Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A Message to Yokko in Japan

Flower Text -

During the past few days of momentous upheaval in Japan due to the devastating earthquake and consequent Tsunami , my thoughts and prayers have been with my former Japanese students and friends I know.

In particular, I have been in regular daily email contact with Yokko, my lovely EFL student from way back in 1988. I taught her 1-1 English via Sheakespeare's plays. I have always considered this to be one of the more unusual series of lessons I've ever taught.

Yokko comes from Hiratsuka, near Tokyo. I have heard from her perspective about how the earthquake has affected her daily life. Luckily, she and her family are ok. There was a quake yesterday near her home in Tokyo, which measured M.4. She has been able to go back to the office along with 80% of her colleagues. She spent the actual night of the earthquake in her office, without knowing whether other family members were safe and sound. I was so happy that she answered the mail I sent to her shortly after the events unfolded, and we have established regular contact with updates ever since.

This morning I felt touched that she asked me about how my furkids were. I responded and mentioned that the chicks aren't laying so many eggs due to the cold.

I can't imagine how everyone is coping, but cope they must, in order to get on with their every day lives.

My thoughts and prayers are not only with the people I know personally, but for everyone involved.

Below are 2 blogs I read regularly, which have featured news of the recent tragic events.

Barbara Sakamoto, an English teacher and author, who lives in Japan, has written on this subject in these posts below:
Aftershocks 2

Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers blog has posted up some resources outlining the recent events for teachers to use and share here

I believe it is important to read, talk about and discuss the issues involved with our students in classes. Real life issues such as these shouldn't ever be hidden away and ignored.

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