On February 14th in Japan, all of the pressure falls on the girls to give chocolates to the boys. Except the girls don't just buy a box of Russell Stover chocolates for their Valentines. Many of them go all out and make HOMEMADE chocolates. The adorable little chocolate to the right was a gift from… Continue reading Homemade Chocolates
Yesterday I ran the Sakura Half Marathon on Amami Island, a race than Amami holds every February in the north. The marathon bears its name because the course stretches around a dam that is lined with Amami's early-blooming sakura trees. Since Amami is so far south, we get to enjoy hanami (flower viewing) almost two… Continue reading Chasing Rainbows and Cherry Blossoms
Last weekend, I tried out my first yoga class on the island. I have been wanting to take a yoga class down here since I arrived, but I only knew about classes that met during the week. And when you're a teacher, a yoga class at 10 am on a Wednesday is not possible. But… Continue reading Yoga in Japan(ese)
This week, I want to burn all of my words for warmth because believe it or not, my tropical island is cold. Especially in my school, and specifically in my teachers' room. It has rained every single day since last Saturday. I'm not just talking drizzles here, people...it has been pouring buckets of cold rain. Anyway.… Continue reading One of My Best Week at School Yet.
There is something special about the time one spends living abroad. Wherever you are in the world, you are bound to have experiences that are truly unique to you and your situation. I had one of those experiences last night. D and I decided to brave the downpour and go out to sing karaoke with… Continue reading It Will Always Be the Little Things
Something called the Center Exam will take place at my high school this weekend. These exams in Japan are similar to the SATs in Northern America. So if you score high, you'll have a better chance of getting into the school of your choice. And if you don't do so hot, you'll have to take them… Continue reading Everything is Centered Around the Center Exam
"The time has come," the walrus said, "To talk of many things:of shoes--and ships--and sealing wax--" of the JET Interview--and how to prepare. I want to share my JET interview experience, and all the anxiety I had the weeks leading up to it. My hope is that this will ease the minds of some applicants who… Continue reading The JET Interview-My Experience and How to Prepare
This has been my favorite Christmas season yet. I learned this month just how much the country of Japan is infused with the spirit of Christmas. My senseis and students were just so excited for Santa-themed lessons all month long! And after a not-so-festive October 31st on Amami, I worried there wouldn't be much holiday… Continue reading Merry Christmas!
Two weeks ago it was a testing week at school, so that meant I didn`t have any classes for for four straight days. So much desk time. Normally during testing weeks I want to scratch my eyes out because at least it will give me something to do, but this testing period I had a… Continue reading Grading Papers
*This post was originally published on Kagoshima AJET`s blog on November 17th. Like most prefectural ALTs, I didn’t find out exactly where I would be placed in Kagoshima until about a month before my departure. I dreamed about all the different places I could end up—the Osumi or Satsuma peninsula, Kagoshima City, or one of… Continue reading The Island Experience