Introducing Caleb Boivin

Hello everyone, my name is Caleb. I am from Georgia in the United States. My hobbies include going to the gym, journaling and trying different coffee shops. In fact, I have been to lots of different coffee shops all over the world! However, Japan is my favorite place on Earth. I want to live in Japan forever! I’m excited to meet all of you! I hope we can have fun learning English together.

My First Job After University

After I graduated from university I was not sure what I wanted to do, but I had a strong desire to travel overseas. A friend told me about an opportunity to work in Antarctica. It sounded exciting and different, so I applied for a job.

McMurdo Station is the main base for the United States Antarctic Program. From this station scientists plan and complete research about the earth, oceans, climate, and animals. The scientists need help so there are many workers supporting the research. There are cooks, drivers, pilots, carpenters, doctors, firefighters, and many other workers. During the Antarctic summer (October to February) there are almost 1000 people living at the station, so there is a lot of work to be done.

I was hired as a dishwasher and was later promoted to assistant baker. It was hard work, but I really enjoyed meeting and working with everyone. Living at McMurdo Station was like living in a very small town on a very isolated island in the countryside. Everything we ate was imported and all of our trash and waste had to be taken away. In October, when the surrounding sea was still frozen, military planes could use it as a runway to deliver supplies and people. Later an icebreaker ship opened a channel, so we could get supplies from ships.

Of course, the weather was cold but we were given special clothing and spent most of our time inside. The warmest it was when I was there was 4°C and the coldest was -30°C. Only once was there a blizzard when the snow was blowing very hard and it was unsafe to go outside. Most of the time it was very dry, and the sun was out 24 hours per day. It was never night time!

The best part of living in Antarctica was the beautiful nature. McMurdo Station is on the sea surrounded by very tall snowy mountains.

Although there are no trees, there are some animals including penguins, seals, and many seabirds. When it got a little warmer and the ice started to break-up we could see whales. My coworkers and the other people at the station were also very interesting. There were old and young people from all over the US. We also had a few international visitors.

After my six-month contract finished I spent some time traveling around the South Island of New Zealand, which is a wonderful place. If you have the chance to visit I highly recommend it! Of course, I will never forget my time at McMurdo Station and the frozen world of Antarctica.

Autumn Trip to Hokkaido

In September of 2014 I took a ferry from Niigata City to Tomakomai in Hokkaido. It was a quiet overnight journey. I always enjoy taking the long distance ferries in Japan.

I spent two nights at a ryokan, or Japanese inn, on Lake Shikaribetsu. The autumn weather was very pleasant and the leaves were just starting to change color. Next I traveled to Sapporo, where I visited the Sapporo Beer Museum and other sights in the city. I ate “Genghis Khan” and other Hokkaido specialties such as fresh ice cream and local vegetables.

From New Chitose Airport, I boarded a plane to Rishiri Island, off the northern coast of Hokkaido. It is very close to Russia. I took a bus tour of the island and met some local people. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. From Rishiri I rode a ferry to Rebun Island and walked along the steep seaside cliffs. There were many amazing views and interesting sights.

My next stop was Wakkanai, the northern most point of Japan. I rented a car and drove through central Hokkaido, stopping in Furano to enjoy the flower fields and fresh fruit. Along the way I stopped at a Reindeer farm and stayed overnight in a farmhouse. I also hiked up Mount Tarumae. It was my first time being so close to an active volcano.

Next was Otaru, it is a wonderful small town and I highly recommend you visit if you have the chance. I ate many wonderful seafood dishes, including fresh crab and squid ink ice cream. Finally, I returned to Sapporo where I went to a baseball game at the Sapporo Dome. It was my first baseball game in Japan and a lot of fun. Overall, my trip to Hokkaido was great and I hope to go back soon!

My First Summer in Japan

In 2014, I spent July to September teaching at the International University of Japan in Niigata Prefecture. The university is located in Minamiuonuma, a very small place with many farms and beautiful mountains. The students came from all around Japan, and many other countries in Asia, to study business English and economics. I had a great time that summer and have many good memories.

There are many rice and watermelon farms around the university. I was very surprised how expensive watermelon is in Japan. Luckily, the farmers would sell us the imperfect watermelons at a cheap price. The taste was delicious! The koshihikari rice grew very fast, from a bright green in July to a golden yellow in September. I would often ride a bicycle after class and enjoy the long summer evenings.

I also enjoyed many festivals that summer. There was a local festival with okonomiyaki and fireworks, and a snow festival at the top of one of the nearby mountains. I even visited the famous Fuji Rock Festival, where I saw many music groups and enjoyed the atmosphere. Niigata Prefecture is famous for Japanese rice wine, known as saké to English speakers. I took a tour of the Midorikawa Sake Company and learned how saké is made.

At the end of the summer I was sad to leave such a beautiful place. In Niigata city I boarded a ferry for Hokkaido. I will write about that trip next time!

Golden Week Trip to Wakayama

Hi Everyone!

I want to tell you about the short vacation I took during Golden Week 2022. This was the first time I have been able to do any extensive traveling since the pandemic began, so I was very excited. I first went to Nagoya by Shinkansen. I spent two days visiting friends and eating Miso Katsu and Tebasaki. It was so delicious!

Next, I took the Nanki (南紀) Limited Express train along the east side of the Kii Peninsula (紀伊半島). I love riding trains, and this was a great journey. The cars have large windows and the view was amazing as the train passed through forests and along the coast. My final stop was Kushimoto. I stayed there for two nights, enjoying sightseeing. Luckily, my hotel was across the road from the Hashiguiiwa Rocks (橋杭岩). I got up early to take photos of the beautiful sunrise. I spent that day visiting Cape Shionomisaki (潮岬) and the southern most point of Honshu. The view was stunning and the weather was perfect. I also learned about the interesting history of Kushimoto. In 1890, the Turkish ship ‘Ertuğrul’ was sunk by a typhoon and many sailors died. The people of Kushimoto helped to rescue 69 Turkish sailors, which led to a strong friendship between Japan and Turkey. Today there is a museum and memorial, and a movie was made about the event, “125 Years Memory” (海難1890). There is even a small Turkish cafe and shop, where I enjoyed a delicious lunch.

Returning to Kobe I took the train from Kushimoto to Shin-Osaka. Again the views from the train were amazing. The trains went along the east side of the Kii Peninsula, passing through Shirahama and Wakayama. I arrived home tired from the long journey, but happy and relaxed. Please let me know if you have any questions!


Welcome to the 14th year at imagine*!
We are ready to support you in person or online.

2022年3月2日水曜日、イマジン語学スタジオは、お陰様で14周年を迎えることができました。残念ながらまだコロナ第6波の渦中でしたので、スタッフと三人だけでひっそりとお祝いしました。昨年末頃までは全レッスンをオンラインで貫いていましたが、遂に講師達のリモートワークを取り止め、対面レッスンを受講いただけるよう講師達が教室に戻り、対面レッスンを復活させました。オンラインレッスンを取り止めた訳ではなく、引き続き Zoom によるオンラインレッスンも受講いただいており、オン/オフを選んでいただけるハイブリッド型となりました。オンラインレッスンのお陰で関西圏に限らず、北海道、青森、東京、岡山等々、遠方からも受講いただいたりと、何とかパンデミックの渦中、ニューノーマルの流れに乗りながら生き長らえています。




The beautiful island scenery made us much closer!

レンタカーに乗り込み、ウィンカーとワイパーを間違えて動かし、慣れない車のアクセルを踏み込んで戸惑う私に『 When did you drive last time? 』と Matt に突っ込まれながら名瀬町へ。ホテルチェックイン後は、予定していた居酒屋へ。油そーめん、もずく天ぷら、新鮮なカツオ、豚みそ、地元ならではの島料理と黒糖焼酎を堪能し、奄美大島へ無事に来れた事に安堵する。
目的地に到着後、クルーザーに乗り込む。ライフジャケットを着け、加計呂麻島へ! アクアブルーの海を自慢げに説明してくれるクルーザーを運転する藤本さん。ノリが良いと思ったら大阪に30年住んでおられたそう。『英語で何言ってるかわからへーん!』という藤本さんをよそにみんなすっかり打ち解けていた。スノーケリング用にウェットスーツを着て、足に付けるフィンのサイズが思った以上に大きかった Matt に『日本語では「バカの大足」って言うねんでー。』と藤本さん。初めて会ったとは思えず言葉の壁を超えて、Matt は英語で藤本さんは日本語で何か言い合っている。
翌朝は、ホエールウォッチング。昨日1日海で遊んだせいで、Matt は赤くなった顔が少し痛そうで、そんな事をやいやいと話し込んでいたら、出発が遅くなってしまった。『遅れます!』と受付に連絡すると『15分以上遅れたら船に乗れません』と一撃。大慌てで目的地まで向かう。知らない道を大急ぎで突っ走り、なんとか10分遅れで滑り込みセーフ!『遅れてすみません!』と謝る私に待っていた他の乗客は結構冷たい目線。『遅れたせいでクジラみれないかもしれないじゃない』とでも言いたげな。そんな気まづい空気の中、船は出航し1時間もしない内に白い水しぶきを発見! 尻尾をゆったり沈ませながらポーズをとってくれたり、ジャンプまで見せてくれ一頭のクジラが、しばらく漂ってくれている。そんな中、『地元のカメラマンが潜ります。』とスタッフさん。カメラマンは、クジラに向かって泳いでいき、海中でクジラを撮影。スノーケリングのパイプから水しぶきをシュッシュッと吹き出しながら潜ってカメラ撮影されている。大海原の中へ飛び込み、海中で撮影する姿を間近で見せていただき感動。船に戻ってこられて、声を掛けたら『クジラを撮るの好きなんです。』と満面の笑み。クジラだけでなくサーファー等を撮影されるプロのカメラマンで、Patty の出身ドミニカ共和国にもお仕事で行かれた事があるそう。アメリカの大学で写真を学ばれ、今は、奄美大島在住だとか。そんな素敵な出会いもあり、かなり揺れる船に酔いそうになりながらも、また別のクジラにも出会え、ホエールウォッチングが終了。


『 When is the next workation? 』と聞かれていますが、またどこかから英会話レッスンをお届けできる機会があればと嬉しいです。

How difficult it was to get air plane tickets!

申し込み後1週間程経ち、「参加企業に確定しました」と資料と共にメールを受信! 年明けに講師2人に伝えたら大喜び ♪ プランは私に全て任せるとのこと。要は丸投げです(笑 2021年2月20日までに奄美大島ともう1つ近隣の島へ訪れ、そこで Work(仕事)と Vacation(遊び)の両方のプランを立てることになり、年明け早々、イマジン初のワーケーションプランを立てることになりました。

まずは情報収集。鹿児島在住の元生徒さんに連絡を取ると同級生が奄美大島にいらっしゃるとのこと。観光地、宿泊施設、ローカルフード等とてもスピーディに、またかなり的確に情報を送付してくださいました。Google map で島の広さ、距離感、宿泊施設等を調べていく。何日過ごすか、何をするか自由に決めることができるので、思った以上に迷い、休みも返上しずっと頭の中は奄美大島の事ばかり。大体の予定の目安がついたところで、まずは奄美大島までの航空券を予約しようと下調べ済みだった格安航空会社 Peach のサイトを見たら、突然「残席なし」の表示! 予定していた出発日の2月8日が緊急事態宣言の解除日になって集中したのでしょうか?? 焦って Skymark に切り替えて予約。ほっとしたのも束の間、数日後に Skymark から「欠航」の連絡…。
悩んだ末、気持ちを切り替え、仕切り直し。間際の購入となってしまったことも重なり、JAL の航空券の価格は格安航空券の3倍以上。大幅に予算越え、さらに往路は直行便がなく早朝便しか空きがない。鹿児島空港での乗り継ぎ便まで4時間の待ち時間はキツイ。ANA の鹿児島行き航空券を見つけ、ANA と JAL を乗り継ぐ事に。予約完了したのが出発2週間前。事務局へ日程を連絡する締め切りギリギリ! 航空券を購入するだけなのに、緊急事態宣の発令、延長等で振り回され想像以上に疲労困憊。
2週間前から旅行後1週間後まで毎日検温を義務付けられていたので、出発2週間前にそれぞれ体温を測り始めて数日後、Patty が熱っぽいという。それも高熱。翌日熱は少し下がったものの病院へ行くと PCR 検査をすることになったと連絡。コロナの疑い?? 夕方になって、陰性の報告に肩をなでおろしたら、今度は Matt もなんだか熱っぽいらしい。体温測り始めたせいで熱っぽくなっているんじゃないかと問い詰める私に『 Just like placebo drugs! 』と笑ってメッセージが返ってきた。結局熱はなかったらしい…。

続きは ” The beautiful island scenery made us much closer! “ のブログです!

Can you hear me?







対面ではありえなかった質問「 Can you hear me? 」。オンラインだからこそ増える単語や会話もあります。このパンデミックの中で頑張っておられる生徒さん達がさらにレベルアップされて、コロナ収束後、海外へ自由に行き来できるようになった際に英会話レッスンを続けていて良かったと言っていたけるようサポートさせていただければ光栄です。


What’s Next? March 2020


ローンチパーティは、甘空( amasora )さんによるケータリング。展示作家・大畑さんがオーストリアのウィーンへ留学されたことから、オーストリア料理をご用意します。シュニッツェル(ビフカツ)等のお料理が並ぶ予定です。お料理に合わせてソムリエがオーストリアワインをセレクトする予定です。

アート・ワークショップは、持ち寄った素材を使って画用紙にコラージュし、最後に英語でタイトルをつけて完成させます。それぞれ組み合わせる配色によって、どのような模様を創り出す事ができるでしょうか? アートと英語が学べる内容です。




   展示名:そこにある色 - Just colors as they are -
   期 間:2020年3月8日(日) 〜 6月14日(日)

   日 時:2020年3月8日(日)17時30分〜
   場 所:イマジン語学スタジオ
   参加費:4,000円(学生3,000円) その他 ワイン:500円/1杯

◎ワークショップ「 模様をつくる ∼ 色彩とコラージュ ∼ 」について
   内 容:色の配色を学んで、コラージュしながら植物や花などをイメージした模様を描きます。
   日 時:2020年3月20日(祝・金)13時〜14時30分
   対 象:子供〜大人どなたでも! ※
   講 師:大畑公成、英会話講師


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