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!
Rate of change
In Japan it’s quite common for people to stay in touch throughout their lives, usually in the case of best friends. But it’s also common to meet up every several years with old classmates, possibly with an old teacher as well. There’s a novelty to seeing how your old classmates have changed over the years, and to share stories about your own life. In America we have class reunions, but they’re usually every 5 or 10 years. And while we may run into friends while home for the holidays, there’s less of a push to go out and meet up at the end of every year.
How much does a person change in a year? That depends on the person and the experiences they’ve had, right? But the rate of change is far less noticeable the more frequently we meet with people. It’s a slower, more gradual phenomena. I look forward to the next time I go home for the holidays, because it’s been at least 5 years since I’ve done so. That’s one of the things living abroad gives us – a chance to appreciate how we change over the years.
Where's the snow?
What gives!? This time last year Sapporo was already blanketed in several inches of snow. The ski slopes were opening and there was powder to enjoy. This year seems a bit warmer…winter is reluctant to come. I hope it comes soon and I hope it comes strong. Winter is one of the things that makes living in Hokkaido so appealing.
So say it with me now -“BRING ON THE SNOW!!!”
Thank you. I’m sure it will start snowing as soon as I get on my bike to go home tonight.
4 more years?
In America, when a president is up for reelection, supporters of that president will often chant “Four more years!” at his rally. Simply put, they want that president to continue to hold office for another term – which is four years. In Japan, the Prime Minister, currently Shinzo Abe, is also elected every four years. As we all know, Abe was just reelected last week. How many of you, I wonder, were hoping he’d be prime minister for four more years?
While America is a politically charged country where everybody with an elementary school education seems to have an opinion about politics, Japan is much the opposite. Japan has a decidedly apathetic voter population. Did you vote in this last election? If no, why not? When I ask this question to my Japanese friends and family, the number one answer I get is “I’m not interested in politics.”
While I understand that the world of politics often seems both dizzyingly complex and at the same time boring, I don’t think “I’m not interested…” is a good answer. It’s like saying “I’m not interested in my health,” or “I’m not interested in the environment.” Your country’s government and its policies have a direct impact on your life, just like your health and the environment. And all three are related. It is a (perhaps intentional) failing of the school systems to not education about and promote civic participation. The sooner children learn that they can influence and shape the community in which they live, the better. Civic-minded students become civic-minded adults. Japan needs more of these.
As we say in America – if you didn’t vote, you can’t complain. It’s easy not to worry about world issues when day-to-day life is so comfortable. But remember that the decisions made by politicians now affect the way things go in the future. Just a little bit of study and a bit of time can go a long way towards changing the future of the country.
|１月のお得 1: 『1000円英会話』 9,800円で始めよう クーポン！|
|１月のお得 ２: 『個人レッスン』 入会金半額 5,400円 クーポン！|
|１月のお得 ３: 『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)|