ステップアップ-STEP UP・アメリカ人講師 Jonathan ジョナサン
Greetings, everyone! I`m Jonathan (or Jon) from Washington, D.C. in America. Before I moved to Japan, I was a high school teacher. I taught courses in Literature and Composition and really enjoyed it. Now I enjoy teaching various aspects of English, including TOEIC and TOEFL. In my spare time I enjoy mountain sports like snowboarding, rock climbing and mountain biking. I also like cooking, reading and practicing my Japanese when I have time. I look forward to another great year in Sapporo!
|１１月のお得 1: 『1000円英会話』 9,800円で始めよう クーポン！|
|１１月のお得 ２: 『個人レッスン』 入会金半額 5,400円 クーポン！|
|１１月のお得 ３: 『会員制チケットTOEIC』 19,800円で始めよう クーポン！|
|お得情報: 『個人レッスン昼割』も (費用シュミレーション)|
A quick trip home
Just this past week I traveled over 16,000 miles. Why, you ask? For the very simple and infinitely worthy reason that I attended my brother’s wedding. My “little” brother Evan (who’s 190 cm and 84 kg) got married last weekend in the rolling hills of southeastern Virginia. It was a perfect weekend. The weather was warm and sunny, the venue was scenic and rustic, and the atmosphere was lively. The ceremony itself was loosely based on native American Indian spirituality and had much to do with connecting the human spirit to nature. My brother and his bride looked stunning. It was a moving experience to watch them come together…I couldn’t help but shed a few tears.
Afterwards, during the reception dinner, I was one of a few people to give a speech. It wasn’t the best speech, but I did manage to make everybody laugh a couple of times. And despite a year of anticipation, the event has already come and gone. Fortunately, I have a sister who has yet to get married. Hopefully she and her partner will tie the know soon!
So tomorrow is the last day of this year’s 2017 Odori Autumn Festival. Although I haven’t gone yet, I plan on going this afternoon. The sun is shining, the air is warm, and I expect it’ll be crowded and fun. I don’t know if you remember, but when the Autumn Festival first started, it was barely two weeks long. Now it goes for a full month. From Odori block 4 to block 10, the park is packed full of food vendors, wine and beer sellers and plenty of tables and tents. If you think about it, Odori is dominated by festivals all throughout the warm months.
I like this, but i wonder how much time that leaves non-festival goers to enjoy the park. Some people don’t want to navigate crowded festivals all summer. Some people want to enjoy the peaceful refuge of the park while it’s still warm outside.
Being a public park, citizens should be allowed to eat and drink where they please. During the beer and autumn festivals, however, people are asked not to carry outside food and drinks into the park. They can’t stop you, of course. But it’s perceived as like bad behavior to bring in conbini drinks to a space where everyone else is paying vendors for their beverages. Even just sitting on the benches, people will scold one another about where to purchase their victuals. In this respect, I feel like the park is increasingly being taken over for commercial purposes, and thus estranging those who don’t want to participate in these festival markets.
Odori is being monetized.
This is nothing new, as the snow festival has been drawing money-spending spectators for decades. I’m all for stimulating economic growth, but it seems a bit unfair to give these events jurisdiction over who eats and drinks what and where. Why should people be forced to drink Asahi products, just because they want to sit in Odori block six 6 on a mid-August afternoon? Of course there are plenty of details I’m glossing over. But I feel that citizens should retain the right to use public property within reason.
What do you think?
Over in the blink of an eye.
This year’s Obon holiday has come and gone in Sapporo, and so has my mother. She stayed with me for 12 days. We spent more time together than we have in the last 30 years.
To be honest, I was a little concerned that guiding her around would be a hassle. I worried that she’d be picky about food, or headstrong about seeing different sites around Hokkaido. Of course, I wanted her to have the best time possible. But I wasn’t really looking forward to driving across Hokkaido to visit Shiretoko, or Wakanai or some other far off place when the roads are so crowded. Thankfully, she was very content to hang out with her son and his Japanese family, taking little trips around Sapporo, or on occasion to Lake Toya and Shikotsuko.
I realized that my mom is actually pretty cool. She’s very easy-going, happy to hang out with my friends, and fairly adventurous with new food. All in all we had a very good time. When I talked to her after she’d returned to the states, she said the entire trip was like a dream.
Over in the blink of an eye.