Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Second Foundationの音読終了

日付は変わったので、昨日になるが、Second Foundationの音読を終了した。
前回、Foundation and Empireを読み終えたとき、次回はスピードを上げて、10日で読むと宣言したら、その通りになった。

約一年前に一度読み終えているが、今回、地の文は黙読、セリフは音読で読みなおした。

音読は、2~3分読んで録音し、それをチェックするというのを、一日に3回くらいする。そのあとは録音せず、どんどん音読と黙読を続けた。

録音のチェックは、喉発音になっているかどうかである。やはり、日に日に上達していく。しかし、休日など、一日に3時間くらい音読してしまうので、喉が痛くなり、昨日から風邪気味だ。

内容は、前作からの続きで、セカンドファウンデーション探しが中心となるが、それがたまらなく面白い!

今回は一年前よりもずっと深く理解できた。私は齋藤孝氏考案の三色ボールペンを使って線を引く読書術を実践しているが、線が5倍以上増えた。それだけ深く理解して楽しめたということになる。

Foudationシリーズ3部作は、ご存じの方も多いだろうが、SFの古典、歴史的名著です。The falls and declines of the Roman Empire(ローマ帝国衰亡史)を参考にしたというだけあって、よく出来ているなぁ、と感心している。

さて、今日からまた別の本の音読を始めている。終わったらまたここで紹介する。目標はまた10日にしておく。

 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seek for the real reason you complain

The last Tuesday, I didn't want to go to work. It was the first workday after the winter seminar, in which I taught different students at a different school. I felt too nervous to go, saying to myself, "I have to teach naughty kids again. I hate it."

After I reached the station and got on the train, I still felt blue. I sat down on the seat with a sigh. But, then, something unexpected happened in my mind. I noticed I asked myself, "what makes you scared to go to work?"

I'd always complained about my job. For example, "I work long hours for small money," "I hate children because they are out of my control," and you name it.

My complaints sounded sensible, but there must be a real reason deeper in me. Thinking about my former job, I got a small salary but worked very hard, because I liked it. So money isn't a real reason. And to say nothing of children.

So the last Tuesday, I, for the first time, tried to find out what it was.

I started thinking about why I felt scared to go.

"Why?"
"Because I don't want to teach my students. "
"Why?"
"Because I have to shout at and scold them, though I don't want to do that."
"Why?"
"Because they don't listen to me and start talking in class."
"Why?"
"Because I can't keep attracting their attention."
"Why?"
"Because I don't know what to do to have them get a good score, for I didn't teach social studies before."

I got it!

I finally found out why I always felt nervous and scared to go to work. I didn't know what to do to have them get a good score. It sounds stupid, but that's the reason. Because I didn't know it, I always studied too many things for the class, worrying if I could finish the class without any trouble.

All of a sudden, I felt relieved and revitalized.

And at the same time, I realized I had a different idea on my work.

"All I have to do is have them get a good score. It's not my job to force the kids to be quiet nor to shout at them."

Since then, I'm free from feeling nervous nor scared to go to work. Moreover, I enjoy working because I've got a big motivation to work; to creat the best teaching methods to improve the students' academic grades.

Asking why changed me. Everybody sometimes feels not to go to work, especially, on Monday and the first workday after vacations. But I recommend you should ask why when you feel so. Then you will find what the real problem behind, and it leads you a better life to find it out.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't be disappointed until one thousand trials

Last week was fruitful to me because I got several good ways of thinking. I've already told you two of them. One is "start small, and make it grow big!", and the other is "good is bad, bad is good."

I came up with those ideas with consistency. I thought about starting a business but I had no experience as an owner nor even a manager. So I was full of fear and afraid of failure. But then these ideas crossed my mind.

And today, I will tell you another idea to help you to rid fear of failure. The idea is "you're lucky to get a small success after trying it one thousand times."

People tend to be disappointed if they can't get the results that you expected. For example, you emailed to someone you liked very much and waited for a response. However, after several days or weeks passed, there came no response. Then you were getting disappointed. Some of you even came to feel you were deserted by him/her. I'm sure you have some experiences like that.

Another example is, when you were a student, you practiced very hard to play soccer during the summer vacations. Although you sacrificed to go camping with your friends or family, your team lost at the first game in the autumn district tournament and then you were disappointed.

Probably, as you make more efforts, your disappointment will be more serious if your efforts don't work out.

By the way, have you ever stopped to think about what makes you disappointed? I hadn't until last week, but now I have a certain answer. You'll be disappointed because you expect too much. Probably, because of hard working, you think of yourself as deserved to get a big reward. I understand that very well because I myself always thought so.

However, thinking about my past, I was more worrying about failure than actually trying or practicing. In other words, I had high expectation and worried if my efforts would be paid, and that kept me from concentrating on practice.

Worrying is a kind of daydreaming. It's easier to do it than to take actions. Do you think it is much easier to worry about your money, jobs or future than to do something to make them better, don't you?

So I changed my mindset. I lowered the standard of my success and got the attitude that "if I get a small success after one thousand trials, I'll be fortunate. " You could say "don't expect too much, just do it." Anyway, because of this magic words, I can be relaxed and free from fear of failure and following disappointment.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Good is Bad, Bad is Good

A couple days ago, I came up with a good idea, and I like it very much; good is bad, bad is good. And I'm sure you can live happily everyday with this, because you can be free from fear and disappointment whatever happens to you.

Everybody likes good things, and dislikes bad ones. However, who decides good or bad? It's up to you. You are the one who evaluates what happens to you.

Suppose you took a TOEIC test and got a smaller scores than you'd expected. How do you react to it? If you analyze what mistakes you made and make a study plan for making up for them, the result of the test will be a great opportunity to develop your English skill. On the contrary, if you are just disappointed with the score and discouraged to study English, you will lose the chance to improve your English anymore.

How do you behave? How do you evaluate what happens to you? It's all up to you.

So I recently have a good idea. I should say a good standard when I see things happen to me. That is the idea of "good is bad, bad is good."

If you experience something, you'll automatically evaluate it is good or bad. It's a natural response, so to speak. But what's important is after you decide it's good or bad. Once you make a judgment, you'll keep it. And most people tend to be negative, especially something sad happens.

But what if you ask yourself, "is it really good?", or vice versa. Then there comes a completely different viewpoint to you, and you can get an unexpected idea from your experience, and that enlivens your life more productive.

And you will be positive to do anything because you have a mindset that you will learn from whatever happens to you.

Thanks to the idea of "good is bad, bad is good", I can live happily everyday because I'm free from fear. So why don't you?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Foundation and Empire読了

Isaac AsimovのFoudationシリーズ第二巻、"Foundation and Empire"を読み終えました。すっごく面白い!

この本は一年前に読んでいましたが、今回は音読練習用テキストとして、読み返しました。

音読だと、一字一句意識するので、前回読み落とした部分に気づきます。その結果、この本がいかに細部まで入念に描かれていたことがわかり、文字通り物語の世界に引き釣りこまれてしまいました。

音読方法は、以前のブログでも書いたように、セリフのみを音読し、地の文は黙読しました。地の文で場面の状況や話者の気持ち、表情を出来る限りイメージし、セリフを音読するのです。それが物語に没入できた本当の理由かもしれません。

ただし、時間がかかります。音読をし、自分の英語を2~5分ごとに数回録音し、再生して発音や音声をチェックします。私は同じ箇所を何度も録音しなおすことはしません。初見の音読の流暢さにこだわります。しかし、録音&チェックのおかげで、時間がかかり、一冊読み終えるのに2週間かかりました。

今後は音読スピードをもっと上げて、10日で一冊を目指します。

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Start Small, And Make It Grown Big!

I was a big dreamer till yesterday. Whenever I started something new, I always expected to be the number one in that area.

Fore example, when I started tennis, I was full of dream to win the Wimbledon championship someday. When I began practicing the guitar, I will be a star like Jimmy Page and make a huge success in the show biz world. When I started swimming, I decided to win a gold medal at Olympic games, and you name it.

However, I did not only make no success in any of those, but also quit practicing each of them before long.

Though I was a quitter, I'd held the same thinking habit for long; if you start something new, why not have a big goal?

But, at the same time, I noticed the thinking habit made me inactive. I realized each dream was too big to keep practicing. Because of the big goal, I did my best at the beginning, but I couldn't keep on the effort because the goal was too far. And I became cautious not to waste my time, money and energy on fruitless things.

Then, today, I finally came up with a good idea; start small, and make it grown big! I finally realized that I should enjoy making grown big my skills, business, activities and anything else.

With this golden rule, I can start anything at anytime. To have a big dream is fun, but to grow a small thing to big is much more pleasurable!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Imagine how the speakers look and feel when they speak

Last week, I decided the purpose of reading English aloud training was to get a better pronunciation, even sacrificing understanding the meaning. But this week, I had to change the priority because I got to the next stage of the training. Now what I have to do first is to imagine how the speakers look and feel when they speak.

My English has actually been improved. Since I decided to pay more attention to pronunciation rather than understanding during reading out exercise, I often check if my voice comes from the throat. I'm very happy to have a better, deep voice.

However, a couple of days ago, another problem crossed my mind. When I played back what I'd just read, I had a strange feeling. I felt as if I heard a robot speaking English.

"Oh, gosh. It's boring to listen to my reading. But why does it make me feel so? My voice is improved, though."

And I found what I needed. Emotions. Because I focused on pronunciation first of all, I didn't think about how the speakers felt when they spoke the lines.

While solving the problem, I realized I got to an upper level of the course of my training for English. Because I developed the throat voice to some extent, I noticed other shortcomings.

So I changed the way to do the exercise. I divided a book into two parts, descriptions and lines. I read descriptions silently, and understand the situation a little better.

In addition, making full use of imagination, I visualize how the speakers look in each scene. I imagine their faces, gestures and so on.

With those background information, I read out lines. During reading, I try to impersonate each character, although a female character turns into male, thanks to my deep voice. Anyway, I enjoy the reading out exercise. It's good to see my skills improved!

PS. Special thanks to Mr. Temma. He always inspires me.
processeigo.com/
www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7Xv_ffBDjY&feature=related

Monday, January 3, 2011

I decided the priority while reading English aloud training

When I read English aloud, I often forget what the purpose of this training is. In other words, I don't know which I should focus more on, improving pronunciation or understanding what I'm reading.

Then I remembered a goal image I set in the last May. Through reading aloud exercise, I will be as good an English speaker as Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, who speaks perfect English though he isn't a native English speaker.

So, I decided it is the top priority to improve pronunciation.

O.K. I'm happy to have the decision. Then, what should I do next? That's what this writing is all about; today, I made up my mind that I will sacrifice understanding of what I read, to some extent, even though I can't enjoy the story.

This maybe a tough decision because I will insufficiently understand the story, but I will be free from the question what I should focus more on while reading aloud exercise.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My New Year's Resolution

Hello, everyone!

Today, I will write my new year's resolution. I will try very hard to keep my word, and more importantly, to attain the goal.

My New Year's Resolution
I will have less amount of beer, the time for twitter and blog, to two thirds of that of last year.

I decided so because I want to save my energy, time and money so I can use them for other activities.

And my goal is to get my annual income five million yen or more, and I will accomplish it by December 2011.

Instead of doing the three happy habits, I will do something more productive, and hope to get paid by doing it. For example, investing, buying stocks, starting a new business, or find a well-paid job and work hard.

I didn't get enough money last two years. Since I quit the old job in March 2009, I was unemployed for 15 months. Now I have a job but my salary is very small, though I'm a well-experienced worker for the area and received a big salary from the former company.

During the two years, I spent a lot of time tweeting and blogging to communicate with someone else. Since I quit the job, I lost the chance to talk with people. Twitter and blog are made up for my loneliness. Drinking soothed my loneliness, too.

And now I'm revitalized. I feel I'm already through the tough time. I learned a lot from it. It's time to move! This year is the first step for the long journey to my success.