I’m starting to get pretty busy now, with increasing numbers of private students contacting me through www.findateacher.net and www.nativesensei.com. In addition to that, the Shibuya school is throwing a lot more work my way – I have another full day of 1-on-1 tomorrow (thanks to Shari I’ll be better prepared this time!)

Today I was reminded of another benefit of teaching abroad – you’re able to learn a lot about the culture your in from your students. I’ve been fortunate this weekend to be able to teach an advanced-level student for about four hours. In that time I’ve learnt quite a bit about Japanese financial institutes, which to my surprise I found completely fascinating.

Had a great jog around the Imperial Palace with Tom this morning (about 5K) – we plan to make this a regular Sunday morning thing, which I’m very happy about. My knees didn’t play up at all, although my left hip did go into granny mode towards the end.

Other exciting happenings today: received a big box of vegees from *Twinkle*s mum via Pelican Express – it’s quite a tradition in Japan for parents to send food parcels to their children in the cities, a tradition I’m very grateful of. Not quite sure what all the vegetables are mind you, there’s some kind of rooty things that I’ve never seen before. Will have to ask *Twinkle* when she gets home.

Feeling very grateful to already know my way around Tokyo, and not having to learn where everything is from scratch. I’ve been wondering, how did I managed to feel settled back in 2002 when there were so many unknowns?

I’m also enjoying living in an area I’ve not lived in before. I’ve never felt terribly comfortable with Shibuya in the past – it’s always been that place ‘down there’ full of people and blahhhhh. But now it’s becoming my hub: I work there, our office is there, I pass through it when going elsewhere. It’s not all that bad really. I’m starting to feel quite fond of it.

I set about preparing for December’s Japanese language proficiency test this afternoon. Bought a text book, went to the website to register …only to find that I’d missed the deadline for this year! Silly me. Oh well, I’ll still continue to study anyhow. I really want to improve my Japanese, I feel it’s very important for me personally that I do continue to develop those skills, it makes such a difference.

iPhone continues to be incredibly useful, starting to get to the stage of “what did I do without it?”. 3G is very fast. The keyboard with its automatic error correction is fantastic – you can get about half of the letters wrong and it still knows what you mean!

Right, best get on with lesson prep. TTFN

3 Responses

  1. Hello again Joseph,

    I read your latest posts with a slight sense of disappointment. While I appreciate needs must when it comes to making money when moving to a new country – I feel somewhat disillusioned that you’ve seem to have “fallen” into teaching quite so readily. Not that there’s anything wrong with teaching, of course not, but I’ve always thought of you as a person with ambitions and dreams and somehow…well, teaching just doesn’t seem to sit right with that, in my mind.

    Yes, of course you need to make money to pay the bills, it’s something we all have to do but…isn’t working because you HAVE TO exactly what you’ve been waxing lyrical against? And teaching English in Japan…well, it’s just so…blah. There are millions of gaijin in Japan teaching English…not because they want to, but because they are directionless souls who just need an excuse to stay in Japan (read into that what you will).

    Perhaps this will be just a stepping stone for you, I hope so, because if you just spend your days teaching English (again, not that there’s anything wrong with that) I do kind of get the sense that there’s a hell of a lot of wasted potential and neglected ambitions there…?

  2. Thanks for your concern anonymous.

    Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with your statement that the millions of English teachers in Japan are ‘directionless souls’ (a good number of my friends are English teachers and think nothing could be further from the truth with them), you are right in that for me personally, this is a stepping stone, an enjoyable and rewarding stepping stone.

    Watch this space.

  3. Anonymous, why not use Gaikokujin rather than gaijin as it is far more friendly? Notice, even NHK uses Gaikokujin, and alien registration cards read Gaikokujin not gaijin.

    So, what is your advice to Joseph and others who are English teachers? What kind of jobs other than English teaching can we get? And How do we go about getting them?