自分らしく己を保て全力投球大中生!

From ALT

Thursday, 2nd December 2021

Hello everyone! I can’t believe it’s already December…
It’s getting colder now, and some parts of Gunma are already snowing. It’s almost time to go snowboarding again. I can’t wait!

Though I’ve never celebrated it before, last week was Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is an American holiday, where friends and family gather to give thanks. Usually, there is a lot of food! My American friends can’t see their families again this year because it’s difficult to travel, so I decided to cook a Thanksgiving Lunch and share it with them. I made bread rolls, mashed potato, roasted vegetables, mac and cheese, and creamed corn. My friends could eat roast chicken, but I had a non-meat version instead. I even made cranberry sauce, and a cake! When I gave them food, everyone was very thankful to receive it.

It makes me happy to make other people happy. And I got to eat a lot of delicious food! Though I hope that next year everyone can see their families again, I also hope I can eat together with my friends and celebrate properly, without virus restrictions. I am thankful for such good friends!

What are you thankful for this year?



-Caitlin

Monday, 22nd November 2021

It’s been a long time, but there was finally a festival this weekend! Ebisu-ko, in Kiryu, was held on the 19th and 20th of this month. I went there two years ago, before the virus, and I was able to go this year again. There were a lot of delicious foods, and I even saw some graduated students! I was surprised to see them. One of them spoke to me in English! I was very happy. There were a lot of people there, though, so I decided to go home pretty quickly.

After the festival, I watched Raya and the Last Dragon at home. It’s a Disney movie set in Southeast Asia. I thought the animation was amazing. There aren’t any songs in this movie, but there are a lot of cool fight scenes. If you haven’t watched it yet, please try watching it soon!

Other than that, I played Initial D with my friends all day yesterday. Do you know this series? It’s famous all over the world, but actually, it was originally set in Gunma! It’s a series about street racing from the 90’s. It’s fiction, but the places are real, and it’s based on real people. I want to drive on all the roads from the series someday! But I can’t drive them the same way they do in the manga. That’s probably safer for me, anyway…


-Caitlin


Monday, 15th November 2021

Do you have any consistent hobbies?
That means, is there anything you like to do often, and you make sure to do it? Is there a hobby that you schedule time for? It could be anything at all. Maybe it’s reading comics or watching movies. Or maybe it’s going to a certain cafe, or a study group once a week, or playing games with far-away friends.

For me, even when I’m busy, I try to meet my friend once a week to go on a walk. Sometimes we go to Kiryu Nature Observation Forest. It’s very nice, but there are a lot of steps. So if we are feeling a little tired, we go to Takasudo Gorge instead. Fall is my favorite season to visit there. I really like the red and orange colors of the leaves.

Originally, we started walking together for exercise, but now it’s more about catching up and having a nice time together. Usually I am not good at being consistent with exercise and hobbies. I like to do new things, so I often forget to do things that made me happy before. But going with a friend makes it easy to be consistent. The more I walk, the easier it becomes!

Sometimes we are too busy, and we miss a week. It makes me a little disappointed because I enjoy seeing my friend and walking together. But it makes me appreciate the weeks we do get to go!
I hope that this Thursday, I can meet my friend as usual. Even if I’m tired, I want to be consistent!



-Caitlin

Monday, 8th November 2021

Last week, a new ALT came to Midori City! Her name is D. D will work at Daitochu. She is also from Australia, so I was excited to meet her. I hoped we would have many things in common. So on Wednesday, I took her on a short tour of Midori City. There are many places to visit in Midori, aren’t there? I asked D what she likes the most. She said she likes nature and doesn’t like people! I’m the same, so I laughed. We decided to visit the sunflower fields in Kasakake first. Even though it’s not summer anymore, there were still some pretty sunflowers growing there! I was happy to see them.

After that, we visited Omama Station. We saw the Watarase Keikoku train, and bought some Midomosu goods. Then, we went to Kifune Shrine. I got another red stamp in my book, and D tried a water fortune. Have you ever tried this? You put the fortune paper in the water, and the writing slowly appears! I think it’s really cool. By the way, she got big luck! I hope it means her time in Midori will be enjoyable and lucky!

Finally, we went to Lake Kusaki and Konaka Otaki falls. It was really beautiful with the red autumn leaves! I’m glad I got to see it. I had a lot of fun. There are many other places in Midori that I’d like to go still, so I hope I can show D around some more soon!

Do you have any suggestions? Where should we go?



-Caitlin


Monday, 1st November 2021

Wow! Somehow it’s already November!
Yesterday was Halloween, which means that today is The Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos. I think you might have heard about it before. Have you ever watched the Disney-Pixar movie, Coco? In that movie, the main character is accidentally transported to the land of the dead, and it is based on Día de Muertos! In the real world, Día de Muertos is celebrated in Mexico, and by Mexican people around the world. People gather to remember friends and family who have died. They make shrines with photos of their dead relatives, food, and flowers. Some people even dress up and paint their faces to look like skeletons! I think it’s very interesting.

It’s very different from Halloween, isn’t it? Well, even Halloween is different in different countries. In Japan, many adults wear costumes and party in the streets of Tokyo. But in America, it is mostly children who wear costumes and go around the neighbourhood collecting candy. I have never celebrated Halloween in Australia, but I hear it is becoming more and more popular there, too.

But my favorite thing about Halloween in Japan is the cute themed snacks! I bought this Toy Story Alien last night at a convenience store. It didn’t taste very good, but it was cute! To be honest, I don’t really know what kind of snack it was. It was like mochi, but not so soft. Huh. Maybe I shouldn’t eat things if I don’t know what they are. That’s a little spooky!



-Caitlin

Tuesday, 26th October 2021

Do you like flowers?

Yesterday, when I came to school, Principal Itoi asked me to look at a flower on his desk. I was a little confused. From my desk, it looked like a normal plant. It had two yellow flowers and big green leaves. Was it somehow interesting..? So, I went over to have a look.

I was surprised to see it! The flower wasn’t normal at all! It was a conjoined flower! Even though it’s not so rare, I had never seen one before. Then, Principal Itoi asked if I had some stickers we could use. Hm… like this?




-Caitlin

Monday, 18th October 2021

Hello– wait, I didn’t post last week !? Wh– What happened? 
Well, last week was very busy for me. I had a lot of things to do. So, I guess I was distracted. I’m sorry, everyone! Let’s write a lot this week to make up for it.

This weekend was my friend’s birthday. To celebrate, we went out to Akagi Nature Park. It was cold, and very misty! We walked around the park for a while. It was very pretty, and there weren’t many other people there. We even found a small shrine! It was cute. I don’t know what people pray for at this shine, though. Maybe to have a safe walk around the park? Or for health? If you know, please tell me. I am interested to find out!

It wasn’t raining yet, so we were able to have a small picnic there. There were things like fruit, sandwiches, and cookies. I made a lemon cake and sausage rolls. Do you know sausage rolls? It’s a popular food in the UK and other countries like Australia and New Zealand. Usually, it’s made from meat wrapped in pastry. But since my friend is vegan, I used mushrooms and soy meat. It was delicious!

Actually, I also stopped eating meat a little while ago. It’s not too difficult, and I enjoy making interesting dishes from vegetables and other ingredients that don’t use meat. There are even popular restaurants in Omama that have vegan options, like Coco Curry And Mosburger! And you can buy vegan cheese, milk, and even chocolate from many supermarkets here. I don’t think it’s difficult, and it is something I can do for the environment. 

Once we finished eating, it began raining, so we left soon after and went to Hara Museum ARC in Shibukawa. Since it was raining, there was nobody else there at all! We could look at all the art by ourselves. There were many interesting She is famous for her sculptures of pumpkins, and the many many dots she uses in her works. She is famous all over the world.

Once the sun set, we went to Ikaho stone steps. It has been a long time since I went there! We didn’t use the hot springs, though. Instead, we walked around and looked at the lights. Most stores were already closed. , so there was no one else around. It was really pretty, but kind of spooky with the mist everywhere and the streets all empty.

 

We went to a few different places, and there was nobody at any of them! Where did everyone go this weekend? Or maybe they all disappeared in the mist ..? It’s almost Halloween, after all …

-Catlin

Monday, 4th October 2021

This weekend, I went camping!
This is actually the second time I’ve tried camping. The first time wasn’t a success, because there was a typhoon. It was cold and rainy, and I had a bad time. But this weekend Was nice and sunny, and the campsite was very comfortable! So it was a much better experience. I want to go again soon, when it doesn’t rain!
While camping, I went on a small hike nearby. It was to a shine I thought it was really cool to have a shrine there, but it seemed like no one had looked after it for a very long time. The building was falling apart, and even the stone roof above was falling down a little! But it was still pretty, and standing near the waterfall was cool and refreshing. I wish I could have gotten a red stamp there, though! 

Do you know of any other interesting places in Gunma? Let’s explore together!

-Caitlin

Monday, 27th September 2021

Last week was’Silver Week’ in Japan, because the 20th and 23rd were public holidays. Did you do anything exciting on your days off? As for me, I did a lot of driving, saw some wonderful scenery, and went to some shrines With my friends. I think there are many cool shrines in Japan. You can’t see Shinto shrines anywhere else in the world, after all! This time, I went to Myogi Shrine and Nakanotake Shrine, which are on Mt. Myogi. Did It’s also one of the locations for Initial D, the racing manga and game series. It’s famous in many countries! I got a really cool red stamp there. And I also got a’great luck’ fortune! Yay!

By the way… Two weeks ago, the third year students were learning about natural disasters in English. At that time, I told everyone about Australian disasters. I said, “Australia has floods, fires, and cyclones. But we don’t have earthquakes.”
Actually, last week there was a big earthquake in Australia! It was a level 5 on the Japanese scale. I was surprised to hear it. It was in Melbourne, so my friends there were all very shocked when it happened. Many of them were scared. They didn’t know what to do in an earthquake. In Japan, we have emergency evacuation drills, so that we all know what to do in a disaster. But in Australia, we only know what to do in the event of a fire, flood, or cyclone. Do you have any advice for my friends in Australia? What should they do to protect themselves in an earthquake?

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 15th September 2021

This week, it finally stopped being so rainy! But the state of emergency has been extended again, so I can’t really go out and enjoy the weather. Ah…

Last weekened was a little cloudy, but not raining, so I decided to go to a shrine to buy a new goshuincho (a red stamp book). It was a very nice old shrine with a waterfall and a river nearby, so I walked around for a bit. Do you know what I found while I was walking?

I found a tiny crab! 

He was trying to cross the road, but I was worried that somone might step on him. So, I tried to move him off the road. But he just tried to fight me! Excuse me, Kani-chan! I’m trying to help you!

The Japanese word for crab is kani, and the word for god is kami. Do you think he was a little angry god? Should I pray to the crab? Does a kani kami want okane

-Caitlin

Friday, 10th September 2021

Yesterday was the Midori City English Speech Contest. We had two third-year students from Daichu enter. Their speeches were very good, and they practiced really hard. I think they did well, and I’m proud of them! Good work, you two!! 

The first student’s speech was about finding your passion. It was very inspiring. I think it’s easy to forget about the things that make you happy if you’re busy working or studying. But we should make time for those things, too. It’s important to enjoy our everyday lives. A few years ago, I didn’t have time for my hobbies. I only worked. But I realised I wasn’t very happy, so now I try to have a good balance in my life. That’s why I could understand the feelings behind this speech very well.

The second speech was about challenging yourself and wanting to grow from our experiences. I think this is really important, too! If we never challenge ourselves, we can’t grow, and that’s a little scary, isn’t it? I moved to Japan to challenge myself. It’s a country where I can’t communicate easily. I make mistakes often. There are definitely many challenges, but I don’t regret it. So this speech resonated with me!

Actually, I also had to give a speech, and it was in Japanese. Augh! That really was a challenge! But it made me want to study harder. Next year, I want to be able to give an even better speech, and be able to communicate with all the students and teachers at Daichu more. 

As for you, what do you want your next challenge to be? How about entering the English Speech Competition?!
I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

-Caitlin

Friday, 3rd September 2021

Friday again! Let’s see… did anything exciting happen this week?
Well, the Paralympics are still happening! They will finish on Sunday. So far, China has the most medals. Australia is 8th, and Japan is 15th. That’s not bad!

Actually, yesterday something cool happened regarding the Paralympics. The Australian government finally agreed to pay Paralympic atheletes the same amount as Olympic athletes. Before, Australian Olympic gold medalists would receive a $20,000 (around 163万 yen) bonus, but the Paralympic gold medalists didn’t get anything at all! Now, they will be paid the same. 

In second-year English classes, we study Universal Design, and in third year, we learn about Paralympic atheletes and how sport is for everyone. Both of these subjects are important. It teaches us about removing barriers for people with disabilities. By paying Paralympians the same amount, it is a step in the right direction.

By the way, Japan pays their Olympians $63,000 (693万 yen) but their Paralympians are paid $38,000 (480万).  That’s a big difference!

What other barriers do you know of for people with disabilities? How can we make life better for everyone?

-Caitlin

Friday, 27th August 2021

School is back today! Even though it’s the first day, students have tests. Oh no!
Did you have to study in your holidays? Don’t worry, I studied Japanese too. It’s necessary for me to study Japanese, or I can’t talk to anybody. Even if I don’t want to study or I feel tired, I have to do it every day. So I know how you feel.

Last week, I spoke about interesting places in Gunma. This time, I want to tell you about something interesting in Midori. It’s an udon vending machine! Do you like udon? It’s thick noodles in soup. I like udon more than ramen, because I think the taste is lighter. Udon is very popular all over Japan. But I had never seen udon from a vending machine before. 

When I looked into it, I found out that it is actually fresh udon! The cook fills the machines many times each day, so that it doesn’t run out. There’s also ramen and soba, and toasted sandwiches, and everything is under 300 yen. Since there’s no interaction, I think this is okay to eat during Corona. Of course, I ate in the car.

This place is very famous, and the type of vending machine is rare. I wasn’t interested before, but the more I learned, the more interested I became. I think it’s like that for a lot of things, right? Just like udon vending machines, the more I study Japanese, the more interested in the Japanese language I become. It’s only after you’re interested in something that you can really begin to learn!

What are you most interested in? What do you want to learn about?

-Caitlin

Friday, 20th August 2021

Ah… summer holidays are nearly over. Did you do anything fun?
I didn’t do much. I helped my friends move. I practiced skating when it was sunny. When it rained, I drew pictures and played games. I even went on small hikes once or twice.
This is my third summer in Japan, but I haven’t been able to travel or do anything for two of them. It makes me a little sad.

Even so, I really like living in Gunma! When I ask students what they like about Gunma, or what interesting things there are to do, sometimes people can’t think of anything. “Gunma, huh? Well…” is the answer they give me. 
But actually, I think there are many interesting things in Gunma!
There are some amazing hot spring towns, like Ikaho or Kusatsu, that have interesting museums and food as well as relaxing baths. There are huge mountains, such as Akagi or Haruna, where you can go hiking or drive on famous roads. There’s Doai Station, which is the deepest railway station in Japan (it’s 70m down!), or Oze National Park, which is beautiful in any season. There’s even a safari park, with white tigers and lions and bears, oh my!
So even though we can’t travel and need to stay home, there are many things we can do in Gunma that don’t require us to be close to other people. Maybe you did some of these during your holidays. Can you think of any others? What are your suggestions?

Caitlin

Wednesday, 4th August 2021

We’re nearing the end of the Olympics. There are only four days to go. Currently, Japan is in 3rd with 19 medals, and Australia is in 4th, with 14 medals.
I don’t have much interest in the Olympics, because I don’t really like sport. But I was excited to see that skateboarding was an Olympic event this year! I think it’s great that sports like skateboarding are being acknowledged. They are actually difficult and take a lot of skill, too! 
When I was younger, skateboarding was seen as a bad thing. If you were skateboarding, it meant you weren’t good at studying, or that you were lazy. But at the women’s Olympic event the winner, Momiji Nishiya, was 13 years old! The silver medalist, Rayssa Leal, was 12! Isn’t that amazing? They must practice very hard. If that’s true how can they be lazy?

I think they are giving skateboarding a good image. I hope more people try interesting sports like skateboarding, and don’t worry about what other people think about it. Maybe we’ll have many more interesting Olympic events in the future!

What interesting sports do you want to try?

-Caitlin

Friday, 30th July 2021

Hello everyone! It’s been a while; how are you?
Actually, it’s summer holidays now. I haven’t been at school to post this blog. Instead, I have been helping my friends to clean their apartments. For ALT’s like me, the summer holidays can be a sad time. It’s when many of us finish working in Japan and go back to our home countries. This year, many of the friends I have made here are moving. Some are from America, some are from other countries. I may not see them again for a long time, or ever. But I won’t forget them!

It’s also been very hot here recently. Most days are 30°C or more. It can be hard to stay cool (especially when moving furniture…) but Japan has a really cool way to stay cool! It’s kakigori– shaved ice! You can find kakigori with many different flavors. There are many other countries with similar dishes: Korea has bingsu, Malaysia has ais kacang, Thailand has nam kang sai, Vietnam has chè ba màu, The Philippines has halo-halo... each is unique, but they are all delicious! If I visit my friends in other countries someday, I want to try shaved ice with them!

Well, I’m going to enjoy my summer holidays now. See you again soon!

(This is the kakigori I ate yesterday!)

-Caitlin

Thursday, 15th July 2021

What differences do you know of between Japanese and Australian life? We sometimes talk about it in English class. For example, in Japan, we call buffet-style restaurants “viking” restaurants! In Australia, we would think of a big, ancient sinviking person! Or in Australia, we call potato fries “chips”. We also call potato chips “chips”. Hold on, which ones am I talking about..?

Another difference between Australia and Japan is the school year. While Australia starts their year in February and splits the year into four terms, Japan starts in April and has trimesters. Next week it will be summer holidays here (yay!) but students still have to come to school every day (no!). In Australia, summer holidays are almost three months long, and you don’t need to come to school. Many families go on holidays together, or students work in part-time jobs. It’s nice to take a break like that, but many people think that three months is too long. What do you think?

Sometimes, the most interesting differences between Japan and Australia are not so obvious. Do you know Domino’s Pizza? I think you might! They have stores all over the world. But did you know the menu is different? Australia has many toppings from all over the world, and even vegan and gluten-free options for people who can’t eat certain foods. It’s really good! Japan has some interesting flavors, too…

Actually, many famous restaurants will change their menu in different countries. If you are interested, you should look at the menu for McDonalds, or even Mosburger!

Do you want to try some Australian flavors?

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 7th July 2021

Happy Tanabata, everyone!
Do you know Tanabata, the Star Festival? It starts on the 7th of July every year. It is held to celebrate the meeting of Orihime, the weaver princess, and Hikoboshi, the cow herd. Legend says that the two live separated by the Amanogawa, the Milky Way, and can only meet once a year. However, if it rains, the river floods and they cannot cross. If that happens, they have to wait another year to meet. 

Do you think it will rain tonight? If it does, it’s okay! Even though we say that the 7th of July is the Star Festival, legend says that they meet on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar – that’s August 14th this year!

This festival has been popular since the Edo period, and now it is common to see paper decorations hanging from bamboo trees. There are seven different kinds of decorations. The most common one is tanzaku, strips of paper with wishes written on them.

Do you have something you want to wish for? Actually, there’s a tree in the English room! If you want to make a wish, why don’t you write something?

-Caitlin

Monday, 28th June 2021

Hello, everyone! I have good news! Next week, I will finally get my COVID vaccine! I will get the Moderna shot.

I’m happy that vaccines are available now because it means we are making the world safer for everybody. If we are all vaccinated quickly, the virus may become less widespread. But because not everyone can take the vaccine, and because it only lasts for a short time, the virus might not ever be 100% gone. That’s why it’s important that everyone who can take the vaccine receives it quickly, so that it doesn’t get even stronger and become a big problem again in the future.

But you know what? I am really scared of needles! When I see them, it makes me cry. I know they don’t really hurt, but looking at them is really scary! I have been scared of needles since I was a child. So I have a question. When you have to do something scary, or something you don’t want to do, how do you get over it? I’m interested to hear your methods!

-Caitlin

Monday, 21st June 2021

Last week, everyone had exams. Good work, everyone! I’m sure you’re tired. Did you rest well over the weekend?

Because of exams, I didn’t have classes last week. Instead, I was making posters to decorate the old computer lab. Since students have their own Chromebooks now, that room is not being used. So I wanted to make it exciting. Now there are many English posters there! There’s information about grammar points, different countries, Australian food and animals, and many other useful words. If you’re interested, please check it out!

What other posters would you like to see there? What things about English are you interested in? If there’s a difficult point or a subject you want to know more about, please tell me. I will add it to the room.

-Caitlin

Monday, 14th June 2021

Do you know Animal Crossing (どうぶつの森)? How about Pokémon (ポケットモンスター)?
Both Animal Crossing and Pokémon are popular all over the world. You can catch and collect many different things in these games. But did you know that it actually comes from real bug catching?

Bug catching is very popular in Japan. In summer, many children go out to catch bugs. They can catch grasshoppers, crickets, and beetles. I have seen children putting bugs into small plastic cages to keep as pets. At first, I was surprised to see it. We don’t usually do this in Australia, because many bugs in Australia are very dangerous. We are taught to not touch bugs. 

So the other day, when there was a big beetle outside the school, I was worried when some students wanted to pick it up. But we moved him out of the way, and put him in the bushes at the bottom of the stairs. He looked happy!

What do you think about catching bugs?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 8th June 2021

What sports do you like?
When I was a student, I didn’t like any sports. I couldn’t run or swim fast, or catch or kick a ball, and I was short. I was the third shortest person in my senior year at high school. I always came last in marathons and races and often had the lowest grades in P.E.

But sports are important for Australian people. In Australian schools, we have to do a lot of sports. Every Wednesday at my school, we had to wear a sports uniform and play sports for two hours instead of going to class. Some people are good at one sport, like rugby or netball, and can join a team. In Japan, you can join the club you like, and your team will teach you, right? But in Australia, you have to know how to play first and try out for the team. If you’re not good enough, you can’t play that sport. I think this system is unfair. If you can’t try, how can you know if you like it or not? 

I played netball in elementary school, but I wasn’t good enough in high school. So I didn’t make a team. I thought, “I am bad at sports. I’m not strong or fast enough.” After that, I only did sports where I could go slowly, or with friends. But I never tried hard, because I was afraid of not being good enough. If I stayed a beginner forever, then I didn’t have to be good, right?

But last winter, a friend asked me to try snowboarding. I was scared, but I tried it anyway. At first, I didn’t like it. I wasn’t strong enough to stand up and I was afraid to go fast. I didn’t want to try again. But another friend told me to keep trying, and that it was normal to be bad at it for a long time. So I tried again. I was surprised to find that I liked it! If you read this blog before, you’ll know I went snowboarding a lot after that! Now, it’s one of my favorite hobbies.

I can’t go snowboarding in winter, so I decided to try another new sport. It’s something I always wanted to try, but was too scared to. And maybe some people don’t like this sport, or don’t see it as a sport… but now it’s in the Olympics! Can you guess what it is? I put a picture of it below…

I didn’t like sports before. But now I know that there are hobbies for everyone! You don’t need to compare yourself to others. You just have to keep exploring and try your hardest. If you are better than the you from yesterday, that’s enough. 

– Caitlin

— 

Monday, 31st May 2021

Wow, it’s almost June!
That means it will be hot and humid soon, and the school uniform will change to short sleeves. It’s really summer!

Because it’s summer, I want to go to the beach to swim. But Gunma is surrounded by mountains. There is nowhere to swim here, right? I heard you can’t swim in the lakes or rivers, so I guess I’ll just keep going on hikes until I find a place to swim. If you have any recommendations, please tell me!

By the way, I went to Kiryu Nature Observation Forest yesterday. I sometimes go here to walk because the view is nice and the path is not difficult. But yesterday it was so hot… and there were hornets everywhere! No! Summer is the worst!

… I’m supposed to add a photo here, but I can’t access my emails or anything. I was going to show you a photo of Kiryu Nature Observation Forest. But I can’t. So here is a picture of a tree that I drew in 20 seconds. I hope you like it. 

-Caitlin

Monday, 24th May 2021

Last night, I watched Eurovision. Have you ever watched Eurovision? I talked about it here last year, too!
The Eurovision Song Contest is a large international singing competition held in Europe every year. It was first held in 1956, and over 56 countries have participated in it, including Australia.

Last year, the contest was only shown online, because of COVID-19. This year, they held a live event in Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands. They only allowed 3500 people to attend so that it would be as safe as possible. But there were 180 million viewers online! I think it’s more convenient to watch it online, because the time is different in the Netherlands. If I wanted to watch it live, it would be around 4am in Japan! No thank you!

If you’re interested in Eurovision, you should check it out on youtube. Tell me what you think!

-Caitlin

Monday, 17th May 2021

The weather is going to be humid and rainy all week… Does this mean summer is starting? 
I like summer in Japan. When I tell people this, they seem surprised. “But why! It’s so hot!” they always say. Well, I’ll tell you!

Even though it’s really hot, there are many fun things you can do in summer. For example, you can go swimming, or eat shaved ice. In some areas, you can do fun summer sports, like rafting (I don’t know if this is fun or scary, though). There are also many summer festivals and delicious food!
I think Midori is beautiful in summer, too. Everything is so green, and there are many beautiful flowers.

In Australia, summer means that a lot of nature turns brown, not green. That’s because the sun is so hot, that all the grass burns. There are often huge wildfires or flash floods. It’s so hot, but often you can’t go swimming. The ocean has jellyfish and sharks, and the rivers and lakes have crocodiles! If you go camping, you can’t light a fire because it’s too dangerous. And you have to watch out for snakes and spiders! Did you know that 21 of the world’s 25 most deadly snakes can be found in Australia?! Uh, maybe now you understand why I like summer in Japan…

ーCaitlin

Monday, 10th May 2021

The Tokyo 2020(1) Olympics are now just 74 days away.
The Olympic Games are usually held every four years, and athletes from over 200 countries come together to participate. The first modern Olympics were held in 1896, but the ancient Olympic Games were held in Greece in the 8th century BC! The Olympics have been canceled only three times in history -1916, 1940, and 1944 were all canceled because of wars.

There are many different opinions about having the 2020 Tokyo Olympics during the pandemic. Some people think it will be okay, but many more think it’s better to cancel it. Currently, a petition to cancel the games has over 300,000 signatures. The petition says the games should not be held to protect people’s lives. The state of emergency has been extended in many parts of Japan. Vaccinations only began for people aged 65 and over last month, and the vaccination rate is at only 2% of the population. Over 10,500 people have died, which is more than in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Because of this, people think that it is too dangerous to host the games here.

Other people argue that the games can still be held safely, and that canceling them is bad for the economy. They are also worried about how Japan looks to the rest of the world. These people think that the Olympics will help Japan to make money, and bring more tourists. 

Do you think the Olympic Games should be canceled? Why?

– Caitlin

Thursday, 6th May 2021

Yesterday was Children’s Day in Japan, right? Many countries have Children’s Day, but it’s at different times. For example, Australia’s is in October, and America’s is in June! There’s also an International Children’s Day in November. Children are important everywhere!

Oh, but there’s something that is only in Japan. Carp flags! They’re very interesting. In Australia, we call this sort of thing ‘kites’ or ‘windsocks’ – does the wind have feet? Weird, right!?

Do you know the story of the Koi that climbed a waterfall?

In the tale, a huge school of golden Koi were swimming in a river in China. The fish grew strong as they swam together through the river. When they reached a waterfall at the end of the river, many of the Koi gave up.
But some of the Koi didn’t give up. Jumping high, they tried to reach the top of the waterfall. Then some demons saw them, and they laughed and made the waterfall taller. After one hundred years of jumping, one Koi finally reached the top. Because of its efforts, the gods turned it into a golden dragon!

This story is the reason why there are carp flags in Japan. They’re a symbol of determination, and for a good future for children. It is the wish that they will grow up healthy and strong.

What’s your wish for the future?

-Catlin

Monday, 26th April 2021

It’s almost the end of April already… The sakura have finished blooming, and the weather is becoming warmer.
But some things are still the same; Tokyo and Osaka went back into a (third) state of emergency yesterday because COVID is growing more and more dangerous.

Next week is Golden Week, a set of holidays in Japan. The new state of emergency will end on May 11, after these public holidays. Usually, it’s one of the most popular times to travel. But I think that it’s too dangerous to travel now. I think it’s too dangerous to even go to places like shopping malls or cinemas, especially in Isesaki or Ota! I hope everyone stays home instead, and that people aren’t selfish. Instead of going to these places, let’s enjoy nature in a socially distant way! For example, I went on a hike in Kiryu. It was a really nice view from the top, and it’s good to exercise! 

Until many people can receive the vaccine, we won’t be safe. Although almost 50% of Americans have now been vaccinated, less than 1% of Japan has gotten the first shot. And now, we have the U.K. variant in Gunma, too. It spreads faster, and is more deadly, especially to younger people. Hmm…
I’m very scared of needles, and I cry when I have them. But I will get this vaccine to keep myself and others safe!
How about you?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 20th April 2021

Do you know fish and chips? Have you ever eaten it?
Fish and chips first appeared in the UK in the 1860s. It was really important to them, and it became very popular in other countries, like Australia and New Zealand. The first shop in Australia opened in 1879, in Sydney. But now you can find fish and chip shops everywhere. Apparently, it’s the most popular takeaway food in New Zealand!

I really miss fish and chips the Australian way, but recently I found something very similar right here in Kiryu! I was so surprised. Often, places in Japan use panko crumbs on the fish, but this isn’t what we use in Australia. In Australia, flour is used! And we use large potato chips, not fries. Do you know the difference?

I had some students last year tell me about when they ate fish and chips in Australia during their homestay. I hope that you can try it someday, too!

-Caitlin

Monday, 12th April 2021

Japan is famous for a lot of things, like food, anime, and…  trains!
Of course, everyone knows the shinkansen, and many people also know about Japan’s rail system. It’s very convenient, efficient, and better than in other countries like Australia (the trains there are very bad).

I think that trains are very important in Japan. 45 of the world’s 50 busiest railway stations are in Japan! There are 30,625 km of railway tracks across the country, and almost 10 billion people ride the train each year.

But did you know that Gunma also has a famous train?
It’s the D51 498 – a steam train! It’s really old. It was originally built to pull freight cars and climb hills. Now, you can see it in Minakami. You can even ride it through Gunma!

Do you often ride the train? 

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 7th April 2021

The new school year starts today!
Hello to new students, and welcome back to second and third graders. Did you have a nice vacation? What did you do?

I also had a vacation, kind of. It’s still not safe to travel, and a new Monster Hunter game came out… I guess you could say I went on vacation to Kamura Village..?

Oh, but the other day I did get to see some beautiful sakura! I drove to Azuma, in the north of Midori City, and enjoyed the blossoms there. 
I also bought a really cool goshuincho – a special stamp book! Usually, goshuincho are for temples or shines, but the one I bought is for the railway. You can travel all over Japan, and get a stamp in different places.

It might take me a long time since traveling is difficult now, but I look forward to trying in the future!

-Caitlin

Monday, 22nd March 2021

It’s the last week of school!
Friday this week will be the beginning of the school holidays, and the end of the Japanese school year. It’s still a little strange to me because in Australia we start school in February. So it feels like the start of the year, not the end!

Another strange thing is that many teachers will also leave at the end of the school year. It seems that in Japan, teachers change schools often. They are moved around all over the prefecture. But in Australia, teachers can stay at the same school for years and years… maybe even 20 or 30 years or more! I think both systems have their good and bad points.

By the way, I can see the sakura starting to bloom from the staff room window. It really marks the beginning of the changing seasons, doesn’t it..?

-Caitlin

Monday, 15th March 2021

If you are in Japan, you know about White Day. But if you are from another country, like me, maybe you don’t know it!
White Day is a holiday celebrated today, March 15, and is very similar to Valentine’s Day. On White Day, men give chocolate to the women who gave them gifts on Valentine’s Day. Apparently, this holiday began in Japan in 1978. It’s now celebrated in some other Asian countries, too. But we don’t celebrate it in Australia. In Australia, both men and women give chocolates only on Valentine’s Day. What do you think about this? 

Even on a normal day chocolate is popular in both Japan and Australia, though. In fact, Australia has many famous chocolates, like Tim Tams, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and of course, Milo! Did you know Milo is from Australia? It’s only just become popular in Japan, but it’s been popular in Australia for a long time. When I was in school, I used to drink it almost every day!

What chocolate do you like the most?

-Caitlin

Monday, 8th March 2021

Yesterday, I helped with some school cleaning in the morning. 
We moved all the boxes, newspapers, and other recycling outside so that the big trucks could collect them.
Japan is really serious about trash! I think it’s amazing. In Japan, you have to sort all your trash properly. Glass, plastic, paper, cans, and metal are all separated. A lot of it is recycled well. 

Last year, Japan also stopped giving free plastic bags with shopping. But actually, this has been normal in Australia since 2018. Some cities stopped using plastic bags in 2003! Now, if you need to buy a bag, you can buy special eco-bags for about ¥20. In Japan, you can still get a normal bag for only ¥2, right? And when you buy fruit or vegetables it’s all in plastic. In Australia, we don’t use this much plastic. You can just take each item one by one.

I think it’s good that the world is taking steps to reduce waste. What other ways can you think of to use less plastic?

-Caitlin

Monday, 1st March 2021

Sometimes, communication isn’t just grammar or words. There are many difficult things about interacting with different cultures, even if you can speak the same language.

In many languages, like Japanese or German, there are different levels of politeness. For example, in Japanese you might call someone -san or -sama to be formal, or in German you might use sie. English also has these words. In America, they might call you sir or ma’am at a store. This is a way of being polite. But in Australia, if you use these words, it’s rude! … Hm? What do you mean?

Australian culture is very different! In Australia, it’s rude to be polite to people you know. If you keep talking formally after a while, people will think you hate them, or that you want to fight, even if the person is your superior or older than you. You should drop to the lowest casual form of English if you want to be friends! For example:

  • Good morning = Hey!
  • How are you? = How’s it goin’?/How are ya?
  • I’m fine, thank you. And you? = Not bad, thanks! You?/Pretty good, yourself?
  • Excuse me = ‘scuse me (No ‘Ex’ sound).
  • Pardon me? = Hm?/What?/Huh?
  • Please wait a minute = Hold on.
  • I’m sorry = My bad!
  • No = Nah
  • Yes = Yeah

Actually, it was very difficult for me when I first came to Japan. I didn’t understand that there were different ways to talk to different people, and I used a casual form for everyone… So maybe I was rude to you? My bad!

-Caitlin

Monday, 22nd February 2021

Wow! February was over in a flash. I think winter is almost over, too! I decided to ride my bicycle to school today, because the weather was so nice. Today is 20°. It’s a very sudden change. It might get colder again this week, so for now I’m going to enjoy the warmer weather. Right now, nature has a good balance. But I’m sure that when summer comes around, I’ll miss winter…

I think late February and early March are very quiet, for both Australia and Japan. Now that all the major tests are finished, and school has a month left, what is it you want to focus on? Will you study hard for next year? Do you have many things to do, or will you relax a little and enjoy the beginning of spring? Well, I think that if you enjoy the time you wasted, then it was not a waste of time. So like nature between winter and spring, I want to find a good balance.

– Caitlin

Tuesday, 16th February 2021

Gong hei fat choy! Friday was Chinese New Year! It’s now the Year of the Ox. Do you know about Chinese New Year? The date is because of the lunar calendar, so it takes place on the first new moon between January and February. There are many important traditions around it. For example, lion dances, parades, fireworks, and most importantly, food!

I don’t think many places in Japan celebrate the lunar new year, and this year is even more difficult because of the virus, so I decided to celebrate at home. I cooked fish, pork, and many dumplings! It’s important to have food left over after Chinese New Year’s Day, because it means you will have a lot of food for the rest of the year.

恭喜发财! Can you read these Chinese characters?

– Caitlin

Monday, 8th February 2021

This weekend I went snowboarding… again!
Usually, I don’t like sports and I don’t like getting injured. But for some reason, snowboarding is a lot of fun even when I get hurt. And I get hurt often. Oops. At first, I was also very scared of the lift chairs. I don’t like heights. But now, it doesn’t worry me at all. It’s fun!

Since Australia doesn’t get a lot of snow, especially near my hometown, I had not tried snowboarding before I came to Japan. But now I have been about five times. I can ‘link’ my turns (going from one side of the board to the other) and jump a little. But I’m still a beginner. I know some students at Daichu are very good at snowboarding. Do you have any tips for me?

-Caitlin

Monday, 1st February 2021

It’s February now, and it’s still cold! This morning is -3° in Midori City… it must be much colder in other places, such as Minakami. On Saturday, I went to Minakami to go snowboarding. Even though I’m not good at it yet, it’s a lot of fun! I want to go as many times as I can this winter.

By the way, on the way up the mountain, a big van in front of me got stuck in the snow and they needed help to push the car… And then because we waited so long, my car and the cars behind me also got stuck… Well, it was my first time pushing a car, but I got a lot of practice.

-Caitlin

Tuesday 26th January 2021

Today is Australia Day. It is a public holiday in Australia. There are ceremonies all around the country, and it is a day when many migrants (people from other countries) become Australian citizens.

On January 26th, 1788, the first white people from the U.K. arrived on ships and began living in Australia. From that day, they decided that Australia was theirs, and said there was no one else living there. But there were already people there, with their own cultures, languages, and traditions. They were the First Nations peoples, sometimes called Aboriginal or Indigenous Australians.

Some people do not celebrate Australia Day, because it is seen as the day when the land was taken from the First Nations peoples. Many call the day Invasion Day or Survival Day. Because of these feelings, some people think that it would be better if Australia Day was celebrated on a different date. I think Australia should still have Australia Day on January 26th, but that it shouldn’t be a celebration. Instead, it should be a day to learn about First Nation peoples and their history and culture.

The next part is interesting. Do you like math?
A recent poll from Australia says that over 70% of people want Australia Day to stay the same. But that’s only for people over 40 years old. For people under 40, it is less than 50%!

Why do you think younger people support change, and older people don’t?

-Caitlin

Monday, 18th January 2021

It’s -3° right now! Waaaai~! I’m very cold!

In this and last week’s English classes, third graders are talking about their junior high school memories. Over the past three years, they have all made so many important memories. Some are good, and some aren’t. This year especially has been difficult because of the virus. Many things were canceled, so third-grade students didn’t get to do a lot of the things they were looking forward to.

I hope that everyone can leave Daichu with some good memories. I have only been here for a year and a half, but I already have many good memories!

By the way, can you tell what this student’s important memory was about? What do they want to do in high school?

-Caitlin

Thursday, 14th January 2021

Yesterday, first- and second-grade students had tests. How was it? Are you glad that they’re finished now? I hope this weekend you can all take a rest.

This week was shorter than usual because Monday was Coming of Age Day. It’s a holiday in Japan that celebrates people turning 20 and becoming adults.

There is no big ceremony to mark your 20th birthday in Australia like the one in Japan. Here, people wear furisode or suits (or sometimes hakama) and celebrate together. In Australia, maybe you have a birthday party with your friends and family.

That’s because in Australia, you become an “adult” at 18. This is when you can legally vote, drink and smoke (but you shouldn’t drink or smoke anyway). Japan will change the age of being an adult to 18 next year too, right? How do you feel about being thought of as an adult sooner? Is it good, or bad?

-Caitlin

Thursday, 7th January 2021

Happy New Year, everyone!
2020 is finally over. Are you glad? Relieved? Does it feel any different?
There are a lot of differences between New Year’s in Japan and Australia.
For example, did you know that in Australia, students move up a grade at the start of the year? In Japan, you change your grade in April, right? So for Australian students, the new year means new classes. And since it’s summer now, the students are still on vacation. Summer vacation in Australia lasts for almost three months… sounds nice, huh?

New Year decorations look very different, too. In Japan, you can find decorations like Kadomatsu and Kagami mochi, but in Australia, it’s balloons and streamers. Japan also has many traditional foods to eat for New Year’s, like mochi, soba, and a special lunch box. Australia doesn’t have anything like this. We also don’t have shrines or temples, so you don’t hear the bells ringing 108 times as you do in Japan for Joya no Kane. 

In Australia, people celebrate with their friends and family. Usually, they drink champagne and watch fireworks at midnight. It’s more like a big party! It’s common for people to have parties on boats, too! In Sydney, they have a huge fireworks display. It’s amazing! You can watch it on TV anywhere in Australia. Just before midnight, people count down together from 10, and shout “3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!” Then, people hug, kiss, or shake hands (I guess this year that probably didn’t happen though). The next day is a public holiday, so everyone rests. It’s necessary for people to rest after a New Year’s party!

I think the Japanese New Year’s celebrations are a lot more interesting than Australian ones. Do you want to enjoy a New Year’s party in Australia in the future?

-Caitlin

Monday, 21st December 2020

It’s the last week of school before Christmas and winter holidays!
What do you usually do for Christmas in Japan? I’ve heard that people often eat KFC, and I ate it with my friends last year. Usually, we don’t eat KFC for Christmas in Australia though! Since it’s summer there, we eat a lot of things like cold seafood, ham, and vegetables and salads.  I often had Christmas with my family. It was always very… lively.
This year I won’t do much, since it’s too dangerous to travel. But that means I can stay home, where it’s warm. Every morning has been under 0°, and there is sometimes snow on the roads when I drive to school. Ah, I miss summer!

My friend sent me these photos from Minakami the other day… even though I complain about how cold I am here in Midori, it looks much colder there. He said it’s about -10° in the morning. I don’t think I could live there. I would be too cold.

Which do you like more, cold or hot weather?

-Caitlin

Monday, 14th December 2020

There is a solar eclipse in South America today. Have you ever seen a solar eclipse? It’s when the sun is hidden by the moon. Today’s eclipse will only last for about two minutes, and we can’t see it from Japan, but it’s being live-streamed by NASA, so you can watch safely from anywhere in the world. That’s pretty cool!

Many cultures have ancient stories about solar eclipses. For example, Japan’s story is that the goddess Ameratsu hides in a cave, and can only be lured out again with a mirror. The Chinese story is that a dragon eats the sun. The ancient Egyptian story One Indigenous Australian story is that the sun is a woman, and chases after the moon, who is a man. There are so many stories from different cultures! Which one is your favorite ??


-Caitlin

Monday, 7th December 2020

Do you often listen to music? I do. I listen to music on my phone and on my computer at home.
Many of my friends use the same program to stream music. It’s a program where you pay every month, and you can listen to As much music as you like. You can even listen together with friends, so it’s good for online parties too. I think it’s convenient.
Every year, the program tells you what songs you listened to the most, and how much you listened to music . It’s interesting to see what music my friends like! What kind of music do you like?

Here are my top five songs for 2020, and how long I listened to music.

… 90,000 minutes? 63 days?
Er, isn’t that a bit too much?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 1st December 2020

Woah! It’s December !? I don’t know where the year has gone. It’s been really cold the last few days, and the temperature has already hit 0 ° at night. But while it’s winter in Japan, it’s summer in Australia- and there are temperatures above 40 ° right now!

Speaking of Australia, this weekend I was talking to someone who lives there … ah, it’s Peter! He was the ALT at Daichu about four years ago. He remembers many of the other teachers from that time!
Now, he lives on the Gold Coast. He teaches Japanese at a university there.
Peter says he likes both Australia and Japan. He usually speaks English at home. But sometimes he speaks Japanese, too.
Which do you speak at home, Japanese, or English?

I asked Peter about the virus in Australia. Australian people were very careful about the virus. They wore masks, didn’t see friends, didn’t go out to restaurants or shops, and many couldn’t even go to school or work for Because of how hard everyone worked to beat the virus, I think people in Australia will be able to travel to other safe countries soon. Peter wants to visit Daichu again, but there is still a lot of Corona in Japan, so it’s dangerous for people to come here …
Well, I hope things get better soon, so that Peter, my other friends, and my family can visit me here.

By the way, isn’t Peter’s dog cute?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 24th November 2020

Yesterday was a public holiday, which means we had a long weekend. Do you know why?

Of course, it’s because it was my birthday on Saturday!

I don’t think it’s safe to travel to crowded areas or to go to other prefectures, but there’s a lot to see in Gunma too. So this weekend, I drove to Takumi no Sato in Minakami. It’s a traditional crafting village where they have many different things, such as dying cloth, making washi paper, straw working, and even making soba! You can also pick apples and other fruits. I tried to stay outside, so I want to go back and try doing all of the craft experiences I missed next time.

There weren’t many people there, and all of the buildings are traditional too, so it felt like I was a ghost trapped in the wrong time. It was strange!

Ah! I got attacked by a bear!

… Huh? What do you mean, it wasn’t a holiday for my birthday? What is 勤労感謝の日 (Labor Thanksgiving Day)?

-Caitlin

Monday, 16th November 2020

Do you know Ebisu?
Ebisu is one of the Japanese Seven Lucky Gods. He is the god of prosperity and wealth for businesses and protects fishermen.
Usually, there is a festival at this time of year in Kiryu with many stalls and people. Last year, I went with my friends and we ate a lot of food, like yakisoba, yakimanju, and many other snacks! Of course, that can’t happen this year, but I think it’s a good thing to avoid crowded areas or places where people are removing their masks to eat. So even though I want to go, I will just wait for next year, and I’ll make all the food at home myself!

… I guess that’s not quite the same though, is it?

-Caitlin

Monday, 9th November 2020

When you think of Gunma, do you think of lions and tigers..?
I didn’t! So I was surprised to learn about Gunma Safari Park. It’s in Tomioka City, which is about one and a half hours’ drive from Midori City. You can even drive your own car through the safari park, so it was safe even with the virus.

There were many different animals from all over the world, such as lions, wolves, elk, and rhinoceros! There were even bears from Gunma. They were smaller than I thought, but they are still dangerous.
But I was most surprised to see white tigers! White tigers are very rare, so I was shocked to see two of them there. In Gunma, of all places!

Often, I don’t like zoos because the animals don’t have enough room to move or are separated, and the area isn’t like where they would live in the wild. They are just placed in small cages, and can only sleep. It’s the same as pet stores, where all the animals are in boxes with no toys or other animals. It’s not good for them. But the safari park had room for the animals to move around in their natural habitats, and animals like lions were able to stay together in their pride. So I think this kind of place is a good example of how zoos should be!


-Caitlin

Wednesday, 4th November 2020

Speaking of National Parks, Australia also has many beautiful rainforests and protected areas. One of the most famous is the Daintree. It’s an hour north of Cairns, and it is over a hundred million years old!

The Daintree is home to many of Australia’s animals. 30% of all frog, marsupial, and reptile species in Australia live here, and 65% of Australia’s bats and butterflies. Approximately 430 species of birds live in the Daintree Rainforest. Some can’t be found anywhere else in the world! It’s a very important place not only for Australia’s ecosystem but also for indigenous culture. There are 18 Rainforest Aboriginal tribal groups in the area, called the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people. Many places in the Daintree are important for their spiritual beliefs.

Recently, my parents went on a holiday here, and they sent me some photos. I have never been, but I think it looks beautiful and I want to visit there next time I go back to Australia. There are many amazing things you can do there! But if you go, be careful of crocodiles!

-Caitlin

Monday, 26th October 2020

Have you ever been to Oze National Park? On Saturday, I went for the first time. Oze is a huge highland marsh that is part of Gunma, Niigata, and Fukushima. It’s important for the Japanese ecosystem.

Oze is very famous for a walkway made of wooden planks that go through the marshland. To get there, you need to take a bus. I didn’t want to use the bus because of the virus, so I went to a different part of Oze instead. It was a mountain near Tokura.

Even though the view was nice, this trail was difficult! I think I made a mistake! I wanted to go to the lake, but it was getting dangerous to continue. It would take too long to get back, and I didn’t want to be on the mountain at night. But the thing that made it the most difficult is that it began to snow! I was shocked, and rushed back down the mountain!

Look at this picture. It’s autumn, so why did it snow!?

I want to go again and see other parts of Oze, but I think I’ll wait until spring…

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 21st October 2020

Last week, I gave you a riddle. Did you find the answer?
I’ll tell you. The answer is… a manhole cover! The ‘hidden world’ means the sewers, and ‘bearing the pride of it’s home…” Well, let me explain.

I think if you don’t live in Japan, maybe you don’t know about Japan’s manhole covers. I didn’t know until I moved here. In Australia, they’re not interesting, so you don’t really look for them But in Japan, manhole covers often have art on them. They usually have something about the town they’re in; for example, a place famous for its castle will have a picture of the castle on their manhole covers. There are thousands of different designs all over Japan!

I haven’t seen that many different designs yet, but I think it’s interesting. When I go to a new place, I want to look for the manhole cover in that area. Some places even have trading cards for them! Here is a picture of all the designs I have seen in Gunma. Which one is your favorite?

-Caitlin

Monday, 12th October 2020

Have you ever heard of a scavenger hunt? It’s a game where you need to use clues to find items or places. For example, the clue’find an item that starts with the same letter as your name’ means I need to find something that starts with the letter C … like cat, or cake, or canoe!

So this weekend, I went on a scavenger hunt around Gunma. I had to find things like an abandoned store, or a tanuki! Once I had found all the items, it spelled out the coordinates for Shōrinzan Daruma-ji Temple in Takasaki, where the treasure was (don’t worry, there wasn’t really a treasure there!). I didn’t win, but I had a lot of fun.

Do you want to try solving one of the clues? See if you can guess the answer!
“A shield against a hidden world, bearing the pride of its home.”

I’ll tell you the answer next week!

-Caitlin

Monday, 5th October 2020

This weekend, I went to Byakue Dai-Kannon in Takasaki. It’s a 41.8m tall statue of Kannon, or Kuan Yin. To get there, I walked through the botanical gardens and over a bridge called Hibikibashi. It is 120m long, and 28.5m high. It was really peaceful, and there weren’t many other people around.

There weren’t many flowers blooming in the botanical gardens, because the season has quickly changed to autumn.  I think that it will be more beautiful in a few months, when all the trees turn orange and red. Still, it’s nice to walk around outside a for little bit!

-Caitlin

Monday, 28th September 2020

Tomorrow is Daichu’s sports festival. There will be running races and other events. In Australia, we also have sports festivals, but there are many events that are different. In my school, we had three different events, on different days during the year.

In Summer, we had “Swimming Carnival.” The whole school would go to a huge pool, and there were many races. Next, we had “Athletics Carnival.” On this day, we had sprints, which are short races, like the 100m dash. We would also have things like shotput, javelin throw, and high jump. Since my school was next to a university, we would use the track there. It was very nice because it was designed for professional athletes. The last event was “Cross Country,” which is a kind of marathon where you have to run on grass or dirt, up and down hills, and even over rivers!

When I was in high school, I wasn’t good at sport, so I didn’t enjoy these days. But I did like wearing my team’s colors and taking part in the fun events. I was always in the blue team, but at Daichu this year, I’m in the Yellow team!

I hope everyone can do their best tomorrow. Good luck!


Here is a photo of the university running track.

-Caitlin

Thursday, 24th September 2020

This week, Monday and Tuesday were public holidays. It was nice to relax a little! I didn’t do anything interesting, though. Did you?

Australia has public holidays too. In fact, tomorrow, the 25th of September, is usually a public holiday in Melbourne. It’s the day before the AFL Grand Finals. But this year, the date has been changed because of the virus, so the public holiday has changed too.

Have you ever heard of AFL? It’s an Australian sport. AFL stands for Australian Football League. Sometimes, it’s called ‘footy.’ Two teams with 18 players try to score goals by kicking the ball between the two goalposts. Players can not throw the ball, but they can kick it or do a special move called a handball. They can also tackle another player to take the ball!

AFL is the only football game in the world that is played on an oval rather than a rectangle. It is a very fast and exciting game, and it’s the most popular sport in Australia.

This year, the grand final will be in October instead. Would you like to watch it?

-Caitlin

Monday, 14th September 2020

Good morning, everyone!
Suddenly, it feels like Autumn. Only last week, it was still above 30°, but this weekend it suddenly became colder. It’s only 24° and raining this morning. Since I couldn’t really go out all Summer, it makes me a little sad. I wanted to travel!
Well, I guess there’s always next year.

One good thing happened, though- I got mail! My friend, who is from Australia but lives in the U.K. now, sent me a postcard. I can’t visit her, because the virus means if I leave Japan, I can’t come back. So we usually talk online. I was happy to receive this postcard. I want to send one back. Can I find a postcard that has Midomosu on it?

Do you have friends in other countries? Where do they live?

-Caitlin

Monday, 7th September 2020

It’s September already! There’s only four months until 2020 is over. 

Usually around this time in Australia, spring is starting. Spring in Brisbane is interesting, because many different things begin to happen. For example, Brisbane Festival! It’s a festival that runs all month, with many different events. Brisbane Festival has music, acting , art galleries, fireworks, and even laser shows!  

This year it’s a little different, because of COVID. So that people don’t gather in crowds, there won’t be any fireworks. It’s a little sad, but it’s better to be safe. I watched the fireworks with my friends a few years ago, when I lived in Brisbane. It was a fun time. I hope I can watch them again in the future!

-Caitlin

Monday, 31st August 2020

Do you have something that you did when you were younger, but stopped doing? I do. Can you guess what it was? 

Yesterday, I went to Book-Off. It’s a store that sells secondhand items. It sells not only books, but also things like electronics, clothing, and instruments. I didn’t expect it, but I found something for a very cheap price I was so surprised! When I was in elementary school, I knew how to use this item. I practiced a lot! But when I started high school, I stopped. I didn’t like it any more.

But a few years ago, I had a friend with this thing, and I borrowed it for a little while. I found that it was still fun, and I wanted to learn it again. But it was very expensive, so I couldn’t . So when I saw this thing at Book-Off, I had to buy it!

Have you guessed yet?

It’s a violin!

I’m excited to learn how to play the violin again, even though I have to start as a beginner. It’s easy to look back at all the time I missed and think,’ah, I should have kept playing when I was a child ,’but the longer I think that, the more time will pass without me improving, and I won’t have moved at all. If I start today, I will start improving today. 

It’s more important to look at what you’ve done than how long it took you to do it. If we measure time by what we’ve done, or our lives by how much we’ve lived, and not how many hours or days or years something takes, things get a little brighter!

What will you start today?

-Caitlin

Monday, 24th August 2020

School starts again today! Today and tomorrow are test days, though, so we won’t have classes. Good luck, everyone!

What did you do for your last weekend of holidays? Did you have to study? I should study more, but instead I played video games this weekend. The game I play the most is Final Fantasy 14 Online –it’s an MMO. MMO means ‘Massively Multiplayer Online,’ and you play together with many different people from all around the world. I play this game with my friends in Australia, and we can use the internet to talk to each other while we play. It’s almost like being in the same room!

Since we can’t go to the beach in reality, we went to the beach in game.
… it wasn’t quite the same, though. Oh well! I still had fun. 
Do you play games with you friends? What games do you like?

-Caitlin

— 

Thursday, 20th August 2020

Summer holidays are at an end. It makes me a little sad, since holidays are always fun, but this year was a bit different because we couldn’t travel or meet with friends. So I’m looking forward to school starting again!

I have challenged myself to ride my bicycle more and more. So I have been riding every day. This week, I even biked to Omuro Park. Do you know this park? It’s about half way between Midori and Maebashi. I went very early in The morning, before it got too hot. It was really nice! There were some beautiful sunflowers. Since there was no Sunflower Festival in Midori this year, it made me really happy to see some.

How about you make a challenge, too?
When school starts again, what will you challenge yourself to?
Maybe you want to be better at sport, or at English. Maybe you want to make a new friend, or learn how to cook! Please! tell me what you want to do. If you can tell me your challenge, and win, maybe there’s a prize!

 -Caitlin

Monday, 3rd August 2020

It’s summer holidays! Yay!
But because of the virus, we can’t do anything. Originally, I wanted to go to the beach for my summer holiday, or maybe even to Okinawa. However, since more and more people have been getting sick Recently, I’ve decided to stay as close to home as I can.

I still want to go outside sometimes, and it’s important to exercise, so yesterday I went on a long bike ride. I went almost 12kms!
The first half was easy, and I had a good time. Do you know why? It was all downhill! Wait … that means- ah. The way back was not so easy. I didn’t think about this.

Now I’m so tired. Why does Japan have so many hills? Why !?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 28th July 2020

This time last year, my plane landed in Tokyo.
It was an overnight flight and it took 10 hours, so I was very tired. But I was also very excited. I was about to start working and living in Japan!

In the past year, I have done many interesting things. I learned a lot of new skills, made new friends, and ate new foods (like natto). I even learned how to ride a bike recently!

When I arrived, I decided to set a goal. My goal is to visit all 47 prefectures in Japan. So far, I have been to 25 of them. There are still a lot of places I want to visit, and a lot of things I want to try. So, I’m staying for another year. I look forward to helping you learn English in the future, too! Maybe  I’ll even learn how to enjoy natto…

-Caitlin

Monday, 20th July 2020

July is almost over, and this week is short! We have two public holidays on Thursday and Friday, making this a four-day long weekend. I think many students will be studying for next week’s tests, though. I hope you can find a way to enjoy the holidays and study too.

This weekend was sunny again, so I went outside. I walked about 8kms, and biked about 5kms. Before this month, I did not know how to ride a bike. So even though I am very tired now, it was good practice! I went to a small mountain near Kasakake, but I didn’t know the name of it. I asked an old man there, but he didn’t know the name, either. Well, there was a nice view from the top anyway.

I also saw lotus blossoms this weekend. The lotus flowers are in season now, so there are a lot of them. I think they’re pretty, but I think that hydrangeas are prettier! What do you think are Japan’s prettiest flowers? Is it sakura?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 14th July 2020

The weather is still rainy, hot and humid. I think August will be better, even if it’s hotter, because if it doesn’t rain I can go outside a little more.
Since the virus is spreading faster again now, it’s still a bad idea to travel, so I have been exploring close to home. Recently, I found some street art!

Do you know about street art? Sometimes it’s called graffiti, but it’s not just when people write their name on a wall. It can also be huge murals on the sides of buildings, or entire streets full of art! There are many famous places all around the world where you can see some really impressive art. Even Australia has a few. There are even artists that started by making street art and are now very famous, like Banksy.

Do you think street art is important?

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 8th July 2020

It’s been raining non-stop recently. If it was only raining, it would be okay. But it’s not only raining, but also humid and very hot! I really don’t like it!

Yesterday was Tanabata. It’s my first time learning about this festival.
It’s originally the story of two lovers who are stars in the sky, and are separated by the Milky Way. They can only meet once a year. Each year, people write their wishes on paper and tie it to a bamboo tree. If the sky is clear on the 7th, the wish will come true! But if it rains, the two cannot meet this year, so the wish cannot come true. Ah… last night was rainy and cloudy, so I guess they didn’t get to meet…

Did you wish for something? If we work hard, maybe it will come true anyway! Let’s make our own decorations in English!

-Caitlin

Monday, 29th June 2020

Somehow, it’s already halfway through the year.
I guess it feels strange because the normal schedule could not be followed, huh? There were a lot of things I had planned to do in the last six months but couldn’t. Before the virus, I travelled as much as I could, but now all I can do is stay home.

Recently in English class, third-year students wrote to me about different prefectures. I learned things like what the prefecure was famous for, and what you can do there. I think it’s interesting how much there is to see in Japan, even though it’s a small country. There are still many prefectures I want to visit, and now I know about more places I want to go to, too. As soon as I can, I want to go travelling again!

Is there a place you want to go to? Why do you want to go there?

-Caitlin

Monday, 22nd June 2020

The weather report says it will rain all week, with storms from Friday to Sunday. I guess I’ll stay inside…
Thankfully, this Saturday was sunny! It seemed like a rare opportunity, so I decided to see Mt. Haruna, one of Gunma’s three famous mountains. It was my first time going there.

The road was steep, so I wasn’t sure if my little car could make it. This road is actually a very famous track in Initial D, isn’t it? The road was very narrow in some places, and had a lot of turns. I don’t think I could drive quickly here though, even if I wanted to. Thankfully there were no problems, and I got to see the mountain and the lake. It was a nice day out.

While I was there, I saw some horses! They were there giving rides to children. There was also a very big horse pulling a carriage. …Hey, you know what? Even though Gunma’s mascot is a horse, that was the first time I had seen horses in Gunma. Why is that?

-Caitlin

Monday, 15th June 2020

Right now in America and many other coutries (Japan, too!), people are protesting against racism and the mistreatment of Black people in a movement called Black Lives Matter.

This movement has existed for a long time, because racism has always been an issue. For many decades, people of color have been unfairly treated in some ways, like not being hired for jobs, or not being given the same opportunities in life. Often, peaceful or quiet ways to support the movement were opposed by people in power.

On May 25th this year, a Black man named George Floyd was unfairly killed by police officers.  After that, protests started all over America. Many protests are peaceful,  but many, especially in the US, have become violent. Now, some cities are talking about changing how their police force works. It’s a change for the better.

The protests are continuing and many people around the world are following the movement and thinking of ways to make things better for Black people, and for everyone else, too.

Often, there are many sides to an issue- but no one ever deserves to be treated badly because of the color of their skin. We live in a globalised world, so it’s important that we think about all the different people who we share it with, and do what we can to keep it fair for everyone.

-Caitlin

Monday, 8th June 2020

It’s our second week back at school. Classes are still split in half, and everyone is taking measures to stop the spread of the virus.
For example, usually lunch is eaten in classrooms together, which is a lot of fun, but now everyone has to eat away from each other. Lunch recently has been very interesting. Last Thursday, I tried fish sausage for the first time. I still don’t know if I like it, though…

It rained a lot this Saturday, but Sunday was nice weather. It wasn’t too hot, so I went hiking again. This time, I went to Mt. Nemoto in Kiryu.

At first, it was nice and easy! The path is next to the river, so there was some nice scenery. I wanted to see Junisan Shrine, but somewhere along the way I must have taken a wrong turn, because after two hours I was very lost. I think I ended up Tochigi?

Well, it was a nice walk, even if I didn’t get to see the shrine.

-Caitlin

Monday, 1st June 2020

Wow, I can’t believe it’s June already!
That means it’s almost tsuyu, or rainy season, right?
Everyone tells me that the weather will be muggy and humid, and it’s not very nice. But Australia is often like this, too. So maybe it won’t be so bad. I am already used to that kind of weather.

In Australia, we call our rainy season ‘wet season.’ It’s usually between December and March, which is Summer in Australia. During wet season, it is often stormy, and it floods. It can be dangerous!

While it was still sunny this weekend, I decided to go hiking.
Midori has a lot of nice places to go out, and I didn’t even see another person the whole time. I hope I can go hiking with friends again soon though. It’s more fun to be with friends!

-Caitlin

Thursday, 28th May 2020

The very long break is at an end. From next week, we will have classes again. Things will be different, though. Now, we can’t do a lot of things that we used to do, like facing each other or talking in pairs. We will have to remember to wash our hands and wear masks or face shields, and it will probably be a long time before this changes. It’s the new world we’re living in.

A lot of people are talking about what they will do when the virus is over, but I think it is going to be a long time before that happens. But we can’t stay home forever. It’s a difficult decision for the world to make; if everything stays shut, people will suffer because they won’t have enough money to live. But if we all go out like normal, it’s likely that people will get sicker. Maybe the problem isn’t so easy after all. If the world didn’t rely on money, I wonder how things would be different..?

Which do you think is more important- money, or health?

-Caitlin

Monday, 18th May 2020

Wow! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
The state of emergency has just been lifted in Gunma, and school is set to resume soon. It doesn’t mean the virus is gone, though, so it’s important to continue to follow healthy practices like hand washing and social distancing.

Over the last month, I tried hard to study, but it was difficult to stay motivated. When there’s no variety in your day, everything becomes boring. Usually on weekends I see friends, so it was hard for me. I was lucky that most of my friends use the internet to communicate, so I could still talk to them often.

For example, this weekend was Eurovision! Do you know Eurovision? It’s an international singing competition that has been held every year since 1956. It is shown on live TV around the world.

After World War II, seven European countries came together to perform original songs, and then vote for a winner. A country cannot vote for itself. It continued to grow every year, and now there are over 50 countries that can compete – even Australia!

I have watched Eurovision with my friends every year since I was in university. This year was the first time it has ever been cancelled, but you can still watch the songs on YouTube. So on Saturday, I watched it with 12 of my friends from all around the world! My favorite entry this year was from Finland. The song was called Think About Things, and it was sung by Daði og Gagnamagnið. I also liked Russia’s song, Uno by Little Big. If you’re interested, you can watch it on YouTube.

Let’s learn songs from all around the world!

-Caitlin

Monday, 20th April 2020

Over the weekend, I had to move house. Yesterday while I was deciding where to put things, I thought about habits.

I was putting my things in the same place that they had been in my old apartment, because it was a habit for me to look for them there. So now my new apartment is the same as my old apartment!

Do you know what a habit is? It is something you might do every day, like brushing your teeth, or saying thank you after eating. A habit is something that you always do, and you don’t have to think about it. It’s automatic.

There are other things you can have habits for, like studying. I think if you have good study habits, it becomes easier to remember information. Habits like sleeping at the same time every day or drinking water once every hour are good not only for studying, but also for staying healthy.

Do you have any habits? What works for you?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 14th April 2020

School is canceled again.
Because more and more cases of the virus are appearing in Gunma, I think this is a good thing. Even though it might be boring and frustrating, it’s better to stay healthy and safe.
To stay busy and to protect myself. And people around me, I made some masks. In Australia, it’s uncommon to wear masks when you are sick, but right now everyone is wearing one. Even if you feel healthy, it’s good to think about the people around you who might not be so lucky. That’s why wearing masks, washing your hands, and social distancing are important!

… Hm? Are you still reading? Since there’s no class for a while, why don’t we learn some English? Oh, you’ll stop reading here, right? Well, I’ll just say it’s for me to study Japanese, then.

Here’s some terms about the virus.
Coronavirus = Coronavirus
Infected person = Infected person
Wear a mask = Wearing a mask
To cough = Coughing
Have a fever = Fever
Work from home = Working from home
Lockdown =
Blockage Avoid The Three’ Mitsu'(In English, we are calling these’The Three C’s’) =
Closed spaces = Closed closed
places =
Close contact = Close contact

Which of these things are you doing? I hope you are staying safe and healthy.

-Caitlin

Monday, 6th April 2020

Welcome back everyone! It’s the start of a new school year!
In Australia, teachers stay at the same school for as long as they want, but in Japan, teachers change schools every few years.I think it’s an interesting system.The teachers changed last week, so now there are a lot of new people. Since my Japanese isn’t very good, it’s hard for me to introduce myself. But I’ll try my best.

What did you do for your last weekend of the holidays? I stayed at home, but I watched a movie with a friend over the internet.It was in Italian, so it was hard for me to understand.I learnt Italian in school, but It was a long time ago.I want to practice more! What about you? Are there other languages ​​you want to learn? Is it English? You want to learn English, right? Right !?

Let’s study hard again this year, too!

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 31st March 2020

The new school year is going to start soon.What have you been doing these last few weeks? Since I think it’s important to be safe during this virus, I have been trying to stay at home as much as I can. It was good timing that a new game came out!

どうぶつの森 is called Animal Crossing in English. It’s a cute game where you live in a small village with animal characters. You can go fishing, catch bugs, and build shops and houses. I think it’s a very relaxing game, and you can go at your own pace. It’s perfect for staying at home!

You can also play Animal Crossing with friends using the internet. So I can still see my friends, even though I can’t really see them. I can even play with my friends who live in Australia.

Do you play games together with friends? What game do you like to play?

-Caitlin

Monday, 23rd March 2020

Last week marked the halfway point of the school closures in Japan, and today is the start of even stricter rules in Australia.
I have heard that most businesses have to close, and restaurants can only do take-out. A lot of my friends have lost their jobs because their work has to close for a long time, and others have to work from home. People cannot even go outside. I am worried for my friends, and I hope they stay healthy.

Usually in Australia, there is a big parade for St. Patrick’s Day. It would have happened on March 17th, but this year most of those events were cancelled. St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish holiday, but it is also celebrated in Australia and other countries. There are parades with dancing and music, and many people wear green. Since ‘Midori’ means ‘green,’ I wonder if we can celebrate it here in the future, too!

-Caitlin

Monday, 16th March 2020

Last week, the third year students graduated. Even though this term was cut short due to schools being closed, it seemed like everyone was happy to see their friends again at graduation. I hope everyone continues to strive for their dreams in the future! Good luck, everyone!

After the graduation ceremony on Friday, I didn’t know what else to do this weekend. It’s difficult to go out right now, because of the virus. So I stayed at home and a friend came to visit. We played games, and made a lot of food! We made bread from scratch, which was interesting. I had never baked bread before, but it tasted okay. We also made taiyaki, the fish shaped snack, and used different fillings. We made some with custard, and some with red bean paste. Taiyaki is one of my favorite Japanese snacks. Do you have a favorite snack? What is it?

-Caitlin

Monday, 9th March 2020

It’s been one week since the closures. Since I can’t move around much at work, I wanted to do something active on the weekend. But I didn’t want to go somewhere with a lot of people because of the virus.

Then I thought,” Ah! I got it! I’ll try snowboarding!”

I had never been snowboarding before. It’s difficult to find snow in Australia, after all. So on Saturday, I drove to Tanbara ski resort, which is about an hour and a half from Midori. Because it was in the snow, everyone was wearing masks and gloves, and stayed far away from each other. It’s perfect for the current situation!

At first, it was hard for me to snowboard. I fell over a lot trying to stand up. But by the end of the day, I learned how to heelside, toeside and glide down the hill.

Being in Gunma, we’re lucky to be surrounded by some of the best ski resorts in Japan. I had a lot of fun, and even though I’m very sore, I want to go again soon!

-Caitlin

Monday, 2nd March 2020

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that from today, students cannot come to school for a month. It’s to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Not just schools, but also stores and restaurants are closing. Everywhere, masks, hand sanitizer This decision was sudden, but I hope it helps to contain the virus. All the events I had planned to go to during March have been canceled.

On Saturday, I worked with Midori’s tourism department. Because I had to go out, it was very important for me to wear a mask and wash my hands often.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases in Gunma prefecture. By practicing good health hygiene, it’s possible to keep it that way.
Let’s remain calm and make sure we are not spreading rumors.

Stay healthy, everyone!

Tuesday, 25th February 2020

This weekend was a long weekend, so we had three days off. I decided to visit a friend in Agatsuma, and we went to Kusatsu together.

People told me about the smell, but it’s very different to be there yourself. Everything smells of sulfur! Eventually I got used to it, but at first it was very strong. It was snowing though, so I think that helped to make it smell less.

While we were there, we met some other friends by chance! It was nice to have fun as a group. We ate a lot of famous foods, like onsen eggs, and agemanju (fried manju). But my favorite was the black sesame manju !
Next Time I Go Back To Kusatsu, I Want To Eat It Again.

-Caitlin

Monday, 17th February 2020

Wow, it was foggy this morning! Even though it’s difficult to drive in this weather, I think it’s pretty.

Since the weather yesterday was also a little cloudy, I went to a cafe with my friends. This cafe is called 1203, and it’s in Kiryu. There are also games you can play there, like chess. They have amazing donuts, and the owners are very friendly. They speak English, so it’s easy for me to order there. I had the homemade hot ginger ale. I liked it a lot. I want to go and drink it again soon!

In the future, I want to go to this cafe often with my friends, and study together. Do you have a place you like to study? Where is it, and why do you like it?

-Caitlin

Monday, 10th February 2020

In Australia, people collect lots of different things. Many people collect stamps, or coins. Some of my friends collect anime figures, artwork or even manga. One of my friends collects movie tickets from every time she sees a movie. She has been collecting them for almost 10 years!

Since November, I have been collecting goshuin, seal stamps that you collect from temples and shrines. I think they are interesting, because every place has a unique seal. It’s a reminder of where I’ve been.

This weekend, I collected a seal from Tatebayashi. I went to visit a friend there, and we went to Morin-ji Temple. There is a story associated with the temple about a tanuki who turned into a kettle. I think this seal is cute!

Do you have a collection? What kind of things do you collect?

-Caitlin

Monday, 3rd February 2020

It’s somehow February already! I’ve been here for six months now, but it doesn’t feel that long. I feel comfortable living in Gunma.

On the weekend, my friends and I traveled to Ikaho. It was my first time visiting there. We did many things, such as riding the ropeway to the top of Mt. Monokiki, climbing the 365 stone stairs, and even ice skating!

Of course, we also took a bath in the onsen at the top of the stairs. It was very relaxing! It was so cold that there was snow, so the water felt even hotter than normal.

We also ate a lot of food. I had these flat noodles, but I don’t know what it was called. I also had kettle rice- the rice cooks inside the kettle, with a small fire underneath. Waiting for the rice to cook took about 20 minutes, so I was very hungry, but it was so delicious. Japanese food is the best! I want to travel everywhere, and eat everything.
Do you have any recommendations?

 

-Caitlin

Monday, 27th January 2020

Yesterday was Australia Day. It’s a day to mark the anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival from England. There is a lot of history behind this day, but not everyone thinks Australia Day is a good thing to celebrate. It’s important to listen to the stories. from both sides, and acknowledge the different opinions and feelings that everyone has.

Since I am not in Australia this year, I decided to go hiking with a friend in Kiryu. In Australia, there is a call you can make in the bush. It’s called Cooee . It means’come here’ in the native language of the Sydney area, and it’s used to attract attention or indicate your own location. The louder you can make your cooee, the better! I taught my friend how to cooee from the top of the mountain, but I was louder.

Coooooeeeee!

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 21st January 2020

Saturday this week marks the start of the Lunar New Year. It will be the Year of the Rat. 

In Australia, the Lunar New Year is widely celebrated. Melbourne celebrates the Lunar New Year with a 10-day festival. Not only Chinese, but also Korean and Vietnamese people celebrate together. There are things like cultural activities, dances, lion dances, dragon parades, firecrackers, and of course, food!

Many Chinese Australian families spend Lunar New Year by eating together. Children often receive lucky red envelopes with money, called Hong BaoAng Pao, or Lai See. The house is cleaned a few days before, and decorated with flags and lanterns. This year, I will celebrate with my friends and cook a lot of food. I’m looking forward to it!

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 14th January 2020

Sometimes it’s nice to relax. This weekend, I went out with friends.
First, we met at a cafe in Kiryu and drank coffee.

After that, we visited a park. Because it’s winter, the trees had no leaves, so there wasn’t much to look at. It was still fun to walk around though.

In the evening, we ate pasta. Do you like Italian food?
This time, I had squid ink pasta. It might look strange, but it was delicious. If you haven’t tried it, I would recommend it. New things can be scary, but I think it’s important to try. You might be surprised at the results!

-Caitlin

Monday, 6th January 2020

Happy New Year!
Winter holidays are over, and it’s time for classes to start  again. I hope you all had a fun and safe holidays and did many interesting things. As for me, I went on a road trip. I drove more than 2000 kilometers with my friends. I will update the English board soon with photos of my trip, so please check it!

First, we went to Fuji-Q for Christmas. It was snowing! 

The second day, we drove to Nagoya. There’s good food there!

After that, we went to Osaka. I went to a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure themed ramen restaurant. Do you know Jojo’s? It’s popular in Australia, too.

From there, we went to Kobe. I made some new friends. We then drove down through Okayama and Fukuyama, across Kurushima Strait, and into Matsuyama, Shikoku. There, I went to Dōgo Onsen, the bathhouse that inspired the one in Spirited Away. It’s also in the novel Botchan. Do you know these?

The next day, I went to Shimanto, in Kochi prefecture. We went there to attend a blacksmithing workshop, and we got to make our own knives! It was a really interesting experience.

Next, we went to Tokushima. I crossed Iya Vine Bridge.It was scary! So much scarier than the haunted house! Aaaah!

We tried to see the whirlpools at Naruto, but it was too dark… so we continued on to Hyogo for New Year’s Eve. I had a good time with friends.

We went to Nara next, and on the way home, we stopped in Iga, which is known for ninja, and Gifu. After that, we were finally back in Gunma. It’s nice to be home!

-Caitlin

Monday, 23rd December 2019

Merry Christmas!

It’s the end of semester! I can’t believe it’s been almost half a year since I came to Daichu. Let’s all do our best next year, too!

Do you like illuminations? In Australia, we call these lights ‘fairy lights.’ This weekend I went to Ashikaga Flower Park to see the fairy lights. It was very pretty. My favorite was the castle, because of the lights that looked like fireworks.  Tomorrow, I leave on a big road trip, and we will stop in Nagoya. I’m very excited! So I will get to see the lights in Nagoya, too! I hear they are beautiful.

What will you do during your winter vacation?

-Caitlin

Monday, 16th December 2019

This is my first Christmas in Japan, so I don’t know how it is celebrated.I have heard that it is popular to eat KFC for Christmas! What an interesting tradition! What do you usually do for Christmas?

Have you ever been to a Christmas Party? On Saturday, GAJET held their Christmas Party in Maebashi.Many ALTs from the Gunma area came.It was a lot of fun! I look forward to going again next year, too. 

-Caitlin

Monday, 9th December 2019

I have never been this cold before! In Brisbane, Australia, it usually only gets as low as 5 ° -10 °, even in Winter.How do you stay warm? I have been using my kotatsu a lot.

But this weekend, I left my kotatsu and went to Tokyo to see a friend from Australia. We went to the Monster Hunter cafe! There were lots of themed food and drinks. I had a parfait shaped like a Kirin!
What is you favorite monster ? Mine is Zinogre.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to a new board game cafe in Kiryu called Fufufu. It was a really nice place! They have many games, and some are even in English. I went with my friends, who are all ALTs from Kiryu.

We played Settlers of Catan, Race For the Galaxy, and Cactpot Party. They were all very fun, but Race For the Galaxy was too hard and confusing, so we gave up.

If you have time, I would recommend this place! It was fun!

-Caitlin

Monday, 2nd December 2019

Hello! What did you do this weekend? On Saturday, we all went to celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary together.I feel lucky to have been here for the milestone. 

On Sunday, I went to a Daruma workshop in Takasaki. They have been making Daruma for 200 years. There, the traditional craftsman makes almost 70,000 Daruma a year! I watched him paint the Daruma’s face, and then tried to paint my own. It was harder than it looked.

I haven’t made a wish, yet. It’s almost New Year’s, so I have to think about it quickly.

If you had a Daruma, what would you wish for?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 26th November 2019

Last week was my birthday. On Saturday, my friends surprised me with a trip to Disneyland! Everything was decorated for Christmas, and there was a huge Christmas tree! Christmas is my favorite holiday. I think it’s the best because you can have fun with friends and family.
It rained a lot, and it was very cold, but I had a good time.

The next day, we went to Tokyo One Piece Tower. I was happy to go there too, because One Piece is my favorite show. It’s very popular, both in Japan and in Australia!

I did not know that we were going to Tokyo. It was a surprise, and I think I am lucky to have such good friends.

-Caitlin

Monday, 18th November 2019

Hello everyone! How are you feeling today? I hope you had a good weekend, and that you are well. It seems like it’s the season for colds now, so please be careful with your health.

On Saturday, I went to Ashikaga, Tochigi, with a big group of other friends from the JET program. There were about 20 of us! We went to a festival at a winery, where there was lots of amazing foreign food. I had Italian sausage, and French bread. I also bought a lot of cheese!

The winery had been damaged from the typhoon recently, and there was an area where a landslide occurred. I have never seen the damage a landslide can cause before. But I think that Japan is slowly recovering. What a strong place!

-Caitlin

Monday, 11th November 2019

Right now, there is a natural disaster in Australia. It is in a state of emergency. There are currently 112 bushfires across the country. Hundreds of people have lost their homes, and some people have lost their lives. The fires are spread across 1000kms on Australia’s East coast and have already burned nearly 7000km 2   of land.

Bushfires are very common in Australia. They are more likely when the weather is very hot and dry. They can start from people lighting fires, or from natural causes like lightning. The fire can travel at 22kms / h –that’s almost as fast as you can drive in some areas of Midori.

I hope that all my friends and family are safe, and that the fires are finished soon before more damage is done.

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 5th November 2019

What! It’s November already ?! Now the day are getting colder, and I’ve discovered how amazing kotatsu are. I have never used one before, because they don’t have them in Australia.

I was even colder on Saturday, because I went up Mt Tanigawa at night! I went with some other friends, and even though it was a very long drive, it was worth it to see how pretty the stars were.I even saw a shooting star!

Next time though, I’ll definitely wear warmer clothes…

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 29th October 2019

Yesterday was Gunma Day! What fun things did you do this weekend?
I went to Takasaki and represented Australia at the Takasaki International Festival. There were booths from many different countries all over the world. I had tea from Taiwan, and food from Indonesia and China! 
Every country has its own good points. I think it is important to travel and experience many different countries and cultures, so that we can all understand each other from the heart.

The festival was a lot of fun, and people came to draw traditional Australian art and try Vegemite at our table. Have you eaten Vegemite before? If you’d like to try it, please ask!

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 23rd October 2019

This weekend, I went to Tokyo and met some friends from Australia. I forgot how busy it got, wow! I could barely walk down the street, it was so crowded. I went to the Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku for lunch. I really like themed cafes! We don’t have them in Australia, so I want to visit as many as I can while I’m living in Japan. 

After that, I went to Odaiba. I went to the TeamLab Borderless exhibit, which was fun. There are some really interesting light displays there. I
also saw the big Gundam statue! Actually, RX-0 Unicorn is my favorite Gundam model, so I was very happy to see it light up and change modes.

When I was in Tokyo, I met Peter-sensei! We had coffee at a very tiny cafe. They even had coffee flavored ice cream there. I want to go again and try it.
Peter-sensei! Come and visit Daichu again soon!

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 15th October 2019

On Saturday there was another big typhoon. This one was a bit scarier than the last one, but I had my friends with me all weekend. It was good to have company. We had already prepared food and water, and knew what to do in an emergency. I hope everyone also stayed safe this weekend.

Thankfully the weather on Sunday was very nice, so we all went out and ate burgers in Kiryu. They were delicious! I can’t wait to go back and try everything on the menu.

-Caitlin

Monday, 7th October 2019

On Saturday, I went to Nikko. I drove there with my friend Sylvia. It was a little scary, because there are so many small turns on the road, and many dark tunnels. Australia doesn’t have this sort of thing.
In Nikko It was so pretty! I want to go back later when all the leaves change color in Fall.

While we were there, we ate dango and cheese eggs. Then, I became an egg!

-CheeseEggCaitlin!

Monday, 30th September 2019

It has now been two months since I arrived in Japan. Time flew by fast!

I spent the weekend with my friend. We watched a movie together. It was a musical called’The Greatest Showman.’ Musicals are my favorite type of movie! In Australia, I often went to karaoke with my friends and sang songs from movies.

I want to listen to new music. Do you have any suggestions? Who are your favorite singers?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 24th September 2019

Another long weekend! This time, I stayed in Midori and my friends came to visit. On Sunday morning, we went to a bakery in Kiryu for breakfast. It was very delicious! 
In Australia, going out for breakfast is very popular. many cafes and restaurants to choose from. Australian people especially like to drink coffee. Melbourne is famous for its coffee. The menu can get a bit confusing though, as there are too many options!

Do you often go out to eat breakfast? Where do you like to go?

-Caitlin

Tuesday, 17th September 2019

Yesterday was a holiday, which meant three days off. In Australia, we call this a’long weekend.’Many people often go away with friends or family. I went to Takasaki to see my friends. But I think I like Midori more! It is quiet and beautiful here.

Did you do anything on your long weekend?

-Caitlin

Monday, 9th September 2019

Wow! Yesterday and today there was a typhoon!
In Australia, we also have typhoons, but we call them cyclones. When I was in elementary school, there were a lot of cyclones where I lived.

Since it was a little too dangerous to go outside last night, I stayed home and read a book. What do you do if you are stuck at home? Do you watch a movie or play games?

Both Australia and Japan have many natural disasters. Please stay safe!

-Caitlin

Monday, 2nd September 2019

Today is the 2nd of September, which means that in Australia it is now Spring! Australia is below the Equator, in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons there are the opposite of Japan. Lots of flowers begin to bloom in Melbourne.

I’ve heard that the seasons in Japan take a long time to change because of the length of the country. What season is it now here in Gunma? Is the weather different in Osaka, or Hokkaido?

Right now, it still feels like Summer to me…

-Caitlin

Monday, 26th August 2019

It’s almost time for classes to start.
Last weekend, I went to SMARK in Isesaki. Have you been there? It’s very big, isn’t it? I also went to Takasaki to meet other ALTs from around the world.

The week before last, I also went hiking in Takatsudo Valley. It was very pretty, but very hot! I want to go again in Fall, when the leaves change color and the weather is a bit cooler.

What kind of things did you do on your holidays?

-Caitlin

Monday, 19th August 2019

I have been in Midori for two weeks now.
On my first week, I was lucky enough to see two festivals. I went to both the Kiryu and Omama festivals. Kiryu festival was very big and busy, with many people. Omama festival was my favorite though, because I got to see a lot of interesting things like the dashi, and I also met Midomos!
He is very cute. In Australia, we don’t really have mascots like Midomos or Gunma-Chan. I’m happy that I get to see them here in Japan!

Which mascot is your favorite?

-Caitlin

Wednesday, 6th August 2019

Hello everyone!
… Ah, wait, who is this?

I’m the new ALT, Caitlin! I am 26 years old and I was living in Melbourne, Australia. Before that, I lived in Brisbane, Australia.

Now I live here in Omama, and I’m very excited! Even though it is very hot right now, I want to see a lot of new places and experience new things. What do you recommend? What are your favorite things to do in Gunma?

I look forward to meeting everyone soon!

-Caitlin

Thursday 18th July 2019

Today is my last day at Daichu. I got many beautiful letters, and drawings from the students.

I had fun with you in English class, and living in Japan for two years. Daichu is a great school, and Midori is a beautiful city.

I will miss you all. Thank you everyone for two years!

-Avril

Tuesday 16th July 2019

On Sunday I went to Omotesando to a Sailor Moon cafe.

I had a Parfait. It was delicious! After I went to the cafe I went to Harajuku, and Akihabara to go shopping.

I had a good time.

-Avril

Monday 8th July 2019

On Saturday I went to the Tanabata festival in Maebashi with my friends.

There was a lot of delicious food. I had a kebab, and ice cream. It was delicious!

There were a lot lanterns. My favorite was this cat one. I think it was cute.

We had a good time at the festival.

-Avril

Wednesday, 26th June 2019

Have you been to Ashikaga school?

It is a very old school in Ashikaga in Tochigi Prefecture. It is over 1000 years old!

I went there with my friends. We saw many interesting things.

-Avril

Monday, 17th June 2019

I went to the Studio Ghibli museum in Tokyo! Have you been there?

It was amazing! I saw many interesting things there.

What is your favorite Ghibli movie? My favorite is’Majo no Takyubin’ but it is called’Kiki’s Delivery Service’ in English.

-Avril

Friday, 7th June 2019

I went to Nikko. It took about two hours and thirty minutes by train.

I went to the the Toshogu shrine. It was amazing! I tried delicious food in Nikko, too. I had a good time.

-Avril


Monday, 8th April 2019

Welcome back everyone! How was your spring vacation?

Yesterday I went to Tokyo. I went to Nezu shrine to the Azalea festival. I saw many beautiful flowers there.

What did you do in spring vacation?

-Avril

Thursday, 28th March 2019

I often go to Kiryu on weekends.

To get to Kiryu, I take the Jomo electric railway. The trains sometimes have interesting themes! Such as Christmas or spring themes.

My favorite is the aquarium theme. What is your favorite?

-Avril

Friday, 22nd March 2019

Did you know that the Australian women’s softball team plays in Ota city in Gunma?

The softball team called ‘Aussie Spirit’ practices at the new sports stadium ‘Ota Sports Park’. They are practicing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

I am looking forward to watching the Olympics on TV.

-Avril

Friday, 15th March 2019

Did you know it is Hello Kitty’s 45th birthday?

I bought the special Hello Kitty steamed bun from Lawson. It had apple and custard cream inside it. It was delicious!

Have you tried it?

-Avril

Thursday, 7th March 2019

I often go to Harajuku.

My favorite shop in Harajuku is Kiddyland. Do you know this shop? You can buy many cute character goods there!

What is your favorite shop?

Avril

Thursday, 28th February 2019

Last Saturday I went to Tokyo.

I went to Shimokitazawa. Have you been to Shimokitazawa?

I went to an Australian cafe called’FRANKIE’. You can buy delicious Australian cakes and coffee. I think Australian coffee is very good!

I had a good time there.

-Avril


Thursday, 21st February 2019

Yesterday, I put up a new display on the English board. Please have a look.

It’s about the’Sydney Royal Easter Show’. It’s a popular event held in Sydney during March or April. You can see and do many interesting things there.

People can enter competitions and win prizes. There is a lot of delicious food, too.

I always have a fun time there.

-Avril

Friday, 15th February 2019

On the English board I put up a display! What country do you want to go to?

There are many countries in the world to visit! I want to go to Canada. I want to see the beautiful nature and animals.

What country do you want to visit?

-Avril

Thursday, 7th February 2019

I think it is important to cook healthy food.

Last weekend, I made banana and oat muffins. They tasted good. I often like to make healthy snacks. Banana and oat muffins are one of my favorite healthy snacks.

What is your favorite healthy snack?

-Avril

Thursday, 17th January 2019.

When I went back to Australia in winter vacation, I went to the movie theater. I went with my younger brother.

This is a famous movie theater in the Blue Mountains called `Glenbrook Cinema’. The building is very beautiful!

-Avril

Thursday, 10th January 2019

I went back to Australia for winter vacation.

In Australia’scones’ are a popular snack food. You can eat them in many cafes in Australia. You eat them with jam and cream. My mother made some scones for me. They were delicious! I think my mother makes the best scones

-Avril

Thursday, 20th December 2018

In Japan Christmas cakes are a popular Christmas food!

But, in Australia they are different. In Australia many people eat’Christmas pudding.’It has dried fruit inside of it. I don’t really like Christmas pudding. But, I like Japanese Christmas cake. I think it is very delicious!

-Avril

Thursday, 13th December 2018

Recently I went to Mt. Fuji.

I went there on a bus tour. I had fun! I think Mt. Fuji is beautiful!

I did not climb Mt. Fuji, but I have climbed the tallest mountain in Australia. It’s 2,238 meters. Mt. Fuji is 3776 meters. It is smaller than Mt. Fuji.

Have you been to Mt. Fuji?

-Avril

Thursday, 6th December 2018

When I went to Osaka, I went to Osaka castle.

At Osaka castle there is a time capsule. Have you heard of this before? A time capsule is when people put things in the ground for the people in the future. The time capsule at Osaka castle will be opened in 5000 years! I think this is amazing!

-Avril

Thursday, 29th November 2018

Last Sunday was my birthday. I went to Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.

There were lots of things to see and do. My favorite thing was going to Harry Potter World. It was very fun!

Have you been to USJ?

-Avril

Wednesday, 21st November 2018

On Tuesday night I went to the Ebisu ko festival in Kiryu.

There were many places to eat! I ate Yakisoba. It was delicious!

Ebisu ko was very crowded, but I had fun!

-Avril

Tuesday, 20th November 2018

On Sunday I went to Tokyo to meet my mother. She came to Japan to visit me! In the afternoon we walked to Nagame park. We saw the flower festival at the park. The flowers were very beautiful!

We had a good time.

..

-Avril

Thursday, 1st November 2018

I changed the display on the English board!

I made a plan for a day out in the Blue Mountains. In the Blue Mountains you can do many interesting things, and see many beautiful places!

Please have a look.

-Avril


Thursday, 25th October 2018

Last Saturday I went to Takasaki.

When I go to Takasaki I always go to the Gunma chan store at Takasaki station. I think Gunma chan is very cute!

In Australia, we do not have mascot characters for our states. I think mascot characters are interesting. What is your favorite mascot character? Is it Gunma Chan?

-Avril

Thursday, 18th October 2018

Do you like pizza?

I like pizza! But I also like to make my own pizza. I think making pizza is very fun, and it is easy too. I like to put lots of things on my pizza. On my pizza I put mushrooms, onions, pepper, pork and cheese. It was delicious!

What is your favorite pizza?

-Avril

Tuesday, 9th October 2018

On Saturday I went to Takatsudokyo gorge in Omama.

Have you been there? I think Takatsudokyo gorge is very beautiful! It took twenty minutes to walk there. I took many photos.

I want to go back there to take more photos of the beautiful autumn leaves.

-Avril

Thursday, 4th October 2018

Koalas are a very popular Australian animal!

This week on my Australian news display on the English board I put up a story about a Koala. In Victoria in Australia a baby Koala fell out of a tree at night. It was very cold, so the baby Koala climbed onto a dog`s back to stay warm! This story made me happy!

What do you think? Do you like Koalas?

-Avril


Tuesday, 25th September 2018.

On Sunday I went to Harajuku.

I went to this cafe called Cookie Time. Cookie Time is from New Zealand. They have many delicious foods you can eat! Like cookies and milkshakes. I had a nutella milkshake. It was delicious! Especially the chocolate cookie and cream!

I want to try it again!

-Avril

Thursday, 20th September 2018

In Australia we have many special animals.

On the English board I put up a display about the Quokka. The Quokka is a very interesting animal. It only lives on a small island near Western Australia. The Quokka is an interesting animal because it can smile! Many people who come to see the Quokka like to take selfies with it! I think the Quokka is very cute. I love Australian animals.

-Avril

Thursday, 13th September 2018

My favorite season in Japan is autumn.

I like the cooler weather and the leaves changing color. But I also like autumn because there are a lot of pumpkin flavored foods! I tried this Pumpkin ice cream last week. It was great! I am looking forward to eating more pumpkin flavored foods in autumn.

-Avril

Thursday, 6th September 2018

When I went to Australia in summer vacation I went to the beach.

Do you know this beach? It is called Bondi beach. It is a very famous beach in Sydney, Australia. In Australia it was winter, but people still like to surf and swim in the sea! It was too cold so I did not swim or surf.

-Avril

Monday, 27th August 2018

I hope everyone had a good summer vacation.

In Summer vacation I went back to Australia to visit my family and friends. I put a display of my summer vacation on the English board. Please take a look. I had a good time in Australia.

Let`s try hard at English this semester!

-Avril

Thursday, 26th July 2018

Today I have been living in Midori city for one year!

It has been a good year. My favorite thing about living in Midori city is the people, and the beautiful nature! Every one is so kind and friendly! I have also enjoyed teaching at Daichu. I am happy that I can help you with your English and share with you interesting things about Australia!

I am looking forward to the next year living here.

-Avril

Friday, 20th July 2018

When I was living in Australia I liked to make bread.

Last weekend I made potato bread. Have you heard of this bread? It is made with flour and mashed potatoes. It is very easy to make. I think it was delicious!

I am looking forward to making bread again. It is fun to make!

-Avril

Thursday, 12th July 2018

Last Sunday I went to Sakura mall.

When I go to Sakura mall I like to eat Taiyaki! My favorite flavor is anko. Did you know, in English we call anko red bean? I think red bean is delicious!

I look forward to when I can eat it again!

-Avril

Thursday, 5th July 2018

July is the rainy season in Japan. It will be raining for many days this month. I do not like the rain because I can`t ride my bike in the rain.

In Australia, where I live we do not have a rainy season. It does not rain a lot in Australia.

-Avril

Thursday, 28th June 2018

Last Saturday I went to Kiryu to buy a new phone case at Donki.

When I go to Donki I like to eat a crepe at the crepe stand. In Australia there are not many places you can buy crepe’s, and not many flavors. I love the crepe’s in Japan!

I had a strawberry and chocolate tiramisu crepe. It was delicious! I want to try a different flavor next time I go!

-Avril

Thursday, 21st June 2018

Today I put up a new display on the English board.’What Fruit do you like’?

In summer you can eat many delicious fruits! I think they are good to eat when it`s hot! My favorite fruit is a strawberry. What is your favorite fruit? Please tell me!

-Avril


Thursday, 14th June 2018

Last weekend on Saturday I went to an event in Maebashi. Everyone who went had to bring some food for everyone to share. So I made these Banana muffins. I like making muffins, so I was happy to make them for everyone. I look forward to going to this event next year!

-Avril

Thursday, 7th June 2018

Last weekend on Saturday I went to a cafe in Aioi in Kiryu with my friend.

This cafe had lots of food with pumpkin in it! I ate a pumpkin pizza, and a pumpkin pie. They were delicious. Because I like pumpkin I was happy to go to this cafe. I hope to go there again soon!

-Avril

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

On Friday last week I went to Maebashi for an ALT conference.

I learned many new ideas for lessons. I also saw many of my friends there. I was happy to talk to them. I had a good time.

-Avril

Thursday, 31st May 2018

I put up a new display on the English board called `Monthly Australian News`. Every month I will put up three interesting Australian news stories! Please take a look. I hope you can learn more about Australia from these stories.

I enjoy sharing things about Australia with you!

-Avril

Tuesday, 1st May 2018

Yesterday I went to Kiryu. I went to the Zoo and Azuma park. The park was very beautiful with lots of flowers and trees!

I saw many animals at the zoo. I saw a Tanuki for the first time! I think they are very cute and interesting. I had fun yesterday. I am looking forward to the next holiday in Golden Week.

-Avril

Wednesday, 25th April 2018

Yesterday I put up a display on the English board about Australian animals. Please take a look.

This week I wrote about the Bilby. It looks like a big mouse with big ears! You can only see the Bilby at night time. I think the Bilby is very cute!

-Avril

Monday, 16th April 2018

I put up a display on the English board about my home in Australia. In Australia I live in a city called’The Blue Mountains’. Please take a look.

It is a beautiful city with lots of nature. You can see many interesting things in the Blue Mountains.

-Avril

Thursday, 12th April, 2018

In Spring break I went to an event called `The Easter Show.` It is held in Sydney. At this event People from rural / farm places in Australia can enter contests. You can also see many attractions and eat delicious food!

Here is a contest where children made pumpkins into characters. Do you know this character? It is a minion. It won first Prize! I think it`s so cool! I like going to The Easter Show.

o o

-Avril

Monday, 9th April, 2018

In Spring break I went back to Australia to visit my family. I did many things, I had a lot of fun!

Do you know this bird? It is an Australian bird called a Cockatoo. You can see them every where in Australia. They are cute, but very noisy!

-Avril

Thursday, 22nd March, 2018

Yesterday was Shubun no hi, or Spring equinox in English. I did not do much, but I walked to Sakura mall, in the snow! I was so surprised that it snowed in Spring! What did you do on Shubun no hi? Did you have fun?

-Avril

Friday, 26th January, 2018

From today I have been living in Midori city for six months! I think the time has gone by so fast! I really enjoy living in Midori city and working at Daichu. Everyone has been so kind to me. I am very happy. I am looking forward to living here this year!

-Avril

Tuesday, 23rd January. 2018

I was so happy it snowed yesterday! It does not snow where I live in Australia. Even though it was very cold, I enjoyed walking to school in the snow, it was so beautiful!

-Avril

Monday, 22nd January, 2018

On Saturday I went to Disneyland for my friend’s birthday. It was really fun! My favorite thing was seeing the fireworks and the’Frozen’ performance at night. The castle was so beautiful! I am looking forward to going to Disneyland again!

-Avril

Monday, 15th January, 2018

Today I made a display on the English board for Australia Day. Australia Day is on the 26th of January. It celebrates when a colony from England moved to Australia in 1788. On Australia day we go to festivals and eat Australian food such as meat pies and Lamingtons! It is a very fun day!

-Avril

Friday, 12th January, 2018

During my winter vacation I went to Kyoto and Nara with my family who were visiting from Australia. We went to many places, such as Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kinkakuji, and Todaiji. We also saw many deer at the deer park in Nara! They are were very cute! I look forward to visiting more places in Japan in the future.

-Avril

Wednesday, 27th December, 2017

I finished making the display for New Year`s for the English Board! New Year’s in Australia is very different to Japan. Many people go to watch fireworks at midnight on New Year’s in big cities. People also watch it on tv. The New Year’s fireworks held in Sydney Australia are one of the biggest New Year’s fireworks in the world! I have never been, but I sometimes watch it on tv.

-Avril


Tuesday, 26th December, 2017

Yesterday, two friends and I had Christmas lunch at my apartment. We sat under the kotatsu, it was nice and warm! We ate fried Chicken and for dessert we ate chocolate cake. Christmas cake in Japan is very different to Christmas cake in Australia. In Australia many people eat fruit cake on Christmas.

-Avril

Monday, 6th November, 2017

On Friday, I went to Ota to go to the Aeon mall. I was amazed by how big it was! There were many shops! It is much bigger than any of the malls that I have been to in Australia. I look forward to going back!

-Avril

Thursday, 2nd November, 2017

Yesterday I added something new to the English Board! It is about a famous horse race in Australia called the `Melbourne Cup`. Have you heard of this? It is very popular in Australia and around the world! Many people go watch it. It. is held on the first Tuesday of November. I wonder who will win this year?

-Avril

Wednesday, 1st November, 2017

Yesterday, for Halloween one of my first year class`s made pumpkins out of cardboard. It was really fun! I had to choose the group made which made the best pumpkin, but I could not choose because they were all so good! I am looking forward to the next holiday which will be Christmas!

-Avril

Tuesday, 10th October, 2017

Yesterday I went to the Midori sunflower fields in Kasakake. I thought they were beautiful! I was very happy to see them when they were in flower. I am looking forward to when I can go see them again next year.

-Avril


Thursday, 28th September, 2017

Today I finished making the Halloween section for the English board. I am surprised to see how popular Halloween is in Japan. You can find Halloween themed things in many different shops! Halloween is not that popular in Australia, but every year I think it is becoming more popular.

-Avril

Wednesday, 27th September, 2017

Today was my first Undoukai. It was very enjoyable! Everyone was amazing, and tried so hard! It was interesting for me to see the many differences between sports days in Australian and Japanese schools.

-Avril

Monday, 25th September, 2017

On Saturday I went to Takasaki and met up with a friend. I had fun shopping and eating delicious food! I was very happy as I found Australian food in a foreign supermarket. I always enjoy going to Takasaki.

-Avril


Tuesday, 19th September, 2017

On Sunday, I went to Tokyo to see the Sailor Moon musical `Sera Myu` called `Le Mouvement Final.` It was amazing! I am so happy that I was able to experience going to the Sailor Moon musical, because it was the final musical they made.

-Avril


Monday, 4th September, 2017

On Saturday, together with some ALT friends from Kiryu, we went to this great hamburger restaurant called JUtheBurger. They have delicious hamburgers! It is my favorite hamburger restaurant! I look forward to going back there again with my friends!

-Avril


Friday, 1st September, 2017

The first week of the new school semester is nearly over! Thank you to everyone who has been so kind to me during my first week of teaching at Daichu. I am looking forward to meeting and working with you all

-Avril

Monday, 28th August, 2017

On Saturday I attended a team sports day for ALT`s in Gunma called the `Gunma games`. It was very fun! My team also won, so I was very happy. I am looking forward to next year`s event.`

-Avril

Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017

Today I finished making the English notice board. I am very happy with how it turned out! Please feel free to stop by and have a look. I hope that everyone can enjoy looking at it, like I enjoyed making it!

-Avril

Friday, 18th August, 2017

Last weekend with my ALT friend from Saitama I went to the `Q-Pot Sailor Moon` Cafe at Omotesando in Harajuku. You could eat Sailor Moon themed food and drinks! I was very glad to experience this as I have liked Sailor Moon since I was a child.

–Avril

Thursday, 17th August, 2017

Last week I went to Gunma orientation in Maebashi city with the new Gunma ALT’s. I learnt many news things that will help me with my new job as an ALT and living in Japan. We also met Gunma chan! I think Gunma chan is very cute I am looking forward to when school starts in a few weeks.

-Avril

Monday, 7th August, 2017

It has nearly been two weeks since I came to Omama in Midori City. These two weeks have been great! Everyone has been very kind to me. I am very happy as it is starting to feel like home.

..

-Avril

Friday, 4th August, 2017

Yesterday I went to the Omama Gion festival. It was the first time I had experienced a Japanese festival. It was very enjoyable and I look forward to next year`s festival!

–Avril


Monday, 31st July, 2017

Hello!

My Name is Avril, I am the new ALT at Daichu. I am 22 years old and I am from Sydney, Australia. I like cooking and drawing! I am looking forward to working with you all!

Thursday, 20 July, 2017

Today is my last day of lessons at Daichu. When I got to school in the morning, I found a digital photo frame on my desk. There were many wonderful pictures of students, teachers, and the school on it. I was very moved!

Goodbye Daichu!

–Peter

Monday, 3 July, 2017

Last month, the third-year students went to Kyoto and Nara on a school trip. They said that they had a wonderful time. For homework, I asked them to interview foreign people in English. I made the results into some graphs, which are interesting to see!

–Peter

—–

Friday, 2 June, 2017

In Midori City, all elementary and junior high schools give students free lunch. I think it’s wonderful. Today’s lunch had many flavors –naan, meat sauce curry, ravioli soup, burdock root salad, and milk.

I hope next week’s lunches are delicious, too.

–Peter

—–

Monday, 1 May 2017

Wow, it’s a new month already! Time flies.

This is a picture of the English Noticeboard at Daichu . Every month, I make a new display for the “Monthly Challenge” section. Last month, I asked students to write their names. It has become a very colorful display.

I hope many students try the challenge for May.

–Peter

—–

Monday, 17 April 2017

Yesterday I rode my bike from Omama to Isesaki to see the cherry blossoms at Kezoji Park. The blossoms were beautiful, but I was very happy to see many carp streamers ( koinobori ). They were very cool. I love this season.

–Peter

——

Friday, 7 April 2017

The cherry trees at Daichu are almost in full bloom! Today we had the opening ceremony and the entrance ceremony for new first-year students. Now the students are having their photo taken under the cherry trees.

–Peter

——

Thursday, 6 April 2017

School starts again tomorrow. I was busy today because I was making name cards for every student in the school. We use these name cards to remember students’ names, and to collect stickers for good work. I hope the students can get a lot of stickers this year!

–Peter

——

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Do you know this pumpkin? It’s a very famous work of art by 87-year-old Yayoi Kusama. When she was a child, she saw things differently. She saw dots on everything, so she started to make many works of art with dots . She is having an art show in Tokyo until May 22nd. Why don’t you take a look?

–Peter

——

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Today was the Kiryu Hori Marathon. Did you run in the race? I ran five kilometers with some ALT friends of mine. It was hard, but I had a very good time! Next year, I want to try running ten kilometers!

–Peter

お問い合わせはこちらに TEL 0277-73-1049

PAGETOP
Copyright © みどり市立大間々中学校 All Rights Reserved.
Powered by WordPress & BizVektor Theme by Vektor,Inc. technology.

Copyrighted Image