2018.2.22 Thursday FT

7-8 4 students
8-9 1 student

Hey Folks,

Today was another good day at Velco!

We had a new student today so we spent some time introducing ourselves. We’ve got a pretty big variety of hobbies in the class. A drummer, a belly dancer, a historian, and a gamer/gambler!

One thing that came up in the conversation was that where I’m from in America we don’t usually use the work “countryside” for 田舎, we use the word “rural.” So using that sounds a bit more natural.

Then we had a discussion about whether Japan trying to legalize casinos before the 2020 Olympics was a good thing or not. What do you think?

I’ll be in America until April, so I’ll see y’all in a month!
Jake

広告

2018.2.08 Thursday FT

7-8pm 3 students

8-9pm 2 students

Hey folks,

Today was another good day at Velco!

We talked a bit about some things that are socially acceptable for men to use/wear in Japan, but not at home in the U.S. Some of the examples we talked about were bags smaller than a book bag (I used my Japanese one at home and got jokes about carrying a “murse”. The dreaded “man-purse”), and capri pants. I see Japanese wear them all the time during the summer but I would never be able to live it down if I wore them in front of my friends back home!

We also talked about how pencil cases are incredibly common in Japan and how almost no one uses them in America. They have a bit of a childish image in the south.

I also got haircut advice. Hopefully I don’t screw it up! You’ll have to come next time to find out.

See ya then,
Jake

2018.1.25 Thursday FT

7-8pm 4 students
8-9pm 3 students

Hey folks,

Today was another good day at Velco. We had a super interesting conversation about unique or strange shrines that can be found here in Kyoto. My favorite of the convo was the Higashiyama Yasui shrine, where you can pray for things to end. Conventionally you might pray for an illness or addiction to end, but in a way funnier scenario fathers who are unhappy with their daughter’s boyfriends might pray for the relationship to end. Great stuff.

Hopefully I’ll see y’all next time,
Jake

2018.1.18 Thursday FT

7-8pm 3 students
8-9pm 4 students

Hey folks,

Today was another good day at Velco!

We had a guest today so we did some self-introduction practice and got to hear what animal all of our members would be if they had to choose. We had a fairly diverse group with an ant, cat, elephant, dog, jaguar, and squirrel all on hand!

We also learned that in Japan gargling with plain water is a common way of avoiding a cold. O_O What?

I hope you all manage to stay warm and healthy this month!

See you next time,
Jake

2017.1.11 Thursday FT

7-8pm 5 students

8-9pm 4 students

Happy new year, y’all!

It was my first class of 2018 and it was a fun one! We talked quite a bit about our households different New Years traditions. We had the great Ozouni debate (White miso or no miso) and talked about the best kind of soba for Toshi-Koshi soba. I also showed the class my families usual New Years day mean; pork tenderloin for good health, collard greens for good wealth, black-eyed peas for good luck, and twice-baked potatoes because they taste so darn good!

We also talked about games like karuta, which led us to a discussion of poetry here in Japan and in the U.S. We ended up talking about Edgar Allen Poe, and they taught me about the famous Japanese mystery author Edogawa Ranpo who created his pen-name out of admiration for him. They also told me about Detective Conan and how his name comes from Edogawa Ranpo and the author of Sherlock Holmes! Interesting stuff.

Hope to see y’all next week,
Jake

2017.12.21 Thursday FT

7-8pm 6 students
8-9pm 3 students

Today was my final Velco class of the year! It’s a bitter sweet feeling. Thanks to all of you who helped make my first few months at Velco really fun!

Today we chatted about our weeks so far, celebrated the marriage of one of our students daughters, and talked to each other about something we fear. Here’s a sample of our list of fears:
Putting things in our eyes
Roaches
Ghosts
Swarms/groups of bugs
Utility bills
Graveyards

We should have had this conversation before Halloween, not Christmas!

After that we discussed our plans for the holidays.

On that note, I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

See ya next year,
Jake

2017.12.14 Thursday FT

7-8pm 3 students
8-9pm 3 students

Hey folks, it was another good day at Velco!

We had another day of incredibly divisive topics! Namely, are you OK with pineapple on your pizza (the American version,) or are you OK with pineapple in your subuta (the Japanese version.) Opinions are divided and strong, but the conversation was good! (It also left us hungry…)

We also discussed my inability to wear hats without looking like a fool. Life is a struggle for some!

I recommended an album of instrumental Christmas music to the class, here is the artist.

See y’all next week for our last class of the year!
Jake

2017.12.07 Thursday FT

7-8pm 4 students
8-9pm 3 students

Hey folks,

It was another good night at Velco!

Today we talked a good bit about our favorite subjects back in school. It seems like history and the “sengoku era” were quite popular here in Japan, especially among our male students. Though we did have one student who didn’t enjoy any subjects! I think for me it would have to be history and English.

We also talked about the historic rivalry between Gion and Ponto-Cho here in Kyoto, something I had never heard of. The culture and history of this city are incredibly interesting.

See y’all next time,
Jake

2017.11.30 Thursday FT

7-8pm 4 students
8-9pm 4 students

Hey folks,

Today was another good day at Velco! In spite of the colder weather we managed to have a good crowd of students.

I a lot of us are recovering from colds but we all managed to “tough it out”!

We talked a bit about our weeks and what we had done so far. Here were a few of the things our class had done:
A pair of students did 5 hours of karaoke together Wednesday
One student was on her fifth day in a row of attending Velco classes
One student unfortunately had to work all week
And one student went on a research trip to northern Hyogo

I enjoyed a nice viewing of the Christmas movie “Elf”, which I highly recommend!

See y’all next time!
Jake

2017.11.26 Sunday FT

2-3pm 4 students
3-4pm 4 students

Hey folks,

It was another great day at Velco.

Today we talked about a few videos and commercials from Japan that are really popular in America right now.

One is this clip from a game-show that has gone viral:

And one is the second half of this milk commercial that Americans seem to find incredibly strange:

After that we spent some time talking about other things that Americans tend to find strange about Japan including Ikezukuri and Odorigui.

See y’all next time,
Jake