It’s been a long time since I’ve updated my blog much to my shame. There are many, many reasons why I haven’t had a chance to set aside some time to sit down and knock out a short post or two.
I’ve recently changed schools (for the third time during my JET programme career!) and that means that there’s been a lot of organization and paperwork to get out of the way and it’s only now that I’ve managed to get settled in at my new school. This is the first actual free time I’ve had since then while the summer holidays are in full swing with September being the start of my actual classes with all my new students.
During June and July most of my time was spent desperately trying to cram in as much Japanese studying as possible in the hopes it would stick in my head before I took the JLPT N5 test at the start of last month.
I’ve also being trying to sort out a Canadian tourist visa for a trip during silver week and so far it seems as though the red tape is getting the better of me. I’m going to try one more time to apply and should that fail the I will look into alternative destinations that are more friendly towards South African passport holders.
Otherwise it’s back to business as usual for me with most of my time being spent studying Japanese, getting my lesson plans ready for my introduction classes and helping to plan the welcome party event for the new JET ALTs that are arriving in my little part of Nagano during these summer months.
The next month or two will see me stepping up my efforts to train for my first 5k race in October. Even though I’m in relatively okay shape and I’ve being running, walking, and jogging on a fairly frequent basis over the past several years, I’m still somewhat nervous to take part in my first official race! Hopefully it will all go smoothly and afterwards I can post about my experience as well as some photos from the event itself.
Probably my biggest and most important mission towards the end of this year will be to try and plan my next step for my future once my time on the JET programme comes to an end in a year’s time. I definitely know that I want to carry on teaching in Japan but it’s just going to take some time and patience to find a good direct hire position at a school that is based in my prefecture.
I also need to try and get started as early as possible with my studies for the JLPT N4 test later this year. One of my biggest regrets during my time in Japan is that I’ve become far too comfortable with speaking English and not spending as much time as I should studying Japanese and making more Japanese friends by speaking the language. By giving myself a goal and deadline in the form of a test such as the JLPT I can hopefully motivate myself that little bit more and not fall back into my habit of ignoring my studies and retreating into my English comfort zone.
Hopefully all the above will mean that I should have plenty to write about in the coming months so feel free to check back in soon! Finally, thanks as always for reading and here’s hoping that everyone’s August is relaxing wherever you might be in the world.