Category: News

News

Building a Personal Brand: Social Shouldn’t Mean Shameless

Online classes and social networking seem to go hand in hand. Class discussion forums, when written well, are a lot like blog posts. Sites like OnCourse, when designed well, mimic a lot of the functionality of Facebook, with user profiles and smooth integration between chat and messaging. Engaging class discussions can continue smoothly via Twitter,…

Language Learning

Turning Tutors into Millionaires: The “Celebrity Teachers” from Hong Kong

What if Lady Gaga helped your child to prepare for that next English test? Imagine hiring Justin Bieber for an hour of homework help. How much would they charge for one lesson? But in Hong Kong, it’s not that the stars are teaching. Here, the teachers themselves are the stars. They earn up to $1.5 million…

News

Three Ways to Leave a Legacy in the Land of Online Learning

In my last post I talked about the fundamentals of becoming an online teacher without supporting huge investor-fueled teaching platforms or business practices you don’t agree with, don’t understand or simply don’t care about. Today I want to talk further about how you can establish your own legacy instead of indirectly fueling an impersonal brand…

News

Introducing The Japanese Culture Blog

Japanese is a means to an end. No one sane studies Japanese for over a dozen years, becomes a professional translator, and learns all the complexity and nuance of this language because the language is fun. Yes, it is a great challenge, and it is very interesting, but that wasn’t the point. The language is…

News

Facts and Futenma

Futenma (kanji: 普天間) is the name of the big American air base on Okinawa that has been the subject of much political controversy in recent years. The current Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama, has decided, under heavy, even overwhelming American pressure, including a personal visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to allow American…

News

Japanese Keigo (Respectful Speech)

The Japanese language has the interesting and curious trait of actually varying the forms of verbs used in otherwise normal, standard sentences to convey greater politeness and respect. This is often done in business, particularly in hospitality; however, “polite” speech is also the standard form in classrooms, on news broadcasts, and so forth. Japanese Keigo…

archived

Looking for Justice – A Parable

They speak about someone who lost his way. And as the evening approaches he reaches a great cave. He enters the cave and the cave is filled with candles. He turns around, squints his eyes and aks, surprised by the way his voice sounds in the hollow of the cave: “Hello! Is there anybody here?”…

archived

How To Learn Japanese

There are many schools of thought for how to learn Japanese. Allow me to briefly present mine. #1: Settle On A Goal If your goal is to know a few cool words to impress your friends, you do not need to learn very much. If your goal is to hold a brief oral conversation with…

archived

Want To Study At A Japanese University?

If you’d like to study at a Japanese university, read on. If you don’t… read on anyway! You might find this interesting. At the present time, Japan is undergoing a chronic shortage of students for its well-respected universities. (Most of you will have read one of the numerous news reports in recent years concerning Japan’s…

archived

Sun Tzu: Ancient Wisdom, Relevant Today

Sun Tzu was a general in ancient China, known almost exclusively for writing the book known in the English language as “Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.” This book has been exhaustively studied by great generals of Chinese, Japanese, and in more modern times, European and American fame. Today, the book is studied to some…

archived

Mystic Tales from the Zohar Naso

Introduction to Idra Raba (The Great Chamber) Rabbi Shimon and his nine friends were sitting silently in The Great Chamber but their hearts were afire in the threshing field of revelations. Thus Rabbi Shimon opened and said: “A gossip walker reveals a secret,  and a spirit trust person covers it” (Mishlei 11, 13) He spoke…