The simple things excite me. Meeting someone who shares my interests. Eating delicious food that I cooked for myself. Finding inspiration on an otherwise normal day.
I was inspired to make a blog. A real one. I got sick of posting on Facebook because those sorts of updates don’t allow me to free flow think. I found a lot of great wordpress blogs lately, particularly today, and I knew that, as a writer, I needed a new outlet.
So here goes.
I’m a writer. I love to travel. I love to eat. Who doesn’t?
I currently live in Japan as an Assistant Language Teacher on The JET Program. I am a first year, and I arrived in Japan in August of this year. As it is my fourth time living in Japan, I am used to a lot of things other people are not. I am fluent in Japanese, I am no longer surprised by the randomness that is Engrish (though I still enjoy it), and I can get around on my own with no problem.
However, this is my first time teaching. Granted, I’m only an “assistant” teacher, so most of the work is not really up to me (save for my elementary classes). I find that I learn something every day that I teach. I wholeheartedly believe teachers learn more than their students do on a regular basis. We can learn so much from being on the other side of the podium.
Ok, time for some fun stuff.
Today I woke up groaning as I did not want to get out of bed. But I pulled myself together somehow and was out the door the last minute. I ride my bike to school up a few big hills to the Junior High School (JHS) I teach at most of the time. I get to school sweating and panting but happy because I can rest during first period.
Lately I’ve been using my free time to look up grad programs and study abroad job postings to get me ready for a future of international education.
But that’s what I’m doing RIGHT NOW! International education! Score.
So today I found a blog about positivity (todaywasmeaningful.wordpress.com — go check it out!) and it really made me think about all the good that has been happening recently.
I arrived in Koga, Japan at the beginning of August ready to hit the ground running. And hit it I did. After whirlwinds of paperwork, having a million people tell me their names and knowing I would forget most of them, living alone (read: lonely) for the first time in my life, and being thrown into classrooms where I had nothing prepared and 40 kids looking to me for some semblance of structure, I decided I was depressed.
Not REALLY depressed. But I was tired. I was bored. I was lonely. I was jealous of the other JETs who live in the same building and can ask each other for a cup of milk if they need it.
But I gave myself a kick in the pants, talked to my friend who lives in Hiroshima and decided that would be the perfect place to get a fresh perspective.
So off to Hiroshima I went. The trip was much shorter than I expected, and since it was a three-day weekend, that meant I could use my time wisely. I ate delicious food, saw magnificent sights, traveled by boat more in two days than I have my entire life, pet deer and bunnies on islands with magical momiji manjuu, and got my life together. I made plans for the future (GUAM FOR CHRISTMAS BABY!) and realized that now is just as important. Especially that pizza. That pizza changed my life.
As soon as I arrived at my home train station and started the trek back to my apartment, I started seeing things I hadn’t seen before. Noticing little things that made me happy. Realizing that as much as I loved going away for the weekend, I should really appreciate where I live because it really is an awesome place.
With this boost in energy, I started making lesson plans, talking to teachers, making friends with students, and bringing bento to school.
But today? Today was awesome.
I was asked to help one of my students translate and practice a speech she would perform in November. Her speech is about studying abroad, which is my favorite subject ever, so you can imagine I was pretty excited. Doing this kind of extra work is going to be my favorite part of this job, I can already tell. My student was so sweet and her English is amazing, and now I have someone looking to me for guidance. If you know the Myers-Briggs test, I am an ENFJ, which is known as The Teacher. I love to give advice and I feel unfulfilled if I don’t have people seeking me for their opinion.
After school, I started to make my way home. But I needed trash bags. And groceries. And going to the store closest to my house would actually take me out of my way. On the way home from my JHS, there is another supermarket I had never been to. And I felt it was time to go.
Well. This places is magical.
I went inside and everything was SO CHEAP compared to where I usually shop. So I went a little crazy. But for the first time, I bought fresh herbs, fresh vegetables, and so on. I bought bread and jam and honey for breakfast, and I bought chicken and TONS of sauces. I bought penne (which I plan to use tonight with my fresh basil) and found a bulgogi kit. Then. I found. Skippy peanut butter. Extra crunchy.
Ok anyone not living abroad might not understand this. But in Japan peanut butter is REALLY hard to find and usually really expensive for a tiny jar of what they call “peanut cream”. So finding Skippy was a huge thrill. I have been so excited and I haven’t cooked yet, so I’m going to hurry up and do that soon.
Hunger makes me forget all the cool things I was going to write, and I can write any time, so anything I was going to write about can wait until after dinner.