You're off to great places, my friends. Some of you are graduating school this year and I know you are all too excited to start living your lives. I was once a student and I still am. We all are. Maybe some of you are having fun at your jobs or not? But still, you're off to a great adventure. Just keep learning. 11 years ago, I graduated high school. Four years after, I graduated university. Not long after that, I took my master's degree. I can say that high school had some of the best years of my life. I met my true friends and had a great time. I joined the singing club, hung out with my friends and of course, tried my best to study. I was not good at studying when I was in high school, especially in math. Oh no! Not at all. I remember the time when one of my teachers told me I'm not good enough, that I'm not bright and intelligent. I cried really hard. I went home and began doubting myself and my knowledge. Well, I guess, maybe he's right? WRONG. Definitely wrong! I am good enough. So, from that day, I promised myself that I would never doubt my skills. Let me be honest, life is challenging, the next few years may be equally or more challenging. There will be people doubting you. It may be your boss, your teachers, or even your family and friends. However, you have to survive. Make the most of the time you have. Get out there, learn and make wonderful memories.When I left home 3 years back to work here in Japan, I wasn't sure what I would get in return. I was excited but at the same time a little scared of the new reality. Then, I met all of you here.Words cannot describe how grateful I am to have found such an amazing group of people. Some of you witnessed my journey from the beginning, and others have found their way to me in time. However, it feels like I’ve known all of you my entire life. I know I have found a rare blessing. As a teacher, I encourage all of you to continue learning and training whether it is related to your jobs, your majors, your homework or just on your own. Pursue your goals at their highest level.The pandemic may change our paths but it shouldn’t change your goals. Never give up. Don't forget to take a moment to say thanks to the people around you- your mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles and friends. Although you might not hear it often, on behalf of your teachers, friends and family, let me say “I’m so proud of you.” You’re reading at a better level and you can speak with confidence you didn’t possess at the start of the year. You all are creative and smart in many different ways, so please promise me that - no matter how cliché this sounds - you will never doubt yourselves. Lastly, thank you for sharing this experience with me. Thank you for your positive attitudes and your open minds. I hope you take all your adventures with you. Wherever you go and whatever you do, leave a mark.You’ve already altered my life in amazing ways. I am forever grateful. Thank you for letting me be your teacher. All my love,Erika エリカ
“The secret ingredient is always love.” Some people consider cooking a chore, while others (like me!) consider it a wonderfully relaxing pastime. I'm not a professional chef, but absolutely love cooking. What I love most about cooking is the ability to be creative. It allows experimentation with different spices, cuisines, and techniques. It also gives you the opportunity to learn about different cultures and cuisines, which can be fascinating. Cooking your own food gives you a sense of satisfaction - knowing that you are able to provide for yourself and cook something amazing at the same time. I truly believe that anyone can cook, and it can be fun! Especially in the times we are in now, being able to look in your pantry and create something out of what you have is just an incredibly satisfying feeling. There are so many reasons why I love to cook, but mostly, for the pure joy of discovering new foods and flavor combinations. Once I started a practice of cooking every day, I discovered how home cooking helps me de-stress because it feels meditative to chop vegetables and prepare ingredients. It feels amazing to connect with tangible things and evoked my 5 senses through cooking.Most people are intimidated by cooking because they think that it takes a lot of time, or they require fancy equipment or chef-level skills. This is NOT the case at all! While I love watching cooking shows or cooking videos, I rarely cook anything that requires expensive or mysterious ingredients or can be found only at specialty stores. I like to encourage people to get into cooking by focusing on simple recipes that are easy to execute, but also delicious. Weather recreating a childhood favorite or copying a simple restaurant meal, most recipes are easier to make than you might think.Finally, I would probably emphasize the fact that cooking is not just about following recipes. Sure, recipes are a great way to learn, but once you've got the basics down, you can get creative and have even more fun with food. Also, one important way to encourage more people to get into cooking is to remind them that it can be simple, fun, and quick. It doesn't have to be an intense cooking marathon every day.“Real cooking is more about following your heart than following recipes.”Here are some of my go-to dishes:Kimbap - Kimbap or Gimbap is a Korean seaweed rice roll filled with a variety of delicious fillings. Kim is dried sheets of seaweed, and bap means rice. This is very easy to make.Bibimbap - Bibimbap simply translates to “mixed rice with meat and assorted vegetables“. You can make endless variations to this dish depending on your preference.Kimchi Fried Rice - Kimchi-bokkeum-bap is a Korean dish made basically with kimchi and leftover rice. Since Korean homes almost always have these two staples, kimchi fried rice is a favorite go-to meal whenever there seems to be nothing to eat at home.Nabe - Nabe, which literally means "hot pot" in Japanese, is a classic winter food in Japan. It's typically a stew where ingredients like meat, fish, and vegetables boiled together, but there are many different versions of this delicacy.Shrimp Sinigang - Sinigang is marked as Filipino comfort food. It rouses the senses because of the sourness and slight spice. Ingesting the long peppers can make the body sweat which helps it to cool, especially during a humid day.Chicken Afritada- Afritada is a Philippine dish consisting of chicken, beef, or pork braised in tomato sauce with carrots, potatoes, and red and green bell peppers. It is served on white rice and is a common everyday Filipino meal.Garlic Butter Shrimp -This is a quick and easy garlic butter shrimp. It is more of a Filipino version because this makes use of shrimp with the heads and tails on.Glass Noodle Salad -Yum Woon Sen is a popular dish both inside and outside of Thailand. The combination of ingredients and seasonings make this dish delicious.Written by: Katherine Tan “KATHY
Japan has always been a dream to many people from foreign countries. Every time you say something about it, you’ll easily get everyone’s attention. Aside from being famous because of anime, Japan also has many places and beautiful destinations that you can visit. One of the best destination that I love in Japan is Nagano!Nagano is a prefecture in Japan located in the center of the country. If you love hiking, sightseeing, hot-springs and skiing, Nagano is the perfect place for you to visit!Mount Kaikoma (甲斐駒ヶ岳)I took this photo during my first Hike in Komagane. I never thought that hiking could be fun until I went to Mount Kaikoma. It was such an amazing experience.Mount Kaikoma (甲斐駒ヶ岳)Minnowa Sunflower GardenThese photos were taken during our summer vacation in Minnowa, Nagano. It was really crowded during that time, so we waited 30 minutes just to get a nice photo. Luckily, we were able to get a nice shot. That’s me and my bestfriend trying to make a heart shape, LOL. Every summer we have this tradition where we explore and visit places in Nagano together. Kirigamine, Suwa-shiIf you love skiing and snowboarding, I highly recommend Kirigame Family Slope. Aside from the entrance fee being cheap, the staff is also very accommodating. You’ll never regret going to this place.Karuizawa Shiraito FallsIfyou are also into nature, this is a must visit waterfall in Karuizawa. Shiraito Falls is one of the most famous falls in Nagano. It is known for its natural beauty. My family and I went here for the first time last year before going to the outlet store.These are some of the reasons why I love Japan! The places, the activities and the people are truly amazing. I still have more photos and places to show, but I’ll save them for next time.Have a Great Day!
What`s up everyone! Bernie here.I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year`s eve! I hope this year brings lots of blessings for you and your loved ones.Today I write this post about a very cool place that I would like to recommend as a travel destination, because we all want to travel once the madness happening around the world finally settles down, right? Let`s hope that happens soon, though!The place I want to talk to you about is a city in Mexico called Guadalajara, the 2nd biggest city in the country and home to countless attractions and historical monuments, museums, galleries and so on.It is located in the state of Jalisco and it is a main hub for business, cultural exchange, gastronomy and the music and entertainment industry.Guadalajara has a perfect balance between tradition and technology, always with beautiful aesthetics. It is actually divided into 2 smaller districts. On one side you will find Guadalajara where the traditional old school Mexican type of buildings and infrastructure are located, with old cathedrals, shops and restaurants where you can try authentic Mexican food known from the region like Tortas Ahogadas or Birria, as well as experiencing the Mariachi music and drinking Tequila.On the other side of the city, you will find the Zapopan district, where the towers and skyscrapers in which all of the business and the fancy nightlife lounges and shopping districts are located.An interesting thing about the city is that the weather is perfect during most of the year, with the exception of a short, rainy season. However, no matter where you go, there is green, the streets are full of trees and there are lots of parks everywhere. You will also find a very relaxed and youthful atmosphere, a lot of people doing art and live music performances in the streets, and lots of commuting with bikes, scooters, skateboards or even in-line skates..An important place to go is Chapultepec avenue, located in the downtown area. It is a neighborhood where you will find a countless number of restaurants, coffee shops and bars. During the day it is calm, but during the nighttime it is always very lively, even during weekdays. It is a perfect place to go bar or coffee shop hopping.If you ever have the chance to travel to Mexico, I definitely recommend this place along with Mexico City, if what you are looking for is getting the full Mexican experience.I look forward to seeing everyone at school and please stay safe! Peace!Written by: Bernardo Valdez
Tis the holiday season, and with it comes cheery music, colorful decorations, and a warm feeling all around. Here at Linnies, that holiday feeling has already started filling the air. From the beginning of the month, we starting decorating in preparation of Christmas. For Example, at the front of our Yanaze location, students can see a number of fun Christmas related things, including vocabulary and fun facts about Santa’s reindeer. Which one is your favorite?In the classrooms, we encourage our students to write their Christmas wish on an ornament and hang it up on the wall, in the hopes that their wish will be fulfilled come Christmas day. As my favorite holiday, there are many things I look forward to this time of year. Music is a big part, with some of my personal favorites being “Silver Bells” and “In the Bleak Midwinter”. Holiday food is also a plus, with roast ham, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce among others items making for quite the feast! Holiday films can add a fun escape from reality this time of year. I enjoy “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Christmas Vacation”. However you choose to spend the holiday season, I hope it is safe, and filled with cheer.From all of us here at Linnies, 'Happy Holidays!'.Written by: Josh Wojcik
The Halloween season has always been a most-awaited holiday for me ever since I was little. Every year, my family and friends would spend months planning the creation of our costumes. Unfortunately, the pandemic has put halts and bumps into those plans. Halloween definitely looked different this year, however. While the Halloween activities we’re used to were on hold, all was not lost. Of course, we didn't want to miss out on giving a fun Halloween celebration to our students! There are many ways to do fun Halloween things (including trick-or-treating) in a safe way. Following all the protocols for COVID-19, we made sure to do this for our party last October 25th! Here are some safe and fun activities we did for our own Halloween party this year: DESIGN-YOUR-OWN HALLOWEEN MASKHalloween is the best time of the year for pretend play, so we made sure to do some cute and spooky Halloween masks for the party! Students could choose their favorite masks and come up with their own ideas to complete their outfits. Each child had his/her own set of supplies already separated so it was easy to hand out crafts, and provide example crafts on every table. MYSTERY BOX CHALLENGE: HALLOWEEN EDITION Halloween Mystery Box Challenge is a twist on the classic game in which we asked the students to stick their hands into our halloween box to see if they could determine what random object we placed inside. We had placed a wig, hair net, perler beads, and slime inside our Halloween box, which made our students excited and anxious at the same time. You can see their reactions in these photos! MONSTER BALL Not only was this game inexpensive, easy to set up, and fun to do, students also had the chance to work on other skills! I think all of us were excited to take our turns! It was even more fun because we made it into a Halloween- themed ball game! DRESS THE TEACHERPaper dolls is a classic activity and one that is fun every time! So, for this year's Halloween party, we decided to make our own paper dolls using Linnies' teachers' faces printed cut outs. Students got to decide what Halloween costume they wanted for their very own Linnies Halloween paper dolls! They got very creative and these are the results: THE CLASSIC TRICK-OR-TREATNo matter what our Halloween party looked like this year, there was always a way to do the traditional trick-or treat! The students had to line up and individually say “trick-or-treat!” at the end of the party. Everyone received a bag of delicious candies and snacks! Every Halloween season goes quickly, but this year in particular seemed to FLY really fast. However you celebrated, we hope you had a fun and enjoyable Halloween this year! One horror-rific day from Linnies! written by: Erika Dumas
Hi everyone! How are you? Hope you are doing good.It’s November, time really flies so fast. This year, 2020 is a very challenging year for all of us. A lot of things happened that affected us directly or indirectly. To name on is covid-19 or mostly known as the corona virus, which became a pandemic. For eleven months now, I think many people kind of accepted the new normal (wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands frequently/hand sanitizing etc.). Even the government is encouraging its citizens to help build the economy through the “Go to Travel” campaign, allowing residents to travel freely with proper caution.After almost a year of staying home, I finally decided to take the opportunity to travel locally. I went to Disneyland and was surprised with the volume of people who came, even though it was a regular day. I witnessed the new normal being performed by everybody, as well as the rides being frequently sanitized for safety reasons.By the way, they have new attractions in Disney, but it’s limited only to customers who won the lottery and unfortunately, I was not one of them. Anyway, I really enjoyed it. It was a blast.P.S.: We are still fighting the virus and waiting for vaccines, and a lot of people are working together to find the cure. So for the meantime, let’s not lose hope, and maintain the new norms. Together, we can overcome this.P.P.S.: It’s getting cold, stay warm.written by Jannet Oshima
Ever wonder what a Pop! figure is and what is interesting about them? Let me tell you all about them. Funko POP are vinyl figures that based their styles on the Japanese concept of “chibi” (characters with an exaggerated form, usually features such as small bodies and extra-large heads with bulging black eyes without expression). Ever since that very first time I heard of them, I knew I wanted to have my own Funkos, too. They have a simplistic and yet artful visual appeal. Most of them are instantly recognizable and their childlike charm is adorable. I collect them because of their value and the easiness to collect them.Did you know that some Funko POP characters are worth over $1,000? That's 100,000 yen! However, you don't have to buy or get those kind of collectibles if you can't. All you have to do is search in the internet for the best value! The first time I collected Funko POP figures was when “Star Wars:The Force Awakens” was released. My first Pop! collectibleI started collecting character figures from movies I've watched, then I started collecting hiphop artists, comedians and childhood characters I grew up with.They're a physical representation of abstract ideas that I like. For example, If you're into baseball, you can watch a game, meet your favorite players, etc. If you're into, say, Star Wars like me, none of those things actually exist. I can't always meet the actors who starred in the movie, and I can never meet Yoda. Collectibles bring abstract things into reality. Also, Funko makes collectibles for nearly everything! They are modeled after movies and TV shows I like!For those who want to start their own collection of Funkos, I recommend that you start by looking for your favorite characters online. At present, it is estimated that there are more than 17000 models. Solo: A Star Wars Story My favorite movie- The Godfather Hip Hop Icons Hip Hop IconsMy Favorite Comedianwritten by Marc Pardo
On a warm, lazy summer afternoon, with the sun shining down there's the smell of sizzling meat and vegetables in the air. There is nothing that will complete your vacation more than a good Japanese-style barbecue!Like Japan, back in the Philippines, people also spend their vacation at the beach, or outdoors, enjoying a bit too much ice cream, seafood, fruit shakes and barbecues.So, let me tell you how we spent our summer vacation: Linnies 2020 edition!Everybody woke up early, ready to get some fresh air, eat good food and have a wonderful time.At around 11:00 am, wearrived at our destination at a homey cottage far away from all the noise and distractions. Where did we go, if you may ask? None other than, NASU!NASU, TOCHIGIIn the northern part of Tochigi Prefecture, there lies our beloved Nasu Highlands, a quiet mountainous area that is a perfect getaway from the humid summer and the hustle and bustle of the city.As soon as we'dsettled down, we immediately started cooking barbecue and Yakisoba. Following the new “normal”, we had to keep a good amount of physical distance and had to wear masks most of the time, except of course, for EATING!Japanese barbecues are mostly similar to Western barbecues with hot dogs, sausages, corn on the cob or meat that are cooked on a gridiron grill over a charcoal flame. Yakisoba, on the other hand, is made by stir-frying noodles with meat and vegetables that are mixed together with a special seasoning. It was おいしい! After hours of talking, cooking and non-stop eating, it's time to clean up! We head out to another exciting place for animal lovers like me- THE NASU ANIMAL KINGDOM.NASU ANIMAL KINGDOMIn Nasu Animal Kingdom they have numerous shows and areas that allow you to see and to interact with various kinds of animals. They also offer spectacular views, appetizing restaurants and a souvenir shop that offers a wide-range of exclusive Animal Kingdom products.Moreover, they make sure that the animals have a clean environment and maintain good hygiene. They follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of Coronavirus that ensure the guests' safety.This is the moment I was really excited about! Seeing animals up-close brings me joy and knowing that we are allowed to interact with them is a “cherry on top”. We were able to feed the Capybara, pet the dogs, see the birds, sloths and monkeys as they roam around freely! The staff and the animals are friendly and approachable, making the whole experience more memorable. Unfortunately, we can't stay here all day and had to bid goodbye to the animals as we hop to another place to do my favorite activity... SHOPPING!NASU GARDEN OUTLETThe Nasu Garden Outlet has a spacious area that lets goers enjoy a full day of shopping of famous Japanese and international luxury and casual brands.It was around 5:00 pm when we arrived there. It was not as crowded as we were expecting. With no time to waste, we went straight to our favorite shops!I know that shopping tends to work up an appetite, but don't worry, Nasu Outlet has a great variety of cafés and restaurants to refuel your energy when you get tired.For us, the best way to cap off our long and exciting summer trip is to eat ice cream at our favorite ice cream shop- COLD STONE CREAMERY! Because of the pandemic, Nasu Garden Outlet is only open until 7:00 pm, but that doesn't mean you can't maximize your shopping experience.We always make sure to visit the Nasu Garden Outlet when we are around the area, so for those of you who haven't been there yet, you might want to check it out and tell us about your experience, too!Sadly, all good things must come to an end, but the next adventure awaits!Refreshed with fun memories, great laughter and a belly full of food, it's time to call it a day and head back home.I hope you had a great summer vacation as much as we did! Remember that even during this difficult time, rest and relaxation are important to maintain your overall well-being. Recharge and make simple trips awesome! Take extra care and don't forget to wear your masks, wash your hands and keep physical distance. See you in our next story time!Sending you some positive vibes,エリカ
“ You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray." Since summer is here, it’s time to bring out that high energy and sunny attitude, and rush to the nearest beach or pool! Summer proves to be the most appealing time to plan a trip. This is not a new season for me as this is typical and mostly experienced in the country I come from. At present, I am counting this as my third summer here in the Land of the Rising Sun. Mashiko-machi, Haga-gun, Tochigi, Japan -August 2019Summer in Japan is a lot hotter than I was expecting! The Japanese summer always comes as a shock to the system. The period between the start of June and the end of September is a test of sweaty endurance, with temperatures regularly in the high 30℃. Of course, when outside, stay hydrated with water, wear lightweight clothing, and bring a fan with you. Summer rains are also common, with intense and unpredictable bursts of sudden severe rainfall. It is recommended to carry around an umbrella at all times or have access to a potential shelter from the rain. This is totally a new kind of summer experience for me. Japan’s summer has its own way of keeping its people more disciplined when it comes to preparing for the peak of the summer heat. This too I have adapted as part of my healthy routine.Whatever the odds it brings due to the heat intensity, summer is still definitely my favorite season! I love the warmth it brings and the sun that beats down on me. This season gives me more time to explore and enjoy the blue sky and the intense heat of the sun. I simply love spending my summer days with my family and friends, as well as traveling and discovering new places - beaches, mountains, waterfalls, and just about anything. And of course, summer in the Philippines is time for festivals and celebrations! It certainly gives me that feeling of joy and excitement that is “one of a kind”. Living in the Philippines, it’s hard not to fall in love with summer and beaches. It’s something that has become a constant in our lives. Foreigners who have been to the country and spent a mere 10 seconds on the sandy shores of Boracay or emerald waters in Palawan can’t help but fall in love so easily.With over 7,000 islands, we’re privileged to experience summer in the best landscapes and waters. And with that many islands, we have infinite choices over one lifetime. But even if we have all these islands to explore, I can’t help but be an Ariel in Little Mermaid when I see photos of other beaches and islands everywhere else in the world, I often feel that…I want more! I was given the opportunity to experience one of the best beaches I’ve ever experienced in my life so far. Nothing to take away from El Nido Palawan but that’s just my preference. Be ready as I take you to a visual tour through my photographs taken way back then. If ever you feel like booking a ticket to this paradise, go ahead! You’re most welcome! EL NIDO PALAWAN, Philippines - JANUARY 2020 EL NIDO PALAWAN, Philippines- JANUARY 2020 ALCOY CEBU, Philippines - SEPTEMBER 2017 ALCOY CEBU, Philippines- SEPTEMBER 2017"Every summer has its own story."Many people always get that giddy vibe to take on a hopeful adventure and create new summer stories. Wherever it may be in the world, make sure that you get the best of what summer has to offer. After all, it is not just about the place, it is also about choosing how to enjoy it despite the blazing heat. Katherine Tan “ Kathy “
Hello! Good day.I am Nicole De Marquez and while I started wondering and laying the foundation of my life, Japan caught my attention with awe and curiosity. At first I do not know why, but this time I see my life in Japan embracing its rich heritage and culture, traditions and customs that are very different from those in the western world.Before anything else, I would like you to know me better. I am 23, originally from the Philippines and my hometown is Sorsogon. Sorsogon is located in the Bicol Region, southernmost province in Luzon. Sorsogon is also known to tourist for the chance to snorkel with whale sharks, surfing, hiking and caving.Here are some photos of my hometown and its tourist spots.I also graduated in Bicol University College of Arts and Letters with the Course Bachelor of Arts in English.When I graduated college my family decided to sent me here to Japan. They believe that there are more opportunities in Japan compared to the Philippines.When I first came here in Japan, I was first in Nagano and stayed there for 2 years. I lived together with my aunt and her family and their house is located in Okaya, Nagano.I also studied Japanese in a Language School in Suwa called Nagano International Culture College.Nagano also has a lot of beautiful places and I think it has a resemblance with my hometown in the Philippines.My experience of moving to Japan was very lifechanging. It really helped me grow emotionally, spiritually and inspired me to dream bigger.
Hello everyone! For those who have not met me yet, my name is Bernardo Valdez, I am 28 years old,most people call me Bernie, so please do the same! I came to Japan 6 months ago and I am enjoying my time here so far!My hobbies include music, whether it is listening to it or playing instruments, singing or dancing, it is my favorite thing to do besides traveling, videogames, taking it easy at coffee shops or parks and going out at night.Speaking of traveling, today I would like to talk to you about a magical place called “Huasteca” in my country, Mexico.Several civilizations like the Mayans and the Aztecs took place many, many years ago where Mexico is now. The name “Huasteca” refers to a region in which the Huastec civilization used to exist in ancient times, distributed across several states close to the Gulf of Mexico.Nowadays it is known to be a beautiful place where you can get in touch with nature while exploring different touristic destinations, in fact, to this day they are still finding new areas to visit.One of them and my personal favorite is Edward James’ Surrealist Garden, “Las Pozas”. This place is filled with lots of strange structures scattered across the jungle, making you feel as if you were in a different planet or inside of an RPG game. n checking it out, make sure you wear comfy and breathable clothes and shoes you can get wet in.As you walk around, you can also find waterfalls and rivers, and the best part of it is, you can definitely get in, which is a good idea since it is very hot and humid. So, if you plan o The best part of it is that the fees to enter the destinations within the Huasteca are very cheap!I really recommend to visit this place if you want to get reconnect with nature and your inner self, or if you just want to get away from the usual travel destinations and feel like trying something different.
Living in Japan is something that I continue to enjoy everyday, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss little bits of my home in the United States.One of the biggest things that comes to mind is the food. Of course I enjoy ramen, sushi, yakiniku, and other fine Japanese cuisine.However, there are flavors of home that I find myself wanting every now and then. Hamburgers are one of those things, and if I had to choose my favorite, it would have to be from a California restaurant chain known as In-N-Out .In-N-Out is one of the most popular hamburger restaurants in California, and for good reason.The burgers are cooked fresh, along with the french fries. Their regular menu offers hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers (called a “Double-Double"), fries, shakes, and soft drinks.However, there is also a 'secret menu' which offers a few different possibilities such as extra hamburger patties (called “Three by Three” or “Four by Four”), lettuce in place of the buns (Protein Style), or simply meat and cheese without buns (a “Flying Dutchman”). The most famous item on the secret menu has to be “Animal Style”.Asking for animal style on a burger or fries adds melted cheese, grilled onions, and In-N-Out's special sauce to the food item. Though ordering Animal Style is highly recommended, the burgers and fries on their own are worth the trip. If you find yourself in California, I hope you make time to stop by this restaurant.Author: Josh Wojcik
Hello everyone! My name is Katherine, you can also call me Kathy or Kat. I'm from Cebu, Philippines.The Philippines isn't the sort of place you go to for a city break, but when you're on your way tothe spectacular islands that make up this archipelago, don't miss the chance to get to know Cebu.The island can easily accommodate all people with different lifestyle: whether you're a foodie, a beach lover, or an adventurous person, Cebu has it all in spades for you.Japan has long been a dream destination for me, It's a very beautiful country with an interesting culture, a country that never fails to impress.Let me start these words of mine with this short story about a child finding his way to the top of the mountain to look for gold. Along the way, he faced storms that slowed him down but still continued moving forward. Then, he met dangerous animals, fought them and still continued moving forward. Until finally, one day, almost dying from exhaustion and despair, and taking one last step, the child caught a glimpse of the whole world. He was already on top. He would have wanted to stop there, mesmerized by the beauty on the mountaintop. Then, he remembered that it wasn’t the end of his journey yet because he still needed to find the precious gold. What happened next? I will let your imagination continue that part of the story.Having read this tale, I was deeply moved. I was moved because this has reminded me of where I am now and why I should not stop chasing my dreams and accomplishing my goals. Before this day came, I went through struggles that many of you knew nothing about. Struggles that I had to face on my own. Struggles that challenged me whether to continue moving forward or just simply give up. But whenever I remember this child from the story, I kept pushing myself a little further, a little harder.Just keep moving forward. Whether or not it’s the perfect time for you, give your best shot no matter what. Your one big break will come to you at the most perfect time, a time that you least expect. This would then be remarkably lifechanging once it sweeps you off your feet. Trust the journey you’re taking now. Never be disheartened. Never fear. Never doubt. Everything will make sense to you one day. Wait till you see your life’s greatest abundance unfold. Something great lies ahead. Just keep your heart and your eyes wide open.Now that I am given this opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams in the Land of the Rising Sun,my heart is filled with much gratitude and honor. I am forever thankful for this great chance. Indeed,I am pleased and honored to be given this wonderful opportunity to grow and expand my skills.My primary goal has always been to help my students improve their English skills and gain self confidence so that they can freely express their thoughts and attitudes in English.Learning English could be difficult but if you are going to learn it while having fun every thing will be easy ! I hope to see you in my classes and I hope to share my wonderful experience of learning English with you.
Miami is a great place to visit. There are a lot of things to do. You can go to South Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the world. You can also take a cruise around the Caribbean. If you feel like kicking it back a bit or visiting one of the Disney theme parks, Key West and Orlando are not too far away.South Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the world? Take a stroll on the beach and feel the cooling breeze. Enjoy the soothing uttering of the waves. And, enjoy a tropical drink or a cup of ice cream while you dip your feet in the sand.Port Miami houses majestic ships. Hop on board and travel around the Caribbean. Hear the echoes of the pirates of the Caribbean as you navigate the historic waters. Visit popular ports such as Nassau, San Juan, and Ocho Rios.Orlando is home to many Disney parks such as: Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Epcot. From Miami, you can take a trip to Orlando by car or by bus. The trip usually takes about 4 hours. Flying is also an option. Orlando and Miami both have an international airport.マイアミは本当に素晴らしいところです。色々なものがあります。
A few weeks ago, we had a welcome party for two teachers who have recently joined Linnies English School as full-time teachers. Ms. Ayaka and Ms. Otsuka joined Linnies at the start of April and now form part of the Japanese staff. Ms. Ayaka will work as an English teacher, while Ms. Otsuka will continue as a math teacher, having worked as a part-time teacher for a little less than a year.For the welcome party we went to an Indian restaurant called Ahilya in the Inter Park Shopping Village here in Utsunomiya. The restaurant offered excellent choices for the lunch menu. As expected, the food was amazing. The nan was huge and the curry had a great combination of spices.Overall, it was a great welcome party, filled with lots of laughter, great food, and a superb environment. We look forward to working with Ms. Ayaka and Ms. Otsuka and having them become a part of our Linnies family.
Hello everyone!My name is Joshua Wojcik, but please call me Josh. I’m from the bustling city of Los Angeles, home to famous sites such as Hollywood, Venice Beach, and of course, Disneyland!My first venture to Japan brought me to Tochigi, where I worked for one year in the city of Nasukarasuyama. During that time I made lots of memorable experiences, lasting friendships, and grew used to the ways of Japanese living. Upon finishing my year I returned to the States, but Japan never left my thoughts. I had considered moving to another country, and had even traveled to a few such as France and Taiwan. Beautiful as they were, I knew that nothing could replicate the feeling I had before. That is why I now find myself back in Japan, and I couldn’t be happier!When I’m not working, I enjoy listening to music. I like listening to various genres, though I am especially fond of ballads. In addition to listening to music, I also enjoy performing, having participated in school choirs for a number of years. Whenever I’m invited to karaoke, I can hardly ever say no!Along with music, studying languages is a great passion of mine. Of course Japanese is my primary focus at the moment, but in the past I have also studied Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, and German to name a few. Though I’m not as proficient in all of them as I’d like to be, I still enjoy the process of studying them, and hope to improve my skills gradually. Along with learning, I also enjoy helping others with their language learning, and find my time as an English instructor to be rewarding and fulfilling.My experiences teaching English has allowed me to meet many different people, each with their own different personalities, goals, and interests.I look forward to my time working here at Linnies, meeting new people and enjoying the language learning process together!
Hello, I'm Yolande. I am from Kingston, Jamaica, a little island in the Caribbean Sea. Jamaica's beauty lies in its many beaches and natural resources. As you may know, Jamaica is well known for Reggae, Blue Mountain Coffee, Jerked Chicken, Jamaican Rum, Red Stripe Beer and a few of its famous citizens, namely Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Usain Bolt.Did you know that Jamaica and Japan share some similarities and interesting coincidences:Jamaica and Japan are both island nations;The entire country of Jamaica is10,990km²which is a little smaller than Akita Prefecture, which is11,610km²;The fishing industry in both countries provides food, work and financial resources;Japanese and Jamaicans living in rural areas tend to be very friendly and helpful;In Jamaica we drive on the left; andJamaicans like Japanese enjoy the outdoors and often go to the rivers, beaches, waterfalls and parks every chance they get.So as we say in Jamaica, "Alright, likkle more"! (which is similar in meaning to またね！)
Hi, my name is Hector R. Santiago. I am from south Florida. I have lived and taught English in Japan for six years. Japan is a beautiful country, and I am very happy to be here.South Florida has beautiful beaches and a warm climate. It is the perfect place for scuba diving, fishing, swimming, and sun tanning. A little further north is Orlando. It is home to many different theme parks such as: Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios.My favorite sport is basketball. South Florida is home to the Miami Heat. The Miami Heat have won the championships three times. I am happy to hear that Utsunomiya has a very popular basketball team.Thank you for having me. I am very happy to be here. Let’s make learning English fun
By: GerardoThis year we had our annual Christmas party on Sunday, December 16. This time around, it was not only a Christmas party, but also a farewell party for Andreea and Kyle. It was a day full of a mixture of emotions ranging from happiness and bliss but at the same time a bit of sadness, as we bid farewell to two of our beloved teachers.Students and their parents began to show up a little bit before 10 A.M. Some children were channeling the Christmas spirit as they wore Santa hats and Christmas sweaters. While some children were a bit shy at first, others quickly recognized their classmates so they were eager to stay together.In total there were 35 students who joined the Christmas party. In the kid’s room there were 15 students. Similarly, in the blue room there were also 17 students. Last but not least, in the yellow room, there were a total of 3 adults who gathered to also join in on the Christmas festivities.Since I was mostly in the kid’s room I will describe the games in the order that they were played in.The first game that was played was organized Erika. Students played the “Telephone Game”, in which they whispered a secret word to each other. The last person in each line would be in charge of shouting back the word or phrase. Hilarity ensued as many children were confused and said words that were not correct. But in the end, I think the students really enjoyed playing this game.Next up, was the vocabulary game. For this game, Dorothy was in charge. Students were shown two sets of cards. The first set was multiple Christmas related pictures. For example, Santa Claus, reindeer, Christmas presents, lights, and so on. The second set was the cards with words written on them. The students were split in two groups and had to match both the pictures and words. Even though it might have been a little bit difficult for the smaller kids, they all worked together to try to beat each other, so the students also seemed to have enjoyed this game as well.After the vocabulary game, J came over to do a game with marbles. The students were given chopsticks and told to get a total of 5 marbles from a plate onto their hand. The students competed against each other to see who could do it the fastest. It was a sort of knockout eliminations with the top 3 students advancing in each round. The eventual champion was given a small gift as a reward.Following the marble game, Andreea came over to do a different activity with the students. Andreea organized a craft activity for the students to make a Christmas card. The students used their imagination and gluing skills to put together a masterpiece. They decorated a Christmas tree with santa’s face, candy canes, glitter and other Christmas decorations. They students also seemed to have enjoyed this game a lot.After the craft activity, Marc came over to play a game called Mini-Me toss. He had pictures of Kyle and Andreea in different poses. He placed the pictures around the room and then divided the students in two groups. Each group took a minute each, two times, to throw balls at the pictures to knock them over. The students participated enthusiastically and it seemed to have been one of the most popular games of the day.After the Mini-Me game, all students gathered in the kid’s room. Erika led the students to sing Jingle Bells in unison. Shortly after, Kyle, Marc, and I had a small performance. We danced to the song of USA by the Japanese group Da Pump. Even though he hardly practiced, I’d say our performance was successful. Our goal was to bring smiles and laughsto our students and I’d say we did a pretty great job.The last and final game of the day was led by Kyle. He was in charge of doing Christmas bingo. All 35 students, who at this point were in the Kid’s room, participated. As Kyle called out the cards one by one, all students listened carefully. Even though everyone wanted to win, in the end only three students were able to wina prize.Overall, the Christmas party was a success. Everything went as planned and most importantly the students left with a facial expression of delight. We are sure that many of them will definitely be looking forward to our Christmas party next year!From everybody at Linnies English School, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!