In the same boat


E: Euneece M: Miho T: Taro S: Shuzo

When everyone settled in the room...

E: Looks like someone burned the candle at both ends, huh?
M & T: (simultaneously) Me?
E: Oh! I was referring to Taro 'coz I thought he looks
exhausted. I didn't know you're both in the same boat.
M: (without further ado) My daughter got sick and I had to
monitor her condition twenty-four seven.
E: Sorry to hear that. I hope it wasn't serious.
M: She had fever on and off, reaching as high as thirty-nine
degrees. I was worried to bits.
S: I could empathize with you. When my children were young,
we were constant visitors to hospitals.
E: Did you see a pediatrician? What's the diagnosis?
M: We rushed her to the hospital at midnight on Tuesday.
The doctor advised us to see an ENT specialist first
thing in the morning.
S: Let me guess. Otitis Media?
M: Yes. There's infection on her left ear. No wonder she
was so fussy then. We were given antibiotics and she
is getting better now. Thank goodness.
E: Such a disease causes so much discomfort and pain.
Good to know she's OK now. I'm sure she'll be back to
her usual self in no time.
S: By the way, Taro, are you still with us? (teasing) You
seem to be in dreamland with your eyes open.
T: Do I look that sleepy? (yawning)
M: (chuckling) It's not so obvious.
T: Actually, I hit the sack at past seven this morning.
S: Too early! (smiling)
T: Right. I watched the Women's World Cup Soccer
Championship between Japan and America.
S: I watched our national team win, too!
E: Congratulations to Japan! Such victory surely was a
boost for the entire nation. But wait, you don't look
as haggard Shuzo.
S: Why should I do? I had a good night's sleep.
M: How did you get to see Nadeshiko Japan grab the title?
S: Well, I was lucky. When I woke up at six, it was in
time for the triumphant moment.
T: Cheat!


★burn the candle at both ends - 昼も夜も忙しい生活をする
★simultaneously - 同時に
★in the same boat - 同じ状況下(立場・境遇)にある
★without further ado - 難しい話は抜きにして、さっさと
★twenty-four seven - しょっちゅう、いつも
★worried to bits - ひどく心配する
★empathize -(同様の経験から)人の気持ちを理解できる、
★pediatrician - 小児科医
★diagnosis - 診断結果、見立て
★ENT = Ear, Nose, Throat - 耳鼻咽喉科
★Otitis Media - 中耳炎
★fussy - イライラしやすい、じれている、ぐずる
★antibiotics - 抗生物質学
★in no time - 即座に、すぐさま、直ちに
★dreamland - 夢の国
★yawn - あくびをする
★hit the sack - (話)床に就く
★boost - 上昇、促進
★haggard - やつれた、げっそりした
★triumphant - 勝利を収めた、輝かしい
★cheat - ずる、ごまかし、いんちき


E: ユニース M: ミホ T: タロウ S: シュウゾウ


E: 体力が消耗してる人がいるようね?
M&T: (同時に)私/僕?
E: あら! タロウのこと言ったの。すごく疲れてるようだから。
E: お気の毒に。大したことなかったならいいけど。
M: 熱が上がったり下がったで、39度にまで達して。すごく心配
S: その気持ちよく分かるよ。僕も子供が小さかったとき、よく病
E: 小児科に診せたの? 診断結果は?
M: 火曜日の深夜に病院に駆け込んだの。先生は、朝一番に耳鼻科
S: それって中耳炎じゃない?
M: その通り。左耳に感染してね。彼女がむずかるのも無理ないわ。
E: そういう病気はかなりの痛みと不快症状を引き起こすのよね。
S: ところで、タロウ、僕たちの話聞いてる?(からかって)
T: そんなに眠そうに見える?(あくびをして)
T: 実は、朝の7時過ぎに寝床に就いたんだ。
S: 早すぎ!(笑顔で)
T: そう。女子サッカーワールドカップの日本対アメリカ決勝戦を
S: 僕も日本チームが勝つのを見たよ!
E: 日本おめでとう!この勝利は間違いなく国全体を活気づけて
S: どうしてやつれるんだい? 僕はよく眠れたよ。
M: なでしこジャパンがタイトルを掴んだってどうしてわかったの?
S: えーとね、運がよかったんだ。6時に起きた時、ちょうど勝利
T: そりゃずるだね!



Housewarming gift


It's customary in other countries to give a housewarming gift when you visit a friend's new pad. Your choices are endless, from flowers to a bottle of wine or even decorative things for the new place.

My friend who visits Japan often came for a short trip and stayed with me for a night. This was her housewarming gift.


Isn't it cute?



Summer Essentials


E: Emery Y: Yuka

At the lobby. Yuka beams upon seeing Emery.

E: Hi there, Yuka! Ready for the class?
Y: Uh huh. Is Saori coming today?
E: She was advised by their family doctor to rest for
full recovery.
Emery ushered Yuka to the room.
Y: What happened to her?
E: She did not say exactly. Maybe, it has something to
do with the sweltering temperature we have these days.
Y: That’s why I always have my summer essentials,
(delving into her bag), I'd like to show you these.
Emery looked at the things on the table, slack-jawed
with surprise.
Y: These are my summer essentials.
Yuka started showing the small, pink, battery-powered fan.
E: Be careful with the fan blades.
Y: No worries Emery. They are soft and won't even cut me.
Wanna try?
Emery touched the fan blades.
E: You're right! Oh, and it can spray water too. Cool!
Y: Indeed! Next, this cooling scarf is ideal for my workouts.
It has crystals inside and you just soak it in cold water
and wrap it around your neck.
E: I saw this on the Internet. The cloth is sweat absorbent.
It’s also reusable.
Y: Plus it comes in different colors and designs. And
lastly, my bag will not be complete without a bottle of
water or sports drink.
E: I always have that one in my bag. I should be getting
those two essentials you showed me over the weekend.
Thank you Yuka!
Y: It’s better to be prepared for the summer.


★essentials - 必需品
★beams - にこにこ笑う、顔を輝かせる
★family doctor - かかりつけの医者、主治医
★full recovery - 完全な回復
★usher - 案内する
★sweltering - うだるように暑い
★delve into -(問題・資料・情報など)掘り下げて考える
★slack-jawed - 口をポカンと開けた
★battery-powered - 電池式の
★fan blades - 扇風機の羽根
★ideal - 理想的な
★workouts - エクササイズ、トレーニング
★soak - 浸す
★sweat absorbent - 吸汗性の
★It’s better to be ~ - ~した方がよい


E: エメリー Y: ユカ


E: こんにちは、ユカ! 授業の準備はいい?
Y: うん。サオリは今日来るの?
E: 主治医にちゃんと回復するまで休むように言われた
Y: 彼女どうしたの?
E: はっきりとは言わなかったけど、連日のうだるような
Y: 私がいつも夏の必需品を持ってるのもそのせいよ(バッグをあ
Y: これが私の夏の必需品なの。
E: 羽根に気をつけて。
Y: 大丈夫よエメリー。柔らかいから切れたりしないの。試してみる?
E: 本当ね! わあ、霧吹きもできるのね、すごい!
Y: そうなのよ! そしてこれ、この冷たいスカーフはエクササイズ
E: これネットで見たわ。吸汗性のある素材でできているのよね。
Y: それに色違いや違うデザインもあるのよ。あとなんといっても、
E: 私もいつもバッグに1つ入れてるわ。あなたが見せてくれた
Y: そうそう、本格的な夏に向けて備えとかないとね。



Light yet filling


I so love today's weather.
Is it possible to have this kind whole year round?

During the hot days of summer, people generally do not want to eat something heavy.
They prefer eating something light and refreshing.
I, too, feel the same way.

Since I am a bread monster, my mother suggested this sandwich which my brother-in-law recommended.


This is an avocado, cucumber and tomato sandwich.
The toasted wheat bread is slathered with Dijon mustard and a slice of cheese was placed in between the filling.
I have tried this and it is very light yet very filling.



Japan: We are the champions


Since March 11, Japan has been battered with a succession of depressing news; from earthquake and nuclear energy crisis.
It has been so difficult to find something worth smiling about... until now.

Japan's national female soccer team gave the whole nation a reason not only to smile but to rejoice.
Winning the match against the two-time champion USA in a penalty shootout was a big feat since it was their first appearance in a World Cup final.
Giving the whole nation the only positive news ever publicized about Japan in a span of four months.

nicole female soccer japan

If you weren't able to catch the championship game, check out the highlights from this Youtube video I found.





Updated List


Tre: T Kaz: K

During the free chat…

T: Kaz, do you have something to share before we start the lesson
for tonight?
K: Hmmm… Yeah, it’s about…. about…. (closing his eyes and thinking
deeply) it’s on the tip of my tongue…
T: Let me give you some hints; it might help you to recall something.
K: OK (preparing to listen attentively).
T: Is it about your favorite baseball team? …your family, earthquake,
radiation, work?
K: Wait…wait, I think you hit something…Did you say “world”?
T: Nope, I mentioned “work” in the latter part of my sentence.
I’m just guessing that you will cite some significant events in
your office.
K: Ah ok. It’s not about that. I am not in the mood to talk about
work-related issues now. I’m certain it is about world….world…
world (mumbling the word “world” repeatedly)… world he..ri...tage.
Yes it’s about World Heritage.
T: So what’s the big deal?
K: Haven’t you heard something about World Heritage sites in
my country?
T: As far as I know, Japan has numerous World Heritage sites.
It has eleven cultural and three natural World Heritage sites.
K: Well, those figures are obsolete.
T: Really (surprised)? Did UNESCO drop off some sites
in their roster?
K: That’s not the case; it’s the other way around.
The Buddhist temples, gardens and archaeological landscape
in Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture became the 12th cultural
World Heritage site and the Ogasawara Islands directly
south of Tokyo as the 4th natural World Heritage site.
T: That’s awesome! I am amazed that UNESCO officially
declared those two sites. I have never been to those
places but I heard about their grandeur and beauty.
K: We shared the same feelings. I am so elated when I read the news.
I have high hopes that more locations will be registered as World
Heritage sites. Without a doubt, those sites are sources of pride
for the Japanese people and serve as tangible gifts for the future
T: Right, right!
K: Have you been to any of the World Heritage sites in Japan?
T: Yup, on Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture where I got a
significant finding about my research.
K: Significant finding… did you dig up a treasure trove?
T: I found novel species of bacterium thriving in Kudzu plants which
I named after the island.
K: Wow! That’s a great biological treasure! Any information about
this microbe?
T: If you are really interested, you can google Devosia yakushimensis.
K: Certainly, I will. Thanks.


★current roster - 現在の名簿、リスト
★tip of my tongue - 喉まで出かかっている
★hints - ヒント
★attentively - 注意深く
★radiation - 放射線
★latter part - あとの部分、終わりの部分
★significant events - 重要な出来事
★mumbling - モゴモゴ、ブツブツ言う
★World Heritage - 世界遺産
★big deal - 重大事件、重大事
★obsolete - 時代遅れの、もう使われていない
★drop off - 外れる、衰える
★the other way around - 逆に、反対に
★archaeological landscape - 遺跡景観
★awesome - 素晴らしい、すごい、最高の
★grandeur - 偉大さ、壮大さ
★shared the same feelings - 同じ思いを共有する
★elated - 鼻高々の
★tangible - 具体的な、実際の
★future generations - 未来の世代
★significant finding - 重大な発見
★treasure trove - 宝の山、宝庫
★novel species of bacterium - 新種の細菌
★thriving - 繁栄している
★microbe - 微生物
★google - グーグルを使ってインターネットで検索する


Tre: トレ Kaz: カズ


T: カズ、今日レッスンが始まる前になにか話すことあるかな?
K: うーん...そうだ、あれについて...あれ...(目を閉じて考え込む)
T: ヒントを上げるよ。何か思い出せるかも。
K: わかった。(よく聞く準備をする)
T: 好きな球団についてとか? ...家族、地震、放射能、ワーク?
K: ちょっと待って...どれか当たったと思う...「ワールド」って言った?
T: いいや、挙げたうちの最後の方で「ワーク」って言ったよ。職場での
K: ああ、なんだ。それについてじゃないんだ。今は仕事関係のことを
T: で、それがどうかしたのかい?
K: この国の世界遺産についてなにか聞いてないの?
T: 僕の知ってる限りでは、日本には数多く世界遺産があるっていうこと。
K: ええと、その数は古いよ。
T:(驚いて)本当に? ユネスコがいくつか登録から外したのかい?
K: そうじゃないよ。逆だよ。岩手県にある平泉の仏教寺院、庭園と
T: そりゃすごいね! ユネスコが正式にその2箇所を認定した
K: 僕も同感だね。そのニュースを読んだときは興奮したよ。僕は、もっと
T: そう、そう!
K: 日本にある世界遺産のどこかに行ったことある?
T: うん、鹿児島県の屋久島。そこで僕の研究に関するとても重要な発見を
K: 重要な発見...宝の山でも掘り当てたのかい?
T: 僕が島に因んだ名前を付けた、クズに繁殖している新種のバクテリアを
K: へえ! それはすばらしい生物学的お宝だね! その微生物に関して
T: もし本当に興味があるなら、グーグルで「Devosia yakushimensis」
K: うん、そうするよ。ありがとう。



The Wizarding World

When the Harry Potter craze started, I didn't join the bandwagon.
It was only until someone bought me the first book, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", that I got hooked.
If I remember correctly, I devoured the first book in just three days.
I couldn't put it down.
From then on, my fascination in the Wizarding World grew.

On July 15 (Friday), the last of the series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", is coming to the theaters.
Here is the trailer of the movie.

To top it all off, Chef Steven Jayson, Vice President and Corporate Executive Chef for Universal Parks & Resorts and his team have concocted the favorite ale among wizards, the butterbeer.
The non-existent-then drink is now available.

nicole butterbeer

It would be nice if I would be able to enjoy a mug while watching the movie.
So, who would like to go with me? かお





Have you heard about the new social networking site?
Google has launched their bid for a SNS in late June.
Come and meet Google+.

nicole google+

For now, Google+ is still in limited trial.
One can only use it after receiving an invitation.
However, when I checked today, there was a message in the website that they already exceeded their capacity.
Looks promising, right?

According to some news article, users experienced a lot of kinks and there was even a spam issue.
People's reception to the new site overwhelmed the service causing some problems.
Let us see how Google+ would fare against the titan of SNS, Facebook.

nicole google vs facebook





What's your lifeline


N - Nicole T - Taka A - Aya

A few days after Nicole moved to her new place...

T: So, how's your new house?
Have you settled in yet?
N: I'm not yet done.
I'm still miles away from being done.
My place is still a mess!
A: Don't worry; it'll be over soon.
T: Do you have everything you need?
N: Umm... what do you mean?
T: Like the stove and other stuff.
N: Ah! Not really...
A: You do have a stove, right? (waited for her governess to nod)
N: Well... I have a microwave oven.
Does that count?
T: Then, how do you cook your food?
N: Umm... excuse me... have we met?! (feigned sarcasm)
A: True! Nicole doesn't need it; she only reheats.
 (teased her governess)
She only cooks once in a blue moon.
T: How about a washing machine?
N: I use a Laundromat near the station.
  (stated as-a-matter-of-factly)
A: Isn't that a little troublesome? (looked concerned)
N: Well, this is just temporary.
Of course, I'll get one soon.
T: If you don't have those things yet, then what do you have?
N: Well, I have my essentials; an Internet and a cable TV connection.
A/T: What?! (stared at Nicole bewilderedly)
N: Those are my lifelines.
Having the Internet is a necessity in this day and age.
I can forego others but not that.
T: And how about the cable TV?
N: That's for entertainment purposes. (winked at Taka)
A girl needs a weekly dose of movies.
Plus, why do you call it "TV dinner" if you don't have anything
to watch while eating it, right?


★settle in - 引っ越して落ち着く
★miles away - 程遠い
★mess - 散らかっている
★over - 終わる
★nod - 頷く
★count - 数える
★feign - 偽りの、見せかけの
★sarcasm - 嫌味、皮肉
★once in a blue moon - めったに~ない
★Laundromat - ローンドロマット(セルフサービス式コインランドリー)
★as-a-matter-of-factly - 当然のことのように
★essentials - 必需品
★bewildered - 戸惑った、困惑した
★lifeline - 命綱、ライフライン
★in this day and age - 今日では
★forego - ~なしで済ませる、差し控える
★purposes - 目的
★dose of~ - ~の1回分、用量
★TV dinner - 冷凍食品 ※ひとつのプレートに数種類の食品が並べられ、


N:ニコル T:タカ A:アヤ


T: それで、新しい家はどう? もう落ち着いた?
N: まだよ。しばらくかかるわ。まだすごく散らかってるの!
A: 心配ないわ。すぐ終わるわよ。
T: 必要なものは全部あるの?
N: うーん...どういうこと?
T: ガスコンロとかそういうもの。
N: ああ! ううん、それがまだ...
A: ガスコンロはあるんでしょ?(ガヴァネスが頷くのを待ち)
N: ええと... 電子レンジはあるわ。それは数のうち?
T: それで、どうやって料理するのさ?!
N: うーん...ちょっとまって、私たち会ったことある?
A: そうね! ニコルには必要ないわ。温め直すだけだもんね。
T: 洗濯機はどう?
N: 駅の近くのコインランドリーを利用してるわ。
A: ちょっと面倒くさくない?(心配げに)
N: まあ、とりあえずね。もちろん、すぐ手に入れるわ。
T: そういった類の物がまだないんだったら、何を持ってるんだい?
N: ええと、必需品があるわ。インターネットと、ケーブルテレビ。
A/T: えっ?!(困惑してニコルを見る)
N: この二つがが私のライフラインよ。インターネットが使えるの
T: じゃ、ケーブルテレビはどうなの?
N: それは娯楽のためよ。(タカにウインクする)



Exotic Food


When it comes to food, I am not a very adventurous type of eater.
I tend to stick with the ones I have already tried.
This limits my choices but I would try something which a dear friend or just somebody I trust would vouch for.

Take for example "natto".
I know the benefits that we will get from eating it; I have even studied the chemical reaction that is involved in producing one.
However, I shy away from it as much as possible.
Taste is still more important for me.

nicole exotic food

This little gift was given to me by a learner who wanted me to understand why some people cannot stop eating it.
It took me a long time to open the can; maybe I was just waiting for my mother to share this experience with.
As we munched on the meat, I tried to give plausible reasons why this is a very controversial food.
It was just similar to beef although there was a slight uncanny aftertaste.

My judgment?
It is not something I would be craving for anytime soon.



July Activity: Fourth of July


nicole 4th of July

Join us on July 4~10, 2011, as DCEC commemorates this momentous occasion. Make sure to come to class prepared to share about your unforgettable U.S. trips. and your impression of the American people. See ya then!

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Constitution provides the legal and governmental framework for the United States, however, the Declaration, with its eloquent assertion "all Men are created equal," is equally beloved by the American people.

Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson's most enduring monument. In exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in "self-evident truths" and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.

The Fourth of July is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States and a reason to fly the American flag.

nicole 4th of July banner



使える英会話表現がいっぱい。DCECのメルマガダイアログ。"The big letdown"


T: Tre S: Scott A: Adrian

It's Friday afternoon, and the school bell has just rung.
Tre and Scott are walking down the steps...

T: The weekend is finally here! It's time to kick back.
S: I wish I could say the same.
T: What do you mean?
S: I am starting a new job this weekend. Tomorrow afternoon
is my orientation.
T: (Sulking) Really? I thought we were all going to the
expo tomorrow, we bought advance tickets months ago.
S: Oh, I completely forgot! Well, my orientation should only
be a few hours. I think I'll be able to make it in time.
A: (Coming up beside Scott) What's gotten into him?
T: (Interrupting Scott) This guy isn't coming tomorrow. He
has to work. What a party pooper.
S: Hey, I didn't say that! I'll be late, but I'll be there.
A: (Scoffing) So much for our big entrance.
S: I'm sorry you guys. I'll make it up to you somehow.
A: Typical Scott, always changing the plans at the last minute.
You know your line of credit is getting pretty high.


★kick back - くつろぐ、リラックスする
★orientation - 新入生や新入社員を対象とした説明会
★expo - 博覧会
★advance tickets - 前売り券
★gotten into - What's gotten into someone? で一体どうしたの?
★party pooper - 場の空気が読めない人、座をしらけさせる人
★scoffing - 嘲笑う
★big entrance - イベントなどで何人か集まって一緒に入場すること
★make it up - 埋め合わせする
★line of credit - 信用枠、信用限度額



T: トレ S: スコット A: エイドリアン(スコットの友人)


T: あーやっと週末だ! リラックスできる。
S: 同じこと言えたらなあ。
T: どういう意味だい?
S: この週末が仕事始めなんだ。明日の午後はオリエンテーション。
T:(顔が曇って)ほんとに? 明日は僕らみんなで博覧会に行くと思ってたけど。
S: ああ、完全に忘れてた! ええと、オリエンテーションは数時間だけのはず。
S: ちょっと、そうは言ってないだろ! 遅れるけど行くよ。
S: ごめんよ、みんな。何とか埋め合わせするから。
A: スコットらしいね、いつもぎりぎりになって予定を変えるんだよな。