Sunday, May 25, 2014

2As and 2Rs; the Key for Evidences

              In academic writing, we need a certain amount of evidences which support our claims. We refer to books, newspaper articles, magazines, web sites and other kinds of sources. However, it is hard for us to choose proper evidences. Is the evidence reliable? Is it really true? Then, we can examine the sources well with 4 key words; accurate, representative, relevant and adequate. With these simple concepts, our writing will improve!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Mirrors of Writing ―Peers

              Do you use mirrors? Probably all of your answers will be “yes.” We use mirrors to check our appearance; we comb our hair when it is a mess and straighten up a collar of our shirt when it is unfold. Without mirrors, we can’t be aware of these points. And that is why we often do peer reviews.

We have many peer works in our ARW class, especially in e-writing portfolio. But why do we need peer reviews? We are not specialists about English and each of us has the similar ability. Yes, we are not teachers or proofreaders, but we can find classmates’ mistakes and give some good advices. Then I think peers are like mirrors which reflect my sentences. They notice me some points I didn’t realized. Also, while I am an ordinary student, I am gradually improving my reviewing skill and knowing my peers’ tendency in writing. Reading other student’s essay is indispensable to develop our own writing skills, like stopping in front of mirrors every morning!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

How Outline Works

                        It is very tough to write an essay, and sometimes writers get caught in a dark, large forest of words. I remember that Meiland or Morgan stated that writing is a tool of thinking. Through writing, we can organize our thoughts and reflect ideas. Besides, outlines will work as a mirror of our brain, I think. Writing essays is still a kind of burden for me, but it is important to find my own comfortable way to write and get accustomed to writing.

                        By the way, when I was shopping at Ito Yokado near here, I was spoken to by a foreign staff. She said carrying a box of potatoes, “hey, girl! Would you like this new one? It is bigger and the same price.” I was surprised because I had never seen staffs speaking in English. Luckily, as an ICU student, I was able to reply in English. We never know when to be spoken to in English, even out of the campus!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Magic? ...No kidding! :-)


We freshmen all had a special event on the last weekend―― retreat!! At first, I was not looking for it so much because the destination was too familiar for me. Yes, Yamanashi is my home prefecture, and I have visited Yatsugatake area many times since I was a child.

However, I really enjoyed the retreat! It was fresh for me to see my section mates, teachers and other friends in my home prefecture. The most impressive thing was the discussions, which were very inspiring and made me rethink of my purpose of learning here. And also, we had some other activities. On the second day, I went to the national observatory in Nobeyama. I remembered the time when I was interested in astronomy. Speaking of astronomy, some 3H students including of me went to the rooftop of the hotel and watched stars with Dan! I introduced some constellation with my planetarium-navigating skill. Please remember the correct way to find the polestar! I also enjoyed the “All,” or to stay up all night with section mates.

Anyway, I had a precious time in the retreat. I appreciate the big effort of the retreat staffs.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May 14th

1)    what we learned in class

              In the last class, we discussed our essay topic in writing groups. We are going to write a 5-paragraph essay which may be the longest essay we wrote in ICU! Like most students, I am not familiar with writing academic essays and proper citations, so I must be tough and read LBH carefully. We learned the types of citations and I was surprised that the MLA writing has a kind of loose citations. Also, we have to make sure that our essay doesn’t finish with only citation, as Dan said in class. It will be a good training for us to think and write in our own words.


2)    about my new essay

              The main topic of my 5-paragraph essay will be “locavorism,” or the movement that try to eat local foods. The word comes from “local” and “vorare (Latin word, but “devour” in English).” The goals of “locavorism” are, in a brief way, “healthier living, healthier environment, more prosperous local economy.” You may have heard the Japanese word “Chisan-Chisho” before, and it has the similar idea with locavorism. But some people criticize this idea insisting of the non-effectiveness in locavorism. There are actually some problems about locaorism, while there are benefits.


3)    reaction to the video

              I watched a video about writing tutorial. We students do need conversation over our writing, I think. The useful tip which I found in the video was “prewriting should never be censored, let the ideas flow.” When we write something, we will be successful when we get more idea by doing brainstorming.
4) other
              I realized that some students' birthdays are concentrated into this month! It is nice to cerebrate other student's anniversary in the section. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Reaction: We are all monkeys

              Last month, we had a surprising news. In a European soccer game, an audience threw a banana at one of the player who is from South America, and the player protested against that by eating that banana. Actually, in soccer games in Europe, there sometimes occur such kind of racial discrimination. And now, many people all over the world are also protesting by posting pictures or videos of eating bananas on the Internet, including the 3D teacher in our university.

              I watched his video and rethought about racism. Every people is created equally, of course, and in terms of sports, we have to enjoy that without considering race. I think one of the important role of sports is to attract people and overcome the differences between nationality and race. I felt sad about this news but many people are taking actions, and I hope that people from all over the world can enjoy sports equally.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Fanciful Trip: If I had an Unlimited Plane Ticket for a Month

My boarding ticket - Los Angeles→Narita

              I love traveling very much. When I go somewhere, I can learn something new, see something beautiful, feel something different from my ordinary life and eat something particular to the place. No other things are greater than traveling, I think… If I had an unlimited plane ticket for a month, I will be so happy, and what will I do in such situation?

              First, I want to go to every continent except for the South Pole. I have traveled abroad twice, but I visited the U.S. only. Of course, I want to see other countries! With the unlimited ticket, first I will fly to Europe to see sophisticated buildings, walking through old alleyways. Then I will leave for African continent to visit historical site of Egypt, leave for South America to join carnival, then go to the north to watch beautiful aurora, leave for Australia to enjoy broad nature, then back to Asia to have delicious foods provided in food wagons that’s perfect!

              Also, I would like to travel around inside of Japan, too. With this ticket, I can easily move from Hokkaido to Okinawa. I would go anywhere checking weather report.

              If only I had this plane ticket and left from Chofu airfield near ICU!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014


              As a part of a generation that is accustomed to use the Internet, I have sometimes heard this word since I was a child. It origins from the words “(inter) net” and “etiquette” and refers to “etiquette in the Internet.” Nowadays, it is taught in many schools in Japan.

              “Netiquette” is comparatively a new word, but it is not so specific to the Internet but closely connected to our ordinary manners. For example, there is one of the most important point of netiquette that people must not slander other people in the Internet. However, we are told not to do so in our daily life. Such kind of manner is common even outside of the web. Then, why should we learn netiquette?

              It is because we can easily do anything in the Internet. We can write some comments on someone’s video channels, say something wrong about an institute and post some pictures of a particular person. We can do these alone, but everyone using internet actually can see these information freely. The important thing in netiquette is to have a responsibility to information.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

What is Gogatsubyo? ---Definition and Solutions


              It literately means “May sickness” and annoys many people in May. Gogatsubyo is a mental issue, but it is not a terrible one and occurs from the mental gap between April and May. Most “patients” are students and young workers. In April, when a new school or business year begins in Japan, many people are in a good tense. They often feel confident, hopeful and free under cherry blossoms. However, once they are accustomed to their new lives, they suddenly begin to feel tired and lose their will. This is how people become blue due to Gogatsubyo.




              So, how can we solve this problem? I believe there are two tips to overcome this “illness.”

1)    Take some activities early in May

When we have something worth looking forward in near future, we are likely to be more energetic. Through the busy April, people become gradually tired so we have to refresh our minds before we got sick in Gogatsubyo. There is “Golden Week,” or middle-sized consecutive holidays in Japan, which I think the best opportunity to go somewhere and rest enogh.

2)    Do not be overconfident about yourself

If we set too many or hard ambitions in April, we probably confused and become blue in May. To prevent this, we should not expect ourselves too much and try to do what we really can. In addition, we will feel better not to focus only on the current situation but to think about future; next month, next term and next year.