Hi readers! This is Janelle with my first blog post. I hope you enjoy it!

Do you know the phrase “blow my mind?” It’s actually an idiom rather than a simple phrase I suppose. Before I give away the answer, let’s see if you can figure out the meaning yourself with a few examples:

“This jazz group blows my mind!”

“He went to jail? That blows my mind!”

“The sky was so beautiful, it blew my mind.”

Do you get it yet?

This idiom means to shock, to excite, to amaze, to overwhelm, etc. I find it to be quite useful and a good phrase to know and use. It adds great emphasis and really helps to explain a reaction.

Maybe you are wondering why I chose to write about this idiom. Well, I recently learned something on TV here in Japan that blew my mind!

There was a show that was comparing the math skills of foreigners and Japanese. The reporter asked people on the streets to do some multiplication, for example all of the 8’s. (8×1, 8×2, 8×3, etc.) The Japanese competitor said their answers fast than the foreigner every time! I was so amazed that the Japanese people are so good at math. Then they informed us about the Japanese style of learning multiplication, called 九九 (ku-ku).

What a method! Memorizing each table of multiplication using a rhythm is a wonderful way to easily remember and continue to remember the answers. Is this the reason so many Japanese are so great at math? It blew my mind!

In America, we simply memorize with no special rhythm or shortcuts. We just remember each one separately, and unless someone is good at math, most will be forgotten after the test or after a few years. If only we learned our multiplication like the Japanese!

So, this method blew my mind. It amazed me. It shocked me. It excited me! I hope to teach my own children this when they are old enough and maybe I will learn it myself along with them!

If you want to learn more useful English phrases, click here!


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日本での留学経験もあり、日本文化をこよなく愛す講師。日本人の英語に慣れていることから、日本人が苦手とする文法項目や犯しがちなミスをしっかりと添削・解説できます。 座右の銘は「If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.」