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“Open” Andre Agassi

One of the most exciting, interesting, and somewhat controversial tennis players, both on and off the court, of all time was Andre Agassi. So when I bought his autobiography “Open” a couple weeks ago, I expected it to be a very intriguing read. I was not disappointed.

“Open” isn’t your average “Jock” autobiography filled with the usual tales of athletic achievements and very little outside of the sport. It is, in fact, about Agassi’s struggles and triumphs both on and off the court. It leaves nothing out, whether it’s about his overbearing father pushing a young Andre to be the best in the world through years of brutal practice, to his troubled marriage to actress Brooke Shields. It goes into his struggles with drugs and losing his hair. The long flowing mullet synonymous with a young Agassi was in reality a hairpiece, a wig. He also dishes the dirt on some of his opponents over his career and tells us what he really thought of them.

Of course “Open” isn’t all about the downside of Agassi’s life. It talks about the positive relationships he had with his coaches, mentors, and the profound effect his wife Steffi Graff , a true champion in her own right, has had on him. The book also talks about Agassi’s views on education and how dropping out of high school showed him later in life just how valuable education truly is. It later inspired him to open a school of his own to help underprivileged children in his native Las Vegas.

Ultimately “Open” is a human interest book about a person who overcame many obstacles to become the best in the world at what he did despite never feeling as if his life was never his own. And despite all the fame and success tennis laid at his feet, there were always demons waiting around the corner looking to challenge him. The biggest being he actually hated tennis but felt as though he never had a choice to do anything else.

“Open” is a brutally honest account of Agassi’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions. If you’re a fan of tennis, or just a fan of good human interest stories, “Open” is a great book to read.

Daniel E.

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Snowboarding in Naeba by Dan-sensei

Dear All,

It has been a very warm winter so far, but with plenty of snow in places where it matters! Yes, winter is the season for skiing and snowboarding; relaxing in onsens, and eating delicious nabe!

Last season I went to Naeba、in Niigata-ken. I arrived on March 16th, stayed for one night and went home in the evening on the 17th. Though last season was not so good (snow conditions) overall, it snowed a lot in the morning of the 17th, so I managed to have a great time riding in fresh powder snow!

If you are interested in going on a trip to the mountains, I recommend staying at the Naeba Prince Hotel:

http://www.princehotels.co.jp/naeba/snow/

The chair lifts and gondolas are right outside the hotel, so you don’t need to carry your equipment very far. You can also get lift passes for a discounted price if you are staying at the hotel!

I heard it will be a good season this year, so get yourselves geared up and up to the top of a mountain!

Just some quick advice. If you are a beginner skier or snowboarder, don’t let your friend or partner teach you unless they’re instructors. It will take you forever to learn and it won’t be half as fun. It will cost a bit more money, but you should get a lesson from a qualified instructor. It will cost less in pain and frustration!!

Please tell me about your trips!

Dan

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National Public Radio

Today I’m going to share a good English news website to help improve your listening skills: NPR (http://www.npr.org/).

NPR (National Public Radio) is a non-profit news station based in the Untied States. It broadcasts news stories about various topics, such as international and business news, movie reviews, etc.

I always recommend this news site for listening because it has audio transcripts (a script of every word said in the audio) of all its radio programs. Another great thing about this website is it’s free to use!

My advice when using the radio programs on this website is to first choose a program that is about:
one minute long if you are a beginning English student
three minutes long if you are an intermediate student
four or more minutes long if you are an advanced student

Second, listen to the radio program no more than two times and make a list of the keywords you hear, then write a brief summary of the story. Finally, listen again while reading the audio transcript to check your understanding.

Here is the link to NPR’s search page

To use, type in the word transcript and a topic you are interested in. A list of radio programs with your topic will appear (for example: transcript Japan)

Select an article and you can either listen to the program online or download to your computer/mp3 player. The audio transcript is below the listening options on the page.

If you have any questions about this website and you see me at the school please don’t hesitate to come up me and ask…I don’t bite ;-) !

Lonnie

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大阪の英会話・フランス語スクール

I am off to Osaka today. I will be taking a 5pm Shinkansen to Osaka and spending 1 week in Osaka helping our staff in Osaka to prepare for the April 1st opening of our new Honmachi Osaka School. I will endevour to upload pictures of the new school under construction.
(‘-^*)/ see you soon!!  - DEAN

今日大阪に行きます。 今回三週間ぶり、大阪に1週間行きます。 4月1日新しいSALA英会話・フランス語スクールがオープンします! 本町校です!  新学校オープンのために大阪のスタッフがかなり忙しいので、協力しにいきます。 新しい学校の内装の写真を早いうちに、このブログでお見せします。  -   ディーン

ディーンモルガン 株式会社 – CEO – Dean Rogers

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