Photo & English Essay Northern Eyes
Welcome to 2018
Happy New Year! This is my 65th New Year’s greetings, although I am not sure whether I could say this for the first few years. On Jan. 1st, I always take the first sunrise picture of the elm tree in Toyokoro, and then visit the local shrine there to pray for the happiness and health of my family and JOY. I also get a paper fortune and pay special attention to what it says about the coming year.
JOY is arranging four big events throughout 2018. It starts with a live jazz concert on Feb. 3. Since it is held in the coldest time of the year, it has been nicknamed “jazz concert on a midwinter’s night.” Every year we invite Akira Ishii, a pianist who performs with guest musicians. However, this year he will be coming with two other regular members of his trio, so don’t miss this chance. Why jazz at an English school? It is a program to learn about American culture, of course.
June is always a busy month, when two big events are held. One is “Grammar Day” which I started in Obihiro in 2006. This event will be going into its 13th year. We have asked Prof. Yoshiki Takayama of Tokyo Gakugei University to be a special lecturer. I am pretty sure that he will give us very informative and interesting seminars on English grammar. Also Kaishi Katsura, a popular rakugo story teller is coming this year, too. We have organized a rakugo show for the last seven years. I think this is a part of Japanese culture which English learners should be familiar with.
The biggest event for JOY is, of course, the English Dream School, which provides a series of seminars by expert English instructors. This year’s line up of instructors are: Nobuhiko Yamada (bilingual English instructor), Kazu Yokoyama (simultaneous interpreter), and Katsuyoshi Hakoda (Education Coordinator at Aeon). They are all young and very active in today’s world of English education. I do hope that the year 2018 will be another exciting one for you and me. Welcome to 2018!