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  • minimum of 1 hour per lesson
  • minimum of 4 hours per month
  • no lessons on the 29th, the 30th, or the 31st of each month (except January — 1st, 2nd & 3rd)
  • payment is due by the 15th of each month

  • green time slots are available    pink time slots are taken
  • I have been teaching ESL, English as a Subsequent Language, for 25 years and exclusively to Japanese students for the last 15 years.
    (I have also taught students from Korea, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Congo, C.A.R, Burundi, Egypt, Yeman, SaudiArabi, U.A.R., Kazakstan, Russia, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Spain )

    From 2000 to 2009 I ran my own school in Owariashi, teaching all ages from 5 to 65

    Actually, I do not consider myself a teacher, but a coach. (-: But you may call me "sensei" ;-). I always work interactively with each student, even when I have a class of 2 or 3.

    My style is comprehensive; I balance reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. I do not correct your English, BUT I train you to correct your own English. The socratic method is very effective in coaching English skills. I also expect my students to learn GRAMMAR. Trying to learn a langueage without learning its grammar is like trying to learn to play piano without learning chords. But doin't worry; I am quite good at explaining it and at making it fun.

    I have found that writing is a very important tool in developing your English skills. You MUST do some WRITING; if you do not do it as homework, we will waste some of your lesson time writing.

    I am also well educated and know quite a lot of general science and history.

    1950 Indianapolis

    My Vignettes

    © 2009 Daily mcHugher
    Titles Related Links contact me
    1. Fifteen to Twenty Years 1. Space Patrol; Appolo 11
    2. A Good Eye for Color 2. Jackson Pollack my SCUBA
    slide show
    3. Ten $s per Moo 3. Berkeley Farms; Mel Blanc
    4. And 1 Oatmeal Cookie 4. Pizza; Michigan JEEP
    5. What'll Ya Give Me? 5. Inhaling Cigars
    6. Country Roads — Country Move 6. John Denver; LISTEN f o l o n t
    7. They Who Learn From . . . 7. Scabs; Proverbs
    8. Nothing to Fear But . . . 8. F. D. Rooseveldt states map
    for quizing
    9. What Goes Around Comes Around 9. Perry Como; Notre Dame
    10. A Flare for Anthropology 10. Norm Bright PIX
    11. What's Polio? 11. Polio; Dave Garroway matrimony
    12. Sweet Dirty Tricks 12. We smoked El Producto
    13. He Married His Daughter 13. Lahi & Yema LUHAHI
    14. Talking Normally 14. Talking Normally

    1. Fifteen to Twenty Years

    In 1952, five years before Sputnik, most people "knew" that the idea of walking on the moon was an absurd fantasy, like time travel. But I, 8 years old, didn't realize that. My mother, of course, did.

    She also knew how interested I was in astronomy. My favorite Saturday morning TV show was Space Patrol, and I had a chart of the Solar System on my bedroom wall, and books.

    So, on a Sunday evening that summer, as she was driving north of Indianapolis to visit her cousin's family, she mentioned "I read in the paper this morning that there will be a half hour panel discussion about space travel at 6:00 on the radio.".

    I excitedly changed the station dial at 6:00 PM. The only detail I now remember about the program was that, at the end, the moderator asked the experts to predict when Man would first set foot on the Moon.

    The first expert predicted "15 to 20 years from now.". The other two experts agreed with him.

    I turned to my mother and said "Wow! It's going to happen in our lifetime!". Her reply was "Don't believe everything you hear on the radio. Those guys are just crackpots.".

    I certainly don't believe everything I hear on the radio. However, at that moment, we were riding 100 kilometers from Purdue University, where 2 months later Niel Armstrong would enroll (back from being a fighter pilot in the Korean War). Seventeen summers later he would take that "giant leap for Mankind" which the crackpots had predicted.

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    2. A Good Eye for Color

    My Aunt Elizabeth was 12 when she read in the newspaper about the Wright brothers first airplane flight.
    When she watched Armstrong and Aldrin walk on the Moon, she was 78.

    In the meantime she raised my father, 20 years younger, since their mother died when he was 3. And she served as a surrogate grandmother to me.

    She loved cooking, knitting, crocheting, and doing jigsaw puzzles. My other "old maid" aunt, Helen, taught 5th grade, while Aunt "Betty"("Elizabeth") took care of their house.

    Aunt Helen used to give her sister a 1000 piece puzzle for each birthday. Helen would paper over the picture on the box to make each jigsaw puzzle more challenging.

    As Helen began to develop Alzheimer's, when I was in high school, I took over the tradition — one puzzle for Aunt Betty's (Elizabeth's) August birthday and one each Christmas.

    But I did not cover over the picture. It was easier to just put each puzzle in the box of the previous gift. Clever me! Or lazy. Plus, there was no chance of peeking and re-covering the picture.

    One year, when Aunt Betty finished the jigsaw puzzle of Jackson Pollock's Convergence,
    my father was so impressed by his sister's great skill that he framed that finished puzzle.

    One Chistmas time when I was in college, I didn't find a 1000 piece puzzle I liked. But there were two lovely 640 piece puzzles — both winter scenes with lots of white. Ha ha! Why not mix them together into one box? 1280 looks about like 1000.

    My father told me that I was being cruel to play such a trick. But I replied. "No no! As soon as she finds 8 corner pieces, she'll figure it out. She can do it.".

    Three days after Christmas, Dad stopped by their house and casually asked "How's the puzzle coming along?".
    She answered "Fine!" and took him to her bedroom.

    Pointing to the card table by the south-facing window — sunlight was important for her color perception — she said "I'm going to do this one first. The other one is in that box.".

    After finishing the 2 borders, she had taken each of the other pieces, one by one, and scanned the borders to figure out, by color shade, which puzzle it belonged to.

    My grandma didn't raise no dumb kids!

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    3. Ten $s per Moo

    Friday, 5:15 PM

    My wife and the other employees had left for home, and Jim Plesus was alone in his advertising agency office. It was time to start mooing into the tape recorder.

    His client, Berkeley Farms Dairy Products, had been running radio commercials for years. Everyone knew the catchy ending to each commercial: "Farms in Berkeley (the big university town )?". But they had just decided to add a cow's "Moooo!" to the end.

    For some strange reasons, recordings of real moos had not sounded real enough, or cute enough, or funny enough.

    Local radio announcers weren't much better, and Jim thought "What's wrong with them? I could do better than that.".

    When Jim played back his self-recorded moos, he wasn't happy enough, either. He opened a bottle of Ouzo, his favorite, Greek liqueur. Maybe a shot or two of that would help — well half a bottle. Nope! His moos just got worse.

    Over the weekend he realized there was just one solution — Mel Blanc, the famous Hollywood voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and dozens more.

    On Monday his secretary contacted the famous man's son, who was his manager. Mr. Blanc had retired, but did occassional jobs. However, he would not consider any job for less than $1,000. So, how many moos would Mel record for $1,000? "Oh, a hundred should be enough."

    So, Berkeley Farms got their excellent moo — for $10. Plus 99 wasted moos which they didn't use — for $990.

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    4. And 1 Oatmeal Cookie

    At age 11, I went with my dad, his friend Jim, and his friend's son on a fishing trip to Ontario, Canada.
    Returning through Michigan we went to a restaurant for supper. I really wanted some pizza, but no one else wanted to share one.

    After some discussion about wasting food and "I can eat it all.", Jim offered me a dollar if I could down a large pizza by myself. That's $4 or $5 in today's money — maybe a week's allowance to me then.

    There was no bet. No "I'll bet you a dollar that you can't." nor "What'll you give me if I do?". Jim just flat out promised me the dollar.

    Well, that meal's discussion and laughter centered around my struggle with that large pizza. But I proved myself worthy, and Jim later told my dad that the fun watching my struggle made it the best dollar he had ever spent.

    But what amazed me was that back at the motel, I was hungry for and ate a big oatmeal cookie. After all, a good pizza needs a good dessert.

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    5. What'll Ya Give Me?

    Read #4 first. "What'll you give me if I (can) do (something)?"
    is often used to instigate a bet. The reply might be "I'll bet you $10 you can't do it".

    You also need to understand that cigar smokers very rarely inhale(breathe into their lungs) cigar smoke.

    Have you ever milked a cow by hand, driven a tractor, gathered eggs, or jumped around in a barn's hay loft?

    When I was little, I had no idea how lucky I was to have two uncles and 2 aunts in southern Indiana who were independent farmers — families I could visit in the summer, living a life style which has nearly vanished today.

    At age 9, I almost ran over Uncle Willard when he let me drive the tractor.
    One day I tossed a rock at a sleeping pig's belly to get it to move from the corn crib door so I could go in and investigate it. Which of us was more scared?

    At 12, I spent a week with Uncle Cecil, Aunt Agnus and 13 year old cousin Rex. Cecil and Rex helped me cultivate my appreciation for dirty jokes — never in the presence of Aunt Agnus, of course. Man, were those guys funny!

    Rex had a Southern accent he had picked up from his "Kentucky immigrant" schoolmates, and Uncle Cecil was so funny that he was nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other. (But that's another story.)

    Rex and I had fun shooting old tin cans with his shotgun, hunting for snakes, building forts with bails of hay, trying to play his older brother's bugle out in the cow pasture, and always joking.

    One morning we were each smoking one of Uncle Cecil's big, strong cigars.
    I asked Rex "What'll ya give me, if I inhale on this thing?".
    "Artificial respiration!" was his instant, hilarious retort.

    I laughed so hard, that I nearly choked, regardless of the cigar.

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    6. Country Roads — Country Move

    "Why did tears start rolling down Ruth Ann's face?"
    Chelang asked himself as he looked in the rear view mirror.

    Chelang was the best man, driving Thaksin and his new, American bride, Ruth Ann to the San Francisco Airport, where they would embark to Thaksin's home, Thailand, new to Ruth Ann.

    She had been so smiling and bubbly throughout the wedding, the reception, and while holding hands in the back seat with Thaksin. So, what had made her burst into tears?

    On the car radio, John Denver's hit song "Country Roads" had just begun playing. Chelang suddenly remembered that, although they were in California, Ruth Ann had been born and raised in West Virginia.

    LISTEN (It's) Almost heaven, West Virginia,
    Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
    Life is old there, older than the trees
    (but) younger than the mountains,
    growin' like a breeze.

    Country roads, take me home
    to the place I belong —
    West Virginia, Mountain-Mama,
    take me home, country roads.

    All my mem'ries gather 'round her,
    Miner's lady stranger to blue waters.
    Dark and dusty painted on the sky,
    Misty taste of moonshine, tear-drops in my eye.

    I hear her voice;
    in the morning how she calls me!
    (The) radio reminds me of my home far away.
    Drivin' down the road I get a feelin'
    that I should have been home yesterday —
    yesterday! Country roads, take . . .

    — John Denver 1970

    Two weeks later Chelang — my employee at the bank — got a letter from Thaksin, which mentioned that, when they disembarked in Bangkok, Ruth Ann was still crying.

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    7. They Who Learn From . . .

    They who learn from their mistakes are fools, for a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.

    That summer when I was 9, I was visiting Aunts Betty and Helen one morning. Playing alone outside, I was fashioning a bow and arrow from some tree branches and a thick string.

    I was almost finished when I realized that, although the arrow had a nice sharp point, it needed a notch in the other end, where the string would propel it.

    Dad taught me a lot about carpentry, but he had never been an Indian fletcher, and so I had never had a lecture on safety in making arrows.

    While I held the arrow straight up with my left hand, I tried sawing a notch with my pocket knife — faster, faster, harder, harder.

    When the knife slipped too far back, the point put a nice, little, bloody 5cm. gash at the base of my left thumb. I ran inside, where my aunts washed and dressed the wound.

    Two weeks later I was visiting Uncle Willard's farm. The scab on my healing wound kept itching like crazy, and I scratched it and picked off loose pieces.

    One day Aunt Jean warned me
    "If you don't stop picking at that scab, you'll have a nasty scar there".

    That sounded silly to me. And it itched so badly.
    If you don't believe Aunt Jean either, look at the base of my left thumb today, 56 years later.

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    8. Nothing to Fear But . . .

    FDR famously said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. But he was wrong.

    In 1977 I took my year off (well, 18 months off) to "find myself". First was a 10 week backpacking hike through the high Sierra Nevada of California. ( Sierra Nevada is Spanish for Mountain-range Snowy )

    Then I hitch-hiked to my Indianapolis home town and on to New York City. A truck driver left me off at 125th in northern Harlem, down by the Hudson River, in a dark, secluded industrial area.

    I had to walk to the subway system alone with my backpack.

    I have 3 rules for keeping out of trouble in risky situations:

    Also, I remembered a friend's advice that in such a place one should smoke a cigarette. So I bummed one from the driver just before I got down from the truck.

    Fifteen minutes later I arrived at a well lighted intersection where many people were waiting for bus connections.

    A young Hispanic couple struck up a conversation with me, because they had never seen anyone with a big mountaineering backpack.

    While I was telling them of my adventures, the young guy asked "Man, don't you get scared up there with all those bears and snakes?"

    I laughed and my fear went "poof".

    Besides fear, what we have to fear is the unknown. We should; but we should overcome.

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    9. What Goes Around Comes Around

    My high school English teacher didn't tell us his brother-in-law's name. So I'll just call him BIL (for BrotherInLaw). But he did tell us this true story about BIL.

    One Sunday night in October of maybe 1958, BIL passed a driver on the side of the road struggling with a flat tire. BIL liked to help people, and he had the time. So, he stopped.

    I imagine that the conversation was something like:

    BIL: (Do you) need help?

    Stranger: I can't figure out how to fit this jack into the bumper.

    BIL: Oh, you have to put it over here. It's just like on my car.
    ( while jacking it up )
    Stranger: I'm on my way back from Notre Dame (University in South Bend, northern Indiana). (I) came to visit my son and see the football game yesterday. This is a rental car from the Chicago Airport.

    ( Fifteen minutes later )
    BIL: There! That should do it.

    Stranger: ( handing BIL $10 — $40 or $50 today ) Thank you so much. I could have missed my plane.

    BIL: Oh, no! I can't take that. Besides, It's way too much.

    Stranger: But I could have missed my plane.

    BIL: No, no, no! You just help the next guy you find in a jam. What goes around comes around.

    Stranger: Well, at least give me your address, so I can send you a Christmas card.

    BIL: Sure!

    The weekend before Christmas two men were carrying a huge box from their truck to BIL's front door.

    BIL: What's that?

    Delivery man: Your new color TV set ( a rare, expensive, luxury item in 1958 ).

    BIL: I didn't order that.

    Delivery man: I think it's a gift.

    The card read:

    Merry Christmas,
    Thanks for the help with the tires,
    Perry Como (the famous singer and national TV show host)

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    10. A Flare for Anthropology

    In 1984 Norm Bright was a marthon runner, well known to those who worked out, on the measured track around Green Lake in Seattle, Washington.

    At age 40 I volunteered to help him once a week, not because he was 73 years old, but because he was blind.

    Once I was his guide in a half marathon race — the only one I ever ran — but had to quit helping him soon thereafter, becasue I hurt too many leg muscles and couldn't keep up with him.

    At a party he once told us this story:

    "When I was a very young man, before air travel was common, I ventured to Alaska. From Anchorage, I hiked far to the north to meet some Eskimos who were still far removed from modern life.

    "On the first night, I was sealed in an igloo with an Eskimo who understood very little English.

    "Just before 10 PM, I suddenly remembered that I had promised to fire a flare straight up into the sky at exactly 10 PM.

    "An anthropologist I had met in Anchorage had asked me to do this favor, because he wanted to map where that Eskimo tribe was at that time of year, and he would be watching with compass and viewing instrument in hand. He had supplied me with the flare gun.

    "I didn't have time to get outside, and it was too cold, anyway. So I took my knife and cut a small hole in the roof of that igloo.

    "When I shot that flare through that hole, that Eskimo must have thought that I was nuts."

    What do you think?

    NOTE: A good speller might think that I misspelled "Flair" with "Flare", because "flair" means "natural ability". So the title is a sort of a joke — a pun. Mr. Bright did not have a flair for antropology, but he had a flare. Do you have a flair for learning English?

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    11. What's Polio?

    Before I was 11, my family and I lived in constant fear that my sister or I might get polio — polio poliomyelitis, a muscle-attacking disease. Although it was also called infantile paralysis, because it struck mostly children, it had put President FDR in a wheelchair for life at age 39.

    Everyone knew a kid who had had it, the boy down the street with a metal brace on his leg, the girl in my class who walked with a limp, the boy in my Boy Scout troop with the hole in his throat from his days in an iron lung.

    But, thanks to the "March of Dimes" research charity and to Dr. Jonas Salk, I lined up in school one day to get my polio vaccination shot. What a relief!

    Fast forward twenty years. Dave Garroway, the retired TV morning show pioneer, was getting dressed one Saturday afternoon. The conversation with his teenage son went something like this:

    Son : Why are you putting on a Tuxedo, Dad?
    Dave: I'm going to be the master or ceremonies for a formal dinner tonight.
    Son : What's it for?
    Dave: It's to honor Dr. Jonas Salk.
    Son : Who's Dr. Salk?
    Dave: Oh! He's the man who developed the first polio vaccine.
    Son : What's polio?
    Dave: It was . . .

    On the way to the dinner, Mr. Garroway decided to throw away his prepared speech for introducing the famous man and simply recount the incident with his son, who had never even heard of polio, much less known any of its victums.

    At the dinner, when he finished the last line — What's polio? — he turned to Dr. Salk and saw tears streaming down his face.

    Are you now crying, too, as I usually do when I tell this story?

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    12. Sweet Dirty Tricks

    My great grandfather started chewing tobacco when he was 7 years old, probably 1845. At 72, one day, he gave it up, because he decided it was a dirty habit.

    I don't know about his son, my grandfather; but my dad and all his brothers smoked cigars, which are generally less unhealthy than cigarettes, because the smokers usually don't inhale them.

    Also, although none of them were alcoholics, they drank alcohol moderately — except for Uncle Earl, who was called a 'tea-totaller' (i.e. he 'drank only tea'; well, other non-alcoholic drinks, too)

    However, at one time he did have a bottle of wine in his refrigerator — probably a gift from someone who didn't know him so well.

    One day he had the clever idea of drinking a glass of the wine and then offering some to his two pre-teen-aged children. The idea was clever because he did it right after they had eaten some very sweet candy and still had the sweet taste in their mouths. Under that condition, the dry, red wine tasted horrible to them, and they learned to dislike alcohol.

    When my father heard about this trick, he decided to play a similar trick on me. On a fishing trip, after I had eaten some candy, he offered me, age 11, a cigar, expecting me to choke on it and to be discusted by the taste.

    But I didn't choke. And, although I didn't really like the taste, I thought it was 'cool' to be smoking a cigar. I surprised Dad by finishing the cigar and pretending to really enjoy it.

    After that, on fishing trips and special occassions, he would offer me a cigar. I think he figured that it was better for me to develope a cigar habit than a cigarette habit. In fact, I developed neither habit. Hmm! Maybe the trick worked. If so, a posthumous THANKS to Dad.

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    13. He Married His Daughter

    In 1972, I met a man who married his very own, biological daughter. Moreover, he was still married to another women at the time. Could this have been legal?

    Although he, his daughter, and his wife were native Congolese citizens (Congo was called Zaire at the time), the wedding took place at a Methodist church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

    How could this have been legal, according to both American and Congolese laws, and even Methodist Church rules?

    To understand the answer, it is helpful to know that, originally, the transitive verb marry had, as its subject, a priest. The bride and groom were the verb's object.

    The groom did not marry his bride. The bride and groom did not marry each other. A priest did. The bride and groom were married by a priest — Methodists and most Protestants call them ministers or pastors, not priests .

    My best friend in college, Lahi LUHAHI, came to Indana under scholarship and later got his PhD. in math at Ohio University. One of his girlfriends from back home, Yema, got a scholarship for the University of Minnesota. While here, they decided to get married upon graduation.

    Yema's father was a Methodist minister back home in Zaire. He flew to Minneapolis to perform the ceremony. He married his daughter to my friend. They got married by him.

    Today you would usually hear something like:
    Yema married Lahi.

    But sometimes you will hear something like:
    Reverend Museu married Lahi Luhahi to Yema Museu (his daughter).

    Dr. Lahi & Mrs. Yema LUHAHI

    Lahi was my first English student, 1963-66. And he helped me with my French.

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    14. Talking Normally :-)

    There are few Americans in Thailand around Chistmas and New Year's. Most of the tourists there are from Northern Europe, especially from Scandinavia.

    One morning on Phuket Island I was sitting in the back of a tuktuk, on the way to the boat to go scuba diving. Across from me was a Scandinavian family, speaking Norwegian or Sweedish or Danish. I couldn't tell which.

    I don't remember how I got included in their conversation; but I do remember this part of the conversation which I had with the mother.

    I (Daily): I've always been impressed with how fluent you Scandinavians are in English.

    The Mother: Well, we study it a lot in school. And we're so close to England.

    I: I can usually tell if someone is from Scandinavia, but I can't tell which country they are from. Is there any way to tell, when they speak English?

    M: Well the Norwegians are always laughing.

    I: Oh, yeah — like Jan, my student from Oslo. He really had great jokes, too.

    M: And the Danes "shpeak shrough zheir teesh — like dish. Zhey hardly open zheir mouzhs at all."

    I: So, how can I determine if someone is a Swede?

    M: Oh, we speak normally :-)

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    I am part of the Hoosier diaspora, having lived in SanFrancisco (17 years), Seattle (7yr), Aberdeen ID, Columbia MD, and Nagoya JAPAN (where I ran my own English language school 10 years).

    Semi-retired now, I have more time to indulge my YouTube addiction with lectures, documentaries and vlogs on history and science and especially the intersection of the 2 -- reading books too.