2020: A Perspective on Education, Disability and COVID-19

First of all, I would like to apologize for the mess that this article is. I just threw my ideas together and I plan on reorganizing this a little. Since I want this to be a discussion, I invite anyone who reads this and has comments to reach out to me.

While I am writing this as a student of the faculty of Education of the Bishop’s University, the following merely reflect my own personal opinion and experience.

Before I begin, I would like to explain my situation as I believe this will give a better understanding of the perspective that I will discuss. I am a second year Education student here at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville (Quebec). All my life I have dealt with a visual disability caused by a condition known as Nystagmus. Nystagmus is a condition that causes the eyes to move back and forth involuntarily. Because of my eye condition, my sight is about 10% of that of an “ordinary person.” As such I have lived with many challenges both in everyday life and in my academic life.

I would like to acknowledge that 2020 was indeed quite a challenging year for many people. When the first lockdown happened here in Sherbrooke Quebec, I think that many people did not really know what to expect. The winter semester of 2020 was in limbo and neither the school administration nor the teachers seemed to know exactly what to do. It must be understood that the government had declared a lockdown and we did not know exactly what would happen next. It was obvious that the semester should not end so abruptly, but we did not know exactly how to proceed..

At the end of the winter semester of 2020 there was an abrupt transition from in-person class to online. This transition was quite difficult for me because neither the teachers nor the students were properly used to the online tools that we had. It became obvious for me that I would be struggling at the end of the semester as many of the issues that I had noticed during the semester were exacerbated by the increased reliance on those tools. Namely, moodle was not a very accessible tool, especially considering how most teachers used it.

Because everything was now posted on moodle even more so than before, it was crucial to be able to quickly find information in long pages that we had to scroll through. The problem is that in a sea of text, it can be challenging to find the specific link to click to reach a certain page. And our exams were posted on moodle, not noticing that the exam file had been uploaded made it difficult to begin exams on time. The tool that I used to like because I found it was useful to be able to access all of the files were shown in class because the target of my unconditional hatred.

Obviously, things did get better. I originally planned to take extra classes during the spring and summer semester. However with the world pandemic causing so much change in our lives, I elected to stay home and rest until things calmed down. I did not expect that we would still be in a sort of confinement but not when fall came. The new school year brought about many challenges and the teachers were struggling with the new softwares that we had access to. Classes moved to Microsoft Teams entirely. This brought an unexpected blessing for me. As it turns out, lectures are easier to follow on Teams and Zoom compared to their in-person equivalent. The reason for this is I don’t have to constantly pay attention to a powerpoint projection on a distant wall in the class while also struggling to take notes at the same time. Being close to my monitor was fantastic; it felt like freedom!

As a visually disabled person, transportation is somewhat of a hit or miss situation. On one side, I have access to special transportation from the bus company that will bring to my destination without too much trouble. The issue with this is that I have to reserve transportation 24 hours in advance. This means that whenever there is an instance where i do not know the exact time of a class or an exam, it is very difficult to plan ahead properly. There is also the issue that if I forget to make proper reservations in advance and can be stuck taking standard public transportation. Using the public transportation system would not be an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that sometimes I don’t properly see the bus numbers and get lost in the bus schedule and itinerary. I often lose a lot of time in transportation, and it is somewhat of an annoyance. But with class being online, transportation is not something that I had to consider during that new semester.

I went on campus to get my new books for Winter 2021, and I noticed that there were arrows everywhere. It was extremely confusing. I did not know which door I was supposed to use to go from point A to point B. I have to admit that in the beginning of my time at Bishop’s University, I spent quite a lot of time being lost. After spending 1 semester there, I was able to orient myself without too much problem; however, those arrows were going to be the end of me. It seemed to me that whenever I wanted to go through a door there was a warning stating that this was a forbidden direction. I was really happy that I would not have to stay on campus for very long.

All in all, the pandemic was quite an interesting challenge to overcome. The transition was not effortless, but the results were pretty good. My current classes seem to be better than the previous one in terms of online teaching. I think that it will only get better as time goes. While motivation is difficult to keep up for online teaching, I believe that the results I managed to get out of my first fully online semester speak for themselves.

On that note, this is merely a first draft and I plan to revisit this issue at a later point. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.



ひなたちゃんは可愛かわいくてやさしいねこです。2014ねんにシャーブルックでまれました。ひなたちゃんはとても弱虫よわむしです。いつでもこわいものがあったら、はやげます。一番いちばんきな趣味しゅみ日光浴にっこうよくだそうです。普段ふだんひとりぼっちであそんだり、たり、べたりします。ひなたちゃんはねこひきんでいるけど、こわそうだからひとりぼっちのほうがいいそうです。大学だいがく授業じゅぎょうときはひなたちゃんはさみしそうです。最近さいきんはツイッターで自分じぶん写真しゃしんおくります!人気にんきがあるみたいです!勇気ゆうきがあるときに、部屋へやそと冒険ぼうけんきます! ある日、勇気ゆうきがたくさんあったから、いえそと冒険ぼうけんきました。そと本当ほんとうこわかったから、はやかえりました。いまはベッドのうえでゆっくりています。ねこなので、いつものんびりしています。ゆるさないけど、時々ときどきテーブルのうえあそんでいます。


Hinata Hikari is a female cat. Hinata is a cute and gentle cat. She was born in Sherbrooke in 2014. She is totally a crybaby. Whenever there is something scary, she quickly runs away. Her favorite hobby is sunbathing. Usually spend time alone playing, sleeping and eating. She lives with 2 other cats, but they look scary so she prefers being alone. When there is a University lesson, she wants attention. Recently she has been sending pictures of herself on twitter! It seems that she is popular! When she has courage she will go outside of her room to adventure. One day, she had a lot of courage so she went on an adventure outside of the house. But outside was very scary, so she quickly came back. Right now she’s sleeping on the bed. She’s a cat, so she always just relax. It’s not permitted, but she sometimes play on top of the table. Meow♪

Happy new year (2021)


Happy new year! 2020 was difficult for many people, but we are now setting our sight on 2021 and hoping that it will be a better year! 2021 Is filled with many project ideas for me!

I am going to be discussing some of those projects here:

YouTube Channel

I recently started working on a YouTube channel. There is only 1 real video so far, and lockdown has slowed down my ability to do anything interesting. But I hope that you look forward to what I create in the future! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCINiXF2dDrqJaYULEoTvXuQ

Web Novel

It’s no secret: I love Japanese light novels. After thinking about it and thinking that I want to create my own story, I decided to stop thinking about it and actually start doing it. I don’t think it will be absolutely stellar, but I think it will be good practice! I want to make this a weekly thing at least, to see how far i can push this as a habit. I escaped the end of the world, but I ended up in another world

Going to Japan

After about 15 years of wanting to go to Japan, I think it’s finally time to actually do it! The university I’m studying in right now has an exchange program to Japan. I intend to go to Japan for 1 year and blog about my experience too! I am also thinking of making YouTube videos about it. Please look forward to it!

I am really looking forward to all the things I can do in 2021. I wish you all a great year!

Attempt at a webnovel

Would you be surprised if I said that I like writing? I mean, I didn’t really tell this to anyone before I suppose. I really enjoy writing, but somehow my stories are never up to the standard that I set for myself.

I guess it’s like that for everyone who starts something new right? As someone who enjoys learning about languages, you would think that I would spend more time using those languages in creative ways ,especially since I enjoy reading Japanese light novels and I also enjoy role playing games such as D&D.

Today I want to try something new. I don’t expect that anyone will read it, but I’m actually going to try to write a story. I have a pretty good idea of where I want it to go, but I also tend to not be able to tell a story from point A to point B without going to from E to W somehow…

To force myself to work on this more frequently, I am going to try to write 1 chapter per week, if not more (when I actually get extra inspiration).

As time goes and as I improve my writing, I might revisit what I publish at a later point.

I hope that you will enjoy it, even if it’s not great!

I escape the end of the world, but I ended up in another world


Tweet with furigana

Today I decided to try to install a module for furigana on this blog. It will be useful to have such a module to make things easier to read when I try to explain my own grammar. Do keep in mind that my Japanese is far from being natural yet. But maybe I can help explain some of the challenges that us Japanese learners go through.



Mana Hime

Learning Japanese, a tale of Mana and Odder Otter.

(This post will be regularly updated)

Before I begin on the topic of today, I would like to present myself. On internet, I am known as Mana Hime, and I am a Canadian university student in the field of Education. For the past 3 years, I have been studying the Japanese language. I have also immersed myself as much as possible in the culture of the Japanese people. Along the road, I have made close friends who have been helping me both on the personal level and on the educational level.

While the Japanese language is quite difficult from the perspective of an English speak, it is my belief that it is also a very rewarding language to learn. Today, I would like to discuss why I wanted to learn Japanese, and how I did it. I hope that it will help others who would like to learn Japanese but are not sure if or how they should do.

                First, let’s discuss why I wanted to learn a new language, and why Japanese specifically. I believe that learning different language is very important. Humans are very social beings. As such, language plays a very important role in our very being. This is demonstrated by how our brain is predisposed to learning and understanding language even before we learn any. As a result, human beings will tend to perceive the world in relation to the language that they speak. I believe that by learning new languages we can learn new ways to perceive and describe the world. The presence or absence of some words can allow an understanding of what a society considers an important value.

                I have always been fascinated by the Japanese culture. I was introduced to that culture by watching anime on English TV when I was a kid. This fascination continued until, one day, I became able to watch anime in their original language with subtitles. When subtitles became available to me, I instantly fell in love with the language. Like many others, I thought that “if I could watch anime without subtitles, it would be great.” Sadly, however, learning a new language just for the purpose of watching something on TV was not a good enough motivation for me to take the step forward toward that goal.

                As I stated earlier in this text, humans are social creatures, so it makes sense that what would push me forward was making friends. I used the online game Final Fantasy XIV to meet Japanese players and try to become friends with them. At first my interactions were fairly limited, but the inability to communicate pushed me to try my best to learn the language.

You may be asking: “why would I learn Japanese?” Sadly, I do not have the answer to this question. I think that the most important thing is that one should learn a language associated to a culture they are interested in. For me, Japanese is the obvious choice, but I know many people who chose to learn other languages. I also know some people who chose lesser known languages. Passion is the most important point here.

Now, let’s discuss how I learned the language. But first, let me warn you: “language learning rewarding, but it is not easy.” My path to learning Japanese has been, and is still, full of joy and frustration. I feel joy whenever I succeed at understanding or communicating something that was impossible before. I experience frustration every time that I feel unable to express myself correctly.

The first tip I will give to any language learner is this: express yourself! It may be embarrassing to speak in a newly learned language because making mistakes is embarrassing, but I think we should think the opposite. I think that making mistakes is important in the path to language acquisition. There is a theory that says that young children have a much better capacity of learning new languages than adults do. While the brain development allows children to more easily retain information, I think children’s ability to not fear making mistakes may be one of their greatest strength. A learner should do their best to practice their new language wherever possible, whenever possible, and as much as possible.

You might wonder where to look for resources to learn Japanese. I will write a post detailing all the resources that I have used so far. But I can suggest a few that I think are great:

  • Odder Otter Discord server: I will be shameless here and suggest that you join our Discord server. We’re a community of nice people and making friends has been invaluable to help me learn Japanese. It can be the same for you! Connecting with other language learners and natives can be great to learn from other people’s experience.
  • Tofugu guides on learning hiragana and katakana: If your interested in anything related to Japan, Tofugu is great. They have amazing guides for learning to read the 2 first writing systems that you should learn in Japanese. And they also make the amazing kanji learning website wanikani
  • Wanikani: Speaking of which, for a relatively low monthly fee, this website has been fantastic in helping my kanji reading ability skyrocket. It tries to gamify the learning process a little which is good for people like me who can’t focus easily.
  • Tae Kim’s Guide to Learning Japanese: Probably the best guide online for Japanese grammar, and it is free! It is not absolutely perfect, but it’s fantastic nonetheless. You should read it.
  • The Genki textbook series: Those books are used in classrooms in universities across the world, and there is a reason to that. Those books are well made, they slowly target higher and higher levels so that you keep improving. It’s not perfect for self learners because they’re made with classrooms in mind, but you should look for them. Also, they are relatively cheap from Japanese amazon, which also does international shipping.
  • Japanese Ammo with Misa: The last resource that I will link for now. Misa’s YouTube channel is great, and I love her videos. They’re a little on the long side for some people, but she goes really in-depth with each grammar points that she covers.

I hope that some of those information will be useful to you. This post will be updated as I keep re-writing it for clarity and to work on some specific points. I hope that you like Japanese, and I hope that by learning the language, you will be able to enjoy the culture. If there is any question, I can be contacted either on Discord or on Twitter: @ManaEternal

Your Favorite Enemies Concert




数ヶ月前、ツイッターでYour Favorite Enemies (YFE)のももかさんにフォロされました。その時、一緒に話し始めました。ももかさんはYFEの日本人スタッフですから、近く町に住んでいます。






日曜日はブランチの日でした。レストランに行って、バンドの人達と話せました。YFEのAlex Henry Fosterさんは意見を説明しました。世界中の人は違う意見でも、違う宗教でも、違う性的指向でもあるけど、優しいの皆さんは友達になれます。そんな世界は良いですね。





Hinata: Hum… Mana Hime…
Hinata: Hmm… Mana Hime…


Mana Hime: Hmmm? What is it Hinata-chan?
Mana Hime: Hmmm? Qu’est-ce qu’il y a Hinata-chan?

Hinata: What’s that?
Hinata: Qu’est-ce que c’est?

Mana Hime: This box?
Mana Hime: Cette boîte?

Hinata: Yes! What is it? It looks interesting!
Hinata: Oui! Qu’est-ce que c’est? Ça a l’air intéressant!

Mana Hime: Do you want to see the things that are in the box?
Mana Hime: Veux-tu voir ce qu’il y a dans la boîte?

Hinata: Yes! I want to see!
Hinata: Oui! Je veux voir!

Hinata: Please show me!
Hinata: Montre le moi, s’il te plaît!

Mana Hime: Alright, wait a moment please.
Mana Hime: OK, attends un moment s’il vous plaît.

Hinata: Hurry up and show me please!
Hinata: Plus vitte! Montre-moi s’il te plaît!

Mana Hime: Look!
Mana Hime: Regardes!

Mana Hime: A present from Lulu-chan! Lulu-chan is very nice isn’t she.
Mana Hime: Un cadeau de Lulu-chan! Lulu-chan est très gentille n’est-ce pas?

Hinata: Oh! I also want presents from Lulu-sama!
Hinata: Oh! Moi aussi, je veux des cadeaux de Lulu-sama!

Mana Hime: No! Hinata-chan is a cat! Can’t give presents to a cat!
Mana Hime: Non! Hinata-chan est une chatte! On the peut pas donner de cadeaux à un chat!

Hinata: That’s too bad… ;;
Hinata: C’est dommage

Mana Hime: Shall we eat fish?
Mana Hime: Devrions nous manger du poisson?

Hinata: Yeeeeees!
Hinata: Ouiiiiiiiii!

Mana Hime & Hinata: Lulu-chan, thank you very much for this present!

Mana Hime & Hinata: Lulu-chan, merci beaucoup pour ce cadeaux!


Some pictures of my trip to Ottawa. (In no specific order)

Snowy Christmas

It’s Christmas and it’s snowing… A lot…
Merry Christmas everyone!