Final Lessons, Exams, and Thoughts

My students are now preparing for their final exams next week and those in my writing classes are already typing their final essays onto this blog space. It`s amazing to me how fast the end of an academic year comes round at this stage of my life. I can`t believe I have been teaching at Kaisei for nearly 3 years already! I really hope that you have enjoyed writing your blogs. Some of you have been quite busy or maybe even a bit lazy and haven`t written that much, while others have really taken to it. I think it`s a great way to practice your writing and to improve your English. It`s also been very interesting for me to read something about your daily lives and your free time activities. I feel I know you a bit better now than I did before the semester started. It has been a real pleasure to have you as students and I want to  wish all of you a lot of happiness in your futures. Best wishes, Angus P.S. Keep working at your English, it`s such fun to be able to speak a foreign language well!

Carnival, Olinda, Brazil

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Carnival, Olinda, Brazil

I went to Brazil a few years ago to experience the Carnival. I wanted to see it not in Rio but in a smaller place where I could really take part. It was a marvelous experience, one I’ll never forget. The music, dancing, and partying went on from 10am till 4am the next morning. I didn’t get much sleep but had a great time.

Happy New Year to All My Readers

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Dear Readers,

I want to wish you and your families a very, Happy and Healthy New Year! I hope that you all had a nice, relaxing time over the winter break and that you manged to do some enjoyable things.

I went home to England for 2 weeks and saw my family and a lot of friends.

I arrived on Christmas Eve at around noon and went immediately with my Mam and older brother, Simon, to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site, Durham Cathedral, for their annual Christmas Eve carol concert. It`s a magical event, perhaps the hightlight of every Christmas for me. This 900-year old church is full of people, candles and the gorgeous choir and it`s a truly wonderful experience to listen to the Christmas music.

Other Christmas hightlights included a two-day trip to the Lake District with my Mum. We stayed near the place where Peter Rabbit comes from and were so lucky with the weather. We had 2 very still, sunny days but, when we were travelling home, we almost got flooded in, the roads were like rivers, it was raining so hard!

I also finally got to eat at the famous, national award-winning fish and chips restaurant at the seaside, about 20 kilometres from my house.  It`s called `Coleman`s` and has been on TV and in newspapers and magazines many times. It was well worth the journey. I ate a huge plate of delicious, freshly cooked fried cod (tara) and fried potatoes (`chips`, in British English). In fact, I had such a lot of great food over the holidays, the standard of cooking in my country has gone up a lot in recent years. I must have put on 2 or 3 kilos over the Christmas break! 

I did some shopping too, especially for clothes, as I can never find my size here in Japan and so need to buy everything at home.

Finally, it was so good to spend time with my Mum, brother, and to see some of my friends for the first time in a number of years. The older I get, the more I realise that spending time with the people you love is the most important thing in life.

I felt sad to leave my Mum and brother at home. I love living in Japan but sometimes miss home. Life is a complicated, crazy, thing! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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Dear Students,

I am going home for Christmas and I`m really looking forward to seeing my family and friends.

Christmas in Britain isn`t the romantic holiday it is here in Japan. It`s a time for people to be with their families and loved ones.

Anyway, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an especially Happy and Healthy New Year.

Have a relaxing break and I`ll see you next time next year!

Angus

Easter Island,Chile

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Easter Island,Chile

I took this picture on a long journey I made through South America. Easter Island is one of the strangest places I’ve been to. It’s part of Chile but is so different to other parts of South America. The island is a 5- or 6- hour flight from the capital city of Chile, Santiago, and right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is Polynesian, similar to Hawaii or Fiji. The island used to be covered with trees but now there are none. It’s very mysterious, and it was fascinating to see all the huge statues, called maoi, that were an important part of the island’s religious beliefs. The island’s population decreased dramatically over the centuries, maybe due to the people destroying their land or maybe because of the introduction of rats, which bred very quickly, eating all the vegetation. Notice in this picture that the statues are all facing inland, not out to sea. People are still trying to understand the old Easter Island culture. I was privileged to visit the place but I don’t think I would like to return there.

Ipanema Beach, Rio, Brazil

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Ipanema Beach, Rio, Brazil

This is one of my favourite photos.I took it in the late afternoon on Ipanema Beach in Rio, Brazil. I love Brazil, it’s so full of energy! Rio is a stunning city, with the beaches and the sub-tropical forest covering the many, steep hills there. It’s a dangerous place and there’s a huge difference between the rich and the poor but I would urge anyone to go to Brazil once in their life. Next year, the FIFA World Cup is going to be held there, and in 2016, it’s the turn of the Olympic Games. Brazil is often in the news these days because of these upcoming events.