Monday, January 30, 2006

A Blog by any Other Name...

...would still be as poorly written.

Some of my readers (I'm coming to terms with the fact that there may be more than two of you) have been reading this blog since I first applied for the JET program.

I've changed the name of this blog twice since that time. It started off as "How I Got Into JET." I'm not sure if that was a premature or an ironic name, seeing as I didn't get into JET. Anyhow, I changed the name soon after that. After sending her an email, Team Red's Most Dedicated Canvasser sent me an email with "Leavin' on a JET Plane" as the subject line. I couldn't resist.

(On a side note, my most fond memory of Phoebe is from the night before all the LCV canvassers evacuated Orlando ahead of an oncoming hurricane. Allan Oliver was standing in front of the whole staff telling us what we were going to do and what needed to be done before we left the city. When he asked if there were any questions, Phoebe raised her hand and asked, "Allan, can we stay up ALL NIGHT and scan?" God bless you, Phoebe.)

And we're back.

Seeing as I never got to leave on JET plane, it turns out that name was a little premature, too. I had to come up with (or rip off) another catchy phrase to expain my situation. I ended up with "Livin' la Vida Takaoka." I kind of like it.

It explains our predicament. We're two clueless Americans living life in Takaoka, but now a new chapter in our lives is about to begin.

Emily is pregnant.

Just kidding. I'm starting a new job this week.

I wrote about this job last week. It is at an English school that teaches kids aged 0-14 years. I'm going to be teaching in Kanazawa, Takaoka, and Toyama. So I get to travel AND the school reimburses all of my travel costs. It is a similar set up to JET. I'm going to be an ALT; they just don't call it an ALT. For those of you who don't know what that means, I'm going to be the native speaker that assists the Japanese Teacher of English in a classroom setting.

And by the way, I'm going to keep the name and location of said school anonymous so that I don't have to worry about getting fired for blogging (again).

I'm pretty stoked. I'm going to get to do a lot of new and exciting things...beginning tomorrow night, when I attend my first honest to goodness enkai. Woot!

I'm filling out all of the paperwork for my working visa on Wednesday. Then as soon as it is approved, I get to start teaching the kids. Double Woot!

The process of getting this job involved the following: I found a sign in a department store, called the number, scheduled an interview for the following week, went to the interview (which was within walking distance of my apartment), and was offered a job that evening. If I had the foresight to obtain a working visa before coming to Japan, which I don't think is actually possible, I could have started work the following day.

Applying for JET was a little more arduous. I had do write a two page essay on why I wanted to go to Japan (click HERE to read it), fill out a ridiculous application, get two letters of recommendation, send them my transcripts, a sample of my blood, photocopies of my diplomas, and a medical form. Then I spent $540 on a suit, $100 on a hotel room in Miami, donated a fattened calf to the Japanese Embassy, and spent Buddha knows how much on gas getting from Orlando to Miami and back. This process started sometime in August 2004 and didn't end until October 2005. Then I didn't get in. Ugh.

Oh yeah, I also fought with Emily for a year over numerous things relating to our JET experience (she was wrong most of the time, naturally). Fun stuff.

So anyways...

You can probably expect plenty of Kancho stories in the near future.

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