zen_monk: (Default)
It's a postgraduate course on publishing in London, so of course I'm having a class on Shakespeare production in its very early days as a subject of study in the history of publishing class. 

But, it's nice to have them talk about the team of writers and the role of the production in the study of Shakespeare, and what the heck a colophon is. 
zen_monk: (Default)
Got through the second week of class, and it’s been really productive. Lots of talk about how to work and network in the industry, how to think critically about news articles and publishing events, and how to analyze why do,e books are published and four whom, and at what price. It’s been a good way to work towards the future. 

In in other news, I have got my Yuletide assignments and it is definitely outside of what I usually write, which will be fun because it’s good to expand beyond what I usually go for, which was mostly Final Fantasy and other JRPGs. Although, i did wish that I had requested for some fandoms to be part of the selection process that I am currently into. Next time, Tales fandom, next time. 

zen_monk: (Default)
 I’ve been in London since the 20th of September, and I guess I’m getting the hand of living here where new places don’t bedazzle my eyes from knowing where I live in the city. Thankfully in the more suburban areas of London, called Newington Green, where there’s a lot of Turkish neighborhoods and Indian restaurants around. Because lemme just say, London city center is freaking filthy. Tiny streets where pedestrians are packed around, where the sidewalks have sacks of garbage cuz that’s how they put out the trash apparently when it’s not a large store, litter abound,  and so forth. The British pound is fiendishly expensive, so I gotta control my finances a bit since I have to juggle between doing school solely or attempting to do part-time work. Also, traffic seems to conspire to make things less safe for pedestrians. Also, why are crosswalks here follow little logic? And to think, I thought about getting an international license here just because I drove in Japan. My arrogance.  

The university is really nice, tho. The food is cheaper compared to buying it around cafes and restaurants, which i heard is because food is subsidized in school. It’s near cute shopping neighborhoods where there’s delicious street food. It’s still not quite the city center and I can walk there from home in almost a perpendicular route at about 40 minutes if I fast-walk. I decided that will be my daily exercise unless I decided to dedicate myself to a gym. I’m also excited to start the program cuz the lectures are all about working in the job with some theory, and that’s pretty damn motivating.

zen_monk: (Default)
 Man, I check the tag for one of the characters for my Ninja otp in Fire Emblem Fates, and there's some people just having really decisive feelings about relationships in general.

"I don't ship these two characters because pre-game canon has them being broken up, so these two broke up for a reason." 

Starting a relationship has a reason! Breaking up has reasons that doesn't require them disliking each other! You can still have a solid platonic relationship as exes! Why is it that when people get paired together, it's "meant to be" whereas if they broke up before it obviously means "they're wrong for each other forever." 

And then they make up elaborate headcanoning about why that is never referenced or happened in the game, so clearly it's just some people trying to justify having different tastes. 

Has no one watched the Parent Trap??? Granted, it has unrealistic expectations of real life divorcees and for the kids of them, but it rested on some realism to make getting back together a hopeful motivation! Has no one read X-men? Everyone was on and off with each other! That was my "Days of our Lives!" during my junior high years. 

Granted, it's called "Days of Future Past." :P 

Ba dum dum tish.

Sorry, but I sometimes have some strong feelings about latent feelings of love and affection. And maybe elaborate secret handshakes.  
zen_monk: (Default)
 So I will be moving out of Japan at around the 26th and the 27th, which is pretty sudden considering i gotta find out how to dispose of my furniture that doesn't end up in a garbage plant, and also doing things like taxes and trying to wrap all legal things up before I leave the country. Good thing that the JET Programme websites and Interac have webpages and PDF files dedicated to detailing all these things, unlike SOME dispatch companies. Almost like some places feel responsible for their employees and want to not leaves things in a messy tangle. 

All that aside, I also am feeling a little blue about the prospect, since I feel that I haven't fully used my time well to see the things i want to see when I first came here. Firstly was the Eorzea Cafe, which I have to get tickets for to get a reservation, so I have been holding that off due to not wanting to deal with Lawson convenience store stuff out of laziness. I also didn''t get to see Kyoto,  so I have been trying to squeeze time for it somehow. 

But I did see a lot of things. I saw a lot of Tokyo every week, to the point of not wanting to know more about it since at some point every tall building is the same and speciality merchandise is an illusion peddled by marketers to prey upon our impulse to get limited item things. I went to Comiket twice so I got some actual doujinshi in amazing quality, so I am somewhat content on my latent otaku feelings. I also made some meaningful connections with my coworkers and with the kids, and I think that being able to make it out in Japan and living by myself while having minimal japanese language learning while being kinda conversational is pretty impressive. I guess my feelings of regret is more that I feel like I have finally grown accustomed and assimilated to the place, and then I have to uproot myself so that it feels like I would lose what I have gained. Which is pretty different to how I felt around ten months ago, when being by myself a lot meant thinking way too many mortal things about the future. 

But all in all, I'm looking forward to moving not to Graduate School in City University of London. I am gonnna do publishing!
zen_monk: (Default)
 Man I'm all for diverse media but I don't think it means seeing put-upon and exploited Chinese people in a british period drama just to show they exist in the early twentieth century with badly written Chinese banners. 

Not to say they didn't exist as exploited people in early twentieth century post-WWI Britain but they don't even have lines, man. 

So so this is me watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix cuz I liked period dramas like Send in the Midwife and The Bletchley Circle. Although I guess it shows that western male period dramas have diametrically opposed themes sometimes. 
zen_monk: Tiana shrug (shrug)
 My winter break consisted of almost nonstop traveling and seeing relatives, while the start of the school year meant that I had more time at home due to not leaving my heated room to venture out in the cold desolate evening.

but the last week there was snow in the morning, and that never ceased to amuse me. SNOW IS A PHENOMENON AND SUPER AMAZING 8D

on a more serious note I've debating whether I should stick it for another year in Japan and have been sending out resumes and trolling for apartments online and now I'm just wondering whether i was just doing it because the thought of packing up and moving back is a pain. Or maybe it might be neat to try sticking it out for a while and trying to look for like guest houses or finding work in Tokyo. 
zen_monk: hiimdaisy persona 4 web video (case closed)
whoooooo wants to read my personal statement for graduate school and give me feedbaaaack? 
zen_monk: (Default)
 Waiting at the cafe where I'm to tutor my next adult pupil in Tokyo, and so I thought it would be nice to put some words out on this blog. Back a couple weeks ago, the very lovely and amazing [personal profile] ser_pounce_alot got hitched and so there's a Mr. Ser_pounce_alot to pair with the missus! Their wedding party was delightful and everyone was beauteous, and so is the food and booze. Also met the amazing [personal profile] drakonlily , and [personal profile] seventhe IN THE FLESH.  

After the wedding party, we went to karaoke until midnight, which was unfortunate because I missed the last train back to my prefecture. But, I scouted down the three friends and groveled to stay the night with them in their hotel room. It was lovely and they have fluffy futons. Also ate breakfast the next day with them~. But yeah, it was the first time I had to spend the day in last night's clothes and so needless to say, my feet were killing me when I finally went home after a full day of tutoring in a party dress and some boots. 

I've also made some progress in doing some grad school applications, mostly in Europe since they don't require GRE test scores to be submitted, but I'm also looking into studying for the GREs after finishing up that round of applications. But I'm also stuck in whether I want to do another year in Japan or just head on home and hope for a better paying job until I do grad school. Though when talking to my parents about it, they seem to bet on me being a teacher for a while just so I can earn a salary, and then once I get a nest egg then I can try and do whatever I want. which is a fair plan, but I fear that this might be something I'm going to settle for for a long time, and I sill have some lingering dreams of being a publisher or an editor, and I don't know spending time to get an education degree would be worth it if that's not my ultimate goal. And I also want to explore more of Japan, or at least try my hand in applying to places in Hong Kong so that I can be with among my people, but thinking of all these applications is such a pain in the neck when I'm trying to figure out interesting lesson plans. 
zen_monk: (Default)
Today was a damp 53 degree day in November, and might even rain too. Hopefully when I get down to Tokyo it won't rain on my way down to see a certain someone's wedding, especially when it's after a saturday class where parents and the PTA come down to one of my schools to observe us teach. Parents watching me flail while teaching! Yay! If the chilly weather today is of any indication, it's going to feel much worse in December for this Californian to adjust to. 

One thing I came to notice, and realize, last month was that when I say in my introduction that I am American, a lot of students thought that it means i am half-American, meaning one of my parents is American and the other Chinese. This comes from how in Japan, someone from mixed heritage can only be a Japanese citizen if their father is Japanese, and anyone else have special residency status (infamously, such as when Korean-Japanese are considered second-class citizens here). But there is some obvious smudging of that how mixed kids can be either Japanese citizens or not, so some mixed kids are considered "Japanese citizens" without having the paperwork for it to go through. How that is dealt with can be researched with depth from googling, but it comes under scrutiny for high-profile people such as Renho Murata, whose father is Taiwanese and her mother Japanese, and her eligibility for being elected leader of Japan's Democratic Party was being scrutinized. 

Needless to say, I had to clarify with some classes how American citizenship is obtained, which prompts some "ehhhhh?" From them. 

I didn't do much for Halloween, mostly just spending the weekend tutoring my regular students and also walking around Tokyo on the 30th. There are some people cosplaying and kids in costume, but I think because it was a Sunday there weren't many outside parties around. Then again, I kinda limited myself to just Shinjuku and Harajuku, and I think it's in Ikebukuro and Shibuya where the parties are at. But I also spent the weekend getting new clothes and buying some makeup so I can practice making myself look at awesome as possible. I think I came to a point this time where I want to try thinking about taking care of my body and how i want to present myself, and probably gain some semblance of control out of it. 

zen_monk: hiimdaisy persona 4 web video (let's get drunk)
It's already been half a year since I've been in Japan, and how does the time fly by so quickly? Sometimes it still feels like I'm still in the first four months of my time here, but now the weather actually got much cooler this week and trees are bare of leaves already. It really feels like yesterday that the weather was a sticky humid 80 degree hellscape of cicadas, but last night I pulled out the comforter for my futon and actually slept confortably in it last night.

It's actually nice that I've gotten into the swing of things at work, and i think it helps that at one school the English Teacher of the sixth grade teachers wanted me to observe him conducting the English lesson first and then teaching the other classes. I've also since looked for lesson plans online in Japanese, made by folks in the JET Programme, and just using their lessons and talking about it with the teachers in other schools.

I've also made new friends. Around last month, I met [personal profile] ser_pounce_alot and the fiancé in around Tokyo, and we went hiking at Otsuka with her other friends living in Japan. I'm looking forward to her wedding next month and meeting lots of other folks, too. It was also nice to talk about the education system in Japan and learning the ropes, so to speak. As well as what it is like to live in Japan and the trials that go with it.

Recently around two weeks ago, on October 1st, i was at the Tsuchiura Fireworks Festival and saw other ALTs from my company there. We caught up and talked a lot of new things that happened in the second semester, particularly the new batch of ALTs that came by for the fall term. I already met some of them over the summer when I ran into them in Tokyo, which the odds in doing so are so random that it almost seems like divine intervention, and I wasn't too impressed with some of them. One of them, largely, was someone who is more fluent in Japanese, but is also a type of know-it-all. Worse still, he acted as an authority on facts that are incorrect, and he raised my dander up when he interrupted me on my spiel on Yasukuni Shrine and implied that there weren't actually war criminals enshrined there and that it was the assertion by the US or whatever. Yeah, sure, that'll totally go well explaining it to a Chinese person whose family had had Japanese soldiers occupy their hometown, and then he had the gall to say that what happened in the past doesn't affect the present.

The worse of it tho, was what I found out during the fireworks festival when I caught up with the rest of the folks. I found out that they mostly distanced themselves from him, and in large part because he was stalking one of the new female ALTs, who happens to be Asian and that raises some red flags since there's the usual type of people who sign on as temporary workers in Japan, and also because he enjoys arguing his point of view to the verge of antagonizing everyone he meets. The fact that the place he is stationed at, Ishioka, makes it worse because the folks who work there told me that there's a lot of organized crime families there and general scofflawery that I think implies that he might be getting more attention attracted to him. Most outrageously, when he and some of the ALT friends I know went to a nearby city, he got in trouble with actual Yakuza who threatened him in a bathroom.

Not that I actively wish ill upon people who ran into dangerous crime families, but I wouldn't bat an eye if he really got into serious trouble.
zen_monk: (Default)
 Apparently me reblogging to agree to the sentiment that one should be critical of how fanworks and fandom can produce some fucked up shit that is blatantly blind to real world repercussions means I'm deep in the discourse and warrants an unfollow which I only found out about through their Twitter account by casting shade.

like, okay man I know we haven't talked in months but I guess that broke the camel's back and not articles being critical of other fucked up things fandom does or being critical of alleged democracies funded by America.

zen_monk: (Default)
 So I made it to Japan safe and sound. Spent about two weeks back in California starting in August, and I felt super refreshed from it. Didn't do much of anything except eating burritos and watching American Netflix, which is all I needed apparently.

but now that it's about the end of August and when I was thinking about one last trip around Japan for myself,my Grandpa got a stroke and is hospitalized, so now I'm in Narita airport again to see him this weekend. My dad and little brother are also flying so hopefully I will see them later tonight if this plane isn't delayed too late. 

Gramps is 85 and got a host of other ailments so preparing for the worst is kinda already a feeling I'm used to but it's not very easy with lingering regrets for a man I barely communicated with but wished I did.
zen_monk: (Default)
 It's summer vacation in Japan and right now I am in a plane heading to Yerevan, Armenia while stopping in Qatar for a long layover.

zen_monk: (Default)
 Acclimating in Japan has been going okay so far. I think I`ve gotten past the point of being accustomed to a new environment where i cannot read labels in supermarkets or on public signs (which confuses me, because that is kinda everywhere in Guangzhou and here was Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wanting to `internationalize` Japan which apparently doesn`t start with public assistance). 

I also think I`m getting better at getting kids to do stuff and planning out a class, even though it still feels like I am working by the seat of my pants. Teachers at my schools complimented me on my progress, and the corporation coordinators check up on me from time to time and give me consistently good reviews, so I think I`m doing all right. I also like to work out some katakana and hiragana on the board so that the kids can sound out certain words or understand some concepts, like for `I can` or `I can`t`, since otherwise they would just not quite get it. 

My previous entry talked about this one guy I tutored, but he turned out to just want to recruit me for his start-up projects, which includes an English language learning service app that initially sounded good until he divulged more details into it. Basically, he wanted me to generate content, like monologue scripts or summaries. When he showed me samples of some people who`ve done it and he wanted me to proofread, I had to tell him that the quality is not great and that just getting me to check grammar isn`t enough to improve it. Then he went on and on about how maybe it`s just `my style` or that I should consider the fact that other people worked hard on it and that they had their own styles, and that English itself isn`t a clear-cut language and everyone has their own understanding of what constitutes correct English...

...And I told him was like: `this story you showed me is basically basically implying that America is dangerous by showing random gunshots outside of a dorm, a vague description of what went down that ultimately led to nowhere, and then saying Japan is safer and he should be more appreciative. This is skirting on some improperly handled problematic content.` 

But go figure, mansplaining has no international borders after being told what English is by a native Japanese guy. Whose background itself isn`t even education, so I don`t have a lot of confidence on this start-up that is one year late and is employed by random people from different parts of the English speaking world contributing hackneyed content via the internet. 

Summer vacation starts July 21st for me, and I will be heading out to Armenia for one week to visit my best friend from college. She`s doing Birthright Armenia by working as a journalist, and she`s also trying wrangle me into going to grad school in France with her. I tend to think that her postgraduate experience is a little more fulfilling than mine since she`s working and gaining experience doing the thing she always wanted to do, has obtained a French-Armenian boyfriend with a 6 pack, and are both living together in a nice apartment in downtown Yerevan where a giant mug of beer is like $1 USD. 

Both excited and terrified that I will be going to Armenia in about two weeks. Mostly because I fear flying, and also because I will be making a layover in Qatar (taking Qatar Airways), and while I don`t think this Arab state will be hit tragically, I do still think that `what if` scenario alongside perishing tragically during an 11 hour flight. 
zen_monk: (Cat on dog smiling)
At a Starbucks in Harajuku, and pretty much waiting around for 6pm when my haircut appointment rolls around. I have what now amounts to a short bob, but the back is much longer compared to the front, and if nothing is being done then I would be forced to sport around an awkwardly layered mullet. I'm hoping to get something that would amount to an undercut in the back but if not that then a nice looking A-line. The hair salon I googled for in Harajuku has some English-speaking folks there, so I'm hoping that the process will go smoothly and that I won't have to just sit in a seat with more awkward silence than usual when getting my hair cut.

But why was I in Harajuku? It was because this morning, I met with a guy named Terry who picked me as his weekly private English tutor to help him be more fluent. He's over 30 and not too bad on the eyes, but he has traveled around a lot before coming back to Japan four years ago. To me, I think he's pretty fluent, but he wants to be so fluent to the point of being like an inspirational TED Talk guy. I'm kinda like, "Getting to the point of being a TED Talk guy takes a lot more work than just being fluent in English, bruh," and he was like "Yeah, but if we practice a lot, I totally think you can help me do it." He also wanted to do more in relation to business, which intimidates me a little since my experience in teaching English has mostly been children, but I think that so long as our meetings is just focused on improving his skill in English and not necessarily in something like free conversation or just practicing, then maybe it'll be okay. 

What's interesting about meeting Terry is that he also runs his own travel magazine thing that acts much like a tourist travel magazine one sees around Tokyo to advertise to tourists and travelers, but his is focused on Kobe. When I told him that I once dallied in SEO writing and writing articles to be published (which never came to be, sadly), his ears really perked up at it and wanted to see if I can produce some writing samples for him. Which I'm like "Okie dokie...?" And he clarifies that if good enough, he would of course pay me. He also mentioned that he's making an English language learning start up company for people in college and in adult life because he wants better resources for them, and he needs a proofreader. So it's pretty weird and serendipitous that my first stab at. Tutoring gig results in more business opportunities for me. 

zen_monk: (Default)
It's the beginning of June, and have taught for two months now as an English ALT in four Japanese elementary schools. I wish I can say that it's because I've been super busy, but mostly I've become more reclusive as of late. It's probably having to be accustomed to all the small things that need adjusting to when being in a foreign country, and maybe the relative isolation that happens when I'm not surrounded by kids or co-workers, but it felt a lot like I'm an island unto myself when being here. And what happens to solitary island persons is the reconciliation of existing versus non existing. 
Well, what I mean is that now that I've been living alone and pretty much trying to make it as an adult, it's kind of like I'm no longer a part of that dependent life. Instead of a school, I'm relying on a company that I'm working with to try to tend to my needs as best as I can, but I have to think on my own what to do about getting doctor's appointments, getting a phone service, and even looking up how to get skincare products or getting haircuts here because pretty much everything is in Japanese and very little English forms. Which is also what's shocking to me, which is that even formal applications like for a cell service or for other basic customer service doesn't have an English language form to read from, or even a website for their company. Or even on government forms, for when I had to register myself to the town I'm living in, or the post office needing to verify my address. Or opening a bank account, which is all in Japanese as well. 
These sort of things would probably be much easier if I were in a much bigger city with international presence, like in Tokyo or something, but I'm placed out in the countryside/suburbs so that means not a whole lot of foreigner presence either. 
So I guess all these things add up to me not quite assimilating so neatly, and so I do a whole lot of navel-gazing, and what I saw made me really miss being at home and back with my family. It made me think a whole lot of what I'm doing here and if it has some future value whether I really want to make it here in Japan to work in or if I should've done similar work back in the states.
It also doesn’t help that it seems that the life of an ALT is really transitory and that typically dispatch companies and such accept almost anybody who has a college degree and no criminal record to work in. I dunno, it makes me wish that I had come to Japan as a student rather than working in an occupation that looks more and more sketch as I did more research into it as my job. 
The bright thing is that I think I like teaching to kids. I wish I would make them do more rigorous work, since English time is once a week for them and certainly not enough time to prepare for trying for fluency (which ought to be the goal for learning a language, but sadly is more for testing despite it being mandatory). All the kids are really energetic, and I’m thinking about what I can do to improve myself and get the teachers to, I dunno, feel more assured of my quality (though I think a lot of them like what I’m doing). 
I’m surviving and I think I am doing all right, but I wish I had thought of all this stuff earlier than me being 25 going on 26 and wondering what to do with my life. 
zen_monk: (Default)
 I am in Mito city for teacher training. Lots of info to absorb but the higher ups giving the presentation and training are engaging and enjoyable. My coworkers who are also new ALTs are a fun bunch too. Two from the UK, four from Australia, and about 6 from the US (three from California), and one Filipina. Pretty fun people and had Indian food last night in an actual Indian restaurant about the Mito station. 

Mito is pretty cold, tho. Especially after the summery weather in California. The trees haven't even gotten leaves yet around the city. But everyone is looking forward to spring and cherry blossoms, and some shops are selling Sakura Mochi and other local things for the event. Also lots of kids already in school uniforms but it might be because they are graduating or finishing their school year, and next week is when school starts. 

Pictures to to come soon!

as a side note: final fantasy record keeper had some soul break events and I got some fine as hell equipment with each of their draw, including FFVII five star equipments and lots of FFX.
zen_monk: (Default)
 Still lots to pack and repack. Trying to monopolize space for luggage is a huge pain, since it means a lot of future planning and anticipation. Even way into the night, I feel like I haven't gotten any closer to finishing. 

Welp, at least I finished my taxes on time. 

Also, thanks for all the good wishes to folks who commented on my prior entry. There's lots going on for each and every one of you, and sometimes I just remove myself from the social media radar a lot, but I hope each and every one of you persevere and have awesome days to come this spring.
zen_monk: (Default)
 Got job... In Japan. Leaving this Thursday because training starts next week. 

So bye America, catch you on the flip side?

-vibrates restlessly-

October 2017

12 34567
891011 121314
15161718 192021


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 23rd, 2017 01:13 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios