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Entries in Ray Franklin (3)


Event Summary: FAB1

The first annual brain day

By Ray Franklin

FAB1 could be compared to an all-day music festival, where you saw 4 great headlining bands and much, much more, but it's so hard to explain later to your friends who weren't there.

Imagine just reading some random lines from a few of the many songs played at that music festival (versus being there and experiencing it all yourself live), and take THESE NOTES as similar "snapshots" of quotable moments throughout the FAB1 day, offered from one observer's raw notes without further explanation.

Also, check out this QUIZ about who said what at the conference.


Overheard at Back to School...

By Ray Franklin

Sometimes the most important "learning moments" come during the chats between presentations, such as this randomly overheard comment:  

“Interviews show that often there is one key person or turning point in a student's trajectory, where one particular comment or recommendation by a teacher or other respected person will change that student's life path.”

Ever since hearing this comment, I have been reflecting on the teachers and turning points that have led me to 20 years of teaching English in Osaka, as well as how some seemingly random comment by a teacher like us "Your English is good." or "You should consider studying abroad." could change a student's life and send them on adventures across the world!

So let's try to do more of that.


Event Summary: Pecha Kucha and 2010 Bonenkai

By Ray Franklin, Publicity Chair

I actually went AAALL the way to Nishinomiya from Osaka for the bonenkai, but got there early and caught just the last 4 presentations, which I thought were great!
I really enjoyed the Pecha Kucha format (20 slides, 20 sec. each, so total presentation time of 6 min. 40 sec.), which provides for quick, clear communication on a variety of different topics, both fun and serious. The ones I saw covered the Hato NGO which feeds homeless in Osaka, Nagoya JALT feedback, Xmas, and economics. I'd say it was a kind of "conference light"!
I highly recommend it for JALT members who (like me) might be a bit intimidated by the more academic conferences that regularly take place. At bigger events I often find it hard to choose which presentations to attend, whereas at this event all 40 or so attendees were gathered together in the same room in a friendly & cozy atmosphere.
The bonenkai afterwards was held at the Busy Bee Cafe in Nishinomiya, and our group (cheers to Kobe chapter for organizing it all) rented out the place for about 2 1/2 hours,  for 1500 yen per person including food, with drinks on a cash-bar basis.  The food was adequate pub grub: salad, pasta, fried chicken, pizza, and wrappers of hot sausage, while the drink menu was a tempting smorgasbord of 50+ world brews (although most of us kept to the cheaper draft -- what does that say about us?).
But we were NOT there for the food or even the drink; the key word here was "networking!" It was very nice to meet some of my fellow Osaka officers for the first or second time, and also to meet some of the officers of Kobe and Kyoto JALT.  I even got to meet National JALT VP Nathan Furuya (also former Kyoto chapter Prez), and enjoyed my chat with him & Bob about an idea to donate old textbooks and unused sample copies to schools in Cambodia or elsewhere.
All in all, I had a great time, and believe this social chance to network is a great way to finish off a year of "Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn", so I would highly recommend joining the Pecha Kucha night & bonenkai next year. See you there!