2008 June 14 Saturday and June 15 Sunday.

I had a private lesson with the 9 year old elementary school girl as usual on

Saturday morning, but today her mother told me that her daughter has a headache, and also she slightly injured her right leg during some kind of sports activity, so they wanted a 30 minute lesson, instead of the full 50 - 60 minutes, which we have every week.

The young girl's lack of concentration today was rather obvious, but I tried my best to make her feel better and extend the time to 50 minutes or more.

I was only able to coax 40 minutes out of her today, but that is much better than nothing.

Either way, I get paid the same so it's not about money for me, but rather about student SATISFACTION with my job performance.

I take that more seriously than anything else, in every teaching job that I do.

I am there FOR THE STUDENT. The student is NOT there for me.

In Japanese they have a well known saying that goes like this; お客様は神様です. Meaning; The Customer is GOD.

If you are an entrepreneur who owns and runs a small business, of any kind, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Even if you live in the Western World, some people STILL GET IT.

It's about a WIN=WIN situation.

There need not be any losers, in the game of LIFE.

Ya see, the IDEAL is total co-operation.

Helping yourself BY helping each other.

How simple is that? As you all know, I have been an inhabitant of HOKKAIDO for more than 18 years NOW.

When I first arrived here on March 12, 1990,..... I immediately had a good feeling about this place.

So did Charlie Hamel and family, when they first set down, BOOTS ON THE GROUND at the Asahikawa International Airport, on 2008 March 26.

I have been corresponding with Charlie for more than about 2 years via the internet, but I only just recently, met him and his family, face to face for the first time, on that March afternoon.

Since that time, Charlie has been publishing a Private Blog for family and friends only, the URL of which I will not make public.

As I have been reading his blog everyday since it was begun, I have come to realize that Charlie and Me, have a lot of things in common, when it comes to living in JAPAN, especially HOKKAIDO.

This little old island has a lot to offer. It is easily visible on a world map.

In the big city of Sapporo and some districts of small city Asahikawa, land prices are very expensive.

In other locations around Hokkaido, you can get LAND FOR FREE.

If you are willing to,...... etc.

I am not making this up. There really is FREE LAND IN HOKKAIDO.

I have even see a big sign by a rest stop that was inviting people to move to the village in exchange for free land.

I may have even taken a photo of it. I'll look for it later.

By the way, the photo in today's blog shows what I did for the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday.

I made a new series of 105 Conversation Topic Cards, for use with mostly adult students.

The small stack of black and white cards that you can see at the top of the photo, are the ones that I made about 12 years ago.

At that time, we only had a simple word-processor, cardboard sheets, glue and wide cellophane tape.

They have worked well over the years, but it's time to reinvent the wheel, an totally remake and expand this set of teaching/learning materials.

Now that I have a PC with graphics software, a color ink-jet printer and a laminating machine, I can make much more professional looking flash cards, and so on.

The entire job took me about 12 hours over several days to complete.

I will make more later. Time to go take a walk.