October 2014

Message from the Editor


I don’t know about you, but the end of summer and the beginning of fall have been a perfect combination of work and play. As for the play, this term is filled with so many national holidays the time not spent lesson planning is spent planning my three day weekends. First Hong Kong, a family barbecue, and then Tokyo later this month, and we still have two more in November to get ready for. Make sure you are all set when the time comes! HAJET’s been doing its part to keep the weekends fun with its Hanshin Tigers event (they won 7-2) and last month’s book club. If you missed out join us in November for our next meeting.

The time off is also perfect for enjoying the weather and scenery before it gets too cold. That means heading to the parks, shrines, and temples and catching the maple leaves before they fall away (Kyoto is highly recommended). If your school is like mine that means it’s also preparing for Sports Day (or Culture Day if they do Sports Day in the spring), literally a day of play. No classes just cool dance routines and wild competitions, of course you have to wait until the monotonous marching ends.

However, I said this time of year includes work as well. Besides preparing for midterms and helping 3-nensei get ready for their entrance exams, this month we all will have the Skills Development Conference on Awaji where we get a change to share best practices and talk with JTEs about how to improve partnerships in the classroom. I also always enjoy October since it means the start of my more culturally oriented lessons, starting with Halloween and followed by other major holidays over the next few months. Speaking of Halloween, do your best to think of a creative costume or get a small group together and do something themed. You never know, you might just terrify all the passengers on the train to Osaka making little children cry as they tightly grab on to their mothers. If you’re looking for an actual Halloween party somewhere other than Osaka, join other Hyogo, Kyoto, and Shiga JETs at Club Flamingo on October 25. Trust me, it’ll be perfect for decompressing after the SDC.

My last piece of advice for October is to look farther down the road past these three-day weekends and start thinking about what you want to do during winter vacation. The October paycheck is great for buying airline tickets back home or to another tourist destination and reserving accommodations. Like always reach out to fellow JETs to get a group together or simply for advice. You don’t want to put it off past October or you literally might be left out in the cold.

In this month’s issue, you’ll find our usual sections along with two new contributors, Bender and Rackle, respectively sharing their expertise on Koreatown and music. If you’re not following our fiction section brought to you by Brittany, make sure you start and catch up as necessary. It’s superbly written and quickly becoming a real nail-biter. Enjoy fall, or as our PR this month points out autumn, while it lasts. It’s one of the best, yet shortest seasons Japan has. As a friend once said “Memories don’t live like people do, they always ‘member you. Whether things are good or bad, it’s just the memories that you have.”





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