遊園地が大好きです！ I have lots of fun at amusement parks. My favorite ride is Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. I’ve only been on the one at MGM Studios in Disneyworld. I hope to go to every Disney park in the world. So far I have visited Disneyworld many times and the original Disneyland once. I will definitely try to go to the Tokyo Disneyland, especially DisneySea. I hear it’s lots of fun—plus it has my favorite ride. Anyway, I also love roller coasters, and I have heard about some amazing roller coasters in Japan. Before Kingda Ka at Six Flags: Great Adventure, the fastest roller coaster was in Japan.
Here’s an interesting little tidbit about the world’s top theme park attendance for 2006. The fact that I found most interesting is how the only Universal Studios that made it on the list is the one in Japan at ninth place.
1. Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, 16.64 million, up 3 percent
2. Disneyland, Anaheim 14.73 million, up 1.2 percent
3. Tokyo Disneyland, 12.90 million
4. Tokyo DisneySea, 12.10 million
5. Disneyland Paris, 10.60 million
6. Epcot, 10.46 million, up 5.5 percent
7. Disney-MGM Studios, 9.10 million, up 5 percent
8. Disney’s Animal Kingdom, 8.91 million, up 8.6 percent
9. Universal Studios Japan, 8.50 million
10. Everland, South Korea, 7.50 million
Source: Theme Park Insider 2007-04-03 <http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200704/320/>
Back to the JET Program, I will write briefly about the application process. The first step is the paper application to submit to the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C. It consists of answering questions on general information, teaching experience, previous employment, and physical and mental health. Other parts of the application include an essay, transcripts from all colleges attended, and two recommendations. Once all this is submitted by the deadline, which in 2006 was early December, the Embassy will let the candidates know in late January who will continue onto the interview. Then the interview usually takes place in February followed by all the materials sent to Japan to be reviewed by the Council for Local Authorities on International Relations (CLAIR), who ultimately chooses whether to accept (short-list), waitlist (alternate), or reject. However, the employer is not CLAIR or the Japanese government or the government of the JET’s home country. It is instead with the contracting organization that each JET is placed.
This process seemed like a mixture of applying to a college and a job. There was a great deal of waiting, and after more information arrived, there was more waiting for the next step. For example, even now I am waiting for more information on specific placement, but the hard part in terms of the pre-departure process is over. For myself, I just need to continue with my self-studies on Japanese.
Stay tuned next week for a look into the JET Program’s interview and my placement information!
今週の写真: Another picture with my family, but this time at Universal Studios Orlando.