Welcome to LQ Laoshi’s Blog on WordPress

Hi, this is a blog that is a record of my career as a Japanese teacher.

Please visit my photo gallery “LQ Laoshi’s Photo Gallery” (outside of wordpress)

I like playing music on my electric bass. Please visit “LQ Laoshi Plays Electric Bass.” and listen. The following is one of my bass playing.

J. S. Bach, Unaccompanied Cello Suite No.3, Prelude on Electric Bass (4.22MB)

Weekly Logs: Aug.3-9, 2020

Photographs on the week (Another blog of mine)

August 03, Monday

I went to a branch office of the city hall in the morning to get some verifications of my stamp. Still we Japanese have to use a stamp for signing an important document. A stamp is an out-of-date habit to verify a person who agreed on a document. I think it should be taken place by signature. But anything in Japan is slow to change, lagging behind to be better. And then I went to city library to make my card to borrow the books in the library. I took a log nap in the afternoon, went to a convenience store in order to pay some equivalent to 160 USD for Japanese National Pension (in fact, it was for April), and went to a supermarket to buy food for supper.

August 04, Tuesday

I worked all day. I checked how and where the important grammatical items appeared in each section of reading book that is part of Minnano Nihongo series. That reading material is so well organized. For example, one grammatical item appears in repeatedly in several sections so that a learner can understand, learn, and use themselves the item. So it is important for a teacher to know how, where, and what a grammatical item appears in the reading material.

August 05, Wednesday

I worked all day doing the same thing the day before. I assumed that I would teach 16 sections in the reading book in the coming semester. So I analyzed 16 sections in two days.

August 06, Thursday

I lost the memory of the day. Nothing is recorded on my business diary. I think I started preparing for another subject that I was going to teach in the coming semester. That was the class to teach business manner that can specifically be applied to Japanese working place.     

August 07. Friday

I went to a ceremony for the families that lost loved ones in this year. That was in the morning hours. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was no lunch at the noon;  the ceremony was ended within an hour. When I went to the venue in the morning, I got on a taxi from the railway station. That taxi costed 2,790JPY. So I wanted to save money, walked back to the station. Actually it took two hours! I felt tired but I was okay, because I had been just sitting on tatami for this half year. I just wanted to walk by my legs.

August 08. Saturday

It was just yesterday, but I have almost lost my memory about yesterday. It was rainy. So it was like the rainy season had come back again. I went to the nearby library to pick up a book that I asked the library to get from other library through the web site of Niigata city library. Other than that, I had just kept working all day for the business manner class for the coming semester.

August 09, Sunday

It was almost like yesterday. I got an email from the library saying that other five books had delivered to my nearby library. So I went there as yesterday to pick them up in the morning. Other than that, I had just worked all day for making PPT slides for business class.

Although it is now summer break, I assigned homework to the 1734 class students. That was to explain their name in Japanese Kanji so that a Japanese person could tell the Kanji(s) for his/her name. Today is the deadline for the assignment, but still 10 students have not sent their homework to me. Actually the class 1735 is even worse. Many of them have not yet registered to the group on Dingtalk. So I cannot give them the same homework assignment as 1734.

I am going to teach three subjects in the coming semester. All the three is new to me. One year ago, I was going to teach listening for 1st grade students, composition for 2nd grade, and intermediate Japanese for other departments’ students. The last one was contingent, actually. But anyway, if I will teach the listening or composition class, I mean, just one of them, I could have taken a little rest during this summer break. Now I have to prepare new three subjects, I cannot have even one holiday. I need to continue to work every day for preparation. No progress from the last year.

Currently my wordpress blog does not get viewers. Almost no one visits here. The reason is obvious; I just write one post a week only these days. So sometimes I feel I want to write a post. But now it is not the time for it. I should not waste my time for blogging; rather, I need to spend my time for preparation for the classes. And I feel, after all, I think it is difficult for me to write English. For these four years, I have just tried to learn how to teach Japanese. I am a native Japanese speaker, but being a native and teaching the language well are different. I devoted so much for Japanese for so long, now my English has almost disappeared from my brain.   

Weekly Logs: Jul.27-Aug.2, 2020

Photographs of This Week

July 27, Monday

I actually lost the memory about the day. I always write some record about a day on my notebook that is a kind of business diary. But I left nothing on the notebook. I just remember that I ordered a textbook from a book retailer in that country. It was 1857JPY. The textbook itself was 857yen and shipping costed 1000yen. The shop usually sends their books by EMS, however, this time the book cannot reach me in the speed of EMS because of the pandemic.

July 28, Tuesday

I stopped preparing for Japanese teaching from this day. Although I had been doing that since the spring semester ended, I have one thing that I have to do now. That is succession of property that my dad left. At first I spent a lot of hours to understand the way of inheritance tax by looking at the web-site of National Tax Agency. It seemed to me that the process was too complicated. But I realized that I didn’t have to pay the inheritance tax because what my dad left was less than the amount that needed to pay tax. However, even if it is small amount, I have to reach an agreement with other heiresses and need to write a document to show banks. I carefully made the document so that it would not contain any errors in it.

July 29, Wednesday

So the anything in Japan is complicated and difficult unnecessarily. People always waste their time to do anything with irrational procedures. I was still continuing to write a document that would be an agreement among heir (me!) and heiresses. I went to the office of Farmers Association (JA) in the morning to check my dad’s  bankbook. My family has nothing to do with agriculture, though, this area used to be nothing but a farmland in the old days. So the Farmers Association is still an important financial institution here. They gave me good information about succession of property. Since I have no one to consult with, I appreciated their help.

July 30, Thursday

My room, or my office, is a 8-tatami room. Since the beginning of May, I have been sitting on the Tatami for so many hours, working hard to make hundreds or even thousands Power Point slides for my online Japanese teaching, and teaching Japanese language beyond the national border. On Thursday, I cleaned just a little part of this tatami room on the second floor (by US way of counting floor, not by Britain way. This house is just two-story building) And then I took a rest on the bed in the afternoon.

July 31, Friday

I am not sure if I will be able to back to the University before the first semester starts. If not, I will have to continue online teaching. I will teach “new” classes in the coming semester. So I started preparing for the semester by organizing new groups on Dingtalk for class 1938, 1734, and 1735. Making these three groups has not been finished as of Sunday. Probably no teacher used Dingtalk in the last semester for the class 1735 because the 1735 students are slow to join in the group. It was not the thing to hasten; still we have one month by the start of the semester.

August 1st, Saturday

I started making the teaching plans for the reading class. Its textbook is a reading material of part of Minnano Nihongo series. I made the plans from section 26 to 33. In the afternoon, I went to a supermarket to buy some foods for supper. I bought two slices of salmon for the day and chopped chicken for the following day. After the supper, I ordered 24 cans of non-alcohol beer and Chinese-Japanese dictionary to Amazon.co.jp in the night. They were about 15,000JPY (140USD).

August 2nd, Sunday

I got up at 5 in the morning and cut the weed in the garden. Then I took shower and had breakfast. I uploaded my blog post on the goo in the morning hours. Now I just want to upload my digital photos not to wordpress but to goo because it is a little difficult to upload a photo image to wordpress blog post. It is easy for me to do that onto “goo”. In the afternoon, I worked in the air-conditioned room to make my teaching plans for the reading class. I started with the section 34 of the textbook and got to the section 41 that would be the last in the coming semester. But my teaching plan is still simple. I want to make it more elaborate, but I need to move on to preparation for another class that is for business manners. I cannot spent much time for reading class that is for second grade students. Actually the business manner class would be a tough one even to me who had worked for 22 years as a company employee. Anyway there is one thing that I have recently decided. I should not waste my precious time to write a blog post. If many people come and read my posts, it would be good to use my time for writing. But my blog is not that kind. The fact is that only very few people come very occasionally here. So 99.5% of viewers is actually, ME. This blog is exclusively to record my daily life as a less-experienced Japanese teacher. And now it is a summer break between the semesters. I need to use my time wisely for the better teaching in the coming semester.

Weekly Logs: Jul.20-26, 2020

Photographs of This Week

July 20, Monday

I typed what was in the conversation textbook from the section 5 to 7 whole day. This was a preparation for the coming semester. I have to prepare as much as I can before the semester start on August 31st.

I opened my new blog in “goo” after the supper. That was not “google” but “goo”.

July 21, Tuesday

Getting on a local train around 8:30, I went to Niitsu for shopping in the morning market. The morning market in Niitsu is held only on the day with 1 and 6 for the first digit of the date. When I came back to my parents’ house, I uploaded photos that I took in the market, to my new blog. Uploading photographs onto wordpress is cumbersome, so I decided to upload photos onto the goo blog. After that, I finished typing sentences in section 8 of the conversation textbook. Section 1 through 8 will be taught in the first semester, so I had already had text data of what is written in the textbook.

July 22, Wednesday

I made “LQ Laoshi” mask in the morning. That was the second one. The mask was not against corona virus but for hiding my face. After that…I was just taking a rest on the bed for the rest of the day.

July 23, Thursday

I sent some documents of national health insurance and property taxes from a post. Other than that, I spent most of the time on the bed. I was so tired because of the hard work in the spring semester. I didn’t feel well.

July 24, Friday

I went DIY shop in the morning. I bought a saw that was for trimming stems of trees. Since I have worked hard for online teaching since March, actually the trees in the garden are now chaotic. I have to cut them short. But I didn’t have a good saw for cutting branches of the trees. After I came back from DIY shop, I recorded my bass playing. The music was “SOEUR MONIQUE” by F. Couperin. I went to haircut in the afternoon.

July 25, Saturday

It was just yesterday, but I have already lost my memory about yesterday. I uploaded “How to Make Origami Crane” on this wordpress blog with many photographs. But I decided not to upload many digital photos here. It is very difficult to insert photographs onto a post. I have to try several times until I successfully insert a photo.

July 26, Sunday

Yes, it is today. I got on a local train and visited my relative’s house in the morning. There are many blueberry trees in the garden. And. you know, it is July that is the season of blueberry. I thought I could make some blueberry jam in the afternoon. So I prepared glass bottles that were suitable to pour jam before I left home. Actually no one lives in that relative’s house. There are so many empty houses in Japan where the society got aging. When I got to the house, I saw there were no blueberry fruits on the trees, almost nothing. If the birds had eaten blueberry, there should have been white droppings on the ground. But I didn’t see any bird feces on the ground. I remembered that the same thing had happened last year. There was no blueberry fruit on the trees in the month of July. So my conclusion was that someone took blueberry without permission. I was disappointed by that, and just came back home by the earliest train.

In the afternoon, I went to a supermarket. After shopping, I dropped by a flower shop in order to buy some flowers to offer to my dad who passed in February. While a lady was cutting and binding some chrysanthemums, I found small sunflowers in the glass case. Then I thought I wanted to add just one sunflower to the flower bundles. Now it is the end of July, that means the season is summer, sunflower is the flower of the summer….. But I missed the chance to ask her to add sunflower. After all, my dad wasn’t a person who cared about such a little tiny thing (whether or not there is a flower of the season in the flower bundle). I thought it was okay. And I paid 1100 JPY (10USD), then left for home.

LQ Laoshi Tried Playing Fast, But…

LQ Laoshi with his Bacchus Electric Bass

“SOEUR MONIQUE” F. Couperin, played by LQ Laoshi 3.26MB, 3min16sec

I actually connected two takes at 2:02. I tried playing as fast as I can from the connected point, but I could not catch up the speed. I regret using a piano recording of speed of 54 that was too fast for my finger picking style.

Uncomfortable Writing Experience

I complained the poor operability of wordpress yesterday. I don’t know what is the benefit of blocks. They are just obstacles against smooth writing process. I want to write my sentences as if I wrote on the plain text. I think that it would be better to draft on WORD first and then copy-and-paste the draft on wordpress. Writing and editing on wordpress is cumbersome and time consuming. Probably this is not my idea but what the most wordpress blogger are doing.

Anyway today I am writing this on WORD first. I can also point out other problems. It is slow. When I push the “+write” button on upper right, it takes 20 seconds until it becomes ready to write.

My purpose here is to record my activities as a Japanese (language) teacher. So now I am thinking about making this blog “text-only” (, or mainly text only) and going to other blog service for uploading photographs because handling image (or media) files is also cumbersome here. I will make my mind for this issue in this summer vacation. The best thing is that wordpress could be more user friendly, but so far, I think it would be easier for me to hand-type HTML commands.

Today also, it was difficult to insert images from media library. Sometimes I can insert an image in the first trial, but most of the time I have to repeat try-and -error for just inserting an image between the blocks.

I can’t stand for this more.

Weekly Logs: Jul.13-19, 2020

July 13, Mon.

I had to grade students’ performance in the second semester. I taught 3 subjects for 4 classes. In total, I calculated 111 students’ scores. I had already graded the class 1837’s conversation course and the class 1939’s listening. I input those onto the university’s system on Monday, and I tried to calculate scores for composition classes for 56 students of the class 1836 and 1837. I was just doing that all day.

July 14, Tue.

Actually the deadline for reporting students’scores was on that day. But actually I couldn’t make it. I input scores temporarily onto web form, but did not fix them.

July 15th, Wed.

In the afternoon, I decided to repot the scores and submitted them. I cleaned the room after that. Since March, I had continued to work day and night for preparing online teaching with a lot of PPT slides. So the Japnese style 8-tatami room had become quite dirty. I just threw flush cards for verb conjugation because I didn’t think I would use them again.

July 16th, Thr.

I took a rest many times on the bed because I was tired for the hard work I did in the semester. I continued cleaning the room in the morning hours, and in the afternoon, since the sky was clear with sunshine; I took digital photos of pictures in the conversation textbook. So I had started preparing for the coming semester. I know that it would be better to use a scanner than use a digital camera for that purpose. But actually my scanner is 200 miles away, I mean, my scanner is in Kanto region. If I went there for scanning, thickets for high speed railway would cost much such that I could buy another scanner. And the second wave of corona virus infection is now hitting in Kanto region. So I don’t want to go there now.

July 17th, Fri. and 18th Sat.

I had just processed the image files that I took in the form of digital photos.

July 19th , Sun.

I finished the image processing in the morning. The number of pictures for one semester was about 280. Those were to be used on PPT slides. And then I started typing the Japanese sentences of the textbook so that I could use them also on PPT slides. These works should be done during summer vacation. Once the semester started, it would be disastrous for me to do such works as preparation for the class. In the afternoon, I went outside and paid money for the national pension. I forgot to pay for April and May because I was so concentrated on making online classes. It was about 300 USD, which was a cost of living in this country, JAPAN.

Took a Walk to the River, though Rainy Season is still going on

The spring semester was over. Summer break has started. But there is no time for me to take a rest. I have already started preparation for the next semester. Since the day before yesterday, I have been scanning the pictures on textbook so that I can use them on PPT slides. Since today is not rainy (though it’s dark), I took a walk in the afternoon. 

Bridge for Farmers’ Vehicles

Mountains whose heights were about 1000 meter were seen from the bridge.

View from the Bridge

A farmer and her husband were working to harvest onions.

Farmers are Working Hard on the Ground

Oh, by the way, this wordpress writing system is quite inconvenient. It is hard for me to operate. Now I regret starting writing this post. This is terrible.

Growing Rice in the Paddy Fields

I can see five peaks of Gozu Mountain. “Gozu” uses two Chinese Characters for “Five” and “Heads”.

Mountain Gozu behind the Paddy Fields

It is a kind of agony just to write sentences and insert images. I hope someone will change and enhance to make it easy to write and post a blog.

The board is saying “Let us make the river clean”, “You will be punished if throwing trashes and/or dirty matters in the river area”.

Unclear Board saying not to throw garbage

Flowers I saw on the way to the river

I am just wondering how other wordpress users feel about this very poor operability of writing system. I would like to say “This is a torture”.

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Conversation) on July 3, 2020

Date: July 3rd on Friday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

Course: Japanese Conversation 4

Used app: Streaming was used at the first, and then Video conference was used i n the second half of the class. Both are the functions of DingTalk. Dingtalk’s BBS is also used to show the students some images.

Numbers of Students:

 – Attendance check by the students’ self-claimed input of “Shusseki” onto BBS : 26

  – Attendance check at the end of the class by the names appearing on the streaming show windows: 21

Class Activities:

(1) Review of the last class by PPT slide show streaming

  – The listening material taken from section 12-1 of “Dekiru Nihongo” in which Park-san says that she doesn’t feel well to her friend Yamaguchi-san.

  – The students repeated some practices for several expressions included in the conversation like the particle “-mo” for emphasizing how much it is, another particle “-shika” for emphasizing how less it is, suggestion “-tara douka”, and doing something A without doing something B “-naide,”

(2) Learning the new part of the conversation between Park-san and Yamaguchi-san.

 – Using Dingtalk’s function of video conference, the class learned the new part of listening materials that follows what we had learned. It included “-trashii” and “-naide,”

Homework Assignment:

– No HA.

Issues and Problems:

 This was the last class in the second semester.