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.

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 (Composition) on July 3, 2020

Date: July 3rd on Friday, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:30 (9:00 – 10:30 in JST)

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Streaming of Dingtalk to show PPT presentation.

Numbers of Students:

  – Self-claming attendance on BBS by inputting “Shusseki”: 25

  – Attendance check by the submission of 60-question quiz at the end of the class: 23 

Class Activities:

 – Almost identical to the composition class on Tuesday for the class 1836. What was learned during the first and the second semesters were reviewed in the form of quiz with each having four selections.

(1) Speech/writing style of Japanese

 Japanese speech/writing style varies from situation to situation. You use honorifics to elderlies and teachers, polite expressions in public,  and casual expressions to your friends. Foreign Japanese learners often speak and write Japanese with mixing those different speech style. Further more, writing Japanese has clear distinction between “desu-masu” style and “Da-dearu” style. “Desu-masu” is also used in spoken Japanese but “Da-dearu” is usually only for writing.         

(2) “Da-Dearu” writing style for composition.

 So the important thing for the students to learn is that they learn to use another type of Japanese language style that is different from what they usually learn in their textbook. This has been continuing to be a quite big issue in the composition classes. Many students were sticking to “Desu-masu” even if I told them to write in “Da-dearu”. It seems that changes in language style to adapt the situation are beyonf imagination to the students. In order to measure how well or bad he/she operates “Da-dearu” style writing, all the parameters were taken into the quiz;

Past/non-past for tense, Positive/negative, and four predicates: Noun, Na-adjective, I-adjective, and Verb predicate sentences. 

And several sentences ending with auxiliary verbs were added. Those were of conjugation type of I-adjectives (ex. -tai) or Na-adjective (ex. -youda)        

(3) Proper uses of conjunctive particles

It is so important to learn many conjunctive particles in order to write a complex sentences. But most students can use only “-kara” and “-te/de”. Several other conjunctive particles were examined if the students could choose them.   

(4) Sentence ending to describe changes in time sequence

Expressions “te-iru”, “te-kita”, and “te-iku+guess” were reviewed.

 

 Homework:

  – No HWA.

Issues and Problems:

 The first class that I had as a Japanese teacher in university was the one for this composition class for 1837 class. Through the first and second semeters, I have learned a lot of things. I know that I haven’t had enough experience to teach Japanese language yet.   

Online Teaching for Class 1836 (Composition) on June 29, 2020

Date: June 22th on Monday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

<This was a supplementary class on irregular time>

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Video Conference on DingTalk. BBS was supplementary used to show PNG images that was the instruction for procedures of 1-minute speech and QA session.

Numbers of Students: 28

 – At the beginning:

     – Self-claiming attendance by the means of input “Shusseki” onto BBS: 28

     – Attendance check using the video conference monitor: 26

– At the end by sending photos of composition: 25

Class Activities:

  Each student made his/her one minute speech about tourism in a particular prefecture in Japan. This was done in the order of student ID number.

  There were question and answer times for each speech when it was ended. A student to ask a question was assigned randomly so that other students would try to listen to the speech. It is important to know how to ask a question in a conference where many people are gathering. So the teacher instructed the students at the beginning of the class about how to make a question in a conference.  

  The teacher controlled the progression of speeches. In order to give every students chances to speak, the time that one student could spend was getting shorter and shorter towards the end.

Homework:

No HWA

Issues and Problems:

 Most of students wouldn’t like to listen to other students’ speech. So I assigned a questioner randomly. All the students just made the same question that I prepared for them as examples. Some questioning students didn’t know what prefecture was talked. I should have recorded such an incident and reduced his/her score for grading.    

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Composition) on June 28, 2020

Date: June 28th on Sunday, 2020 from 8:00 to 9:30 (9:00 – 10:30 in JST)

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Video conference on DingTalk. Several images were shown to the students through BBS of the class.

Numbers of Students:

  – Self-claming attendance on BBS by inputting “Shusseki”: 25

  – Attendances that were confirmed on the display of video conference: 25

  – Attendance check at the end of the class: 23 students input the designated alphabet onto BBS 

Class Activities:

 – One minutes speech and question-and-answer time for tourism of a certain prefecture in Japan. 21 students spoke and 20 questioned.

 – The students made their speeches in the reverse order of student number. A student who to make a question was assigned by the teacher in random manner in order to keep the students concentrate on other students’ speeches.

 – It was taught about how to make a question in a conference. Identify him/herself first, say some kind of praise to the presentation, and then start asking a question.

 Homework:

  – No HWA.

Issues and Problems:

  Most of the students have written the papers about a tourism issue of one particular prefecture in Japan. But some have not done yet. There are some students who have never submitted his/her draft. Those were not given the chance to make a speech today. Perhaps it was likely that those students had also prepared only for today’s 1-minute speech. It is an issue how the teacher would deal with such student and his/her opportunity to speak under the limited class time. 

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Composition) on June 27, 2020

Date: June 27th on Saturday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

<This was a supplementary class that was done in irregular hours>

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Video conference on DingTalk, BBS of the class was also used simultaneously to show the students some pictures.

Numbers of Students:

  – Self-claming attendance on BBS by inputting “Shusseki”: 17

  – Attendances that were confirmed on the display of video conference: 18

Class Activities:

 – Composition: part of book was shown to the students and they wrote a short essay about their impressions. The article was page 52 -56 of “Iryou-no koto, motto shitte hoshii” by Mr.Jun’ichiro YAMAOKA, which was the No.637 book of “Iwanami Junior Shinso” series. This was about a terminally ill old lady who was brought back to her house for the last moment with her family. 

 – Reading aloud: A student was called online and asked to read part of his/her draft of paper about tourism of a particular prefecture in Japan. Usually it was 1 minutes 30 seconds.    

Homework:

  – Drafting a memo for 1 minutes speech that would be spoken in the next composition class.

Issues and Problems:

So two activities were being done simultaneously in this composition class. While most of the students were writing, one student was reading part of his/her paper. Since I knew that it took time to connect and disconnect a student one by one, I decided to call a student and to ask him/her to read under the condition that the video conference with everyone was going on. It should have been noisy for other students, but I didn’t want to waste time. Today I scolded some students whose attendance and attitude were not good. This must have created uncomfortable atmosphere for other students.

Online Teaching for Class 1836 (Composition) on June 22, 2020

Date: June 22th on Monday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Video Conference on DingTalk. BBS was supplementary used to show pictures that were materials for composition. Powerpoint was also used but only on the teacher’s computer screen.

Numbers of Students:

 – At the beginning:

     – Self-claiming attendance by the means of input “Shusseki” onto BBS: 28

     – Attendance check using the video conference monitor: 26

– At the end by sending photos of composition:

Class Activities:

 -1: In the 1st session, the students were asked to proofread and revise the chapter of abstract, conclusions, and remarks in their paper.

 -2: Each student was called and read part of his/her paper. Teacher gave him/her advice.

-3: In the 2nd session, the students write a short essay to describe one of three poems about love. Those three poems were given to the student using BBS. The students were required to take a photo of their hand writing and send it to me when the class was over.

Homework:

No HWA

Issues and Problems:

Three poems about love were given to the students to write a short essay. The most popular one that was chosen by many students was “Aki no Seppun (A Kiss in Autumn)” by Ms.Masako Takiguchi. I think this poem is about love that was lost. Scattered white flowers of bushclover on a path, White ashes on a trail in the mountain, and wind blow coming through Japanese pampas grasses are all indicating the sadness of losing love. This is just my understanding. I feel sadness, emptiness, and a huge void in mind when I read this poem. Am I wrong? I don’t know. But it was interesting that most students thought this poem was romantic and beautiful with joy of love. Maybe it is natural that there is a difference about interpretations on the same poem between 20-year olds and a 50-year old.     

A Solar Eclipse was Seen at 5 p.m. in Niigata , JAPAN.

I put a feeder in the garden. A sparrow comes every morning.

Another lily flower opened in the garden. It is good to cut the flowers to make the bulbs grow bigger.

A solar eclipse was seen today. The photo shows the shapes of the sun that is the lights coming through the paper screen of Japanese style “Shouji”. The paper is worn out and has got many holes. So I need to change the paper screen…if I have time to do so…

The reason why I write this blog is to make records about my activities as a Japanese teacher. So I don’t mind if people hardly visit this blog. Having said that, it is really amazing that only very few people come here these days….

Online Teaching for Class 1837 (Composition) on June 20, 2020

Date: June 20th on Saturday, 2020 from 13:40 to 15:10 (14:40 – 16:10 in JST)

<This was a supplementary class that was done in irregular hours>

Course: Japanese Basic Composition 2

Used app: Video conference on DingTalk, BBS of the class was also used simultaneously to show the students some pictures.

Numbers of Students:

  –

Responses to my requests like Quiz answers onto BBS:

  –       

  –

Class Activities:

Homework:

.

Issues and Problems: