October is one of my favorite months, in my favorite season. The weather is finally getting cooler, delicious fall flavors are appearing on cafe menus, and it’s nearly time for my favorite holiday, Halloween. Right now I’m trying to decide on a fun new costume for our Halloween week celebrations. In previous years I’ve been a ghost, a horse, and a Star Wars character. What should I be this year? What would you like to see? I’d love to hear any suggestions or requests, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s costumes!
I’ve often heard the term “Yes Man” used negatively. A “Yes Man” could literally be someone who is unable to say no to simple or grand requests, making them a total pushover. A “Yes Man” could also be someone who sucks up to their boss or coworkers by taking on all extra work. I’ve recently read a book that has positively changed the meaning of a “Yes Man” for me. Incidentally, this book is also called Yes Man. It was written by Danny Wallace and chronicles his adventures of saying “yes” to everything in an attempt to bring more openness and satisfaction into his life. Seriously, he says yes to every credit card offer, every invitation, every weekend outing, every. thing. Even an eventual marriage proposal! This newfound willingness to accept all offers leads him on a journey of self-discovery and overall life improvement.
As someone who loves challenging herself personally, this book presented an experiment that seems right up my alley. Although I live in Japan, I speak and understand very little Japanese. I sometimes find myself saying “はい” to the cashiers at Fuji or 7-11 simply because it makes life easier than pantomiming what I really need. I can relate to this book because saying yes can have amazing results when you’re not 100% sure what the outcome of your “はい” will lead to. This book inspired me to say yes more often. So far, saying yes has gotten me: a free vanilla ice cream from 7-11, a point card to Fuji, and a spot on a relay marathon team. I hope to keep challenging myself to say yes to requests and events. What about you? Will you try to say “yes” more?
I just bought the new album “Safe in the Hands of Love” by Yves Tumor yesterday, and already it’s a masterpiece in my mind. He’s known for ambience, dissonance and unease, but here he unveils unprecedented energy via warped, up-beat pop tunes. This track “Noid” actually gives me goosebumps (or chills?) once the peppy strings and bass line transition into something more ominous and unsettling that better match the lyrical content: “I’m scared for my life/ They don’t trust us/ I’m not part of the killing spree/ A symptom, born loser, statistic”. The ambience, dissonance and unease never left after all. They’re just masked as more accessible.
アメリカの運動会は日本のものとは全く違い、『Field day』と呼ばれるイベントがあるそうです。このField dayは皆で練習を必要とする競技は無く、自由参加OKで、平日開催は当たり前で保護者が見に来ることもありません。
石井校で水曜日に働いているアンドリュー先生が、授業で使う教材を印刷しようとしていたときのこと。設定がうまくいかなかったのか、1回目、2回目と思った通りにできず、いよいよ3回目というときになって、”Third time’s a charm.”と呟きました。これ、実は「3度目の正直」ということわざの表現なんです。日本語のものと少し違いますね。反対に、「2度あることは3度ある」は”Things come in threes.”と言ったりします。
① Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
② Time flies like an arrow.
③ Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.
（答え：①火のないところに煙は立たず ②光陰矢のごとし ③取らぬ狸の皮算用）
Three ways to use ‘pick up’
‘Pick up’ is a phrasal verb. This means it is a verb (pick) followed by a particle (up). Phrasal verbs are tricky because they can have many different meanings depending on the context.
We can use pick up to describe learning something
- Children pick up languages very quickly.
- I picked up the guitar from spending time with musicians.
We can use pick up informally to describe buying something.
- I often pick up some milk on my way home.
- She picks up lots of items in the Christmas sales.
Getting an illness
We can use pick up to describe getting an illness.
- I think I picked up a cold.
- He picked up the flu from his classmates.
Back in July, I praised my Kindle for all the new words it teaches me thanks to its convenient dictionary feature. Although I usually forget the meanings shortly after looking them up, here are six more words I’ve highlighted and ‘learned’ through reading over the past few months:
- Akimbo: standing with your hand on your hip and elbow bent outward.
- Cogent/Cogency: being appealing to reason or the mind.
- Flotsam: the part of a ship’s wreckage and cargo found floating on the water.
- Patina: a green film or crust that appears on the surface of old bronze or copper.
- Regolith: the layer of loose dust, dirt, soil, etc. covering a planet.
- Welkin: the heavens or upper atmosphere.
Now that October is approaching and Halloween along with it, I’ve begun to seriously think about my costume for my favorite holiday. It’s not an easy process especially after the scary success of my Sadako last year. I try to do something new every year and mostly stick to the horror side of things but since I love some anime and just enjoy role-playing in general I guess I am open to new ideas as well.
The innocently named Hope Diamond has a sordid history. Although no one knows where it was discovered, it is believed to have been mined in India in 1666 and then sold to King Louis XIV of France. Many have possessed this large, icy-blue diamond for a period of time before succumbing to an unnatural fate. I initially wanted to write about the scandalous, deathly mishaps of each owner, but realized Amic prefers teachers not to speak about gruesome topics, no matter how interesting they are. Long story short, the diamond exchanged hands and seemingly everyone who came in contact with the stone met their demise either at their own hand, by someone close to them, or simply by an act of God. In reality, the Hope Diamond is just that, a very large, beautiful diamond that is decidedly not-cursed. The curse came about as a selling point from diamond dealers and jewelers to make the Hope Diamond seem more interesting to buyers. A simple google search will prove that the majority of the owners lived long full lives and the diamond changed owners only after the previous owner’s death. That being said, while a few of the owners were bankrupt and forced to sell the diamond to pay off their loans, we can blame this on poor financial skills (like buying a massive diamond instead of focusing on prior debt). Others, sadly, met their fate at the guillotine, but then again the French Revolution was in full swing, so again, no curse, just bad timing. A quick google search of one of the supposed victims of the Hope Diamond curse reveals nothing, except that no character by that name existed or was affected by a malevolent diamond. Today, the Hope Diamond resides in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C, where the curator says that it has been “nothing but good luck” for attendance levels.