a blog about my adventures and misadventures as i live halfway across the world in a country where i don't speak the language and will stand out obnoxiously because of my height. here we go.
so i’ve been doing absolutely nothing productive the past few weeks. i’m leaving japan in a month and a half and have started preparing by putting everything off until the latest possible moment, as per usual.
my house is a complete disaster with clothes and dishes and junk everywhere, i’ve got a jungle growing outside my front door and i’m pretty sure i lost some possessions in the bowels of my car’s backseat.
part of the reason i haven’t done anything to get ready to leave is because it’s just too damn hot. the humidity has been pretty high lately, and as someone who grew up in the dry climate of colorado (which could use a bit of humidity right about now), this weather is killing me. it drains me of all my energy at school (where i’m extra hot because i always have to wear long sleeves to cover up my tattoo), so i never want to do anything when i get home
another reason i’m procrastinating so much is because i don’t want to think about leaving just yet. i know in my last post i said i’m over this job (which i am), but that doesn’t mean i’m ready to leave the people. i have good friends i’ve made over the past two years, and when i leave, i don’t know when or if i’ll see them again. it was different leaving people from home because i knew they’d be there when i came back (i’m pretty sure everyone i knew is still in the same place they were when i left….), but with the friends i’ve made here, we come from all over the place. and we’re all obviously the traveling types, so who know where we’ll all end up? plus i just really suck at saying goodbye to people.
but still. i’ve got a month and a half left. i’m not going to spend the rest of that time worrying about leaving. i’m still going to have fun.
and maybe i’ll eventually clean my house too.
nothing particularly exciting has happened, but i just feel like writing, so here goes.
today i visited the last of my (two) new schools. it’s a small elementary school with only one class per grade. everyone seems nice, but i’m having a bit of a hard time caring about everything because i’m only going there two more times before i leave japan, and having nine schools is slightly more overwhelming than i thought. it’s kind of hard to keep track of everyone especially when most of the time (especially at elementary schools) i only work with each teacher once a semester. i also had to do my self-introduction (AGAIN…i’m so sick of talking about myself) and i realized how entirely out-of-date it is because the picture i have of my family only has one of my nieces in it. i don’t know why, but that just hit me today.
i’ve gotten to the point where i’m ready for a change. i don’t exactly have a desire to leave japan yet, but at the moment, i’m over my job. it’s just kind of exhausting doing the same thing every day, but not being able to see any of the results of what i teach. i don’t feel like i have any effect on the kids i’m teaching because i see them so rarely. it’s just a really strange feeling to see so many kids every day, but they’re never the same kids. (i just counted, and i have over 2970 students. GAHHH.)
i think part of the reason i’m feeling like this is that i know i’m leaving soon. i’m still having a lot of fun living in japan, but it’s just the everyday stuff that’s wearing me down a little.
on a slightly more positive note, i did notice that my japanese listening skills have noticeably improved recently. i can understand a lot more than i could even a couple months ago, and the only reason i can think that might have changed is that i’ve been watching hana yori dango (“boys over flowers,” a popular japanese drama) with rachel. it’s funny that one tv show can help improve my japanese skills so much that i can almost carry on a conversation….
so there’s that.
hey kate! congrats on the upgrade!! that’s so exciting! i found out my placement info the same time as everyone else because i got upgraded about a week or so (i think) after everyone else found out. i think they’re still slowly giving out placement info, so check with your consulate and see if other people from your area have their placements yet. if they do, you might have to wait for a bit. one of my friends didn’t know where he was going until he already got to tokyo, but i hope you find out before he did!
anyway, congrats again, and let me know when you find out where you’re going!
I met a student today (6th grader) who was born in Kentucky, and moved to Japan when he was three years old. His dad is from Chicago, and he goes back occasionally to visit his grandparents. His English is PERFECT and it was so weird for me to talk to a kid in fluent English, which I haven’t done, I realized today, for probably more than two years. Every time I talk to a kid here (even some of the Filipino kids who speak some English) it’s always very halting and I have to make sure I pronounce everything accurately. It kind of threw me off a little, because I was just talking to him normally, like how I’d talk to my friends.
I ended up sitting by him at lunch, and everyone kept asking him to ask me things, but he was kind of shy to speak English to me, but it was really cute. I understood everything they were asking anyway, so we didn’t have any problems.
And meeting him totally made up for the terrible class I had right before that. There were about six boys in the class who WOULD NOT behave at all. Their teacher is really quiet and shy, so they didn’t listen to her. They distracted the whole class and we didn’t even get through the whole lesson because they were talking, throwing pencil cases across the room, running around, hitting each other and playing with a spinny chair they found in the back of the room. We had class in the playroom today, which was probably a mistake because I feel like they would have behaved somewhat better in their own classroom instead of causing mayhem. So, I was definitely in a bad mood after that class, even though the teacher apologized. She looked really worn out and frustrated, so I couldn’t be mad at her, so I just gave my best death stares to the kids. Which didn’t have any effect on them at all…..
so i went to seoul for golden week and didn’t die in a sea of fire or whatever else the dear leader (or was that his dad…?) was promising, so expect pictures sometime in the near future.
a.k.a. whenever i am in less of a zombie-like state because sleeping in a hostel dorm SUCKS and is something i will never be doing again.
yeah, i was pretty anxious. at first i was slightly disappointed but then it got better because at least i got that far, right? i tried not to think about it too much, and luckily i didn’t have to wait for too long. one of my friends didn’t hear back until the middle of june, though, so it all depends on when/if people drop out.
definitely let me know what happens, though! i hope you get in.
and thanks for the compliment! i feel like i’ve been slacking off a bit lately on my blog, but now that school has started again, maybe i’ll pick it up a bit. there’s only so much you can write about when you’re sitting at a desk doing nothing for three weeks straight….
i was actually an alternate at the beginning! i don’t know if i’ve ever mentioned that before, though…. honestly, there’s nothing you can do except wait. you just have to hope that some of the first picks choose to do something else and forgo on JET. luckily, i didn’t have to wait very long. it was only a couple weeks (at most) after the initial results were posted.
there are actually quite a few alternates that i know personally, as well. i know a lot of people choose JET as a backup for grad school and then end up not coming if they get something better.
so, don’t worry about it right now because there’s not really much you can do. just hope someone drops out! good luck, and i hope you get in!