Getting dressed

Yesterday was Coming of Age Day, which meant many (most?) women who turned 20 in the past year donned kimonos and did their hair for the ceremony.

How does this compare to women in 18th century England?

Here’s an upper-class woman being dressed:

And here’s a working woman getting herself dressed:


⛄️ Let it snow ⛄️

Here’s a lovely and educational TED-Ed about how snowflakes form.

The full TED-Ed lesson is here.

And here’s a paper snowflake making demonstration (and an inpsiration for the demonstration portfolio task):

What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

This is a question one group of students was talking about in class the other day. One said, “Die Hard, of course!” Another said, “The Nightmare BeforeChristmas” A third said she didn’t know any Christmas movies. My favorite Christmas story is “A Christmas Carol” and there are many movie versions.

Here’s a graded (leveled) text from Tween Tribune about why Charles Dickens wrote the story.

“Dickens may not have gotten rich off of the publication of A Christmas Carol, but he did make the world a little richer.”

I couldn’t agree more.

There’s a new movie out this year called The Man Who Invented Christmas, which is about this origin of the story and looks like a lot of fun (unfortunately, no date on when or if it’s coming to theaters in Japan).

Of the many movie versions, I like the one with Albert Finney the best, though the one with Patrick Stewart is good, too, and I always enjoy

There are also other versions, like “Scrooged” with Bill Murray, and the seasonal favorite “It’s a Wonderful Life” is also based on the story.

So have you seen any of these? Have you read the Dickens story? I used to teach at a JHS/HS that would put on this play at Christmas time (it was either that or Les Mis).

Sumo and squid

This video suggests we might try something new for Thanksgiving dinners: instead of the traditional turkey, why not eel?

It’s kind of tongue-in-cheek, but maybe the point is to rethink our stubborn adherence to certain traditions. My family in the U.S. laughed when I told them that on Thanksgiving, I was watching sumo and eating dried squid jerky (するめ).

Here in Japan, we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, though we do have a holiday with a similar name at around the same time. What I suggest is moving away from the “traditional” chicken I see EVERYWHERE on December 24th and 25th here, and try some eel. Or tempura. Or oysters. Or curry. Or anything except that ubiquitous chicken.