“Aimlessness is advisable.”

A quick quiz before reading:

  • What are the 5 senses? Can you name them all in English?
  • What’s the 6th sense? (not the movie)

This article from Quartz describes the concepts of biophilia (the affinity humans have for the natural world) and 森林浴 (shinrinyoku・literally, “forest bathing”).

‘Japanese “forest medicine” is the art of using nature to heal yourself—wherever you are’

When I was reading this, I read “bibliophilia” (the love of books/reading) instead of biophilia. I think reading has just as much power to heal as forest bathing, and you can certainly read wherever  you are.

Here’s some forest bathing I did in Kyoto a while ago. Definitely sublime.

Today’s post title is from this section of the article:

“To experience soft fascination, it’s necessary to meander through the woods. Forest bathing isn’t the same thing as hiking or brisk walking.Aimlessness is advisable. The tree tonic works best with minimal effort. Let your gaze be drawn wherever it wants to land.”


🌸🌸🌸

And on that note, I’ll be taking the rest of our spring break off from posting, to recharge my batteries and prepare for the new year.

The academic year begins again in April. I’ll be back then with more topics.

In the meantime, there’s plenty in the archives, if you’re looking for something to read, watch, talk or write or think about, in English.

🌸🌸🌸

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Nothing’s boring if you’re Batman

School supplies = notebooks and pens, tablets and smartphones, and Batman costumes.

“New research finds that kids aged 4-6 perform better during boring tasks when dressed as Batman” (from the World Economic Forum)

I’d be willing to bet it works for older students, and is not limited to Batman. Time to stock up on Doraemon and Anpanman costumes?

Mr. Higgins

This is a moving story about a musician, how he used his music to help him deal with the physical and emotional pain of losing a limb, and why he named a song “Mr. Higgins”. The short film makes us think about what success in life means. And the artwork in the video is unusual.

I like the idea that he had only learned two chords before he started writing songs. It makes me think about students who worry that they don’t have enough vocabulary to speak in English. It may not be easy and it may not be an eloquent speech, but you can express what you want to say with a very small vocabulary … and people who listen.

Real ⇄ Fake

“Storytelling is what engages us, not facts and figures.”

YES! YES! YES!

This is why I encourage you, students,  to add good discussion questions and your own opinions and experiences into your weekly portfolio pages.

There’s a lot to talk about in this video, including “fake news” and what we believe on the internet … the importance of citing your sources … the difference between fact and fiction. And the motivation behind video editing (or news media decisions). Is it to manipulate the audience?

And BRD students, the correct answer to “Where did you find that information?” is NOT “The internet.” Can you explain why?

Another discussion question: What do you like and dislike about nature documentaries?


I’m taking a break from posting on this Topics site for Golden Week. I’ll be back with more topics on Monday, May 8th, but there are lots of topics in the archives if you’re looking for English input.


☀️ ENJOY YOUR GOLDEN WEEK ☀️