Consider your own impact

“You seem to have it all together.” I’ve been told some version of this by several coworkers. Yet instead of that, my mind is often occupied with comparisons to the other teachers around me and how I *feel* I fall short to them. What I assume are their perceptions of me are actually self-criticisms inContinue reading “Consider your own impact”

Just go for it

This year, Haruki Murakami fans experienced continued disappointment at him being denied the Nobel Prize for Literature yet again. I was reading the comments below The Japan Times’ reporting of this, and found mixed responses concerning whether he was deserving of this award: enthusiastic yeses and emphatic nos, assertions of his brilliance and scoffs thatContinue reading “Just go for it”

How much do you want it?

I had an opportunity to apply for a one-week program in Japan organized by my high school, but I allowed fear to get in the way of me going for it. Five years later, as a college junior, I came across a summer study abroad opportunity in Japan. I was aware of other opportunities, butContinue reading “How much do you want it?”

Why just accept it?

During my first year as an undergraduate, I was determined to get as many general education requirements out of the way as possible. One of those requirements was in the wellness category. I had not done much yoga by that point, but a class in which I would do stretching and breath work rather thanContinue reading “Why just accept it?”

What’s your criteria?

In a conversation with a student about the arts, I talked about playing in my high school’s orchestra. It wasn’t just that I liked (and still like) classical music. My being there was part of a bigger, intentional effort. When I was applying for high schools, my top choice needed to fit three criteria: ItContinue reading “What’s your criteria?”

Living abroad: between gratitude and overwhelm

I’m coming up on 2 years since I moved to Japan (March 2019, to be exact). The vibrant photos and humorous anecdotes on your timeline make living abroad look exciting, and it certainly is. However, it’s not all adventure. It’s also monotony, frustration, and confusion. Living in Japan (or more broadly, living abroad) often findsContinue reading “Living abroad: between gratitude and overwhelm”

So you actually want to teach English: building ELT experience

A student asked me how I came to make teaching my career choice. Many people teach English in Japan, but not all of them necessarily want to, at least for very long. It’s certainly a low barrier to entry into Japan, as the JET Program and many language schools don’t require teaching experience. Participants getContinue reading “So you actually want to teach English: building ELT experience”