It’s Mike. I’m one of the English teachers here at Rapid Progress English. I hope everyone had a spectacular Christmas and New Year holidays this year. This year was special for me because I was able to spend New Year with my parents in northern Minnesota for the first time in ten years. Of course it was great to see everyone again, but winter is a very special time for me. You see, Minnesota and Canada are extremely cold in winter, and they just love winter and winter sports. It’s no wonder Minnesota has the most professional hockey players of any state in the US. But Hockey isn’t the only winter sport. People also enjoy skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing, and curling.
Don’t know what curling is? It’s an ice sport played with two teams of three people. One player carefully pushes an 18 kg chunk of round granite or “rock” down a sheet of ice to a target drawn out on the ice. They then take turns trying to gain points like darts, but they can push their opponent’s “rocks” out of the target and take their points away. It’s very popular in Minnesota all year, but gets more attention in the winter months.
However, my favorite winter sport is hands down (definitely) ice fishing. Ice fishing is serious business in Minnesota. With over 10,000 lakes Minnesota has more fresh water than any other state plus more shore line than Hawaii, California, and Florida combined. That’s a lot of beaches. If the weather has been minus 15 Celsius for more than three weeks then it’s usually safe to drive your car out on the ice and set up a fish house. It’s not uncommon for the ice to get up to two meters thick at colder times of the year. Many people like to group their ice fishing houses next to each other to make a mini ice fishing village. It’s great fun to visit with other fishermen and women while spending a weekend out on a frozen lake.
I want to invite everyone to feel free to ask any questions about North American culture, tell me about your holiday, or ask anything about our school. We look forward to hearing from everyone and making 2017 a fantastic year for improving our English and enjoying life in a second language.