Have you chosen a book for summer reading?
As one of the assignments of ELA(English for Liberal Arts), we have to choose one book from fifty recommendations for summer vacation reading and have presentation and report in the fall term.

I have chosen Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.
Actually, I did know the author from before because I watched the Ted presentation she gave, a few years ago.
The title of the talk is Finding the story inside the painting. In the presentation, she gave the idea of seeing paintings with making their stories.
Her stories were amazing, and I am impressed by her great imagination.
I watched the talk many times, so I remembered the author's name.

I am now really looking forward to reading it.
But I won't borrow the book from the library as Dan mentioned in the class because I will annotate it, and I want keep it at hand after summer.
Anyway, I am happy that I could find the perfect  one for the assignment.

In Girl with a Pearl Earring, author Tracy Chevalier takes readers into the studio and household of realist master Johannes Vermeer.


A useful book when you are at a loss for evaluating text

In the last class, we learned how to make essays better, particularly about their structures.
As I learned before, assessing the accuracy of structure and finding unstated evidences are important to make essay clearer. However, sometimes these steps are very difficult in some text.
But actually, I do almost same things in philosophy class such as evaluating argumentation, finding assumption not mentioned, etc. And in the class, we use a textbook of critical reasoning. I think this book somewhat helps me evaluating essay in ELA, too.
We use Japanese version in the class, but original version is written in English, so I'll put both picture of the book cover.



Requirements for an academic essay

I learned things better to know when constructing an essay from some videos.

First, the claim I make should be somewhat controversial, and then it must be supported by reliable evidences. If the claim of the essay is not controversial, there is no meaning of the entire text, because essay is written for persuading others.
I believe this point is very important because controversial or unfamiliar claims are enjoyable and worthwhile to argue.

My topic of the essay concerns food, particularly negative side of food.
 I think this subject is worthwhile to argue because most people do not so much think about them, although food is most relevant issue to us.
But searching evidence is more difficult than I thought, especially searching statistical evidences is so laborious. Fortunately I still have time to consider about claims, so I want to search reliable evidences first, and then decide the argument of each paragraph.

How to make an essay clear and more comprehensible

I watched some videos and got some useful tips when writing an essay, mostly when revising mine and others.

I found that checking the text from multiple aspects is important for making it clear to understand for the reader.
Seen from different devices, such as printed text not only the data on the computer, you can get a new impression of it and can find its weak points.
And getting comments from others is also necessary. You can see a strong point and weak point of own essay from other features. But when you comment on others’ essay, you should take care that the comment is clear, direct, has a particular position and offers some suggestions. To make essays better each other, you have to care about these points when commenting, and have to adopt suggestions into the text when you got comments.

I realized that seen from different viewpoints is essential when writing an essay, because I am writing it for others, not for me. It is a matter of course, but I sometimes forget it and want just write it for the deadline.
I want become afford the time for concentrating on the content.

By the way, I am sorry to be late for the deadline of this blog. But I’ll never make any excuses for that. I’ll keep the deadline from now on, and try harder than ever.


Efficient order when writing an essay

I get some important thing when writing an essay from last ARW class and some videos.

One important thing is to write the body first, and introduction and conclusion last. Introduction and conclusion have roles of summarizing and paraphrasing, so writing them last is very reasonable.
And another important thing is to make an environment proper for writing essay, and do not too wary about content at the stage of the draft. Making appropriate environment means not only a place, but also time. If we are rushed to completing it, we cannot keep calm, so starting early is important. Besides, when we write a draft, we have to write just as we think without hesitation.

I think firstly concentrate the task and write it through in any case, and then, improve on it later is good order.


Useful tools in writing an essay

In the last ARW class, we learned some useful tools to search sources for essay.

I began to using Grammarly for check mistakes with grammar. Grammarly is very convenient tool, because I can shorten the time and don't need to too worry about making mistakes when writing in English.
But I realized that I am sometimes satisfied with correcting mistakes with grammar and don't reconsider the content. Grammarly cannot correct content, so I should not lose my concentration, because the content is most important staff in writing.

And I created Evernote account just now. Evernote is helpful when summarizing the information and preparing the essay. Besides, we can share every note with different tablet terminals.

I use many tools for ARW class, for example, Google plus, Google document, Grammarly, and Evernote. And I also use tools to communicating with friends, for instance, LINE and email.
They are actually very useful, but I'm getting a little tired of relying on the Internet everything I do.
Honestly, I want some rest from the Internet.


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Before writing an essay...

In the last ARW class, we discussed topics of next five paragraph essay.
In the groups, we asked questions each other about partner's topics. Through the questioning,  I realized I have to think over my topic again, to make a detailed outline. 

And this following video gives other ideas about preparing an essay. :Office hours: Prewriting
I got some stuffs that I have to do before writing essay from this video, for example, writing down any ideas about the topic and brainstorming it, and once decided a main topic, more specific investigation are needed.

Through discussion and video, I noticed that writing essay constructively is far more difficult task than I have imagined. 
I'd like to write about food beliefs, for example, beliefs about locavorism(eating local food), health food, and diet food, but constructing three claims and finding sources seem to be very troublesome. So to begin with, I'd like to investigate the topic further, and think of opinions as many as I can, and prepare for the tutorial. 


Against Racism :We are all monkeys.

I watched this YouTube video.: http://youtu.be/791mJzikfrY
In this video, students and teachers eat bananas and say "We are all monkeys!"
Today, actions like this video is taken worldwide.

The beginning of this is one incident happened in Spain. Last month, one spectator of a soccer game threw a banana to the ground to mock the Black player, but the player ate the banana and continued the game, and his act reserved praise to confronting racism.
And now, many people begun to upload pictures and videos appeared with bananas.

I was impressed by this movement, because I haven't seen such a way of countering racism.
Everyone can laugh it away by participating this action.
I'm glad that this movement has been introduced in ICU too, and I want more Japanese to know this action.
 I think most Japanese people are not familiar with racism, and think it like other people's affairs, but this action is easy to take part in, particularly for young people, who are accustomed to the Internet. I hope racism will be stamped out from the young generation.


The Things I Can Die When I Have Fulfilled Them

Today's topic is `The Things I Want To Do  Before Die'... but I haven't come up so many, so I want to change the topic a little, to `The Things I Can Die When I Have Fulfilled Them'.

Firstly, I have to be alive until my mother passes away. Because my mother is most precious parson for me in the world, so I must not let her sorrow over my death.

Secondly, I cannot die before my cat dies. The reason is almost same as the former one, although my cat will not feel sorrow if I die. But I want to look after it until it dies.

Lastly, I want to study art. I want to see more artworks, that inspire me. I cannot die until I'm satisfied with appreciating them.

I'm not sure when these are fulfilled, but I'm sure that if I die after I have accomplished them, I have carried out the minimum things I want to do.

my troublesome cat


What is Netiquette?

`Netiquette' is a blend of `net' and `etiquette', and this word means the courtesy that we should have when we use the Internet, especially when we use social network, blog, chat, or the Internet discussion board.
I think this word was born as spread of the Internet. Nowadays, almost everyone has own computers or tablet devices, and cannot live without them. But as spread of them, new issue have occurred.

Today, everyone can make remarks easily through the Internet, but I think this shortens the distance between writers and readers, or speakers and listeners.
We can write or say whatever want through the Internet, although the target person/people is on the very distant positions from us, and hard to tell what you want directly.
I think this ease of uttering opinions causes the lack of courtesy and thinking deeply before posting comments or remarks.
We have to be careful that if own remarks will not offend others, because what you write or said can be seen or heard many and unspecified people.

Of course I must care about it when writing blogs.
I have to be careful that whether my remarks will not offend others, and will not be hard to read or understand.


What is GoGatsuByo?

GoGatsuByo means feeling depressed especially after Golden Week.
In Golden Week, sometimes people feel mental and physical fatigue that caused by uncomfortable new circumstances, and feel reluctant to back to schools or works, and this causes GoGatsuByo.

So how can we avoid this?
My suggestion on that is to accept reality positively, because I think this phenomenon is especially caused by realizing the gap of dream and reality. In this opportunity of long days off, we should rethink about the new environment and how we should behave from now on.
Looking back the last month and making next goal will encourage us to back to the school or social life.
In particular for ICU students, I suggest that we should make detailed aims in study and other activities.
We gradually got used to new circumstance, so this time is good opportunity to making plans.