Before Diving Back In

Young minds fill the four walls of your classroom, your online meeting room, or your conquered section of a public space. You mentally run through your lesson plan, your contingency plan, and your contingency plan for your contingency plan for the 50th time. The sleepy vibe of the students threatens to swallow you up asContinue reading “Before Diving Back In”

A Precedent Has Already Been Set

The sun is setting on my 20’s and this Sunday I will enter my 30’s. It’s easy to slip into the mindset of not being far enough along for my age, especially when there’s post after post about “the youngest person to ever [insert achievement here]” or “the top people under [insert decade here]”. I’veContinue reading “A Precedent Has Already Been Set”

A loss is not a waste of time

Next month, I will be taking the N2 level of the Japanese Language Placement Test (JLPT). My renewed interest in Japanese prompted me to sign up a couple months ago. I certainly understand more now than I did during my disastrous attempt 2.5 years ago, during which I was woefully unprepared. Still, I don’t feelContinue reading “A loss is not a waste of time”

There’s always something new to see

I’ve lived in the same suburban town here in Japan for over 3 years. So, I don’t believe it’s an exaggeration to say that I’ve been in and out of its main train station hundreds of times. Yesterday, I went for an evening walk and short stop in the supermarket. When I was heading backContinue reading “There’s always something new to see”

My interest is enough (Part 1)

My history with Japanese spans almost 2 decades, yet I still would not say that I am fluent. I took Japanese classes in high school, college, and graduate school. I majored in Japanese Studies. I did a summer homestay in Shizuoka. I took part in Japanese cultural events in my hometown. I’ve lived and workedContinue reading “My interest is enough (Part 1)”

It’s worth pursuing

We know that flowers in flower shops do not last long, but we buy them anyway. We whisper to them, hoping our messages reach our intended: “I’m sorry”; “You mean so much to me”; “I’m here for you”; “I’d like to treat myself for a change”. We enjoy their vibrant beauty as the light upContinue reading “It’s worth pursuing”

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”