I mentioned to some of you that even when I'm popping up in your classes on Mondays (and occasionally Fridays) that I'm still going to classes in the evening at ASU. Here's an example of what we do: 10 Minute Japanese Lesson

We practice teaching one another our languages. It's a lot cooler than my lesson plan makes it look; in last week's class alone, I learned French, German, Korean, and Sailor Moon. >X3

A 21 minute documentary about the infamous jukai (literally "sea of trees") though the eyes of a park ranger who has found the corpses of many suicides there. Despite some graphic images, it is very moving.




Think I'm going to change the layout of this page. Don't be surprised if everything suddenly looks different around this here text you're reading.
If you're feeling up to the challenge of college-level study and want to boost your experience with Japanese culture, the Reischauer Scholars Program is taking applications until October 18th. This is an intensive online course offered through Stanford University from February to June (Spring semester), designed to give students a solid foundation in everything that isn't language. It's free, and you don't need to know any Japanese to participate. From the website:
Currently entering its eleventh year, the RSP provides students with a broad overview of Japanese history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics, and contemporary society, with a special focus on the U.S.–Japan relationship. Ambassadors, top scholars, and experts throughout the United States and Japan provide online lectures and engage students in live discussion sessions. Students also complete readings and weekly assignments, with the coursework culminating in an independent research project. Final research projects are printed in journal format, and students are also required to lead two presentations on Japan at their schools or in their local communities. Students who successfully complete the course will earn Stanford Continuing Studies Program (CSP) credit and a Certificate of Completion from SPICE, Stanford University.
Brochure: http://www.stanford.edu/group/spice/RSP/RSP%20brochure.pdf

Application: http://iis-db.stanford.edu/docs/679/2014_RSP_Application.pdf (181.9KB)

For questions or more information, contact Naomi Funahashi, Reischauer Scholars Program Manager and Instructor, at [email protected].

(Honestly, If this weren't specifically limited to high school students, I would be signing up for it right now.)
The Summer Olympic Games are returning to Tokyo in 2020! 万歳!We should all be finished with college by then, right? Start making your travel plans; Japan's already got the architecture figured out.
On the more subtle side of design, those of you familiar with the current scandal over the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia might argue that Japan's color choice for the initial logo of the 2020 games has a particular significance... although, to be fair, they're missing the orange, and Japan has used a rainbow theme in their past Olympic designs:
Banzai once more! やった、日本!
"I am grateful to have met you."

Sayounara, Central no minna-san, and thank you for an amazing experience. ASU has set up my next assignment (Fall semester) in a different district, so I'll no-longer have the weekly treat of studying in the service of Toyota-sensei's classes. I miss you already!

I've still got "guest teacher"/substitute clearance with the Phoenix Union High School District, however, so I hope to come back to see you all again some time in the 2013-14 academic year. In the meantime, I'm still here on campus at ASU (yes, all summer long), and I'm more than happy to talk online or meet for study sessions if you're inspired to keep up language practice over the break. You know how to reach me.

Until we meet again, お元気で!
Yeah, but not really. I have learned my lesson; never pass around the sign-in sheet. -_-; Now can I have it back, please? Else I just have to do it the hard way from now on.
From among the displays of hate, terror, and despair that overrun the news these days, it's important to have a reminder of our shared humanity every so often. 
I'll see you all on Monday.
Thanks for a great class, sixth period. You gave me some amazing feedback for a report due in my own classes. We'll watch some more anime in the future, okay? Send me requests if you have any.

In other news, Toyota-sensei is working to get me into your class as a substitute for the week she is away in Japan in May. There's some paperwork to get through, but if it works out, I'll get to mess with your heads for a whole five days straight. >:3 *cue evil laughter* But seriously now, we're gonna have a great time. Five days won't be enough to hit all the topics and activities I'd like to cover, so I need your input. What kinds of games do you enjoy the most? What things that you've been learning still confuse you? What parts of Japanese culture do you want to know more about? Consider all the various aspects that the topic of "culture" really contains:

Toys and Games

...and a heck of a lot more. So yeah, anyway, think about it and get back to me. This is your big chance to get exactly what you want out of Japanese class. じゃまた!
In retrospect, a mochi-and-sushi lesson always takes precedence over a literacy lesson. I should probably have planned that better. Anyway, lesson plan is still loaded and ready to go, and the target is dialed in: it's all you, Sixth Period. We're going to watch anime and work on our listening comprehension. If we get done with that in short order, we can move on to manga.