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!
Settlers of Catan
Do you like board games? I sure do. And my favorite of all time is Settlers of Catan. It’s a German board game that has taken the world by storm. The overall premise of the game is that each player is a settler (or pioneer) and in order to expand your settlement, you must obtain different resources on the board. Catan is a game of strategy in that you must plan your expansion across the board, while at the same time anticipating your opponents’ moves. The standard game is quite easy to learn.
Recently I’ve introduced this game to friends and family. It’s been an instant success! So I’ve bought to more editions that allow for more players and add more variables to the game. One edition is called Cities and Knights. The other is called Seafarers. When these two sets are combined with the original, the game becomes enormous. A single game between just three people can last as long as three hours, particularly if each player has a bit of experience.
Catan is a game appropriate for anybody ages 8 – 80. Although it may seem simple at first, it’s actually quite involved and requires a bit of cutthroat maneuvering to win the game!
21st Century Tulip Mania?
Have you ever heard about tulip mania? It was a period in 17th century Dutch history when tulips were very, very fashionable. Because they were so popular, the tulip market grew at extraordinary rates. Many tulip growers bred new varieties of flowers. Some were so sought after that people spent their entire fortunes on collecting a handful of tulip bulbs. Tulip buying and selling became a bubble market. And like all bubbles, this market eventually burst.
Bubble markets occur when the value of a popular item skyrockets to abnormally high prices. These days, many people believe that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is a kind of bubble market. Already, we’ve seen the value of a single Bitcoin (BTC) go from a few dollars to $20,000. Currently, the price of a coin is around $9,000. Many people are hoping the price drops lower so they can buy a coin (or more likely a fraction of a coin) before the value goes up again. Some experts believe the value could climb beyond $20k this year. Others are not so optimistic.
Have you studied the emerging cryptocurrency market? Do you think it is here to stay, or will it fall by the wayside? Tulips are still extremely popular around the world. Perhaps cryptocurrency will be as well. With companies like BicCamera accepting Bitcoin as a valid form of payment, and banks like MUFJ readying to launch their own cryptocurrency exchange, it seems like it’s all still early days.
To hibernate or not to hibernate...is not a good question.
I’m amazed by the number of Sapporites who claim to hate winter. It’s too cold, too long, too dark…the snow is a nuisance…yada yada yada.
As someone who grew up in a place accustomed to inconsistent winter weather, Hokkaido’s inevitable frozen season is a delight for me. There’s no wondering IF it will snow, just a matter of WHEN. There’s no wondering IF I should pull out my winter coat – it’s a matter of WHICH ONE. I find winter here entirely more dependable than spring or fall. Never mind the transformation the land undergoes into a snowy paradise. Never mind the smiles slashing through bottomless pristine powder gives me. Never mind the great winter cuisine that fuels our cold-weather excursions. Winter in Hokkaido is a dependable old friend whose best attribute is the tough love she gives us.
Of course it’s going to be cold. Of course walking and driving suddenly require a bit more attention. That’s winter reminding us not to grow soft. That’s her saying “Toughen up. Bundle up and go about your day.” I love to hang out in the warmth of my home during a blizzard as much as the next person. But without the blizzards and ice and face-numbing winds we have little to contrast our daily comforts against.
So, by all means, enjoy a good book or movie this winter. Just make sure to spend some time outside as well. Even a half hour walking around the park can invigorate your senses. The worst thing you could do is hole up in your home and wait until the snow melts. You’d be missing out on one of the best times of the year.
|３月のお得 1: 『1000円英会話』 9,800円で始めよう クーポン！|
|３月のお得 ２: 『個人レッスン』 入会金半額 5,000円 クーポン！|
|３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)|