Contact me: ttyoder at gmail dot com


In a big nutshell, I spent 9 phenomenal years teaching young learners in Tokyo, and I am still happily startled that was what I got to do for a living for a while.

Now I am back in the US, living here for the first time in nearly 2 decades. I’m still teaching, having long ago given up on wanting to be passionate about anything else.

Bring me a pot of tea and a couple blueberry muffins, and I’ll gladly tell you all about it.


6 basics:

1) I grew up on the east coast of the US.

2) There are teachers in nearly every corner of my family.

3) I’m a Libra. I don’t believe in astrology except when my horoscope makes perfect sense.

4) I’m right-handed, but because of a silly game I used to play, I deal cards left-handed.

5) I can’t remember when I last drove a car, but I think it’s been about 10 years.

6) Everybody can tell when I’ve had a cup of coffee.


6 basics:

1) Yes, that’s me in the chef’s hat.

2) My piano recital debut was as a 3rd grader in front of my elementary school. I played Bobcat Boogie (have a listen, but my version stopped just before the ad libbing here). I’m startled that I actually found that.

3) I used to milk goats. For fun. When I was on my grandparents’ farm in Indiana.

4) My favorite colors are blue, green and orange, and, according to some, I’m supposed to believe that 6 is my lucky number.

5) I’d love to try skydiving and maybe even flying in a glider, but no way will I try bungee jumping and free fall rides.

6) Many many sunflowers. A single rose.


49 Responses

  1. Hey Tanja!

    just wanted to say ‘G’day’ from Down Under! Teaching an IT class right now, but spied your blog via Knock Knock, and had to respond … Very, very cute!

    looking forward to catching up with you very, very soon!


  2. Hey Erika! Now how do you land over on my little blog from an IT class?? Silly you. Pack all the gossip you can carry, and I’ll see you in a few days!

  3. Your little blog is very, very famous in Oz ….. :)

  4. Hi Tan,

    another IT class, and so I thought I’d check in to see how you’re doing ………. :)

    Wish I could sing ‘Skidamarink’ with my big kids!!!! :)

    Miss ya,

  5. Hiya E, Explain to me why you can’t sing ‘Skidamarink’ with your big kids…? Wait, how old are they?

  6. my kids are 16-18 years old …… They think they’re too grown up to have ‘fun’! ;-)

  7. Start playing it softly in the background. See how long it takes for them to start humming along. Show them the video. They’ll be hooked. Move on to Uh-huh! :-D

  8. Awesome. I taught English in Seoul, SK for a year.

  9. […] About Me […]

  10. hello my friend, I am os happy to meet you… Just so so happy to meet awesome creative language teachers ! Cheers!

  11. I am so happy to find this blog. still have to navigate into it but was recommended by Simple Learning and here I am.

  12. just wanted to say ‘G’day’ from Down Under! Teaching an IT class right now, but spied your blog via Knock Knock, and had to respond … Very, very cute!

  13. Hey tanj! i like ur blog! i’m not vegetarian, but i like the variety here….it helps add some creativity into my own cooking. and i can easily adapt. very cool, very fun and very informative. i also like how straight forward u r…..u don’t try to be anything to imress pl. u r naturally impressive with ur talent. what got u into vegetarian stuff?

    • Awww, such sweet words, Nirmal! Thank you! The vegetarian stuff started a whole bunch of years ago with my mom’s mother when she was a little girl. I think it was a family decision. Like my mom, my sister and I grew up as vegetarians, and meat will forever be on my list of things I just have no clue about (there’s a lot on that list….).

  14. it’s true yaar (friend)…..u have one of THE best blogs, n i bookmarked it. that’s neat though. i’m sikh and i know alot of ppl who r vegetarian though we sikhs don’t *have* to be, so i can also share ur blog with them for ideas too!

    • Again, thank you!

      Sikhs don’t have to be vegetarian? My brain cells always thought otherwise, although I don’t know where I would have come up with such info. Off I go to learn more!

  15. there are some who *claim* to be sikh, who r vegan. but they do kundalini yoga and worship a yogi guys and alot of other things that real sikhs don’t do. they belong to a western cult that this eastern yogi created in the 60’s. kind of like the hare krishnas. but yea we can actually eat anything we want, except when muslim have ceremonially prepared stuff. (not halal) . if u want to learn more abut sikhs, go here –

    http://www.sgpc.net/index-nm.html that’s the fremost genuine site. another awesome one is http://www.saysatsriakal.com
    there’s a lot of sites that r either created by or promote the fake cult, including their network of sites with sikhnet.com. avoid that one.

  16. i’m happy to!

  17. ur right….i came to usa when i was 3. i was born in liverpool. im [unjabi/monglian/european mix, and i came to PA and lived there until i moved to NY in august!

    • Ah, so you’re pretty much an East Coast Kid like me! Yay! But then I’m jealous, because you also get to call yourself a Liverpudlian, which is just a ridiculously fun word to say. Liverpudlian. Liverpudlian. Whee!

  18. hahah well and a few other things. my great grandmum was from india, married a white dude, n my grandmum had some monglian…so when ppl ask me to describe myself or say wtf? i say wait for the autobiogrophy…it’s gonna be epic.

    • *clap clap clap* It sounds like a fascinating story! Do let me know when I need to go camp outside my favorite bookstore to get one of the first copies. Please oh please tell me it will be in book form! I adore books. After that, you’ll turn it into an audiobook, and then we’ll all go see the 3D movie and complain about everything they took out or changed from the book version.

      So. Release dates, please.

  19. hahah ugh. that will come when i don’t hve to live it so much, when i can sit in my rocking chair and type up the reclloections of a lifetime. or maybe ill make a series that ges on as i go, thanks so much! id be honoured for it to reach ur reading pleasure!

    • If I may be so bold as to make a small suggestion: if you haven’t already started, at least start scribbling your notes now. I peeked at your blog, and at this pace, you’ll be in your early hundreds by the time you get around to “not living life so much”. Goodness, some of us can’t wait that long to read your memoirs.

  20. hhah well, thanks! for now, my blg ‘are’ my notes. you’re most elcome to read them when u wish, i’d be honured. darn…i just posted a new entry n forgot i was going to link u. i will be posting again soon, will add it. :)

    • Smart you that you’ve already started. As I mentioned before, I was worried you were going to wait a bazillion years, which, in my entirely unasked for opinion, is just a tad too long.

      Off I go to read some more.

  21. haha nah actually im really shy about things, ill hare some stuff but i’m not int social networks n selling mysekf, so to do the blog took a pep talk. i had to promise myself that if i did it, it would b to share experiences and teach people neat things n not to be an attention seeker. i hope ive managed to keep to that!

    • For starters, sad sad news about your cats! But yay because your heart is in the right place about strays, and you should hang a nice big sign outside your door to let other cats know they’re welcome. Oh but wait…cats don’t read very well, do they?

      I tried to post a comment or two on your blog, but your livejournal wouldn’t let me. I just wanted to say that no, you’re not seeking attention now, but you’re going to have to when your book/movie/mini-series comes out. Maybe the cats can help.

      And thanks for the shout-out! (Psssst…small favor…can you change it to say I’m a woman?…thanks….).

  22. h! srry! will do! u mentioned ur site pic was of u, n it looks like a guy with a chef hat :) ya my blog is moderated hevaily because i have a freaky stalker. she’s a white girl who married an indian after she lived a life of drink n sex n all, then claimed to become pure n seeks attention on the net. wierd creature. that’s the problem alot of times…alot of western girls marry or date eastern guys n there’s a whole difference in morals which is just not the same. the guys like ll the wrong things in the western girls n the western girls like attention n money from eastern guys. n because im outspoken about the evils of it, i get a lot of hash. truth is im trying to hel both sides respect each other better. it seems most western guys who r with eastern girls have more respect n r not out for the same things, even if they may be that way to their own culture….

    • Interesting cultural perspective. I’ve been reading your blog backwards, as in from the most recent entry, but I see I should start the other way around, which should make it easier to fill in blanks to understand where you’re coming from. Off I go again!

      • Hey Nirmal, can you PM me? ttyoder @ gmail dot com.

        Long story a bit shorter for now, this About section on my blog isn’t the best place to hash out world relationships…. Thanks!

  23. if only i had a place big enough n the cats wuld come, i’d open the door like the waldorf hotel (minus the high charges) hahha

  24. no i havnt! they seriously go by ‘dumb friends’?

  25. ah, shame.,…that’s quebec canada….quite a distance from me!

  26. wow….just read it. still don’t agree with the antiquated calling them dumb tho :) frankly my cats have proven theirselves wiser than many humans……and more respectful…plus, they can communicate very well, it is us who needs to learn their language. i’m trying to ;D

  27. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! Check out my page for more information :] love your blog!

    • Awwwwwww…! Thank you!

      **happily skips over to see what Brianna is talking about**

    • Hey hey, thanks for the shout out! I still can’t comment directly on your blog: wordpress makes me sign in all over again and then spends hours pretending to authorize me, which is odd.
      Anyway, I’m just now figuring out what I’m supposed to do besides thank you to pieces for the Liebster nomination. Give me a bit, and I’ll bounce the happy smiles right back atcha!

      Mata ne!

  28. Good morning! I know that some of you have already seen the post, but I want to “officially” let each of you know that you were nominated by your blogging friends for the “Good Neighbor Award!” Congratulations! :) Best, Katherine http://pillowsalamode.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/good-neighbor-award-winners-2/

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