2007 JET Podcast
Some helpful hints from folks already on the JET Programme. It covers all of those very specific things that you really need to know but may have forgotten to ask or that you just couldn't find answers to. Click here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Visiting Schools

While most of the schools I visit are really great, many of them are out in the middle of no-freaking-where. For the school I visited today, Hobetsu, I have to take a nearly 1 hour train to Mukawa, then take a 1 hour bus to Hobetsu and then walk up this mountain/large hill on top of which the school sits.I teach only 3 classes there and I’m convinced that I spend more time traveling to this location than I do actually working.

The other places I visit are Mukawa High School, Kougyo High School, and Oiwake High School. I keep getting these comments from other teachers that the students are terrible at these schools or something, but I have been to everyone of them and the students have welcomed me with open arms. They like to touch my hair and ask me questions (in English!) and I like hanging out with them and letting them teach me Japanese.

It’s been raining up a storm this past week and last weekend. I heard it was a typhoon’s fault. I hope it doesn’t rain for the Southwest camping party thing this weekend. Even if it does, though, my tent is pretty tight. I practiced putting it together last night and it was too big to assemble fully in my comparatively small tatami room. But at least I have a good idea of where things go. The instructions are all in Japanese and no other manual is available online for the thing, so I was kind of worried about my lack of experience with tents.

The Goto’s are planning yet another barbecue on Monday (yet another holiday). Hope I make it back in time to go to this one. They do know how to throw a good, fun party.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lost and Found

My wallet was turned into the police on Monday morning. It had everything in it, including the 32,000 yen in my billfold. A student from Fuyuki’s (one of my very so kind neighbors) former school, Higashi, found it on the sidewalk. I’m imagining that this was probably immediately after I dropped it as I went back along the route after I found it missing and it was not there.

In Japan, when someone finds something you lost, you are required to reward them, so I paid him 3,000 yen, delivered in person to his home. A small price to pay for something so important to me. Would this have happened in America? Losing my wallet, yes. Getting it back with everything in it, nearly impossible.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


So I lost my wallet today. With about $200, my alien registration card, my health insurance card, two debit cards, my cash card, and two credit cards.

Lucky me.

I am told that there's a good chance it will turn up tomorrow with all of the stuff in it. I have hope, but I'm not so sure it will turn up. If it doesn't turn up it will be hell trying to replace all of the stuff in the wallet, not to mention that I'm not rich enough to lose $200 without crying about it a little.

Was supposed to go to Sapporo with friends today, but had to cancel because of lost wallet.

In other news, I bought a really nice tent on Saturday in preparation for the South Western camping party next weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2007

3 Day Weekend

The weekend is finally here! Not that I worked to hard this week or anything. There was more preparing for testing, so I didn't have to go to a good portion of the classes I usually do. I must say that this week has been rather good. I really love the kids at Soke, they're bright and sweet and inquisitive. Some of them already speak pretty good English (though the majority of them don't) and they love learning new things about American culture.

Monday is a holiday which is cool because I may be in Sapporo on Sunday. Finally got my web cam today and my first cell phone bill came in the mail. I can't exactly read what the charges are, but I do know how to pay it. Wonderful!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Is this Weird? (Pt. 1)

So, I finally had my first meeting with members for the Soke High School English Club. They call it International Club, but we only speak English and Japanese so I don't see what's so International about that.

We did introductions all around, which was a relief for me because I have done my self-introduction no fewer than 50 times since I've been here. This time it was the students who had to tell their favorite whatever in whatever category.

Anyway, all was going fine until the president of the club got up to introduce herself. Her english wasn't half-bad, pronunciation was very impressive. However, when asked her favorite things were, she responded my breasts.

Excuse me?

I did like a double-take, but with that smile still on my face just in case she was trying to say something else but I heard it wrong. But when the JTE asked her to repeat what she said, she responded "breasts, bust" while pointing at me.

The whole club started laughing at this, but this girl was deadly serious.

As flattering as someone saying that my breasts was one of their favorite things, I was a little disturbed. After all the giggling stopped, the JTE explained that probably most of the girls at the school liked my breasts because, naturally, they were gigantinormous compared to theirs. (I would have to agree) That made sense, however, all this aside, it was still weird being told that. Most people would have answered my favorite thing is "rock music" or "painting".

Also, is it weird that one of the male JTEs said that he wanted to see one of the girl students in his sweet dreams tonight?

He said this in front of the entire class. I'm chalking it up to a translation problem since he said it in English. But still...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

An Unintended Absence

So, because in Japan they take a month to hook up internet/home phone service and because at my school, there are way too strict blocks on internet access, and because all internet cafes I visit in this country are equipped with the dreaded Japanese keyboard, I have been unable to update the blog lately.

I have been on many whirlwind adventures since my last post and I have so much to say about them. I'll be updating quite frequently, from my first touchdown in Tokyo to my flight to Hokkaido to my first day at school. It's gonna be a sweet tale!