English Composition

Project 2 Mid-Term 2000

Last modified on November 14, 2000

Project HTMLA Good Man is Hard to FindThe Assistant

Composition Home Project 2 Home

Hiroshi Seki

Dear Hiroshi,

I have received your mid-term report. But as I said in class (and have written on my homepage) your report should be in HTML form and you have to attach the file to your e-mail.
I have tried to improve your writing. (See below.) Write your report in HTML and send it to me as soon as possible.

To: shimada@dokkyo.ac.jp
Subject: midterm01
Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2000 16:17:36 GMT

Most [of the] Japanese English learner[s] tend(s) to get lower score[s] in [the] TOEFL exam[s] than [the people in] other countries. [Comparing "Compared"] with [the results of] other asian countries, the total score of Japanese examinee[s] ranks 26th of [the] 27 asian countries. I would like to rese[a]rch why [the] Japanese get [such] low score[s].

First, there [is the difference of education system "are differences in education systems"].[ ]Then, [personality, "there may be personality problems;"] [I think that the] Japanese tend(s) to be [shy so "so shy"] that they have [a] difficulity [to deal with discussion "in dealing with [or rather, "in engaging in"] discussion." Or, more simply put, "they are not good at discussion"][ ] [so that their ability of spreaking or listening does not make a progress "This prevents us from making a progress in our ability to speak and listen"].[ ]Futhermore, there [is "are"] also (the) systematic difference[s] [of "in the Japanese"] grammar[ and the English grammar]. Finally, [for the wide range of examinee, some examinee who have low ability let the average of score down because Japanese examinee accounts for the majority the whole. "there is a wide range of abilities among the Japanese examinees. The ones with lower ablities belong to the majority group and they tend to let the average score go down further.??? (Is this what you mean?)]

The introduction of computer based test[ing] may increase the score of [the] Japanese. (Why so?) But we need(s) to make a progress in each part.

Kato, Satoko

Welcome to my homepage!! This page has three [contents "subjects" or "themes"]. [At first "First"], I'll explain some Japanese cultures in English. Second, I'll introduce some interesting overseas homepages [which you may be able to be "that would make you"] interested in English. [At last "Lastly"], I'll introduce my e-mail friend.

Japanese culture

I have [dreamed "been dreaming"] of studying abroad since I was a junior high school student. [So, when "When"] I talked friends who [have "had"] studied abroad, and [when] I read books about studying abroad, I often felt that it was so important to learn [own "about our own"] culture(s). I don't know much [own "about"] Japanese culture(s), and I [supposed to have difficulties for me to explain it in English unexpectedly "suppose that I will have difficulty in explaining about it in English if I were asked to do so unexpectedly"]. So, I ["have"] decided to study Japanese culture(s) [in "taking"] this opportunity, and learn to explain it in English [pleasingly "easily"]. I [thought "think"] [there will be "I will be able to find"] much more things I can learn in foreign countries if I study [much "more"] about Japan. [This "I hope this"] page will be useful when you go abroad, study abroad, and so on. You may be able to find things about Japanese culture which you didn't know.

Some English homepages

I teach English to three junior high school students [as a part time job ("part time")]. Two of them [are dislike "don't like"] English. They don't want to study English because they dislike [English "it"]. I want to show them the attractiveness of English, and want them to be intersted in English. So I [have] searched for interesting overseas homepages. You will have a break (time) in this [page "section"?].

Introduction [on "of"] my e-mail friend

I have [a "an"] e-mail friend. She lives in Taiwan. From [this exchange "the exchange of e-mail with her"], I realized the [greatness "fun" or "importance"?] [to make "of making"] foreign friends. [So, I "I would like to"] introduce what we ["have"] talked about in e-mail a little bit.

Masuda, Nami

A Marriage in India and Japan "Marriage in India and Japan" may be better.

Welcome to my homepage.
I would like to show you differences of marriage in India and Japan. I [supposed to study "thought of taking up"] this topic because my penpal lives in India and my sister got married [on this January "this January"]. So ("Thus" or "Therefore") I had [a "an"] opportunity to think about marriage.

Have you ever thought about getting married?
Imagine [what will you "how you will"] respond[ ,] and [what will people who is "how people who are"] younger than 22 years old [will] respond. I think [most people say "most of us will answer"] "No". But If I ask [the] same question to Indian people, I think they say "Yes". What cause[s] [this difference "these differences"]?

Have you ever thought about wedding ceremony ["ceremonies"] in other countries?
There are many countries in the world. That is, there are various ways of wedding.

My homepage [will] tell [about] these topics. I hope you would know about [the] marriage in India and [would] understand Indian culture.

Minekawa, Satoko

Learning English On The Internet

Nowadays [most of people "a lot of people" or "most of the people"]use the internet in their daily life[;] for example to check the news, to find a job[,] or to get some information[,] etc. As you know, learning English is [a] really hard thing(s) and it takes [a] long time to reap the harvest. I think that using the Internet to study English is [a] very good idea because it is cheaper than buying some [learning] materials. And also we can get very up-to-date information, for example we can check the [papers "magazines"] like 'TIME' , [and] 'The News Week' [,] etc, or we can go to [a site like] 'cnn.com'. How useful these are! But they sometimes don't work useful because of the ability of English [lerners]. I mean that something like 'TIME', which is from abroad, is too difficult for [amateurs "the beginners" or "us"?]. So if people feel [hard about that "those sites too hard"?], I'd like to recommend them to go to Japanese ones. There are a lot of places [to [blush "brush"] up "where we can improve"] our English skills. You can learn a lot of kinds of items, like idioms or words, let alone the newspaper(s?). Now let me show you some interest[ing] or effective places.

Morisaki, Kana

Who is the leader in [the] 21century?

U.S. Presidential [e "E"]lection 2000!!
Last mondified on November 10, 2000
Hour-by-hour reports of the election

On November 7,[]2000 U.S.presidential election started to vote. It is said the election is a close contest which we have never seen. In fact, [a] wrong winner was reported two times. Bush was declared the winner of the presindency by several networks, and his supporters began to [cerabrate "celebrate"]. But the vote margin in Florida shrank steadily as late reports came in, leaving Bush less than 2,000 vote[s] ahead by most count. The winner depends on [the] F[r "l"]orida election and absentee voting. U.S. is [in] a state of confusion!! Who wins, George W. Bush ([the Democratic Party "Republican Party"!!]) or Al Gore ([the "Democratic Party"])?
By the way, the U.S. presidential election [reports "is reported"?] everyday in Japan. American election system is different from [the] Japanese one. I will show you American election system simply.
I am interested in [the] American election campaign. ( I heard American [nation "people"] [has "had"] no interest in this election though election campaign [come alive "had become fierce"?]. [Because "The reason is that"] most of them [don't have dissatisfaction "are satisfied"] with their [life now "present lives"].)There are several ways [for the campaign], TV commercial,[]and advertisments, [debet "debates"?], home page on [the] net. I think these campaigns are powerful!! I enjoy getting [these "the"] information. At any rate, I will talk about American presidential election on my home page!! I am very [exciting "excited"]!! Please enjoy!!

November 7, 2000 Hillary Clinton win[s or "won"] a U.S. senate seat in New York. Of course, her husband is [p "P"resident] Bill Clinton. She could not become [the] winner easily. She became the focus of criticism when she announced to run. Because she is not from New York. But she walked to talk about her policy all over New York. It is said that she will run for [the] next presidential election.

Sekiguchi, Masami

Attractive Labrador Retrievers

Do you like dogs? Have you ever had dogs?
Now I have two yellow Labrador Retrievers [in my garden ("yard" in Am Eng) "at home"].
Have you ever looked at the eyes of Labrador Retrievers? Yes, they have really warm eyes.
Speak to them when you're [sad though they don't understand what you say. Because "sad. Though they don't understand what you say,"] they can feel your sadness, loneliness and other feelings.
Then they will make you [comfortable "happy" or "relaxed"?] when you're down, and they will be happy when you're full of happiness. Yes, they know everything.
In this homepage, I'd like to introduce a lot about Labrador Retrievers. And also, let me tell you about my special pen pal.
I hope you will enjoy my homepage^^*

Tamura, Hiroko

!!Welcome to my homepage!!
Mid-term Project [2] Report

I will introduce my homepage before you [come to my homepage "explore it"]. I [changed "exchanged"] [e-]mail with my foreign friends who I [knew "found"] on Dave's [ESL] Cafe. I [spend "have spent a"] very exciting time with them. So, I want to make my homepage [to use the knowledge which I was told by them "using the knowledge I got from them"]. And I [will] show you some interesting information. I hope you enjoy [watching "visiting"?] my homepage.

My E-mail Friend

I'll show you what I [told "talked about"] with my foreign friends through e-mail. I'm sorry I can't tell you all [the contents] of our e-mail. I choose [just] good or [excite "exciting"] information and [show "tell"] you about that. I [have] learned many things about foreign [country "countries"]. So, I [think "hope"] you enjoy!!

Some famous places in foreign countries

Now I want to go abroad. So, I ["will" (or "have searched"?] search [for] many foreign good view point[s] and sight-seeing place[s] and show you about [that "them"]. I [have plan to treat "am planning to introduce"] America or England or Taiwan. [Let's "Why don't you"] explore many countries with me.

Interesting links

I [choose "will search for"] interesting homepage[s] using Yahoo or Alta v[V]ista and I want to tell you [about them]. I will make link pages. (For example, [about] magazines or movies.) Please come to [visit] this page and click [on] some links (which) you [are "will be"] interested in.

Wakizaki, Masako


welcome to my homepage!!

In this page, I introduce British life style. [These are not "It may not be"] enough, but you can get a glimpse of their life.
If you have a chance to go to Britain, how about staying with a British family.[?]
It must be very interesting!! The way of British life is very different with that of [the] Japanese.
So here I talk about some [of the] British life style. This is not a difficult page, please relax and enjoy!

* Food ...Do you know British food[s]?? Do you know afternoon tea??

* Green ...There are lots of green everywhere. Parks are not the place[s] only for children.

* Classic ...Antique, classe[i]c clothes, art... They treasure old things.

e-mail exchange : here I report my e-mail exchange[s] with foreign people.

Otake, Yuko


I'm going to introduce my country, Japan. I am very interested in the differences between Japan and foreign countries. I [want "would like"] [foreigners "people from other countries"] to know many things about Japan [and to "so that they can"] live in or visit Japan comfortably.
Japan has unique culture. For example, Japan has four seasons and [there are "we have"?] many origial events in each season. The New Year's Day, the Coming-of Age ceremony, the Doll's Festival, etc... I am going to write what we do [in the day "in those days"? or "every day"?]. I think there are many differences between Japan and other countries.
And Japan also has unique custom. For example, when we enter the house we [put "take"] off our shoes in the porch. Japanese bathroom[s] and restroom[s] are different from [the ones in] other countries.
Now I [am] exchanging e-mail(s) with foreigners, I got some information of their countries [in these mails "from the e-mail exchanges"]. They really want to know about Japan and I also want to know their culture. Cultural [exchanging "exchange"] is very important for us to understand each other's thought and behavior. If someone who don't know [the] other country's culture go to [foreign "that"] country, he might [do rude behavior for foreigners "behave rudely there"].
Of course it is important to introduce foreign culture[s] [to our country], but it is also important to keep up the traditions of Japan. I like Japanese culture[, "--kimono, matsuri ["(festival)"][, of course ". In addition,"] I like Japanese foods!! I think Japanese foods are very good. [It "That"] may be because I am Japanese...but I think that [it "they"] may satisfy foreigners!!

Don't you think the word "foreigners" may sometimes sound "rude" in some context? I would rather use "people from other countries" or "non-Japanese".

Nochi, Hideki

-For Research Report Page-
Last edited [11,10, 2000 "11-10-2000" or "on Nov. 10, 2000]
Civilizations and Cultures

Nochi Hideki

Contents Why [we cnnnot "cannot we"] think [of?] civilization without thinking of Western civilizations ? What is "REN"?
< Why [we cnnnot "cannot we"] think [of?] civilization without thinking of Western civilizations ?>
I think we tend to think Japanese civilization as what we import from western count(o)ries [through top-down form of social systems?? "by the authorities"???]. Why [my images of beautifulness are led to "must our images of 'beautyfulness' be strongly influenced by those of"] western countries?
[As Reference "References"?]

< What is "REN"?>

[A "The"] word "REN" has two meanings [as we can define not precisely "though we cannot define precisely"??].
[F "The f"]irst meaning is "sequence(s) of things".
[S "The s"]econd meaning is "companion".
But what I want to explain here is [the] built-in social(-)system of [the] non profit(voluntary) organization named "REN".
"REN" is a team [for "of"?] people who have a radical will for creation. [It's "Its" principal aim is to make something creative[,] for example[,] "RENGA ([a] sequence of short poem[s][ which has Japanese traditional ", or 'waka', with the traditional Japanese"] rythms )". It is said that "REN" is [the] first three letters of [a "the"] word "RENGA"(in Japanese "REN-GA" is [a] two[-]letter word).
"REN" [regarded?] as teams has three types of histor[y "ies"].
[F "The f"]irst type [of the] history is [ways of "related to the"?] creation of "Uta" and "Haikai".
[S "The s"]econd type [of the] history is [that of the] manegemnent[, or] or[the] ganization[s of][(Kou,Yui,Kumi) of "Mura" "such traditional groups as "Kou," "Yui," and "Kumi" within "Mura," or a "village."
[T "The t"]hird type (history) is [the] history of "Cha-No-Yu"[.] In Edo-era Japan, we [can "could"] find many kinds of "REN".[ ]Yamanote-REN,[]Akera-REN, Yotuya-REN,[]Ochiguri-REN,[]Shiba-REN,[]Honchou-REN,[]Hakuraku-REN,[]Sukiya-REN, Yoshiwara-REN are [among the] famous at present.

Kubota, Akiko

I am planning to go to Ireland (in) this [S "s"]pring. I would like to learn English there. I will tell you how [and why] I [have] decided to go to Ireland ,[]and [tell "will introduce"] you [the us(u)ful home pages "some home pages that will be useful"] when you [want to go "think of going"] to Ireland!! I think Ireland is not [so "such a"] famous country[ "in Japan".] [to which we Japanese "Not many of us Japanese"] go [there] for sightseeing, and some [people "of us"] don't know about Ireland very much. [Of course "To tell the truth"], I don't know [many things "much"] about Ireland [either]. I [planned "was planning"] to go to Canada [at] first, but one of my friends[,] who went to Ireland last Spring[,] told me how wonderful [Ireland "it"] is. [Then I would like to go "That was the time I felt like going"] to Ireland. I (have) started to get information(s) about Ireland.
I have not been there [yet], [so I am sorry to tell you how is Ireland?? "but I have learned a lot about it"]. [You are "If you become"] intersted in that country after seeing my HP, I [am "will be"] very happy.
I [also tell you the "will also make a"] report of my [exchanging E-mail "e-mail exchange"] with my friend[,] who lives [in] Taiwan,
I will [made "make"] [the "a"] LINK page and show you my favorite site[s].
I hope you [can "will"] enjoy yourself by visiting my homepage!

[Make "Making"] Friends [Through "By"] E-mail(s)
I [made fr(ei)nds who lives "have made some friends living"] in forei[g]n countries, but I have not continue[d] [exchanging E-mails "to exchange e-mail"] with all of them. I have continued [to do so] only [one fr(ei)nd "with one of them," ]who lives in Taiwan. It is very fun for me to [exchanging "exchange"] E-mail(s) because I can improve my English skill, and know about her country, herself, her job and [so on "other things"].
Why don't you make many friends [through E-mails "by e-mail"]?

Takahashi Ayako

Do you like CAT[S]? Now a lot of people keep cats as their pet[s] all over the world.
I also keep a cat and she is so CUTE and LOVELY !!!!
I think cats have mysterious attractions. They choose their attitude[s] according to the situations. When they want us to do something, they are so obedient and fawn on [us], but as soon as they are contented, they take a completely changed attitude and suddenly behave coldly. However[,] they are so charming and interesting that I can't take my eyes off. I think that's why they are kept as one of the nearest being to human. There are a variety of cats in the world. They differ in color, hair, face, character and so on. Every cat has [its own?] individuality.
The beginning of the history of [the] cat[s] goes back to ancient times. How human has considered cats differs in the country and its culture. Sometimes they are holy beings but on the other hand, they are also treated as the wicked things.
I want to know more about cats and also introduce to you this full of charm animal !!
If you have interest in cat[s] or have [a] free time, please CLICK here and enjoy my page !!!

Ohta, Yuka

*English Education in Asia*

This is my second project of [my] English composition class. I'd like to tell you about English education in other Asia countries. Have you ever thought about it? I'm interested in it.
Because in spite of 8 years [of studying it], I can't speak English fluent[r "l"]y. I guess there is [funny "something wrong (or funny)"] about English education in Japan. [And I interacted mails "I have exchanged e-mail"] with some Asian students in English. They seem to [be written "write"] and [spoke "speak"] English very easily. (So,) I wonder why only Japanese people can't speak it. [It "That"] is the reason why I [want "would like"] to reseach English education in other Asian countries.
This homepage [will] show you about this topic. I hope you can enjoy this page.

*My E-mail Friends* (And) I [have] pasted some [mails "e-mail messages"] that I and my pen pals [have] exchanged. [I want you to know more "You will understand"] why I [reseach it "have decided to make a research on English eduacation in the other Asian countries"??]. I [also want you to "you will"] enjoy these pages!

Kobayashi, Asayo

Welcom to my homepage!! I'm very glad to see you!!
[This "In this"] page I [want "would like"] to introduce of my e-mail friend[s??].[ ](And) I think that [other countrie's friend is "my friends in other countries seem to be"] more independent than [me "I"].[ ][And they "They"] [hardly "seriously"??] think about their futures. But I don't know about my future cleary. [So,I think (that) what difference is ?? "I wonder what makes these differences." [And I examine about "I would like to examine the ways"] [bringing up their children of other coutry "the children are brought up in other countries"]. I hope that you [are fun to look "will have some fun looking at"] my homepage!

Asayo's E-mail friends!!

[Firestly "Firstly"],I [will] introduce of my E-mail friends!! I sent E-mail(s) [to] many people [April from "from April"] to September. Some people sent [thier replies] to me (E-mails),[ ]but [E "e"]specially I [have] learn[ed] many things from one [man "of them"]. So,(Especially) I [want "would like"] to introduce [about nim "him to you"].

Bringing up children [of "in"] [other "another"] coutry!!

[Secondry "Secondly",[ ]I [would like to] int(o)roduce [of bringing up children "how people bring up their children"] in [the] U.S.A. By [playing "exchanging"] E-mail,[ ]I [think that "found"] my E-mail friends (are) very [independence "independent"]. They have [their] own ideas and they know what to do in the future. [So,I'm interesting "That made me interested"] in [bringing up children "the ways the children are brought up"] in other coutries. (And) I [will] examine [about "the case in the"] U.S.A.

My thought and my favorite thing!!

Thirdly,[ ]I [int(o)roduce of my thought by learning many things "would like to tell you about what I think about many things"??]. [And] I [introduce of "will tell you about"] my experience[s] [of "during"] my homestay and I [talk to "would like to talk"] about my dream. (So,)[if "If"] you have (a) time,[ ]please give me (a) your idea!

And I [pick up "will introduce you"] my favorite site. (So,if you like it,)I hope that you [will] enjoy it!!

Komiya, Tomoko

Once, There Was A Base In Our Town

Tomoko Komiya's Home Page

Hello, Welcome to my Home Page!!
[This web master "The web master of this site"] is Tomoko Komiya.
I'm glad to [have a same "share"??] time with you.

I [have] live[d] in Tachikawa, Tokyo for 20 years and I love [Tachikawa "it"][.B "b]ecause [this town coexists with urban and countryside "things urban and countryside coexit in this town"]. (And) I know almost [everything] about [there "it"] except [for the things that had happened] before my birth. In other words, I [don't "didn't"] know there [was "had been"] an American base [from 1945 to 1977 in my town "in my town from 1945 to 1977]. But now, [there "the place"] [changed "have been changed"] to the national park [called] "Showa Kinen [(Memorial)] Park" and [so on "to some other things"]. So we can hardly [watch signs of that "see the signs of the old base"].

[This time I want to study "Now I would like to study about"] Tachikawa as a base [town?][. And "and"] I [would like to] think about American bases in Japan.

Where is Tachikawa?
Let me [a little introduce to "tell"] you where Tachikawa is in Tokyo, and [tell you a little about] [the history of Tachikawa "its history"].

Before [The "the"] War[,] "Tachikawa Air Port" I will write about why the Air Port was built in Tachikawa.

After [The "the"] War[,] "Tachikawa Air Base" [This page writes How there is used "In this page I will write how the airport was used"] as the Air Base and the reaction of the people.

And Now[,] "My Thought"...I [will] think about the future.

"Dave's ESL Cafe" E-mail Report the Report (of) after the "Project1" and new E-mail friend[s?]

Link Site[s]
Yahoo!, AltaVista, and so on....

Now, I am majoring in German. (And) I (will especially) study the mordern German history. [So when "As"] I think (on the subject) of the base problem[s] tnis time, I want to think about "Peace" and "War"( ,)too.

Masuki, Kouji

Movie[s] and Saxophone

On this Home Page, I'd like to write about two hobbies of mine, saxophone and [the] movie[s].

I have played the saxophone in [one of] the music [circle "clubs"] of this university for about a year. The [circle's name "name of the club"] is [the] New Folk Union. Thanks to this circle, I could meet the saxophone as well as good company. And the saxophone fascinates me. And I am absorbed in practicing the saxophone. I love my saxophone. So I'll study the history of the saxophone, [various] kinds of its brand and etc. And I want to review some famous saxophone players. I hope that other people and I [come to get the knowledge concerning "will know more about the"??] saxophone.

[Watching "Seeing"] [the] movies is also the thing that I like very much. I like [the] Japanese movie[s] better than [the] foreign movie[s]. Particularly I like Shunji Iwai's movie[s] best. Shunji Iwai is a great movie director. I love his work "Uchiagehanabi shitakara miruka yokokara miruka". This movie reminds me of the memory of the time when I was a schoolboy. Whenever I [watch "see"] it, I can see the sky, stars and sun that I saw [at the "in my"] elementary school days. So I want to write about his movies. I'll review some [movies of him "of his movies"]. (You might as well use "film" instead of "the movies.")

Takizawa, Harumi


In this project, I would like to investigate (about) KIMONO.
We, Japanese, usually wear western clothes, but I have a great interest in Kimono. But I have worn kimono only a few times, and I don't know how to wear Kimono by myself and [its] details. I will wear a Kimono on [the] Coming-of-Age Day. For this occasion, I will wear Kimono with [the] long flowing sleeves[, it "which"] is called FURISODE.

Nowadays, Japanese people rarely wear kimonos in everyday life, reserving them for such occasions as weddings, funerals, tea ceremonies, or other special events, such as summer festivals. I think combining the various part[s] of Kimono skillfully is an exercise in design. That is the joy of wearing Kimono. It is not only the older generation that finds pleasure in this unique aspect of Japanese costume. Among the various types of Kimono and materials, there are those that derive from ancient times and have refined with the passing ages. I think Kimono's color, design, and fabric are very beautiful. Textiles grew among the common people, passing from the hands of one artisan to another. The kimono is the traditional clothing of Japan. I think Kimono styles have changed, and today there are many different types of kimono worn by men, women, and children.

I would like to introduce you about [the] History of Kimono, Types of Kimono, and How to wear Kimono.

Sawanobori, Yuko

Musical and Play in America and Japan

In this project, I would like to show you [a vartue for "virtues of"?] [a musical comedy and a play "musical comedies and plays"].

I am very interested in [a play and a musical "plays and musicals"], and often go to see them. Since I belonged to [the] brass band club and had played the clarinet for six years, I was fascinated by taking part in stage peformance with [the] instruments at back stage. Whenever I saw them[,] I [used to want "wanted"] to play as a [player "musician"?] at [the] back stage. But [the] people who peform on [the] narrow stage also [present us with much impression "impress us"]. I was [made a deep impression "moved"] by not only [the] story but also [the] actor's power of expression.

I will [have "take"] a seminer that studies about performance next year. [A] "performance" means not only "acting" but also "behaving" and "a symbol". We will study about [a play, a dance, a circus, a street performance "plays, dancing, ciruses, street performances"], tourism and so on... As a preparation for next year, I am going to introduce you (to) [the] plays and musical comedies which I have (ever) seen. [There is "I will tell you about"] a play [called] "BAD BOYS NIETZSCHE!" from New York, America, and (there are) musical comedies [like] "LION KING"[,] "THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA"[,and] "LES MISERABLES" from Japan.
When you see my homepage[,] you will lose your heart to [the world of?] performance! [And "In addition,"] I'd like to introduce (about) my communication with my pen-pal.

Project HTMLA Good Man is Hard to FindThe Assistant