February 5th, 2015
Just finished hanging out with the others at the bar. We had our last meeting of the year, and most of the people there will continue with Interac. When I heard their concerns and questions, it reminded me why I started liking English teaching. It also showed me that there are some good locations where ALT’s do have more lee-way. They are more allowed to take the lead. And bases on what other people told me, if it’s your first year you will be basically standing on the side and mostly watching. Of course everyone has the freedom to teach the elementary school students because in Japan, they don’t start learning seriously until junior high school, or 5th/6th grade for some locations.
They advised me that you should transfer after your first year. Because after that first year, you will have the opportunity to teach more.
They basically give you that whole year to learn. In other words, change is extremely slow. I thought I was going to be able to give review activities or at least group teach a bit more by the 3rd month, but I guess in their standards that’s too fast.
I’ve also learned that my loneliness and sadness is very easy to see for others. I was honest with saying that I don’t wanna go back. Maybe I was too quick in expressing that.
In any case I did have a good time chatting with them at the pub. I had some curry and pepper chicken, and a Sangria.
I’m sitting in the Starbucks outside Kanayama station, with an almost empty cup of hot chocolate in front of me. It’s fairly full but enough space to sit. I feel like if I stay here, I’ll be less likely to cry. There may be people around but it makes me feel less lonely than being in my apartment in the middle of nowhere Minokamo. And there’s still time to go to the bookstore and look around. Although may not do that simply because I have to walk back from the station. And it gets chilly at night time.
Sitting in this small Starbucks, being stares by random Japanese people, hearing people talk, listening to English jazz music I’ve never heard of before, smelling the coffee and listening to those coffee makers makes me feel relaxed. The other day this week one of the helpers at my BOE (Brazilian) had asked me about where to go in Tokyo and how being in crowded places made her dizzy. But I like that atmosphere. I guess her and I are opposites.
She is content with the country life. I am content with the city life. I like the buzz and busy-ness. I feel like I’m not the only one.
I realize it’s going to be very hard once K leaves for Indiana. So I am putting myself as close to the city as possible. The closer we get to the end of February the worse I feel.
I think this just resurfaces how I felt when I first moved to U.S. Although that time I was living with my mom. I can only imagine how different things were for my mom and the things she had to go through during those months when she was alone, before I came with her.
It truly is hard to move to a different country. Not only are most things different, but it weighs heavily on your heart; your emotions.
When I went to the kindergarten sports day, I was glad to have been surrounded by friendly smiles but it only made me feel more alone. One of my students parents asked me if I had my family in Japan.
I said no.
He told me he had his wife, children, and other extended family; and that’s all that mattered to him. He used to have a better profession in Brazil, but as a construction worker he gets payed better here. He doesn’t like the work but his family is here and it pays well.
In that way, I was envious of him. He had people he loved. And the people who loved him were near him to share his experiences. He had a family who loves him and who added happiness to his life.
I’m not sure what I could have said at that moment. I didn’t say much but it felt nice to talk to someone. Someone who understood me without me needing to explain.
Because he has gone through the same thing. The people who understand the most are those who have gone through the same thing. You can’t help but become friends with them and share your pain. But you create friendships and happy memories through that.
I only hope that when I start this next step, it won’t feel as bad.
The person in charge of the Nagoya area came up to me during the meeting and asked me about my transfer preferences. They have already introduced my current location to someone else, and they still haven’t found a location for me. With that being said, I insisted they keep looking and if there really isn’t another choice then Yokohama is fine but I, under no circumstances, do not want to go to a rural area again.
He said that the guy in the Yokohama branch had seen a placement but it was rural. The Nagoya person replied to him telling him that THAT is what I’m trying to get away from. I’m glad he has investigated a bit but he also warned me about searching for a second option, and also told me about someone whom they had to cancel with because he had looked for an alternative.
When he tells me to be prepared, that doesn’t give me much confidence.
Anyways, gonna go to the station soon.
Can’t ignore the fact that I do have to go back.
It’s starting to become difficult trying to find a purpose for my life.
If only I didn’t have to.