I swear I’m becoming Michael J. Fox circa 1989
“Doc! We gotta go back to Japan!”
I suppose if anywhere were to have self tying shoes and self adjusting jackets it would be Japan.
When I first started this blog it was under the impression it would be one off travel diary for my trip in July. Obviously that’s not the case, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this. I lot has happened since I returned from my trip in August. My good fortune with employment seemed to run out afterI returned. Not surprising in the face of what may as well be the second great depression. I spent four months unemployed and having to deal with the California Employment Development Department has made me never want to go through it again. There’s bureaucracy, there’s idiocy, and then there’s some fun middle ground where the EDD dances, tying the hands of it’s competent and well intentioned employees in the field. It sets you up to fail and it seems like it’s actually designed to discourage you from finding new work. Good job, team.
In any case, four miserable months of unemployment, several temp jobs and accumulated debt later, I found myself a contract position as a photographer with Google Maps. There are far, far worse things, and my only complaint is that I work from home instead of actually at the Google Headquarters in Mountain View. But I suppose that’s not so bad either. During the second week of training it was made clear that the position we are working would never become permanent, but could keep us employed for up to a year. Not bad, but I’ve come to a point where I’d like a bit more job stability, if there is such a thing anymore.
While unemployed I began searching a number of different options. My time teaching abroad has convinced me that I would like to be come a teacher professionally. I met with a few of my friends who are currently teachers and discussed what process I would need to go through and what I should be aware of. They gave me a lot of useful advice, though one piece more useful (if not more discouraging) than all of the others: “Don’t. Don’t become a teacher in America right now. Budgets are slashed horribly, lay offs are rampant, and you’ll be up against both recent college graduates and ten year veterans who will both take low paying positions because times are so desperate. Most of us don’t know if we’ll still have jobs at the end of the year. If you want to teach and can teach abroad again, that’s the safer option.” So, I did.
I applied to a new ALT company this time, Interac. I won’t lie that this is partly because they pay better. Shortly after submitting my online application I had a phone interview, and about a month following a seminar interview. All went quite well, and I was offered a position in the weeks following.
Having worked as an ALT before and having a glowing recommendation from the head English teacher at the high school I worked in Japan probably helped my application quite I bit. I know that due to the economic troubles many more people are applying for these positions and very few are leaving them, so competition is stiff. While I am not surprised I received the position, I do feel blessed for having it.
The important thing: I’m going back to Japan. I’m sure this surprises few of my friends, and I know it excites at least some of them. Angelo and Dana are already planning trips to visit me. Maybe you should wait until I know where I’m living, guys. It does make me happy though. I have said since I left I’ve felt like I want the best of both worlds: to live in Japan and have my friends here come with me. For a little while that may become a reality.
I’ll post more as I find it out. Placement, orientation, etc. etc. I’m hoping for Chiba, as that is where Nick and his friends are. Kansai area wouldn’t be bad either. And hey, if I end up in Nagoya I’ll be able to see Kana when she moves back.