In remembrance of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
It was quite sobering.
In remembrance of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
It was quite sobering.
On a lighter happier note, I found out last week I somehow ate Fugu at the Graduation Enaki. Of course I don’t find out until much later… which makes me a little sad because it was on my bucket list.
Guess I’m going to have to eat it again.
I think my school is convinced that if they just put a bunch of raw fish in front of me I’ll just eat it regardless.
The ever so glamorous life of an underused ALT. — (now multiple this by two months)
can it be April soon so I can maybe have classes please?
This post is going to be kind of a long one, sorry guys-
You know that scene in 500 days of Summer… the one where Joseph Gordon Levitt goes to a party that Zooey Deschael’s character is throwing and JGL’s character has all these expectations about said party, but he get’s hit with cold hard reality- that he and Zooey’s character will never get back together. This one right here?
Moving to Japan and doing JET is a lot like this scene.
Allow me to explain.
velizaraptor said: Did you bring omiyage when you came to Japan?
Yes I did.
Some helpful tips. Omiyage is ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS edible.
(The only exception is if you want to bring a bigger gift for a vice principal or principal. )
When I came I bought a bag of tootsie rolls. But other things that have been suggested
Here’s some suggestions
- Tootsie Rolls
- Reese Peanut Butter Cups
- Other various candy
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Beef Jerky
- Flavored Coffee creamer
- Something edible related to where you’re from
For bigger gifts for higher ups I suggest
- coffee mugs
- baseball related items
- key chains/magnets
So As I said earlier- I brought Tootsie Rolls for all the teachers in the English department, I bought a nice Minnesota Mug for my principal, a nice Minnesota Twins key chain for my vice principal and an adorable San Francisco Mikey Mouse bag for my female supervisor. Total I think I spent about $30 on Omiyage. You can easily spend more or less. It’s really your call.
Again this is something you shouldn’t really stress out about. No one is expecting you to bring anything - It’s all purely 100% optional and a good gesture.
Getting a text like this from my supervisor 12 minutes AFTER I leave my house. This is bullshit.
EDIT: Now that I’ve calmed down I feel like I’m able to write a better explanation.
Today I kind of hit the last straw with my school. My supervisor decided to inform me 15 minutes after I left for school that I needed to wear a suit today because of entrance exams - I was essentially told that I needed to take nenkyuu (paid vacation) and go home and change. The fact that this wasn’t mentioned to me until the very last minute (actually even past the last minute) and I get penalized for it is kind of bullshit. On top of all that I have literally be locked in the teacher’s room all day because Entrance Exams. It literally doesn’t matter if I’m here or not today- let alone what I’m wearing.
My school has been making my life overly difficult lately. They decided to throw me a welcome party (7 months late) over lunch and asked me to take two hours nenkyuu for that as well as no one was able to drive me to said party either; so it took me an additional hour nenkyuu for that too. - and then I found out that I was supposed to pay into a teacher’s fund ($20/month) but no one of course told me until my Supervisor asked me that I pay her the $140 that I owe to it.
So this morning… it was definitely the last straw for me. I’m done being the nice ALT and letting them get away with literally treating me however they want. Especially when it’s something dumb and I have zero information on or control over. I wouldnt have minded wearing a suit but I should have been told.
So now I’m going to fight them on this nenkyuu for this. I’m straight up refusing to sign the paper for it. I asked for a meeting with my vice principal to talk about how I get told nothing and I shouldn’t be penalized for it and I’m going to take it from there.
I’ve actually had enough.
I just request the bare minimum of respect when working here and my expectations are low, but when I don’t even get those bare minimum expectations I’m just done. Literally so done.
This is so unacceptable.
So I’m actually going to answer two questions at once.
I am currently working towards my TEFL certificate online through iTTT. Their website can be found here. I opted to do the 120 Hour course with video and tutor support. So far I’ve actually really enjoyed doing it.
Again; if you’re a current JET applicant I suggest waiting mainly because there are discounts and scholarships to be had once you get accepted. Having a TEFL is something that is not necessary for JET. It is definitely helpful, but not necessary.
Post JET I either see myself doing a variety of different things. I really really really like teaching English and it’s something I definitely would love to continue in the future at either an International School or somewhere in the United States. My back up plan is to get a masters in library and media sciences, but so far I am strongly leaning towards that masters in TESOL.
It’s graduation season in Japan- and let me tell you; it is so different from Graduation in America. - other ALTs in my area have been posting statuses about how sad it will be to see their third years leave- but to be completely honest I only taught 40 out of the 240 of them a handful of times and the ones from English club retired after one meeting. So to put it nicely I wasn’t that close to this year’s third years… but of course because I’m the big, strange looking foreigner they all know me.
In Japan, graduation is serious business. I was told directly that I must wear a black suit with a white shirt. Pro Tip for new JETs… you will definitely want to bring a black suit and white shirt. I’m glad I listened because literally everyone — teachers, parents and other graduation attendees were wearing this. I joked to my supervisor and the department head that it felt like a funeral.
It was such a serious ceremony. Instead of each student going up to get a diploma, one student represented the entire class and went up to get papers to be distributed out later. There was a speech from the principal, the valedictorian and the top second year student as well.
My favorite part of the whole thing was as soon as it was over all the teachers rushed out to the exit and as each homeroom teacher lead their homerooms out all the teachers lined the stairs and started clapping for the students. There was such a great sense of accomplishment and I felt so proud for all those students. A lot of the female teachers and students were bawling their eyes out as they left. My supervisor told me that they look sad, but a lot of them will probably show up to school on Monday with blonde hair and huge circle lenses.
Anyways; I felt like a mini celebrity because groups upon groups of third years wanted to take “selfies” with me. They kept knocking on the English department’s door and asked if I could come outside. Adorable and because I’m a weird, foreign teacher I made them take a selfie with me too. The real cultural exchange was when I taught them the word “selfie” and made them ask me in english to take a “selfie” with them.
One step at a time Japan. One step at a time.
I’ll Make A Man Out Of You | Mulan.
You must be swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon. With all the strength of a raging fire, mysterious as the dark side of the moon.
When you do karaoke with a bunch of JETs this song must always be played.
Help Kyoto-Sensei with a grammar point I don’t really entirely understand and he feeds me coffee and cookies.
The Tourist resort ranking of Japan was released. No.1 is Hiroshima where Atomic Bomb Dome is.
The Tripadvisor announced this ranking, which was made by word‐of‐mouth communication of tourists to Japan in 2013.
Every toursit to Japan likes to go to Tokyo and Kyoto. In this ranking, there are some places in Tokyo and Kyoto. But No.1 is unexpectedly Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, where is not…
oh hey what’s up Hiroshima and Miyajima.
It’s funny you should mention that. I’m actually working on TEFL stuff right now (and procrastinating via tumblr… whoops)
It’s something definitely worth having. I didn’t have one before JET but doing one while on JET has been instrumentally helpful. Especially the grammar review. Seriously… what is future perfect continuous tense anyways?
For me personally and someone in my position I would recommend getting one. I want to continue teaching after JET. This for me is actually just to test the waters to see if I actually have enough dedication and motivation to complete a Masters in TESOL. A TEFL opens up many opportunities for teaching abroad, not just with JET or in Japan but a variety of other countries look for applicants with TEFL certificates.
If you applied for JET I suggest holding off and waiting to see if you get accepted before signing up for one of these online because JET offers scholarships and discounts.
If you’re looking for a resume booster for a JET application this is something that would look good but isn’t necessarily.