At the edge of the horizon

At the edge of the horizon
At the edge of Japan

Friday, July 4, 2014

From Rainy Season to a Summertime Blues

The rainy season of June came and went, but it didn't fly by gracefully.  Instead, I struggled with it in a vicious stress-filled manner.  It wasn't the rain that bothered me though.   This June was one of the most difficult months I've endured here since the first 6 months that I arrived.  Most of the issues occurred at work, since I spent a large portion of my month there pulling 12 hour days to get my skit team prepared for the prefectural contest, to finish up a major speaking project that I had designed for my English Expression class, and to write my final final exam.   I didn't have any time to write or do anything after work, because I was so tired that I would just come home, cook dinner, and fall asleep.  On top of this, I was packing up several years worth of belongings in the first two weeks of June, to ship them home to Florida.  So, half of my apartment is gone, and the rest of it I need to deal with this month.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Two months left

Today is June 1st, and officially I have approximately 2 months left in Okinawa on the JET Program.  I am at a strange place in my life where I am looking towards the future with hopeful uncertainty, yet longing to hold onto the beautiful moments of my life here in Naha.  Yesterday, I went to 具志川城 ruins which lies at the Southern tip of Okinawa near Cape Kyan.  This area is so calming and while visiting it yesterday, I lamented not having spent enough time outside of the city, away from my computer, away from the areas where I often spend my time.  I don't own a car, so getting out of the city isn't easy unfortunately.  Okinawa is built around car culture, just like my home town in Florida.  Without a car, or a motorbike, you have to rely on other transportation methods (friends' cars, inconvenient and expensive bus routes, a monorail that doesn't go very far, etc).  Parking is atrocious in the area of the city where I live, so having a car here just wasn't a good option for me.  Still, I cherish the times I have been able to just get away from Naha and see parts of this island that remind me of how gorgeous it is and how lucky I am to have had the chance to live here.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Greatest Baseball Interview...

This video is making the rounds as an example of awful "Engrish," but I have to say that I love this.  I know his English isn't great, but he's outgoing and having a good time in this interview.  He knows what's up.  In a few years his English will be great, so I think people shouldn't see him as an example of how awful Japanese are when it comes to speaking English.  If anything, he's the kind of role model you want your students to see, so that they won't be afraid to speak.

 


Sunday, April 20, 2014

New Beginnings

This post is my contribution to the J-Bloggers' Carnival "New Beginnings hosted at http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.jp

Other contributors to this carnival are:

Zacky Chan of Gaijin Explorer (A blog about practicing Japanese archery, exploring Japanese wilderness, traveling around spots of interest, and other creative meanderings based in the southern Japanese island of Kyushu) withhttp://gaijinexplorer.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/new-beginnings-from-one-inaka-to-another-japan-blog-carnival-entry

John Asano Of Japan Australia joins us with http://japan-australia.blogspot.jp/2014/03/best-cherry-blossom-spots-in-gifu.htmlJohn Asano is a blogger, web developer and freelance writer living in Gifu, Japan. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he writes about the must see sights and attractions in Japan at Japan Travel Advice (http://japantraveladvice.com/ ), as well as about Japanese culture and events on his blog Japan Australia.

Ishikawa JET Blog, the official blog for the Ishikawa JET community (writing about living and working in Ishikawa and Japan in general) offer http://ishikawajet.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/cultural-gap-jinji-ido

Sophelia from Sophelia's Adventures in Japan contributes http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.jp/2014/04/10-tips-for-frugal-living-in-japan.html#.U1SChFdIoxE

April marks the start of the new fiscal year in Japan, as well as the new school year.  The  graduation ceremony in March and the Entrance ceremony ushers out your former students and brings in a new class and a new course load.  It's also a time for a number of goodbye and welcome parties. For me, the beginning of April has marked the countdown of the last 4 months I will spend on the JET Program working at my school.  I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things, yet I feel reluctant to leave my life here.  This year has been the best I've experienced in Japan.  I've been able to deepen my relationships with people here, and I've felt more focused than ever in terms of finding myself, my mission in life (sounds grandiose, but I believe I've been searching for this for quite some time), and my artistic voice.

Graduation ceremony:  out with the old

Not the best selfie
(on the way to my last JET welcome party) 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

本州「京都か大阪」かドイツかアメリカだったら、どっちに引っ越したいほがいいと思う?

It's impossible for me to ignore the fact that I rarely update this blog anymore, yet I am always thinking to myself, "you really ought to write something here again."  I don't know what's wrong with me, but blogging no longer feels that exciting anymore.  As I said in previous posts, I've been focusing on a number of other projects, most of them writing based, and one of them job-hunting based.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

三月十一日




陸前高田 (Rikuzentakata, Iwate) May 2013

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the massive 9.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of Tohoku, Japan in 2011.  Something about today has really hit me harder than it did the previous years at this time.  I think I feel a certain connection now to that region since I spent some time last May volunteering there.  Maybe it's also because I have written a number of poems that poured out of me afterwards.  It's hard to tell why this year has left a stronger impression than the prior years.  I suppose some memories strengthen in time, instead of fading away.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Kansai-Kanagawa Trip teaser...

About two weeks ago, I went on a whirlwind 5 day trip with an itinerary that took me from Osaka to Yokohama to Kyoto and back to Osaka.  There's so much to tell you about this wonderful, necessary trip to Honshu, but I haven't been able to catch my breath since my return.  Instead, I've been busy putting this together, as well as working on the treatment and scripts for my first web series (complete with an actor here whom I happen to know).  We'll see if that actually greenlights into something more than just a wish.