With all the negatives, fear, and hate going around in the news, I too became worried and angry. But then I remembered: fighting hate with anger doesn't work. It perpetuates the cycle. So instead, I'm going to fight with love. If I see someone burning up with hatred inside, I am going to love them. Because I do. I love. Regardless of who a person is or where they come from, what they believe or what they fear, inside there is just another soul whom I care about. And maybe, just maybe, if we love enough we can keep this hate from spreading any farther.

And the best part is, regardless of what happens, love is self-healing and self-serving. Responding to hate with love will heal me and make me whole.

No Second Class Citizens

My friend Sarah is an American.
She is also of Iranian descent. She went to a few family weddings in 2011 and 2014.
Because she visited Iran, if HR 158 passes the Senate (it already passed the House, 479-19), she will no longer be able to go to the visa waiver countries without the lengthy process of applying for a visa.
Her travel would become restricted.
Any dual national of Iran, Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan would not be able to travel to these countries.
She would not receive the same rights and privileges other Americans receive - just because she is Muslim and her family is Iranian.
The timeline on this website shows how this bill became more and more restrictive over time before it passed the House. With such a wide margin, even if President Obama decided to veto it, the Senate and the House would have the 2/3rds majority necessary to make it law.
My friend is not a second class citizen.
My friend Sarah is an American.

What I'd like you to do:
Please call your Senate rep before the vote on Wednesday. You can use this script below, which was written by NIAC action, or you can use your own:

Hi, I'm calling from [your city] to urge my Senator to oppose a Visa Waiver proposal that discriminates against Iranian American dual-nationals.
Lawmakers are threatening to add this bill to the annual government funding bill. Congress must not follow the path of Donald Trump.
Please oppose the discriminatory language in this bill and make sure it does not get added to the government funding bill.

I'm planning on calling Monday after classes - I'll let you all know how it goes.

NIAC action: http://www.niacaction.org/petition-dont-let-the-senate-pass-discriminatory-visa-waiver-bill/

Huffington Post article, showing how HR 158 has progressed: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/house-republicans-visa-waiver-program_56605cf5e4b072e9d1c4e494

(no subject)

Holy salted carp I only have a few months left! I don't really want to leave, but I know it's time... I've finally found people at work I get along with all right, and I am enjoying teaching... oh and there's that pretty girl (not at work, haha)
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.

(no subject)

Erm, I feel a little odd posting this, since I usually only need to get the negative things out on my journal... but it seems I am being too negative here soo I am going to list the positive ones.
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.

(no subject)

I've been a lot of places, done a lot of things. I look back and I remember what I lost; I remember what I gained. I don't know if one place was better than another, if one experience was more or less positive; but I do know that I had to leave if I wanted to experience something new.
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?

(no subject)

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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Seiha English School

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.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


god my life is crazy

...it is so crazy. Good crazy and bad crazy. I am so tired I'm just going to spout it on my lj page in no particular order. I travel hours and hours to work, so often that the conductors have gotten very, very used to my face... I just got back from a very nice 4-day vacation in Tokyo, where I bought tons of Slayers stuff (and stuff from other anime) and got to hang out with my sister and friend, I am very grateful for my awesome friends, but one of my friends is being sexually abused by her boss (she works as a counselor...), I'm looking for a new job, I'm hoping I'm going to get a job in Yokohama, I'm planning on moving soon, I'm going to Tokyo again on the 8th (I hope) and on the 16th (if I don't get that job)... I'm very grateful for my family, who are being extremely supportive...hoping my friend can find a job in Yokohama and we can share an apartment in June or so, but she has a (very cute) 4 yr old daughter who we have to worry about... I still have to send new years' emails, particularly to my Japanese friends... and belated Christmas emails. I had to do laundry at the laundromat today because my washing machine froze solid. my life is crazy, and I am exhausted. Sorry about the wordvomit. I have no energy left to organize it into story form and I wanted to put it all out there. Maybe I'll elaborate another day if I have time (ever). For now, goodnight.