As I wrote last week, February is the big decision month when JETs let their contracting organizations of their intentions for the next contract year. Basically, current JETs just need to submit a form. It’s very simple with one checkbox indicating the desire to re-contract and another checkbox for the desire to end with the JET Program. Re-contracting isn’t guaranteed, but it seems that in most cases, it is easy for current JETs to re-contract. I only heard of a few examples where the JETs were incredibly irresponsible leaving the board of education denying any request to re-contract. At any rate, all this just seems like formality. It’s a lot like life, right? There are a whole lot of formalities just to keep people busy. I love relating things to life, because we create so much nonsense for ourselves sometimes. Life isn’t nonsense, depending on who you ask, but people certainly don’t like to think too much. Anyway, I digress.
I am hoping to stay for at least another year. I wanted to hand in the form last month, but the board of education wouldn’t let me. It has been very interesting thinking about how long I want to stay. On some days, I’m all up for it and ready to take on many more years, but then there are those days when I don’t think I’d want to stay for even a third year. Those days are usually when I am very tired though, so it’s not too often. Those are also the days when I just don’t want to think. I still feel that I’ll probably stay for three years, but I’m sure next year I’ll think hard about it. Aichi prefecture actually has a fairly high retention rate with the average length at 2.5 years, but that was when the maximum time on the JET Program was 3 years (now 5 years).
The third trimester at school has already started, and boy is the schedule crazy again! There are so many Mondays off. Either the school has something that needs to cancel classes like the entrance exams for junior high school students, or there is a holiday whether Monday is the actual holiday or a substitute for a holiday falling on Sunday. Because of this mess, my classes are so lopsided. Currently, the first year general track students are learning about hobbies, shopping, and expressing desire. The first year English track students are learning about shopping and restaurant, which will soon head into asking and giving directions. All the second year students are learning about traveling, although the second year English track students will soon do telephone conversation. This Wednesday marks the last class with my third year English track students. Their school time is gradually being cut as they head into a more intense exam time including college interviews. The focus for the class is on debating.
Overall, this trimester seems to be vastly improved over the fall trimester. I think the biggest help has been sitting down with the teachers before the trimester began to discuss goals and topics. I was hoping to do this for the fall trimester, but it was hard because of the adjusting that I mentioned in a previous post. Just to clarify to those who might be reading my blog for the first time, I really enjoyed the fall trimester, but there were some problems mainly because of the fact that I started in the middle of the school year. That’s just the nature of the JET Program. However, the best way to describe my overall feeling since arriving in Japan is by this smiley… =)
Stay tuned next week for another update!
今週の聖書の詩: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
- Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
I have faith that God will lead me down the best path. I know that the best path is not just filled with chocolate, but there will be some licorice too. People need to understand that they need to go through difficult and tough times. Instead, people ignore this as they seek a belief that is full of irrational promises. There are also many people who challenge the Lord with man-made theories like evolution, but how can something created by man (more accurately just named by man) go against God? I always find it funny when people talk about the amazing discoveries and inventions that man has done. However, wasn’t the foundation of these discoveries already in place? Humans didn’t create the raw items used for their inventions. Can’t the way we try to classify things be wrong? In science, it is stressed that theories cannot be proven. It just takes one bit of evidence negating the theory to falsify it, and as humans, we don’t know everything.
I have my faith, and I try to leave my life in God’s hands. Is it His fault for any of my wrongdoings? Something that at first may seem like a misstep may very well turn out to be something very positive. When my actions do turn out for the worse, it's usually due to my own decision to change direction. For some people, I may just sound foolish, but again, I know what I believe. Take the time to listen and think.
今週の写真: I saw this really cool show that takes kabuki, one of the traditional Japanese theatre arts, and blends it with rock music. I couldn’t take pictures of the actual performance, so I have a picture of the stage and one of some of the actors at the very end when there was a raffle.
You can't really see it, but there is a walkway under the lanterns where actors often enter and exit.