Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Today is a Leap Day (閏日)

It takes the Earth about 365.26 days to go completely around the Sun once. The 0.26 of a day causes a problem for the people who design calendars. If they don't make allowances for that difference, the dates on the calendar and the real seasons will soon drift apart. The solution is to add an extra day to the calendar every 4 years. That extra day is called a leap day (閏日). A year with an extra day is called a leap year (閏年). 2012 is a leap year. Today is the leap day. Happy leap day!

Traditionally, a man should propose to his girlfriend. (To "propose" means to ask someone to marry you.) In Ireland, it's a tradition that a woman can propose to her boyfriend on a leap day. If you're tired of waiting for your boyfriend to ask you the big question, you can propose to him today. Good luck!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Celebrating 500 Episodes of the Simpsons

Last Sunday, February 19th, the 5ooth episode of The Simpsons was broadcast in America. To celebrate, I thought I'd post a video of the Simpsons visiting Japan...

And a few videos of Homer & Marge visiting Osaka...


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Saint Valentine's Day is Coming Soon!

Next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day! All across Japan, ladies will be giving obligatory gifts [gifts they feel they should give] to all their male friends – family members, classmates, teachers, co-workers, and so on. I was given my first Valentine's Day gift last Tuesday. It was a box of cookies. The box was hand-decorated by the student, who is only 4 years old...

How cute!
In Western countries, the custom is almost completely opposite. Traditionally, men give a romantic gift – flowers, jewelry, lingerie, perfume, or chocolate – to their special girlfriend. Recently, couples often exchange gifts over a romantic dinner. In many ways, Saint Valentine’s Day in the West is a lot like Christmas Eve in Japan.

Saint Valentine’s Day was first promoted in Japan by chocolate companies. After many unsuccessful attempts to motivate men to buy chocolates for their lady friends, the chocolate companies targeted the ladies instead, creating a unique [special/one of a kind], Japan-only version of the popular international holiday.

“White Day” is a Japanese creation, celebrated nowhere else in the world.

Enjoy your Saint Valentine’s Day – but be careful not to eat too many chocolates!

Who is Saint Valentine? Click on the following links to find out more!

The Origin of Saint Valentine's Day (Beginner Level)

The Origin of Saint Valentine's Day (Intermediate Level)

And don't forget that eating chocolate is good for your health!

But not if you eat too much, so...

(An important message from Mayumi, the teacher’s wife!)

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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Shoe Cream or Chou Cream?

Would you like a shoe shine with your next English lesson? Recently, our building owner installed an electric shoe cleaner in front of our elevator so you can clean your shoes on the way to your lesson...
One of our students cleaning her shoes

The electric shoe cleaner at work
(Our student needs longer shoes!)

Speaking of shoes, many of my students tell me they like Chou Cream (シュークリーム). Unfortunately, that's Japanese English. In English, it sounds like "shoe cream" -- a polish for cleaning shoes. ("Shoe cream" is more commonly called "shoe polish.")
Shoe Cream -- Yummy?

It seems the Japanese name is a blending of the French "choux à la crème" and the the English word "cream." In Australia, we call them "choux pastries." In America, they're called "cream puffs."
Cream Puffs -- Yummy!

Our building owner has been very generous lately. As well as installing the shoe cleaner, he gave us a new door sign...

Be & Me 英会話 Club

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

スクールカレンダー & イベント

みなさん、こんにちは!オンライン”スクールカレンダー&お知らせ”の ページをアップデイトしました!当月のサービスレッスン日やキッズクラスの日程、祝 日やイベント案内が日本語で確認できます。

当校の ホームページ( の “スクールカレンダー”または "生徒のみなさんへ" をクリックして下さい!または直接下記のアドレスへリンクして下さい!(携帯電話からも可能です)

ス クールカレンダー :

生 徒のみなさんへ :

よ ろしくお願いします!