I’m Ruthie Iida, an EFL teacher in Japan taking a leave of absence to go back to school and get a TESOL degree. And this? It’s a course requirement for Dr. Jim Elwood’s Speaking and Listening course: a “reaction blog” with my thoughts about the course material, the class discussions, and how what I’m learning relates to my own teaching situation. Since Dr. Elwood stated that anything is fair game for this blog, I will be checking out other aspects of the class as well, including his choice of necktie, the font he uses for his power point presentations, and other aesthetic considerations that could potentially distract from the learning experience in general. The textbook I will be referring to in this blog, by the way, has a nicely-designed cover, is just the right size and weight, and the pricetag is not unreasonable; the contents will be discussed in more detail as I progress in my reading, but so far it’s good stuff. From the “Applied Linguistics in Action” series, the book is called Teaching and Researching Listening, by Michael Rost.