I did some test questions for the JLPT N2 test today and it was pretty much like “I know I knew this but I don’t know it now.”

So I’m going to switch up my goal. I’m going to review and attempt N2 in December. If I pass it and then fail N1 in July, at least I’ll have some form of certification. If I fail it, then I’ll know my goal of passing N1 after a year was unrealistic and I’ll try N2 again for certification.




When I tell people I majored in Japanese or that I can speak Japanese, their reply is “Say something in Japanese!” and then I have nothing to say.

So last night, I finally took a stand.

"Sure. Tell me what to say."
"Well, just talk about something."
"Like what?"
"Like going to Japan."
"But give…

This doesn’t end when you get to Japan…. 

I have a lot of students that demand Japanese of me, but more often people will want to hear you speak English… 

I find it easier to refuse students since I can use the excuse “You’re supposed to be learning English!” But what I really mean when I say that is “omg no I’m too shy.”

8 07.22.14

Say something in Japanese!

When I tell people I majored in Japanese or that I can speak Japanese, their reply is “Say something in Japanese!” and then I have nothing to say.

So last night, I finally took a stand.

"Sure. Tell me what to say."
"Well, just talk about something."
"Like what?"
"Like going to Japan."
"But give me a sentence. What exactly do you want me to say?"

Okay, I didn’t say that last line, but I thought it. That’s the same as taking a stand, right?

8 07.22.14
@Anonymous "You can apply to CIR posts for the following year. I know a couple of people who've changed from ALT to being the local CIR. I don't know how easy/if it's possible to apply for a CIR post in a different area though."

Okay, Sendai CIR, whoever you are! Please leave at the end of this year. Much obliged!


I need some more dress code advice from the ladies.

I have a pair of basic black flats and was wondering if those would be alright to wear in the school? I just bought them, so they’ve never been worn outside. I figured if a lot of teachers wear crocs, some basic flats must be okay. Yes? Please tell me they’re okay. Flats are my life.

3 07.21.14



People seem to be overdoing it. If you can’t fit everything into a few suitcases and need to bring a third or ship boxes, you may have too many possessions.

I know. Everything I’ve packed so far can actually fit into one suitcase. I’m just going to throw my wardrobe in when it’s closer to departure and I’ll be done. I’ve been thinking about decorations and random extra stuff to bring to fill the left over space.

I’m pretty much just going to shove in some leggings to wear under my dresses and call my winter wardrobe done. I’ll just buy a new coat over there because mine is old anyway. No need to send winter clothing!

I might mail myself my Japanese textbooks, though. Not because I wouldn’t have room but because they’d add far too much weight for me to deal with. I’m definitely bringing my 上級へのとびら set with me in my luggage. The rest I think I’ll just pack into a box and label and ask my parents to send it if I feel that I need them.

4 07.21.14

Bilingual Problems

I just read “Mike and Ike” as “Mike and イケ”.

It’s actually kind of embarrassing how often I read English with Japanese pronunciation.

I still recall an incident that occurred waay back when I first started learning Japanese. My friend had a random four letter English word as her MSN message. (Yeah, MSN. That’s how long ago this was.) I read it with Japanese pronunciation and thought “I wonder what that means…” It was weeks before I finally went “OH, IT’S ENGLISH.”


So I ended up quitting my job even earlier. My last shift was supposed to be tomorrow, but was yesterday instead.

Basically, what happened is I went to take the dog outside and fell down on the steps. Nothing significantly serious happened, just some inconveniently placed scrapes that hurt like a bitch if I touch them. So my mom advised me to call in, even though I was insisting I could handle it while still crying because everything still stung.

I don’t know why I fell down. I just FORGOT HOW TO GO DOWN STEPS or something. I didn’t put my foot down evenly and down I went. It doesn’t help that our front steps are really old and weather worn, so they’re uneven and have loose cement rocks all over them. Also, our house is covered in tiny rocks, so falling back against the wall wasn’t so great, either. Thankfully, I put on a thick hoodie before I went out to hide my pyjamas. I can’t imagine what my arm would look like if I hadn’t.

To make a long story short, I’m clumsy and I know it.


My First Day


So with newbie JETs coming in at the end of this month and the start of the next, I figured I might share my first day experience here. I came with Group B, arriving in my prefecture on August 7th. I won’t be sharing about Tokyo O because… because Tokyo O is not where I consider my journey to have started. It started when I got to the place I was going to make mine.

Read More

I hope that I’m prepared. I think that I am. I’ve been to Japan a few times, I’ve lived 3-7 hours away from my family and I can’t drive, so it wasn’t “pop in for the weekend” situations. I lived in apartment-style dorms that had some issues and had to deal with residence services not getting things done in a timely matter. (Last year there was this rotting smell in my room and I finally traced it down to this rotten gunk seeping out of the pipes under my sink. I told them about it and showed a picture, they said they’d get right on it. It wasn’t done until I went back all “Uhm, are you doing anything about it?” a week later.)

My mindset is basically a cautious confidence. Like “I’m sure I can handle everything, but I’m not going to assume I’m immune to culture shock or something just because I have some experience.” I feel that if I allow for things to go wrong, it won’t be as jarring when they do.

I’m definitely concerned about the classroom, though. I’ve worked a bit as a classroom assistant, but always with university students and never with large groups. I’m sure that gives me more experience than some of the other new arrivals, but I feel like assisting in a junior high school is going to be so different that nothing I have done will be useful. I mean, I’m not beating myself down with this. I just don’t really consider it an “advantage”.

38 07.15.14

Are you going to marry a Japanese man?

This is a question I’m kind of tired of hearing. The conversation basically goes like this…

Me: “I’m moving to Japan.”
A: “When are you coming back?”
Me: “Never.”
A: “Oooh, are you going to marry a Japanese man?”

I generally reply with “Well, it is likely considering that the majority of men I meet will be Japanese, but I’m not going to look specifically for a Japanese man.”

For some reason, most women will immediately direct the conversation to marriage. Regardless of ethnicity. I’ve had Japanese women say it to me just as often as fellow Canadian women.

It’s like a lot of people are unable to grasp that I like Japan for reasons unrelated to getting laid. I’ve even had people be genuinely shocked that I don’t fetishize Japanese men.

A: “You’re going to Japan? You must prefer Japanese men, then!”
Me: “Eh, not really. I like Japanese men as much as I like any other men.”
A: “Whaaat? But then… Why are you going to Japan?? You’re only going to meet Japanese men there!”

Imagine how much more difficult these conversations would be if I liked women.

8 07.15.14