The world is your oyster

The school year in Japan is soon coming to an end. I originally wanted to write a card for every student I knew who was graduating, but immediately realized I would probably run out of ink in all my pens before I could finish. So, I decided to write a somewhat generic message to all the students.


Dear Students of (my high school),

It’s time to say farewell, but I have few last things I want to say.

It seems like just yesterday that I introduced myself to you. “Hello everyone, my name is Alice and I love to eat, especially takoyaki.” Now, many of you will be graduating and going to university. Time flies!

Each one of you has amazed me every day with your brilliance and perseverance to learn English with me. I often joke asking, “Is your favorite thing to do learning English with Alice?” I hope so! I know it wasn’t easy, but I am proud of all of you for fighting through my challenging lessons.

I have one last phrase of the week for you.

Did you know that the world is your oyster?

I hope you said yes! It means you are free to do whatever you want in this world. この世界になんでもやりたいことができる. You can do anything and everything you want to do. Work hard, set goals and find your pearl!

Lastly, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for another amazing year with you all. While I do stand in front of the classroom, like the lady in charge, I have learned many wonderful lessons from all of you. Thank you for being not only my students, but also my teachers.

I wish you all the best! Keep in touch!

Love,

Alice.

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Word for 2017 – 経験

Happy New Year friends!

New Year.

New Me. 

After a 2 week-long vacation, I finally came back to work on January 10th.

My coworkers asked that I give my students a lesson regarding winter break or about the new year. Typical. Right?

I wanted to do something..something other than a plain worksheet printed off the internet..something that could have some impact on their new year. Something that the students could enjoy while doing this activity forced upon them.

Normally, to begin class, I would introduce a phrase of the week to my students. But, this time, I wanted to switch it up. I told my students that it was their turn to choose. I asked them to pick a word for 2017. One word. Any word. It had to be something that would represent their goals or focus for 2017.

Honestly, that would be too broad of a task for my students. If I gave no guidance, I am sure they would open their dictionaries and just choose a random word. So, I started by teaching them about what a New Year’s resolution was. How would you like to change your life this year? I told them the popular ones like losing weight or trying to eat healthier. They could use those if they wanted to. The choice was all up to them.

I gave them these prompts to help them think:

This year, I want to …

This year, I hope to…

They all had different resolutions surprisingly. I am glad that they were finally thinking about it themselves.

Then, I asked them to hone in on their resolution. Focus on one word or think of one word that represents their entire resolution. My students came up with some interesting ones.

Focus. 

Succeed. 

Graduate. 

Journey. 

Health. 

Then, they asked me what my Word for 2017 was going to be. I had to think on the spot. Silly me didn’t prepare anything. I just thought to myself, “Oh, this could be a fun lesson for my students!”

I first had to think about what I wanted for 2017. How will I change my life this year? Since this is my 2nd year in Tokyo, I decided that I wanted to go out and experience more. I want to try new things. I want to go to new places. I want to eat everything and anything that catches my eye. I wanted to get out of this slump I had fallen into since I have moved to Japan.

That was it.

My word for 2017 will be experience.

It is a very broad term and it can encompass quite a lot of things into just one word. I hope that 2017 will bring many more new experiences to me and I hope to find myself getting out of my comfort zone to experience what Japan has to offer while I am here.

P.S.

To be honest, I’ve had this word in my head for a while. I never thought to make it my word for 2017. When I visited my Japanese family during winter break, they kept saying this one word to me in Japanese. With our limited knowledge of both the Japanese and English language, we struggled to exactly define what it meant. It wasn’t til I returned to Tokyo and looked the word up.

経験

けいけん

experience