2008 November 6 Thursday thru November 10 Monday.

During the weekend, I spent all of my time making 250 brand new laminated Question and Answer cards based on the 6W1H interrogatives 疑問詞.

Namely; What, When, When, Who, Why, Which and How.

This is the second edition of these such cards and they are based upon the 12 page textbook that I wrote about 2 years ago, that was designed for pair work in large classroom settings of between 20 and 40 students.

The first edition of these cards was made 12 years ago when we first opened our new classroom in June of 1996.

At that time, I didn't even have a personal computer, so I used Ikuko's word processor to create and print out the A4 sized sheets of paper with 10 questions each on them.

Not only did I have to cut the A4 sized paper into 10 business card sized pieces, but I also had to cut the cardboard craft sheets into the same size as well.

I even bought a big table top guillotine type paper cutter to help me get the job done.

After cutting the paper and the cardboard into their proper sizes, I used very wide transparent cellophane packing tape, to attach the printed question paper onto the cardboard, one at a time.

They weren't pretty, but they worked rather well for that moment in time.
Nowadays, things are much different.

Not only do I not need the thick cardboard to make these Q and A cards, but I can print out both the Q and A side of the card, as well as a colorful backside to each card, that shows the level of difficultly, and my classroom's logo mark. SBK

Because I spent the entire weekend making these brand new full color Q and A cards, some people might come to the conclusion that I worked overtime to get the job done.

That's only one way to look at the situation.I look at it from a different perspective.

My classroom is the LOVE OF MY LIFE along with my wife.

We are both TOTALLY COMMITTED to making this small business a big success.

All of the time I spend teaching classes and making teaching materials for those classes, is the time of my life and the objective is to make our classroom, the best in this city.

In reality, it already IS. The only competition I have, is with myself to make it even better tomorrow, than it is today.

What most people would look upon as overtime work, I look upon as PAYING IT FORWARD.

I am always prepared to do the best job I can do, on any given day.

That day was today, Monday November 10.

For my last class of this day, from 19:00 to 20:00, I had a full house of 5 students, all of them of very different ages and all of them, from very different backgrounds.

Sitting around the same table with me, and using the Q and A part two cards, as the textbook for our lesson together, we engaged in very interesting discussions, of many different types.

It was awesome. The LOVE was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

To say it went smoothly is an understatement.

It was a most enjoyable and interesting lesson for all in attendance, because everyone became totally spontaneous in their conversations with me and all of the other students, by using the Q and A cards as a launching point.

What a blast it was. The promised 50 minutes lesson became 65 minutes, and I finally had to call a halt to the lesson time.

Phuck Yeah! 話せる 使える 楽しい スノーマン 米会話.

What you get is more than what was promised to you.
Who could complain?  Nobody. Least of all me.


2008 November 1 Saturday thru November 5 Wednesday.

Super Quantum Synchronicity

Ikuko and I had a bet about the USA Presidential Election Results.

She thought McCain would win, and I knew different.

So I challenged her to a bet, that if Obama was elected, she would buy us dinner and drinks at a restaurant of my choice.

When the morning edition of the Hokkaido Newspaper came to my door this morning, the front page headline said "Obama in the lead."

I didn't even bother to look at the rest of the newspaper at that point in time.

Finally at about 17:00 when the evening edition of the 道新 Newspaper arrived at my door, the headline read "Obama is the next President of the United States of America".

No big surprise there.

Our last class of the day was canceled by the student so we were able to go out to dinner an hour earlier than usual.

Ikuko needed about 15 minutes to get ready to leave, so I sat down to take another look at the morning newspaper.

I slowly looked through every page, and when I got close to the last pages of the newspaper, I GOT A BIG SURPRISE.

My good friend Mr. Akira Baba had passed away on November 3 at his home, in his bed, with a look of peacefulness on his face.

Also written in the newspaper was that November 5 was to be the funeral wake starting at 18:00 at the Ohtani Temple not far from our home.

After I got over the initial shock upon reading the news, I showed the newspaper article to Ikuko.

We immediately changed our dinner plans, got all dressed up in black, and walked on over to the temple to participate in the funeral wake that had already started about one hour ago.

We stayed there for about 2 hours and then walked back home. I even cried a little bit.

Mr. Akira Baba was born on March 12, 1936.

I first stepped out of an airplane and laid my feet on ground at the arrival lobby of the Asahikawa International Airport on March 12, 1990.

My wife Ikuko was born on March 11, 1963.
Mr. Akira Baba was 72 years old when he passed away.

That is exactly 6 times around the 12 year animal zodiac, in the year of the rat.

Mr. Akira Baba was very knowledgeable about world culture and local Hokkaido history and culture in particular.

Mr. Akira Baba passed away on November 3, 2008.
November 3 is a National Holiday every year in Japan.

It is called 文化の日, meaning CULTURE DAY.
Mr. Akira Baba was childhood friends with my wife's uncle.

In other words, her father's younger brother.

Ikuko and I opened our classroom in 1996, which was the same year of Mr. Akira Baba's 60th birthday.

A 60th birthday is a big deal in Japan known as KanReki 還暦.

Need I say it again? Everything is connected to everything else, even if you aren't aware of it.

Super heavy synchronicity showed itself to me again today, and weighed heavy upon my heart.

Mr. Akira Baba and I have taken many trips together around Hokkaido in connection with our activities as members of the
Hokkaido Cultural Property Protection Association.

I have also spent many enjoyable hours at his wonderful
Pub Restaurant Ohfune.

Click here to see a short photo slideshow of his place.

Click here to read my translation of a Hokkaido Newspaper article about him and his very successful business.

See you again in the big cosmos my friend! Where shall we travel to again next time?