ステップアップ-STEP UP・アメリカ人講師 Jonathan ジョナサン


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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!
アメリカ人英会話講師 Jonathan ジョナサン 札幌

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アメリカ人英会話講師:Jonathan ジョナサンの英語日記

Hiking Mt. Ashibetsu

2017年7月17日 (月)

I had three days off earlier in the week and took advantage of the good weather by going to Furano for some hiking and camping. I’d never hiked Ashibetsu-dake, but knew it was one of Japan’s 100 famous mountains. With an elevation of about 1,750 meters, it isn’t a small mountain. But compared to other mountains I’ve climbed, it wasn’t particularly hard either. The trail is well-maintained and is never very steep in any place. Mountain azaleas and viburnum were blooming and the sasa had yet to become obstructive. My friends and I reached the summit in about 4 hours, and enjoyed lunch and a beer before heading back down. There were a few large patches of snow and we slid on our backs down these. Due to our late start up, we reached the bottom of the mountain just as the sun was setting. Fortunately for us, my friend’s wife had already set up the BBQ and we ate and drank into the night.

It was one of those special Hokkaido moments when the right weather and the right people came together to make for a memorable experience. It’s my desire to hike all of Japan’s 100 famous mountains someday. I hope they’re all as beautiful as Ashibetsu-dake.


Japanese music

2017年7月3日 (月)

When I first came to Japan (way back when) I had no idea who SMAP or Orange Range or Hikaru Utada were. I came here with a very limited background in Japanese music, but the bands and musicians I did know I was surprised to find weren’t well-known.

Ever heard of DJ Krush? DJ Kentaro? HIFANA? Not into electronic music? How about The Pillows? The Aprils?? Maybe not…

These are bands that I was introduced to in America as a university student. Their songs were often background music at parties or in friend’s cars. While their popularity may have begun more than 20 years ago, they remain active today. DJ Krush, for example, just released a new album this month called 軌跡. The album features eight of Japan’s best rappers, talented artists who are largely ignored by mass media. Perhaps this is for the best. Over the years, I’ve been introduced to lots of other great musicians. Ever listen to MAD3? Blankey Jet City? Eddie Legend? If not, don’t feel bad. There are plenty of American bands you may know that I’m clueless about.

Anyhow, those are some of the Japanese musicians that I love. I’m grateful for their music, and the deeper understanding that they bring to my experience living here.



Ever heard of an antanaclasis?

2017年6月22日 (木)

An antanaclasis is a sentence in which the same word is used twice with different meanings. Here are some examples:

“We must all hang together, or we’ll hang apart.”

In this sentence hang is firstly used to mean “stay together” and secondly to “each be executed as criminals”. A bit morbid, probably spoken by some revolutionary trying to rally his soldiers.

Here’s another: “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.”

A double antanaclasis! The first flies like compares the passage of time to that of an arrow. The second flies like is literally saying small flying insects enjoy eating bananas.

See if you can understand the next few:

“Death strikes all things, but never strikes a bargain.”

“Your argument is sound…all sound.”

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.”

And from the great American TV drama Breaking Bad: ” You don’t need a criminal lawyer. You need a criminal lawyer.” Get it?

See if you can make your own antanaclasis. It’s a fun way to improve your English.



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