Original message --> posted by English Teacher John

English Teacher John Show 45 – Transcript (part 1)

[Start of transcript – ETJ Show 45 – part 1 (audio and video podcast) 

Taiko – Traditional Japanese drumming from this weekend Matsumoto Taiko festival. 

John Koons: Yes, 3, 2, 1. Welcome everyone to the English Teacher John Show.  This is English Teacher John Show No. 45.  My name is John Koons.  I am from…. Where am I from?

Hiromi:  From Philadelphia?

John:  Philadelphia., Pennsylvania, U.S.A. And I now live in Chakow, Russia. 

Hiromi:  No.

John:  No.  Oh, I’m sorry.  Where do I live?

Hiromi:  Matsumoto?

John:  I live in Matsumoto, Japan.  That’s right. So today we have a very special guest, my good friend and perfect English student, Hiromi. Hello.

Hiromi:  Hello.

John:  How are you?

Hiromi:  I’m fine, thank you.

John:  Are you nervous in front of the camera?

Hiromi:  Oh yes, a little bit nervous.

John:  Oh, no. Hiromi is a little bit nervous so let us try to calm her down a little bit. You might remember Hiromi from Podcast No. 33. You and Kaori.

Hiromi:  And he is my good friend and we learn English words and we interview each other.

John:  Very good students.  All right.  Of course, we learned about you in lesson No.33.  But right here in front of this professional set of 16 surround-sound cameras.  I have an Imax group here too, so this is going to be put on the big screen.  We are going to learn about you.  I’ll start.  My name is John Koons.  I come from Philadelphia like I said.  I’m 21 years old.

Hiromi:  No.

John:  I’m very fit, very handsome. [Laughs] That’s not me. Let us see. [Laughter]  I have been living in Japan for two and a half years.  Yes, and I’m learning some Japanese.

Hiromi:  I think he is definitely getting better.

John:  Maybe getting better.  I really need to study.  I’m here with my wife.  We don’t have …

Hiromi:  Lovely wife.

John:  Thank you.  I think about her when I set the stage, she made a nice tea for us.  Tomoko, my wife.  And I’m an English teacher and I like to do some podcasts and real casts.  I hope you enjoy this. And we’re on www.englishteacher.com as many of you know.  I enjoy teaching English and meeting nice people like Hiromi.   I like to ride my bicycle a lot.  I’m now a cyclist, I guess, for the last two years mostly mountain biking, sometimes on the road.  I do yoga a few times a week. I like scuba diving. I’m a licensed scuba diver and  I’m also a licensed glider pilot, which I really  miss. I had been gliding once in Japan, not hang gliding, not paragliding.  This is gliding and it’s kind of a full almost precise, almost the size of an airplane, but it is very tapered and very narrow and there is no engine with very long wings. No engine!  Just the sun and the aircraft.  I like reading.  I like walking around town with my wife and all the good food that she cooks.  So that’s a little bit about me.  So let us turn it over to the more important person, Hiromi. Tell us about yourself.

Hiromi:  Okay. I came here to Matsumoto two years ago, so I have lived here for two years.  I’m originally from Hokkaido.  Hokkaido is northern part of Japan.

John:  I want to go there.

Hiromi:  Yes, it’s a very nice place to live.  I’m living with my family, my husband and my three kids and a cat.  [Laughs]

John:  Three kids and one cat. [Laughs] And what is easier to handle, the kids or the cat?

Hiromi:  Ah, cat. It’s much easier than kids.

John:  Who eats more?

Hiromi:   Kids. [Laughs]

John:  Kids eat more that the cat. [Laughs] How old are your kids?

Hiromi:  My oldest daughter is 13 years old.  She is in junior high school..  My son is eight years old and he loves playing soccer, playing baseball, and watching soccer games or baseball games on TV.

John:  Was he happy about the Japanese performance in the recent World Cup?

Hiromi:  Aaah.

John:  Which finished only a week and a half or one week ago? Two weeks ago.  Was he happy with Japan’s performance?

Hiromi:  No. 

John:  But he watched a lot of games.

Hiromi:  Yes. 

John:  Eight years old. And the games are all in on time.

Hiromi:  Ah, yes.

John:  Midnight 1 a.m. and your eight-year-old  son was watching the games.  That’s tough.

Hiromi:   So he take a nap in the afternoon and I woke up in the midnight.

John:  He is dedicated.

Hiromi:  And my youngest daughter is now 6 years old and she likes small animals or insects.

John:  Real ones or the stuffed ones?

Hiromi:  The real ones.  Frogs.

John:  I have to say in Japan, I noticed lots of kids collecting bugs and things, running around and going off to the forest and picking up lots of bugs and bringing them home.  But I remember   that we did so much of that.  We used to go watching, but I don’t remember that we used to put them in a jar and bring them home

Hiromi:  Oh, really. You did not collect in the past insects?

John:  Uhmm.  Occasionally.  I remember fireflies, lightning bugs.  We used to keep a few of those.  But kids are really into bugs, so they are already crawling around the house?

Hiromi:  No, not inside the house.  Just let them keep out, out.

John:  Keep everything outside. [Laughs]

Hiromi:  I don’t like insects.

John:    So are they kept in jars? Do they live? Or are they dead?

Hiromi:  We let them release.

John:  They release the bugs.

Hiromi:  After they tested the bugs, it doesn’t live long.  SO I let them release.

John:  Good for you.  Don’t keep these creatures boxed up, caged, jarred up __[8:58] please.  You can say as looking down here, we have our notes for today.  Let us see, family, husband, three kids.  What does you husband do?

Hiromi:  My husband is working for an insurance company.  It’s an American company.

John:  Great. How about yourself?  Are you working? 

Hiromi:  I’m working for  a ladies’ school in Matsumoto.  Sometimes I teach English.  And sometimes I…

John:  Sometimes means every week!

Hiromi:  Every week.

John:  You have a few classes every week. 

Hiromi:  Four classes a week.

John:  Four classes a week and your other days.  And before that you were organizing and coordinating international students.

Hiromi:  At a university.  That was a very interesting job, to meet forty students and help them.  That was a very interesting job.

John:  Good job for you.  Talking to people, using your English.  Very good.  Tell us more, you are teaching some classes?  What else are you doing?

Hiromi:  I’m doing some administrative job to organize classes or to do some sales promotion.

John:  So when kids show up and they don’t do their homework, are you the one that comes in and throws them out of the class?

Hiromi:  [Laughs] No, I don’t do that.

John:  I could use you for some of my classes.  You come to my class.  You do your homework or you are out! Out!  I won’t throw you out, she will. 

Hiromi:  You can do that yourself.

John:  Administrator and teaching classes.  So tell us, we’ll go get more to English later.  You are talking about English language, exactly what kind of English class do you teach, reading or writing or other skills?

Hiromi:  I do almost everything. I teach kids in an elementary school.  I don’t teach at the elementary school but the kids at the age of …

John:  … elementary school age kids.

Hiromi:  I teach junior high school kids. They need English for their school test.

John:  Right.  To get into…

Hiromi:  To get into high school, to get into universities.

John:  In Japan, it’s different than in the United States and in some of the other countries because the Japanese have a big test to get into the high school of their choice.  Where I’m from and most of the US I think, we generally go to the school in our community or people or families who can pay more can go to private schools that might be within 30 minutes or an hour away or closer, something like that.  But there is not really a competition to get into high school. In Japan, it’s a bit different.  The kids really work hard and really want to get into the high school of their choice and there is a big test.

Hiromi:  Yes, a very big test if they want to go to a big school.  If they want to go into a private school, they have to get a good score on the test and the test is only once, so it could be competitive test. They sure prepare for the test.

John:  They are under a lot of pressure

Hiromi:  Uhmm. Very big pressur for kids and for parents too.
John:  Often many junior high school-age kids that I know, they go to school then after school they…

Hiromi:  Study.

John:  They go to school again.  What do you call these special schools after school hours?

Hiromi:  Cram school.

John:  In Japanese?

Hiromi:  Juku.

John:  Jukus.  So they go to school and I guess the teachers are not teaching all the things that they should because they all have to go to school again. They come home and rush out to the juku.  What is  normal, how often do kids go to juku school each week?

Hiromi:  Usually once a week but if they really want to go to some prestigious high school, maybe more than once.

John:    Once or twice?

Hiromi:  Once or twice during holidays or vacations.

John:  Does it help them? What topics does the juku teach?  What do they need to test for to get into the high school? What are they learning in the juku schools, cram schools?  

Hiromi:  You mean the subjects?

John:  Yes.

Hiromi:  English, Japanese, mathematics, science, social studies.

John:  They are tested on those five things?

Hiromi:  Right.

John:  Okay, we’ll branch off a little bit there. You didn’t tell us about your hobbies? 

Hiromi:  My hobbies?

John:  What do you like to do when you are free? All that free time, all that leisure time you have, what do you like to do?

Hiromi:   I love reading books.

John:  In English. 

Hiromi:  Sometimes in English, not a very difficult one and Japanese.

John:  You loaned to me a book a few days ago, something about a pig.

Hiromi:  Yes.

John:  I only read the first few pages.  What is the title of the book?

Hiromi:  I have difficulty to remember the title of that book.  The Day…?

John:  Okay, I’ll get it.  The Day the Pig Died or something

Hiromi:  A Day No Pigs Would Die. A really good book. [Laughs]

John:  Hiromi has a very good record of turning me on to books.  What was the one about that young boy who was mentally challenged.  He was a slow learner.  You state mentally retarded   but I know it’s not being said anymore.  Sorry, not a kid.

Hiromi:   There is something about a kid.  His mother is turning…

John:  no, what told me at the library one day.  What was the book…

Hiromi:  Aah, Flowers for Algernon.

John:  There we go.  We are mixing two books out here.  Flowers for Algernon.  It is great book, highly recommended.  Flowers for Algernon  and Hiromi also turned me on into a series.  How many books in the series?

Hiromi:  Three or four…

John:  What was the name of the first book that …?

Hiromi:  A Child Called It.

John:  A Child CalledIit. Yes.  Boy that is a very hard series.  I didn’t read all of that but I read the first book. Very, very difficult to read about child abuse and so these are very popular books. Anyway, Hiromi has a brief history of turning me on, recommending books to me.  Thank you.  That was last time. What do you have for me today?

Hiromi:  Angela’s Ashes.  A really nice story about a boy who was brought in Ireland, a very poor.  He was brought up in a very poor family but the humor of this story is really nice.  Angela’s Ashes.

John:  Angela’s Ashes and …

Hiromi:  And Gift from the Sea.

John:  So if you were to buy these books to me, do we get a little money from it?

Hiromi:  [Laughs] I don’t think so.

John:  Just kidding.  Well, I like the sea.  I like everything from the sea.  I like windsurfing  a couple of days ago, first time.  So what do we have from the sea here?

Hiromi:  This was written by Ann Morrow Lindbergh.  She is the wife of Charles Lindbergh.

John:  Aaah.  Gift from the Sea. The wife of Charles Lindbergh.  When was the book written? What is the date … Well, I’m going to take a look here… okay, 1955.  Bookstore?

Hiromi:  This is an essay of Mrs. Lindbergh and she is talking about seashells.  Seashells inspire her and she thinks about women’s lives.

John:  Thanks for the recommendations.  Great.  Alright, we’ve learned about books.  We’re going to move on, if we may.  Let us look at some favorites.  Talking about favorites, for example, what is your favorite band, what is your favorite food, what is your favorite color.  We do these things in English all the time.  What is your favorite subject?  So let us find out from Hiromi about her favorites.  How about music?  What is your favorite kind or do you love music?

Hiromi:  Yes, I love classical music.  I play piano myself a little bit.  I’m not good.

John:  I wish I have a piano here.  Any favorite composers or..?

Hiromi:  Chopin.  Sho-pan.  How do you pronounce it?  Sho-pan.

John:  Very nice.  How about…Japanese love to talk about food.  What is your favorite food?

Hiromi:  Rice and miso soup.

John:  Rice and miso soup. Very traditional Japanese.  Rice and miso soup.  What are some of the other things you like to eat?

Hiromi:  I love pickles.  I really like pickles.

John:  Pickles?  Pickled vegetables?

Hiromi:  Picked vegetables.

John:  What is the famous one we have here in Ogama [ph] area. Is it Ogama [ph] or just Matsumoto? 

Hiromi:  Nozawana? It is not an original.

John:  Not an original, but can you say it slowly for us?

Hiromi:  No-za-wa-na.

John:  Nozawana.  Pickled…

Hiromi:  Pickled…Nozawana. [Laughter]

John:  I didn’t quite get her on that one.  Pickled local green leafy vegetable.  It is much easier to say Nozawana.

Hiromi:  A little bit sour and it’s very good.

John:  Nozawana and rice. When you come to Japan, you got to try these things out.  When people around the world think about Japanese food, they always think about…?

Hiromi:  Sushi?

John:  Yes. What do you think about sushi?

Hiromi:  Sushi is my favorite food and I eat sushi once or twice a month.

John:  Once or twice a month.

Hiromi:  I cannot make sushi by myself. It’s a little bit hard to make sushi, but there are many sushi shops around here and it’s not so expensive, so we can enjoy sushi.

John:  And when people think of sushi, sometimes they confuse it a little bit with sashimi, they are certainly related.  Sashimi is …

Hiromi:  Raw fish.

John:  Sashimi is the part that I don’t eat.

Hiromi:  You don’t eat?

John:  I’m a vegetarian so I eat vegetarian sushi.  It does exist even in Japan.  I only go to the cheap sushi places.  A hundred-yen sushi.  It’s a little conveyor called… what is this kind of sushi called?  It has a cake…the sushi place that has the… what is the name in Japanese?

Hiromi:  Marado sushi.

John:  What is it?

Hiromi:  Marado sushi.

John:  Marado sushi.  No, it’s not that.

Hiromi:  It’s not that?  Yaki sushi?

John:  No, no.  The sushi place that has the conveyor belt. [Laughs] Anyway,  I like that one that just comes by in the conveyor belt, goes by in each table.  It’s like a diner like we have in the States.  There is a kind of booth with a conveyor that goes by and you just pick it off the conveyor as you like, maybe not so many like this.  Then when you are finished, how do they know how much to charge you?

Hiromi:  They count your dishes.

John:  They count your dishes.  What if I put the dishes in my pocket?

Hiromi:  [Laughs] I don’t know.  I have never tried that.

John:  But you are thinking.

Hiromi:  But sometimes, they miscount the number of dishes, if you are lucky.

John:  I bet you can fit some of those dishes in your purse.  So in your house, you have a big sack of sushi dishes, do you?  Just kidding.

Hiromi:  The Japanese people are very trusting people.

John:  They are.  The Japanese are honest and trusting.  So I get the tamago, egg like a scrambled, omelet sushi, avocado sushi, cucumber sushi.  Usually they have some oinari, a kind of vinegared rice with a spiced tofu wrapping.  That’s always a nice one.

Hiromi:  Yes.

John:  They have that sometimes at the sushi places.  So yes, even if you are vegetarian, you can come and get good food in Japan.  Japanese eat very, very well, very healthy, not so much oil and heavy gravy and fat and salt.  Yes, it’s very good. Moving on, what is your favorite activity?

Hiromi:  Activity.

John:  Besides English, of course.

Hiromi:  I am not an active person but activity…

John:  Any kind of activity.

Hiromi:  Any kind of activity.

John:  Something that’s not your job, leisure activity.

Hiromi:  I like to talk with my friends through the internet, on the computer.

John:  Nice. Do you type chat or live?

Hiromi:  Usually, I just use the BDS modem or system.

John:  Are you using voice? Are you speaking into that?

Hiromi:  No, no.

John:  Sending messages.

Hiromi:  Just sending messages through the internet.  And I have some really good friends.

John:  Are these local friends, Matsumoto or around?

Hiromi:  All over Japan.

John:  And you have some foreign friends.

Hiromi:  Uh-hm.  It’s kind of strange to talk through the internet to the people I have never met, but they could be very good friends even if I have never met them before.

John:  So when you are chatting with people, you mean talking to people who you have not met.  These are friends that you met, the Hokkaido friends and when you were living in Tokyo.

Hiromi:  I have my own web pages and they visit my website and they leave a message on my BDS and we became friends.

John:  Yes, you told me about that before.  Interesting. Favorite day of the week?

Hiromi:  Favorite day of the week.  Maybe Friday.

John:  Me, too.

Hiromi:  Are you sure?  Friday, we have English lesson, English teacher John and I’m really looking forward having lesson with John.

John:  Come on.  I pity her to say that. Did I give you enough? Yes, we have a Friday evening lesson and it’s almost always the last lesson of the week for me and I always enjoy it. So sometimes it is Hiromi alone, and sometimes Hiromi and our good friend Kaori. What is your favorite time of day?

Hiromi:  My most favorite time of the day is when I go to the bed and when I sleep.

John:  Go to sleep.

Hiromi:  Go to sleep.

John:  What time is that?

Hiromi:  I’m really happy.

John:  What time is that?

Hiromi:  Usually 11, 12.

John:  Why are you so happy?

Hiromi:  Because before I go to sleep, I always read work and then I go to sleep.  And whenever I sleep, I think about the next morning.  What am I going to eat next morning?  That makes me… [Laughs].

John:  The Japanese are always talking about food, thinking about food or dreaming about food.  Now, we want to know how traditional Japanese are you. Do you sleep on a standard bed or on a futon?

Hiromi:  Both.  Sometimes I sleep on a bed but sometimes on futon.

John:  My wife and I sleep on futons on a tatami which is the natural fiber, which is in this room right now but of course you can’t see it on the camera.  I love it.  The natural fiber tatami mats have a great feeling — summer, winter, all the time for me.  What is a futon?

Hiromi:  A futon is like a sleep mat for __[31:11].

John:  A mat or a thin mattress.

Hiromi:  And your comforter. We call comforter futon too. Both mat and comforter or a blanket, we call it futon all together.

John:  That confuse me because sometimes Tamoko, my wife, has said something about “Get the futon” and when I think futon, I just think of the bottom mat, the thin mattress that you put on the floor and you sleep on it.  But the Japanese use futons to mean the mattress as well as the thicker comforter or cover that you pull on top of you.  That’s also a futon.

Hiromi:  Yes.

John:  I see this as part of cultural questions.  Are you still really keeping Japanese traditions by sleeping on the futon?  People want to know if you sleep in a bed or a futon. I prefer futons.

Hiromi:  Tatami is convenient because you can put them away in the daytime.

John:  Right. Just fold them up and for example, this one here is English Teacher John’s studio  as well as our classroom. It’s our hangout party room.  It’s also our classroom.  In the evening, we put the futons out right in this room. 

[end of transcript – ETJ Show 45 – part 1]

One Response to “English Teacher John Show 45 – Transcript (part 1)”

  1. hongxia Says:

    hello, I am from northeast of China, and now I am studying in Berlin. I enjoy your English show. It is really helpful for English studying.

Leave a Reply (Comment)

You must be logged in to post a comment.