September 2015

School’s starting, the heat is still blaring on, and the second month of the JET year has begun. Welcome to September!


As those of us in attendance to the Hyogo Welcome Party this past Saturday were reminded, things don’t always go according to plan. Less than an hour and a half until our designated meeting time, we received the worst call imaginable: the beer garden would be closing due to inclement weather and we were S.O.L. Though panicked, we were able to pull together a last minute plan. IZNT isn’t an ideal place for talking and seeing new faces (I did manage to meet a few of you!), but I for one am glad we were able to all hang out together. Long lines and the necessity to shout much of the time did not deter our festivities!


On a smaller scale, welcome parties seem to be a harbinger of mistakes for yours truly. The morning after the party my first year was my opening ceremony (thanks Ono). So naturally, I missed both my last bus and train. I learned that taxis were prohibitively expensive and that stairwells induce paranoia. Eventually, I discovered an internet cafe very near my bus station and spent the rest of the night there. I arrived just in time to give my introduction speech and jumpstart a few cardiac arrests for the JTEs.


This month to drown out your sorrows from plans gone awry, we hear from some first years why they joined our noble program, and our newest contributor, Rory, shares his reason for choosing Japan in depth, as well as a short fiction piece to join the second chapter of Sometime Last Week. Our alumni column, “Where Are They Now?” has been resurrected, with our first contributor Dusty Wittman of Shiga. In Kicchiri Kitchen, Mandy brings us a recipe for egg salad sandwiches. If you missed Summer Sonic, you can read Rackle’s article, which may inspire you to attend future music festivals in Japan! Want to have a more intimate musical experience? Read about your many karaoke options and make a slightly more informed decision on your next outing. If your next outing happens to be farther afield and takes you into Kanto, you can read up on Yokohama.


Missteps, meltdowns, and mayhem are inevitable. You’ll miss a bus, the kids will be uncontrollable, you’ll fall in a gaijin trap, venues will cancel on you at the last minute, you’ll have to speak on the phone. The sooner we can accept and embrace this, the easier our lives will be. Truly, one of the most valuable skills for anybody to have is the ability to adapt quickly. When you run into trouble or unruly classes, take a deep breath; as frustrating as they are, they are some of life’s most valuable teaching tools. You’ll learn and grow and soon no group of students will be able to resist your sweet English speaking ways. Don’t let bumps in the road deter you from your chosen route.


Brittany Teodorski

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