On Teaching {China Thoughts 2}

I’m supposed to have 100 papers graded by tomorrow morning… so here’s an update on what I’ve been up to in the classroom! I have three writing and two speaking classes, and the best part is that they’re all English majors, so everyone is genuinely interested in learning English! The university I’m at is fairly top-tier in China, at least from what I’ve […]

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5 Fun Ways to Learn Japanese!

I forgot I wrote this blog post a while ago about some fun ways that have helped me learn Japanese. It’s all about using the language in context to communicate with people, while having fun! 1. LINE messaging app This is the social media app of Japan. You can practice your Japanese by texting in Japanese, posting status […]

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10 ways living in Japan makes you talk like a weirdo

Originally posted on Ampers & Ampers:
1. You can’t stop using useful Japanese words. 2. Everything is natsukashii. 3. You forget what words aren’t English. 4. You simply forget English words. 5. You use Japanese particles in your sentences. 6. You use Japanese English. 7. You talk to yourself in Japanese. 8. Your answers become more vague. 9. You make lame bilingual puns. 10.…

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Letters to July {1} A new start

Dear July, You’re back for your annual visit. I didn’t complete the goal of writing a letter to you everyday last year, so I thought I’d try again (except I missed the first few days already). Anyway I’ll do my best this time to make time & reflect on my last month as an ALT in Japan. Wednesday […]

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Top 5 Things to Do in Kujukuri

Although Kujukuri seems pretty inaka (rural), there are actually some pretty fun things to do there! Here are my favorite five. No, they aren’t ALL eating. Kujukuri (九十九里町 kujūkuri-machi) is a town on the east coast of Chiba prefecture. It lies on Kujukuri beach, which is apparently the second longest beach in Japan (thanks, Wikipedia!).    […]

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Let’s ichigo strawberry picking!

What could be better than all-you-can-shove-in-your-mouth strawberries for 40 min? PUKING STRAWBERRIES. Tastes even better the second time / on the way up.* *I cannot verify this with personal anecdotes. YET. First stop on the last Chiba-kun ambassador tour was strawberry picking in Naruto! I was really excited about this as it was my first time […]

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Making Futomaki: Chiba’s Fat Sushi

What’s better than sushi? FAT sushi. When you picture sushi, you might think of California rolls with the rice on the outside. Other sushi types include nigiri (shaped rice with fish on top) and maki (or roll), but with the rice on the inside.1 Chiba prefecture has its own special type of sushi. One of its local specialties is futomaki (literally ‘fat […]

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Happy One Year Japaniversary!

Happy one year to me and Japan! If you don’t know already, yes I’m staying for another year. It took a bit but Japan (and this post-graduation life) really feels like home. One year ago today1, I managed to not miss any flights2 and arrive at Narita airport safe and sound3. My goal at that […]

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Letters to July / 22

Dear July, I am now a flamingo. Forever perched on one leg. I was standing at the bus stop across from my friend’s hotel in Hong Kong, waiting for the one that went to the airport. When the bus arrived, I stepped off the curb and collapsed on my left ankle. It was embarrassing but […]

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Letters to July / 10

Dear July, You are hot. Not in a seductive way, but in a way that makes all the energy to do anything just evaporate off my skin along with the sweat. Today I came home, ate, and quickly went from very, very hungry to “Am I still hungry? Stomach/brain, communicate faster!” to very, very tired to “Hello pillow” […]

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Letters to July / 9

Dear July, Recently I’ve been nesting. When I first came, I had just spent my summer packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking, moving from 1) my college apartment to 2) an internship in Mississippi to 3) my family’s home to 4) Japan. After spending so long trying to get rid of everything but the […]

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Letters to July / 8

Dear July, After three days of making me shiver, you have finally warmed up. Unfortunately, July, you decided to do it on a day where I had to trek around with my laptop and giant bag of everything necessary. The trekking was to the immigration bureau for visa purposes. Earlier I was upset about the negative aspects of the […]

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