The world is your oyster

The school year in Japan is soon coming to an end. I originally wanted to write a card for every student I knew who was graduating, but immediately realized I would probably run out of ink in all my pens before I could finish. So, I decided to write a somewhat generic message to all the students.


Dear Students of (my high school),

It’s time to say farewell, but I have few last things I want to say.

It seems like just yesterday that I introduced myself to you. “Hello everyone, my name is Alice and I love to eat, especially takoyaki.” Now, many of you will be graduating and going to university. Time flies!

Each one of you has amazed me every day with your brilliance and perseverance to learn English with me. I often joke asking, “Is your favorite thing to do learning English with Alice?” I hope so! I know it wasn’t easy, but I am proud of all of you for fighting through my challenging lessons.

I have one last phrase of the week for you.

Did you know that the world is your oyster?

I hope you said yes! It means you are free to do whatever you want in this world. この世界になんでもやりたいことができる. You can do anything and everything you want to do. Work hard, set goals and find your pearl!

Lastly, I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for another amazing year with you all. While I do stand in front of the classroom, like the lady in charge, I have learned many wonderful lessons from all of you. Thank you for being not only my students, but also my teachers.

I wish you all the best! Keep in touch!

Love,

Alice.

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365 Days in Tokyo

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”


I’m constantly looking for new ideas to try and see how they work in my classes. If you have any ideas, please share with me!

Arigato~

From Having No Job to Moving to Japan in 2 months

“How did you move to Japan so quickly after graduating university?”

When I told people, “oh, I’m moving to Japan in like 2 months,” they mostly replied with, “huh?”

Moving to Japan wasn’t a completely spontaneous decision. The idea actually came to mind in November of 2014 while I was completing my senior year in university. I was taking a Japanese language class for fun because I had the extra time and credits and thought it would be a good idea to brush up on my Japanese. It was by far one of my most favorite classes in university because the teacher was amazing and I was able to relearn all the Japanese I had lost growing up.

Because I was enrolled in the Japanese class, there were a bunch of Japanese related university emails. Usually I would just click “archive” in my gmail inbox and move on. But I was bored on my way to school on the train one day and read through the email. I’m so glad I did. That was when I found out they had informed every Japanese language student that there was an opportunity to move to Japan and teach English. The time I had to make my decision and apply was very short. I had to make my mind up quickly. Should I apply and just hope I get this position? I don’t know, I don’t have any other jobs I’ve applied to yet. Should I be looking for better jobs in America?

Hmm.. I thought so much about this opportunity. I knew I would absolutely love to live in Japan. I knew I could teach English with my eduction background. I knew this would literally be the perfect opportunity for me to live in Japan and have a job straight out of college. I knew it was perfect for me.

I applied after thinking about it for a week. I scrambled to get recommendation letters, transcripts, and permission from my parents. I knew my parents would support me no matter what, but I wasn’t too sure if they would allow me to move to another country around the world to work in a country where I only kind of barely speak the language.

The wait killed me. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have a job when I graduate. I wasn’t sure if I should start applying for jobs before I graduate. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach in the American school system. I left my future completely in the hands of those in charge of accepting and rejecting applicants to the JET Programme. Luckily, they liked me!

Image-1

This is an old photo of a journal entry I had made in my Midori Traveler’s Notebook.

Mar 30, 2015: I was accepted into the JET Programme.

May 26, 2015: I found out I was placed in the dream place of many, Tokyo, Japan.

I moved to Japan under the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET). They are a very well known and respected “program” in Japan that hires college graduates to come teach in Japan’s public schools: elementary, middle, and even high school. There are thousands of JETs (people working under the JET Programme) placed everywhere in Japan, including all major cities and all of the tiny islands.

Why Japan?

“Why Japan?”

Ask me again. I dare you.

I hate when people ask me, “So, why Japan?”

My usual reply is, “why the heck not?” I should just ask them back the same question.

“Why America? Why Korea? Why whatever-country-you’re-living-in?”


Hi, my name is Alice and I live in Tokyo, Japan.

In August of 2015, I moved from America to Japan with 2 big Rimowa suitcases, 1 carry on Tumi suitcase, and a Jansport backpack. I entered the Land of the Rising Sun under an “Instructor” visa. I had just turned 22 and had just graduated from university less than 2 months ago.

Wow. So young right? Meh.

K, let’s get back to the original question. “Why Japan?”

When I was younger, I used to always be most excited for spring vacation. It was the shortest vacation out of the 3 main ones, winter, spring, and summer, but it was still my most favorite.

Why?

Basically because it was when I would go to Japan with my family. It was when I could eat all the amazing Japanese foods that Japan has to offer. It was when I could go see my grandma and aunts and uncles living in Japan. It was when I could shop for all the Hello Kitty and Sanrio items I couldn’t find in America. It was when I could wander through stationery stores to buy the newest pens and pencils to bring back and share with my friends. It was when I could find drink vending machines on every corner to get my hot Royal Milk Tea fix. It was when I could not worry about anything and feel safe in the country of Japan.

I chose Japan because it is most comfortable for me. It is nostalgic. I wanted to live in a country where I will be immersed in the culture that I grew up in while learning new things about my Japanese heritage. I wanted to live in a country where I would be on my own, but also have support from family if I really needed it. I wanted to be able to eat sushi that wouldn’t give me food poisoning and ramen at 5 in the morning.

Now do you get why I love Japan? If you don’t, I think you just need to visit Japan and see for yourself. I’ll take you around if you need a tour guide. Maybe you won’t like it here. Maybe you’ll fall in love with it like I did.

And these are the reasons why I always answer with “why the heck not?”