Because I didn’t know what else to call this post after its been so incredibly long.
To get you up to speed, I failed the JLPT N3. Not my brightest moment. I didn’t allow myself to study enough. By the time I got serious enough, it was crunch time and I just didn’t give it the amount of dedication that I would have liked. Probably for more than one reason, but also because of procrastination – I’m sure.
I have started a brand new school year here — officially speaking, it’s my first, since incoming JETs are placed in Japan midway into the school year. Things are way way more fluid now. I am teaching kids that know me from elementary school, so I don’t have that awkwardness that comes from both sides when everything is entirely new.
Some kids ARE new, but I would say out of a class of 35 students, I probably know 30-33. It’s really nice to get along and talk a bit more comfortably in the school halls.
Japan DOES have this seemingly weird thing though, where the staff is kinda of switched around. So some of my co-teachers at several of my schools are no longer there. There is some kind of rotation process that happens every year or so and it even affects the teachers who will lead certain after school activities as well, as in the teacher who led tea ceremony club might lead calligraphy instead. It’s very different from back home, where you can pretty much expect the same staff year after year unless someone voluntarily transfers or quits or gets fired or something.
I do have to say that my professional relationships have improved for the better, not only with my students but with my co-teachers. Most of them are still with me and so class flow goes smoothly. There is already a strong dynamic that is present and the students can feel it too.
The weather here is warming up. I would like to enjoy it. I cant believe I am staying here another year. Not because it was unexpected or last minute, but because that means I have to survive another winter here. It felt so MURI (impossible) this past winter. At least I know I need my indoor winter coat and down feather vest INDOORS.
As far as personal achievements go, I just got elected to be the Events Coordinator for my prefecture. It will be a lot of responsibility, but I’m looking forward to it. It will be fun to be active in my community this way.
As of this month, I have launched another website WANONY.COM with a couple friends from back home. I have never stayed home so many weekends in a row during my entire time in Japan until NOW. The subject matter of the site is South Korea and New York. There will be lots of beauty, music, and other culture related posts. It has been a thought of mine to do something like this for a while, and I was just really tired of thinking about it. I was also excited to begin a big personal project. There’s a lot of second-guessing that comes with it, one of the things being that none of us (me and 5 friends) are Korean. But the mission is really to spread a culture that we thoroughly enjoy – particularly with other Non-Koreans – by sharing the parts of it that excite us. And so I think it’s actually a really great thing that we are all so different and somehow came to love the same place in different ways. Please visit when you have a chance. Sorry if things look wonky at first, we are doing a lot in both the front and back-end of the site. <3
So yeah with all these things, I am quite busy. Happily so. I mean, I would like to get more sleep than I have been getting, but it seems that no matter what, there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I’ve got goals. I’m glad to be doing something that I enjoy doing. It’s work that doesn’t feel like work.
Golden Week just passed which is a MAJOR holiday here because people actually do get to take some time off, like one time a year, heh. I went to Seoul on a group vacation with some JET Program friends and despite some hiccups, we had a good time! It was my first time to travel with other people. I have always gone to Seoul solo. While big groups can be tough, I did have enough personal time to do the things that I wanted to do. No vacation is ever long enough though.
My legs are missing the floors of the hip hop clubs in Hongdae already.
All in all. a lot has happened, and I am excited that my first full school year is here. It is also nice to not be thrown into school and right into the Sports Day madness, as happens to every JET when they first arrive in summer. Now I get to see that four-month-long preparation process from the beginning. Oh boy…..