for you that I thought were interesting. I hope that they inspire ideas for you to write about.

This gift isn’t just a notebook, it’s also an invitation for you to let me check your English any time you want, and a promise that I’ll always support your writing journey! Even when I’m in Sapporo, even when I’m in America (or the moon or wherever there’s wifi)

I believe in you as a writer and I hope you do too. I really enjoy reading what you write, and I can’t wait to buy your book someday!

The first memo inside the notebook

You can’t imagine how happy face did I have at the moment I found the memo, and I realize how am I fortunate. Thank you so so much. I’ve been in lazy for these several months. But from now, let me write about the topics you gave me. Thanks to you, I think I can start to write.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

Rocket Start Type vs. Last Spurt Type

End of the fiscal year makes us really busy and stressed out. There are so many things left to be done. Murderous March is literally killing us in Japan. March is also known for the season of hay fever, so the creativity of Japanese really drop seriously in this season.

We all tend to think like “why should I do this with crying… I should’ve done this much more earlier” in this time. So, how can we change this kind of regrets? There is a “Parkinson’s law”. Let me quote from Wikipedia.

Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”[1] It is sometimes applied to the growth of bureaucracy in an organization, but can be applicable to all forms of work.

In other words, we tend to put off our works as much as we can. When you asked a work and it’s deadline is April 1st, you would try to check if it’s 16:45 or 23:59. Then, you suddenly realize it’s Thursday, you would offer him/her alternative deadline of Friday 23:59. Moreover you could think like he/she cannot check the work on Friday night, so how about April 4th? Or like that.

The most of us, sadly, are such kind of type of people. We don’t want to work hard naturally. A book author once called this kind of people “las spurt type person”. Hmm… maybe so. And he also says, if you really want to be a person who will do things as soon as possible, you should become a “rocket start person”. This is the person who will do a 80% of work immediately and try to do 20% in the rest of time until the real deadline.

Do you want to change? No pain, no gain.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

Spring is a Cruel Season in Japan

Such a beautiful Sakura in this season

Long time no see folks. I can’t even remember when was the last time I posted an article. Somehow, I couldn’t write anything because of my laziness. But, my life was somehow good these days. The season of Spring has finally arrived even in this Hokkaido prefecture. We can feel the warmth of the spring breeze, and bugs look re-enjoying playing outside.

Anyway, Spring is a farewell and welcome season for the Japanese. Maybe because our fiscal and school year begins in April and ends in March. And March is often symbolized by “Sakura (the cherry blossoms)”. So when we see sakura, we have a mainly great possibility of a new start, and slightly a hint of farewell and sadness to say goodbye in this season.

I said goodbye to a very precious colleague today. He was such a great co-worker. He has almost three times as much working experience as I have. His back looked very huge to me. There have been many troubles or problems in my workplace, but thanks to him, I could somehow overcome them.

I shouldn’t write this, but there is certain kind of people I don’t work with due to their ass-hole attitude or character. I really hope I don’t want to be such people who are longed to be relocated as soon as possible by colleagues. But on the other hand, there are people who I don’t want to say goodbye to.

This is Spring, and this is where I am right now. Spring is sometimes cruel to our lives.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

Big Mac calls me

“Big Mac Set” in Japan

Never forget the time when I knew the word “Big Mac” for the first time in my life. I was 9 or 10 years old at that time. The city where I lived was the whole world, and everyday was full of new things and findings. My grandparents were so fine that they even hang me out together. My grandma often scolded me with tiny things (wearing T shirts in a cold day made her mad), but the sizes she cooked was my favorite forever.

The day when I know Big Mac was the day when I went to see a movie with my friend. The name of the movie is gone, but exact that time, he introduced me a story about NBA players. He was so fond of Disney, NBA or such American cultures. So, he said to me, “Have you eaten Big Mac already? NBA players often goes to McDonald’s after their games and try to eat Big Mac with team members. Since I knew it, I’m a huge fan of Big Mac. So, have you tried already?” He asked. I was so naïve then, I had eaten just plain hamburger or double cheeseburger. Then I though, alright, let me try it.

From that day, my life has changed. Big Mac was so delicious that perhaps I have been eating about 400 Big Macs before. I even eat it in the US, UK, South Korea, and Singapore. The truth is that you can enjoy the same taste wherever you are. That is Big Mac aka global Big Mac. I’m still falling love with Big Mac. No matter how you experience stressed out feeling, just take a bite at it, and you can only concentrate on Big Mac. Then, problem solved. Just drink a coke and all you can think of is when you would eat French fries next.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.

A Perfect Timing for Reading Books in My Busy Daily Life

There are so many books to read in my house

Reading books. When you hear this phrase, what would be your reaction? Actually, my reaction was differ from when I was a teenager. I thought reading books or new paper and watching NHK (Japanese kind of BBC) are worst boring thing in my life at that time, and I simply couldn’t believe why adults are enough to be bare with such super boring look things. For instance, each letters in both books and newspapers are shockingly small for me at that time, and any TV program of NHK looked so serious that I unconsciously thought the personalities were AI robots (AI could do better, actually. Then I thought).

Time passes, and people can really change. One of the great meaning of education is sometimes described as this “changing”. Now I really owe my professors who have taught me because thanks to them, I changed so much, and now I can’t imagine the life without reading books (but watching NHK still…) . In my opinion, the first ten books you try to read will the hardest experience in your book life. The way to finish your book seems climbing Mt. Fuji or Everest. But somehow, you bare with reading, reading and reading. At last, when you finish reading 10th or 9th books, you would realize, “I had totally misunderstood about what reading books is!”.

A philosopher once said, “Ultimately, reading books means reading yourself”. And I totally agree with it. By improving your reading skill, your skill to live with clear thoughts or meaning would improve too. You can get words that can describe or explain your confused imagery of your mind. Everyone must be translator in terms of translating your own heart into your mother language. So, yeah, reading books is great. And this is thought to be one of the best my life changing event so far.

Since I was a university student (my major was English Literature), I read a lot from the time (actually not that much though…). However, after becoming a high school teacher, I couldn’t easily find the time to read, and had been frustrated about that. But now I became 29 and I could get the pace of work, the frequency of rearranging my room has much decreased for now. And I could finally find the best timing for reading books in my daily life.

First is after a supper. You feel full stomach and feel dull to wash the dishes, than I put them in the kitchen sink, and put some water in the dish. Then, you can start reading books with satisfaction. Sometimes it lasts for 30 minutes to read, or 2 hours to read.

Second is while talking bath. Soaking half of the body in warm water, and reading with drowsy feelings. My ideal time is for 20 to 30 minutes because you would feel really dizzy at that time.

Third is just before sleeping. With a warm light of your bedside lamp, you can read any books and that would definitely makes you fall asleep within 15 min.

However, sometimes you find yourself so tired in a weekdays and maybe you would have many schedules to do for weekdays. So, for such people like me, the true best timing for reading is Saturday and Sunday. Cancel any schedules and let’s read for all day. You could read 3 books if you really love to read in a day. For somebody, only Saturday and Sunday seems a bit sad and not enough. But, man, the desire for reading would rather decreased if you are free everyday, I think for myself.

Anyway, thank you for reading as usual, and have a great reading life.

Good Japanese Movie: “Dance With Me” One of the Best Yaguchi Movie Ever

When you try to talk about the genre of Japanese movies, the key phrase you would hit upon is maybe “depressing” or “not funny”. This is my personal reaction to most of the Japanese movies though, I assume not a few Japanese would agree with me. As a Japanese, I have seldom met people whose favorite film is a Japanese movie but a Japanese animation or some Hollywood or English movies. Speaking of the film ranking for the best selling so far in Japan, more than half would be Japanese animations, and needless to say, the No. 1 is always the battle of animation movies.

Life seems to be much much funnier if you could dance every day.

However, fortunately, there are some rare directors who can make not depressed but funny for not only Japanese but European and American people. Moreover, the world described in the movie has deep metaphorical meanings or symbolic attitudes, but still, the movie can be thought of as a funny one.

The name of the director is Yaguchi Yasushi. He is famous for his movies of “Water Boys”, “Swing Girls” and “Happy Flight”. He captures the very ordinary funny things we could often see in our daily scenes, so we laugh a lot and can feel sympathy with the characters in the movie. When the Japanese directors try to describe the Japanese society with reality, they would often tend to be very serious and heavy. However, only his movie can overcome such serious and heavy pressure and provide just funny and real Japanese scenes.

His latest film “Dance With Me” is a movie about a typical office worker in her 30s. But, Yaguchi always put something different spice in his movie. Like he described high school boys who try to do synchronized swimming or high school girls who try to play Jazz. In this film, the woman is accidentally hypnotized by a strange hypnotist, and whenever she hears any music, she immediately can’t stop dancing or singing along with the music. It is a bit unreal setting, but you can somehow understand the situation thanks to his comic stunts or lines.

And at last, when you see the ending, you would realize this movie is all about a dream what we should pursue, and how to do so. We sometimes forget how to pursue our dream and even what was our dream. Through this movie, I could totally remember the way we dance with our lives. What a wonderful, and thoughtful movie. In my opinion, the message was pretty close to the masterpiece movie “The Groundhog Day”. If you had a chance to see this movie, I would highly recommend it to you.

Thank you very much for reading. And have a wonderful weekend.

Thank you very much for reading the article. I would prefer your comments or some other topic requests for me to write. Please write a comment or give me an email through contact page.