Dropped the Ball

As the title suggests, I’ve officially done so. Life in Florida is fun only if you are me, seeing all of my old friends. Nothing to write about, however. Aside from trying a Zumba class and finally accepting the truth that I can’t dance. Other than that I’ve just drank a ton of chai lattes from Starbucks and sat on the couch working on my resume/portfolio. Shameless self-promotion link.  Continue reading

Departure

DeparturesSo sorry for the lack of posting. I handed off my internet to a friend in my last two weeks at work, and I just couldn’t bring myself to post at dial-up speed.

Luckily, not a whole lot has happened. By that I mean the following:

A good friend of mine, Kate (from Across The Sea blog) was the parade queen in the Tokyo St. Patricks day parade! I know a real-life celebrity! The day before the parade was a fancy-pants lunch at the Park Hyatt Tokyo with the most amazing appetizer/dessert buffet I’ve seen in a long time. The view was breath-taking, as usual. After our snazzy lunch was a farewell party for those leaving at a local izakaya.  Continue reading

Farewells

Omotesando PartyLast week began the farewells, as I said good-bye to my third-years at my other school for the last time. It took some coaxing to get them to understand that they won’t see me again, but once they got it, they were clearly really sad about it. And these guys would get a “good-bye” whether or not I was staying.

It’s been a lot harder than expected! I’m not one to cry, but I can feel my self getting emotional at the farewell parties for the students. They gave me those lovely flowers and a small board with notes from students saying how much fun they had with me. The kids were honestly the only reason I really loved teaching here. I like my schools and my company, but what made me smile, what made me love it, were the kids.    Continue reading

A Bit of Extra Blogging

teaching-dinoJust to stretch my blogging legs (fingers), I’ve started writing a little bit for GaijinPot.com. It’s a great site filled with all kinds of resources for those wanting to live in Japan or for us already living here. My first with them went live a few days ago, please check it out! It’s all about the strange relationship I have with my students.

Originally, when arriving at my school, I was like a rock-star. Students would scramble to get a look at me, or hang out of windows to get a “Hello!” Those who had more yaruki (doing spirit) than others, would run up and try to say in broken English various points about my appearance.

Read the rest here.

A Year in the Life

Ha Long BayTomorrow marks one year since I embarked on this journey. Well, it would be if it was a leap year and February 29th existed. But rather than dwelling on the mysteries of the Gregorian calendar, let me take a moment to highlight some of my favorite parts of this journey.  Continue reading

First World Problems

GinzaThe tag #firstworldproblems has been making it’s rounds for quite some time now. If you don’t know, it’s basically the issues we have living in a first world country. The silly things we get upset over. I.e. not having internet for 2 days. For me, that’s similar to torture. I love #firstworldproblems cause it kind of reminds you where your priorities lie in the scope of things. It’s also a bit of a chuckle when you think about the fact that, in all honesty, those stupid #firstworldproblems matter to us.

Of course, living in Japan (a first world country), I’ve uncovered some interesting problems that cause me grief regularly. If I sit back and think about these problems on a whole, I should probably admit they are simply #firstworldproblems.

So, here’s my list of fresh #firstworldproblems acquired in the Land of the Rising Sun.  Continue reading

Rant: Driving in Japan

It's dangerous to go alone! Take this GPS! Oh wait... it won't help you.

It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this GPS! Oh wait… it won’t help you.

Driving in Japan is the stuff of nightmares. I like to imagine that Dante was mistaken when he said the 7th circle of hell is a river of boiling blood and fire. It’s definitely just continuous traffic on a highway in Japan surrounded by trucks. The Japanese people are so lovely and caring. They are considerate of one another and law-obeying (typically). This might actually be one of the problems. People get overly excited and want to let in that car waiting to turn left from 7-11.. and the car waiting behind them, and the next, and the– STOP! You’ve been nice to 3 cars now and really rude to the 15 of us waiting behind you! I appreciate the sentiment, but I want to get to work on time.  Continue reading

My Tiny Apartment a Year Later

From the doorThis post is more for pictures, but perhaps you read my post from about a year ago when I arrived in Japan. Now, I’ve definitely collected more… things. It’s going to be hard to decide what to take and what to leave. Clearly, there is a lot to choose from. I may have bought a few too many books, also. I better start getting picky!

Despite being a really small apartment, for my brief duration here, it definitely felt like home and I made it my own. I’ll be sad to leave all it’s crafty strorage spaces and easiness to clean. It’s been fun, Leo Palace. If only you were wired for fiber-optics, we could have been better friends.

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More Notes on Translation

An endless ocean of change

An endless ocean of change

Tomorrow marks 5 weeks until I return home to visit friends for nearly 1 month. 5 weeks. That’s just over a month. That’s 3 weeks at First school and 2 weeks at Second school. That’s 5 more Wednesday classes. That’s almost a year from leaving Florida.

5 weeks.

And where am I now?

People like to ask me “Has living in Japan changed you?” My answer is a distinct “Yes.” The natural follow up question is “In what ways?” To which I never have a response. I know I’ve changed. I can feel it in the way I look at others, in the way that others look at me. I can feel it in my body language, my responses, my decisions. I’ve definitely changed. But in what way, I don’t know.  Continue reading

The Moriya Half Marathon

Group poseTwo weekends ago, I dropped by Moriya to cheer on the ALTs running in the Moriya Half Marathon. Being a runner myself, it was really fun to check out the running scene in Japan and, for the first time, be on the sidelines! Just watching them made me tired, but I managed to snap a few cute pictures of the crew giving it their all. Paul ran the fastest (of the group) at 1 hour 27 minutes… wow. Second place to Greg, third to Becky the Banana. Good work guys!

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