2017.10.14 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 5

17:30-18:30 | 2



A big thank you to those who came for class this Saturday! I was a little under the weather (slightly unwell) so, I apologize if it affected our conversations together.

I was happy to see some familiar faces, and we spent some time catching up. One student had to travel back and forth to Barcelona for work, and she shared that it was quite scary for her since the terrorist attacks happened during that whole period. Another student had recently come back from a family holiday around several prefectures around Japan. We each then shared if we go on holidays with our families, since it’s quite hard to find free time to do that, especially as working adults.

In the second hour, it was just 2 students and me, so we just casually chatted, and probably gossiped a little too. I discussed two slang terms- alpha male, and beta male. The terms came from a scientific study on the behaviors of wolves (and dogs). Among the male wolves, there will usually only be one leader- the strongest, the pack leader, the alpha male. You can use the term ‘alpha male’ or just ‘alpha‘ to describe a man who is usually the manliest and most influential in a group. The beta is pretty much the opposite, and the guy who has to obey the alpha.

Thank you again for coming to class!


2017.10.15 Sunday Free Talk

2-3pm 3 students
3-4pm 5 students

Hey folks,
Today was another good day at Velco. Apparently some of the Otsu students did a Velco Karaoke event recently (which I’m super jealous of!) so we talked a bit about what everyone sings at Karaoke. Here are a few of the artists that came up:
Lady Gaga
Avril Lavigne
One direction
Garlic Boys

We also chatted a bit about our students favorite concerts they’ve ever been to. TM Revolution, Anthrax, and Elvis Costello all made the list.

Lastly we talked a lot about ramen, “drunk food”, hangover cure, and “Hair of the dog.”

Hope y’all enjoyed. See ya next time!

2017.10.12 Thursday Freetalk

Free talk

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

Thursday was another good day at Velco!

A lot of our students today had recently come back to Kyoto from trips. People visited places like Portugal, Spain, Hokkaido, Niigata, and Toyama. Lots of interesting chat about the food and sightseeing in those places.

We also introduced a set of slang words that have become so popular that they were entered into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2016. Here were some of them:

All officially words now!

Hope to see y’all next time,

2017.10.8. Sunday Free Talk

2-3pm 0 students

3-4pm 1 student

Sunday was another good day at Velco. It was quiet for the first hour but we had some good conversation.

Our student today was also a big soccer (football) fan, so we had some good conversation talking about the U.S. and Japan national teams and some of the stadiums around the world. We’re both getting excited for the World Cup now that our two countries have qualified!

After that we talked a bit about business in Japan and how things are changing. The aging populations that Japan and America both have are forcing changes to pension and social security programs and will also have a big impact on taxes going forward. Things should be interesting going forward!

See y’all next time,

2017.10.07 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 4

17:30-18:30 | 2



Heya! During the first hour, we shared some stories about bad stuff that happened to us while travelling overseas. One student had booked his accommodation at a hotel in London but, when he arrived there, late at night after a long flight, the hotel told him they were fully booked. Apparently, they thought that he was a no-show, and gave his room away to another guest.

(no-showa person who has made a reservation, booking, or appointment but neither keeps nor cancels it.)

We also talked briefly about our work/school life. One student is currently extremely busy with work as she works for a lighting company, and they are preparing the street lights for Christmas. Another student joined a contest where you have to give a business presentation… In English! He admitted that he usually has stage fright, so it’s a tough challenge for him.

(stage frightnervousness before or during an appearance before an audience.)

In the next hour, we discussed the word ‘accountable‘, since one of the students is an accountant. Being accountable means you are required to explain actions or decisions to someone. It’s similar to being ‘responsible’ for something, but there’s a bit of difference. This article (in Japanese) should help clarify it!

As one of the students is attempting to read Harry Potter (in English!!), we talked a little bit about the story and some of the common magic spells used. The names of the spells are quite long and hard to read/pronounce/remember, aren’t they? Expelliarmus, Wingardium Leviosa, Lumos, Nox… These spell names actually come from Latin words (which English words come from as well). For example, “lumos” is a spell that lights up your wand, making it like a flashlight. It comes from the Latin word “lumen“, which means “light“! And that’s where another English word, illumination (illuminate, luminance) comes from too! It means light that comes into a room, that shines on something, etc..

Thanks for coming to class! Everyone was really awesome and hardworking as usual.

2017.10.05 Thursday Free Talk

7-8pm 2 students
8-9pm 3 students

Hey folks,

It was another good evening at Velco. Today we had two major topics of conversation.

First: We talked a lot about weddings in Japan and America and how they differ. Here is a bit of the vocabulary we learned.

Best Man
Maid/Matron of Honor

Second: We learned about “Bucket lists,” a list a things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” (Pass away.)

A few of the bucket list items that were mentioned were:

Travel to Canada
Walk the Silk Road
Watch an Arsenal game in London

Hope to see y’all again soon,

2017.10.04 Wednesday : FT

13:00-14:00 | 2 students

14:00-15:00 | 2 students



Thank you for joining me for class today!

We had a great start when one of the students brought out a special Japanese dessert for everyone to share (and I got to take home the leftovers!). Eventually, the conversation became about food and cooking. The three of us are the designated cooks in our respective households. That means we do most of the cooking for our families at home. We shared our best dishes, and also agreed with one another that it would be nice if our partners (husband, wife, etc.) would cook for us more often! 🙂

We also talked about the problems that the young adult generation are struggling with, in terms of relationships and settling down (getting married). Many young men and women are becoming quite satisfied with virtual relationships, with fictional characters. We discussed the role of the latest VR (virtual reality) gadgets and technology in this topic, and how it affects people’s mindsets about dating.

I guess as long as people are happy, and there’s no negative impact, then it’s all good!

2017.10.1 Sunday Free Talk

2-3pm 1 student

3-4pm 2 students

Hey folks,

Today was another good day at Velco. We touched on topics all over the place. We talked a bit about college football in America and how well my Clemson Tigers are doing recently, we talked about some nostalgic old bands we like (AFI and New Kids On The Block were mentioned,) and the city of Boston got quite a lot of love today.

Our biggest discussion revolved around the differences in the school system here in Japan and back home in the states, particularly regarding entrance exams.

Fun stuff! Hope to see you all next time,

2017.09.30 Saturday: FT

16:30-17:30 | 3

17:30-18:30 | 2



One of the students in class today had recently moved to an apartment in Osaka, as it is nearer to his workplace in that city. We talked about how things have been for him since he moved, and any sort of issues or problems he had encountered. Everyone encouraged him to start cooking instead of eating outside. But it’s almost impossible for him to do so since his schedule is extremely busy and there’s just no time to learn how to cook. Lack of time and busy work schedules are a big problem that most adults, who live and work in modern cities, have to deal with, and it affects their personal lives negatively.

Luckily for me, I live most of my life as a couch potato! I taught the class a selection of slang words and terms, such as “buck” (1 buck is 1 dollar, 2 bucks = 2 dollars, etc. | “Hey, could you lend me a few bucks? I left my wallet at home.”) and “screw up/mess up” (to make a mistake/ incorrectly handle a situation | “I completely screwed up my driving test by crashing the car.” A couch potato is someone who spends a lot of time sitting and watching television/doing nothing productive while sitting down.

Thank you for coming for class! Enjoy your weekend as a couch potato too!

2017.9.28 Thursday Free Talk

Free Talk
7-8pm 5 students
8-9pm 6 students

Hey folks,

It was my first day back at Velco after heading home to America. We all got to enjoy some of my favorite chocolates from the U.S., Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Hope y’all liked them!

We had a few new students to my classes so we started with some short self-intros. Two of our students were musicians so we talked a bit more about music. I mentioned this guy, who is a great guitar player, as a recommendation.

Our biggest discussion was about how Japanese elementary schools are increasing English education. Is this a good idea? If so, which subjects should they cut to make room for more English? Interesting stuff!

Hope to see y’all next time,