my mother's illness

In the morning of the day before yesterday I went to my parents’ home to see them, who had been caught by influenza since a few days ago.
My father looked well, watching the Olympic games on TV.
My mother, however, seemed still sick, or rather sicker.
She said she couldn’t have slept all through night, and felt woozy around three.
Actually she looked vacant, and slurred words.
Looking up the symptom on the Internet, I found the article, saying that there was a high possibility of brain infarction.

I followed the advice in case, and took her to a resident physician as the hospital was closed except the emergency room on Saturdays.
The female doctor was smart and kind enough to examine my mother thoroughly by touching, through MRI, and etc.
As a result she told me that my mother might have been attacked by a minor brain infarction judging from the MRI pictures. She explained that she wasn’t sure because the scar was too small to judge. It’s not certain, either, if my mother’s slurring speech was related with the brain scar, she added.

According to her, my mother wasn't bad enough to be hospitalized. She also told me that she would become weaker in her legs, and develop senility once hospitalized in her age.
And she prescribed the medicine to make my mother’s blood flow smoothly.
In addition she told my mother to take a lot of water and eat more because the result of her blood test showed that she was dehydrated and malnutrition.

The next day my mother got well, speaking clearly as usual, though she still had a little blank look, which was as usual, because she had been already getting a bit senile. She was gentle by nature, and she has been aging nicely, I think.


narrow escape

I was stepping down the stairs in sports club yesterday.
Then I saw one of my friends downstairs about to come up.
He stopped there for me to pass, and we greeted each other in smile.
At that moment I stabbed the corner of the step, and almost tumbled down.
With the momentum, I dropped on my feet on each step.
On the way, a fear occured to my mind that I might miss one of the steps, fall down, and sprain some parts of my body.

Luckily enough, however, I landed on each stair, and finally on the floor downstairs.
It was surprising and lucky enough for me not to miss any steps.
It was a suprise to him, too.
He asked me if I was all right, and I answered yes by laughing off my embarrassment.

After leaving him, I laughed to myself again, reminding my ridiculous movements.
And also I thanked God for my luck.
Or rather I thanked my anscestors, who we Japanese believe protecting us from the heaven.

In fact I know some people who fell down the stairs and got their bodies paralized.
It was a narrow escape.

Recently I 'd almost missed stairs several times so far, and I'd tried to be careful whenever stepping down the stairs.
Nevertheless I was distracted by him, and diverted my eyes from the step this time.
I said to myself again not to turn my eyes away from the steps.

Furthermore I thought I must build up my body, especially lower body more.
Though I've been swimming for a long time, it's not enough to develop my leg muscles according to the TV program which I'd once heard. They continued that walking was the easiest and good excercise to train our legs and feet.
This accident brought me to make up my mind to walk at least every other day.
I'd like to get into a habit of walking this time as a good season is coming near.

To add the story of yesterday, I saw another friend later in the locker room.
She said she'd been running for an hour almost every day.
She went on, "we can swim even when we get older with knee or back troubles, but we can run only while we are healthy."
It was a good advice for me.

Though I don't think I'm energetic enuough to run for so much time, I can mix running and skipping in walking.
Actually I've just recalled what my brother and my sisiter said.
They already have a good habit of walking after work every day, and took in skipping in their walking recently. They said that their body felt lively after skipping.

I'm lucky to be surrounded by a lot of people who encourage me into a healthier habbit.
I really have to take their nice advice into my life.

My parents' cat

I went to see my mother, who was staying alone in my parents' house, after everyone had gone to work, or to the day service center.
She was knitting a scarf.
She said she didn't feel lonely without anyone else at home because she was absorbed in knitting.

At that moment I heard a strange sound in the next room.
When I opened the door, I saw the parents' cat carrying a big bird in its mouth.
I was at a loss as it went into the kitchen then.
I got scared, but she calmly told me to leave it alone.

Anyway I shut the door to the kitchen in a hurry because I was afraid it would come back to us with the bird.
Looking back the room, I noticed a lot of feathers under my father's bed.
The sound I had heard must have been the fight between the cat and the bird there.
I tried to sweep them off, but they stirred up, failing me to gather them.
So I mopped them up again and again.

After that I peeped into the kitchen.
The cat seemed to be eating the bird in the corner of the kitchen.
I heard the sound of its crunching the bones.

When the cat came out of the kitchen at last, I entered the kitchen cautiously.
In the corner I saw the head and a few feathers of the bird.
There were no blood or stuffing left.
It was surprising, but it was easy for me to mop them up.

My mother was still knitting just like nothing special happened.
I thought it might be a common occurance at their home.

I sometimes feel sorry for my cat living outside all the times, but this time I really thought our decision was right to have driven it to live outside, and that I would never live with a cat in my house.

My favorite teacher

When I was preparing for the English conversation lesson to my student, I bumped into this question, saying "who is your favorite teacher?"
It reminded me of my English teacher Mr. Mizusawa.
I thought it might be helpful for her to talk about her favorite one if I tell her about him.

So I'm trying to write about my memory of him.
He was our first English teacher at junior high school.
He had weak eyes, or I could say he was almost blind.
I heard later that his daughter took him to and from school by the hand.
Nevertheless he didn't seem to care about it at all, but looked confident about himself.

He didn't have any difficulies in teaching us English because he could say what sentences were in what lines of what pages in the textbook.
It was surprising.
I was astonished at his conpetence and diligence.

He wasn't good-looking at all, but he was a little bit fat.
Notwithstanding he had something to be liked and respected.

He gave us a lot of homeworks to write a set of basic sentences 100 times every day.
It was such a volume that most of us felt unable to finish them after school.
Although I tried to write down as many sentences as possible, I usually gave up in a half way.

One day he told those who hadn't finished the homework to step forward.
Then I realized most of the class were standing in front of the classroom, and only one student staying in her own seat was Mis. Nakazawa, who was the most academic student in the class.
It was funny that I didin't feel embarassed among other students in spite of being made to stand.
On the contrary I felt it might be her who fell into an uncomfortable situation staying alone in her seat.

At the same time it was the moment that I understood the natural fact that the most academic student was the one who studied most.

Getting back to the story about Mr. Mizusawa, I think it was a good way for beginners to write as many basic sentences as possible.
I think we could get used to English sentences gradually and naturally.

On the other hand my brother, who was taught by another teacher, said he didn't understand English at all from the beginning.
He says it owed to his teacher.

I was lucky to start learning English from Mr. Mizusawa in the first place.
I learnt a lot from him how to study English, how diligent we should be, and to be confident of ourselves even if we had any disabilities.
I thank him a lot.

preparation for English conversation lesson No.2

This is a question in the second stage of second grade STEP test.
I think this question is good for my student, who wants to acquire English speaking skill.
It demands us to explain the situations illustrated in three phases.
I'm now preparing for her lesson, by trying to write a story myself.
This is a good practice for me, too.

There are three illustrations. The scene is on a train.

In the first illustration, a young woman, named Linda, is standing in front of two boys sitting on the seat. One of the boys says to the other boy, "Do you want to play cards?" (It seems that we are required to use the sentence, "Do you want to play cards?"

.In the next illustration the boys are playing cards.
Then an elderly woman gets on the train with big bags in her hands and on her back.
Linda talks to one of the boys. (there is a instruction to use the phrase "at the next station."

In the last illustration, the elderly woman is sitting happily in her seat.
Linda and one of the boys are looking at each other, standing and smiling.
There is an instruction to use the phrase, saying "soon after that".

The question tells us to start the narration by saying, "One day, Linda got on a crowded train."

.My narration goes like this:
One day Linda got on a crowded train.
The seats were packed with passengers, and she stood in front of a seat , where two boys were sitting.
One of them said to the other boy, "Do you want to play cards?"

At the next station, an elderly woman got on the train with big bags in her hands and on her back.
The boys were playing cards, and didn't notice her.
Linda asked one of them to give up his seat for the elderly woman.

Soon after that, the boy stood up, and offered his seat to her.
The elderly woman thanked him, and sat down happily.
Linda praised him for his kind behavior.
The boy felt nice, being appreciated for his good manners, and they looked at each other smiling.

(Actually there is an example answer in the workbook. But I'm not satisfied with it. So I want to prepare for her question that is likely to arise.)

For your reference here is an example answer.

.One day, Linda got on a crowded train. A boy sitting in a seat said to his friend, "Do you want to play cards?" At the next station, an elderly woman carrying some bags got on. Linda asked the boy to offer the elderly woman the seat. Soon after that, the elderly woman was sitting in the seat. Linda and the boy were smiling at each other.