Just one so far.
But as I said, I know it's time. I need to move on. But what do I do next? I could teach ESL somewhere else, but do I want to? Maybe I should reconsider Peace Corps. I just.... don't want to have to live somewhere without computers, to be entirely honest. I would be very, very sad.
I'm also thinking I might go to grad school to become a speech language pathologist. I think... seeing kids get laughed at for stuttering or an important message getting diluted because the speaker doesn't have the courage to enunciate makes me want to go for it. I want to give people the power to make their voices heard.
Also, beef jerky is surprisingly good for hangovers, hahaha. Nrg. Never drinking wine again.
Tokyo's pretty great. I love it here :-) Lots of things to do and people to meet!
Teehee, speaking of people to meet, there's this girl.... heehee.... :-)
Umm my apartment's pretty great too. Clean, electricity and water included, about a 2 minute walk from the station.
My job may be a bit odd but I get a lot better work hours. That's pretty great. I also get paid better. And my bosses are pretty nice. The only qualm I have is the weird focus on super-traditionalism... but ehh so it goes.
Have had more time for writing. I'm hoping to finish my novel soon! I hope.
Ummm... OH and family's visiting soon! :-)
What else is there really to life? I may go back to the states, but if I do, it's more because I'm ready for the next stage. Now that I have a year's experience as an ALT, I could get a better ALT job (something that was recommended to me from the agency that hired me--work at a low-end school and then go to a better one later) but I feel like I'd rather keep writing.
I'm trying to decide what I want to do back in the states... I love Japan, I really do, but onward and upward!
Okay yeah I posted this cuz some dude actually went and thought I hated being in Tokyo. Pfffffffffffft. I kinda love it here. I just don't usually post positive things on my journal. It just.... doesn't work like that I guess.
That said, what's next? Where to? I've only been here about three and a half months but I want to know.
I can't stay here. Or at least, I can't stay at this job. They kind of creep me out.
Will I stay in the Tokyo area? Will I move within Japan? Will I move to another country? Is it time to go home?
Maybe, maybe it's time for me to go back to Vermont. Write about my adventures in some form or another--if I want to. Maybe just keep them selfishly to myself and write about something else. Find a career? Maybe. What can I do? I suppose I've never really let that stop me before.
I need to learn to drive. I hate not being able to do it, and now with these super Japanese glasses I can see well enough to. Writing in the dark doesn't help but hey.
I still want to travel. I want to travel for fun. I need money to do so. Do I? Is there some sort of career I can enjoy while traveling? It needs to be more secure than English teaching. I'm sick of switching jobs.
I just don't know. It's exciting to wonder... but it's disconcerting too. Can I be a full-time writer? That one question pops up again and again in my head. Do I have what it takes?
So... Let's see... Moving to kawasaki on my own, assuming this rental agency gets off its butt and sends me the contract. Friend's looking for a new job in Joetsu. Ummm everyone's leaving all at once at my job, so they're kind of working us to death until then. Also, bosses are really really angry at me because I pointed out that they were breaking the labor laws in front of the other non-Japanese teachers (the "foreign teachers")... It was them that forced me to confront them in front of the FTs, though. I was perfectly happy talking about it over the phone. I think they thought I'd be more cowardly in front of my peers or something. (Pfft yeah right. Friends are strength. He got it backward ^_~) but anyway, I think they blame me for everyone leaving. But... Well... If the place is abusing its workers, then everyone leaving is a good thing, right? ....Right? Not 100% sure really, and not 100% sure I'm not pushing everyone to leave because I'm pissed about how I personally have been treated.
Which is selfish of me. But then the Righteous Justice part of my Burning Justice-Filled Heart is Joyful that Justice Has Been Done.
I need to try and learn the Pacifist Crush...
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If you ever want to work in Japan, be very, very careful who you work for. Eikaiwas are generally a bad bunch (there are probably some good ones out there... Somewhere...) but Seiha has really proven to be one of the worst. Here's why:
1) Long travel times. They have their foreign teachers working at multiple schools, and those schools can be very far apart. One of my schools was over a two hour commute each way.
2) Few days off. Even when there are no classes, you're working. You get 8 days off a month. (7 days in February!) That means there's a six day week every month. I confronted the bosses about the over 40-hour workweeks and they said, basically, "I'm above the law." You usually don't get holidays off, either. Also, of course, you're required to get to the school early and often stay late. Sometimes your one hour lunch break is cut short because you have to prepare for the next class.
3) Disorganization. I'm serious. No one knows their ass from their elbows in this company, and it shows. Could be do to the ridiculously high turnover rate. Also, their textbooks suck and are painful to teach, but well...
3) Nickle and diming. If there's some way they can find to not have to pay money, they'll do it. This results in few resources in the newer classrooms, bad song CDs, you name it. They even threaten to take a hefty chunk of money out of your last paycheck if you don't return your uniforms (dry-cleaned)
4) General being a dick. You are not worth dirt to this company. Here's proof: they even refused to renew my visa when I said I wasn't renewing my contract; they claimed my contract ended before my visa was up. Also, when I confronted my boss once about the 40 hours a week law, she called a meeting with all the foreign teachers and the head teacher from the head office. He proceeded to yell at us for being unreasonable.
5) Lies. They will lie to you in your interview. I was told I would be teaching 3 days a week and campaign the other days-- all at the same school. Granted, the person who hired me ensured this was the case. When she quit, the head teacher said "the situation has changed." And then told me that it would continue to change in the future. Sounded a lot to me like, "I have altered the deal. Pray I do not alter it any further." I DID NOT AGREE TO WORK FOR THE DARK SIDE. Grr.
I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something; I'll add it if I think of it. But seriously. This place is toxic.
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