An 80-year-old granny has started a blog to teach Japanese for free.
E Mei, a retired Japanese language teacher in Shanghai, opened her blog recently to help youngsters learn Japanese.
Filled with funny stories, riddles, songs, culture tips and useful language points, E's blog has been attracting an increasing number of visitors.
"Besides helping those who want to learn Japanese, the online class helps me keep up with the latest trends among the young," E said.
She acknowledged that she preferred the company of youngsters to those her own age.
E Mei, updates her blog that helps youngsters learn Japanese.
"When I am with older people, I always feel a huge 'generation gap', because they always have the old attitude toward things and seem to have lost their passion for life," E said.
"Who said the elderly should idle at home and do nothing? I always want to do something, especially with young people whose passion and energy I can partake of."
E said she borrowed the idea of teaching Japanese online from the young when she attended a competition on innovation late last year. More than 600 participants, most of them youth, shared their innovative ideas with others.
With the help of her granddaughter, E opened her online Japanese language class, as a supplement to her free language class available during the summer vacations. E has been offering free Japanese language classes every summer in Shanghai since 2001.
She moved to Japan with her father at the age of three and lived there for a couple of years. Speaking fluent Japanese, she wanted to share her language learning tips with more people after retiring from a college.
She learnt how to use the computer and build up a website from her granddaughter and was delighted to surf online.
Her blog Houseful Cherry Blossom has opened a new space for her to communicate with others, especially young people.
"I tried to make my blog interesting with jokes, riddles and funny stories from daily life, otherwise, youngsters will not visit," E said.
"I have never regarded myself as a teacher online, because I probably learned more from the young. I am just their elderly friend."
"Young blood does not only belong to youngsters," said E, who admitted that she sometimes even forgot to have dinner while chatting with an online friend or writing a blog article.
Her online friends sometimes come visiting. They help E clean the house and maintain the computer.
"Thanks to the blog, I live a busy and happy life," she said. "I feel I am full of vigor."
(China Daily April 11, 2007)