Meeting in Tampa

Monday, June 26, 2006

So I finally got to go to the Q&A meeting in Tampa.

First of all, I'd like to say that I was a little scared. I've been known to miss very important meetings and even a few finals. Now, this meeting was originally set for Saturday the 24th (yesterday) but it was changed a few weeks ago and we were all given strict information that it was to be today and NOT SATURDAY. But, because of my past history of misreading memos and such, I was afraid that maybe I read the email wrong and it was really yesterday and I missed it. To console myself, I had to keep rereading the email every few hours just to make sure that I was correct. In the end, I was totally right and I got there on time and everything was perfect.

I met about 15 people who are all ALTs and are of course leaving from Miami on the same plane I am. Hopefully, they will prove to be good conversation for the 15 hour flight. I met a few people that I knew right off the bat would annoy me to no end and others that I think I could be friends with. No one really struck my fancy as being bff-forever sort of people, but then again none of them were stationed anywhere close to Kochi so I won't be seeing much of any of them. That is unless I want to do a Tatami Swap which doesn't sound like a bad idea...but I digress.

I also found out that the majority of them had not ever been to Japan and had studied close to nothing of the language or the culture. They are going to be in for a huge surprise and I wish the best of luck to them. Japan is so different from anywhere else I've ever been to that I can't imagine choosing to live there for at least one year without first checking out the place. I really hope they have a good time. Hell, the first time I went to Japan I didn't know any of the language and I enjoyed myself immensely!! But I was only there for two weeks...

As for the questions, most of them I either already knew the answers to or they weren't really that important but good to know for fyi. For example, I knew about the dress code and the weather and how to deal with the weather. Everyone's been giving me the same info for that (Heat one room in the apartment/house and stay there until you absolutely have to move somewhere else. I did hear that one person made a little fort out of her Kotatsu and spent many a night underneath it! hahahha...I might do that)

I learned that Japanese men are fun to date but not that great for long relationships. I'll tuck that piece of information away in my mind for a later date when it becomes relevant.

I learned that some good omiyage are old navy shirts which go on sale the day after the 4th of July (American shirts) Apparently everyone loved them.

I learned close to nothing about lesson plans. That was something that I really wanted to know about and most people didn't seem to care. All the topics were on what happens when you get there and how to survive. Nothing was devoted to actual job performance. I know that JET isn't known for it's great teachers or anything like that but a few general ideas would be nice. I finally asked one of the former ALTs about it. She was a 4th grade teacher here in the states and said that it's not actually teaching (duh). She said that it was mostly game playing and nothing more. It was nothing that you had to have any skill for or any real training. I, on the other hand want to do a really good job. I'm not saying she didn't do her job well. I'm not saying that at all! I think she probably did a fantastic job! The thing is that I want to do a good job and that means I want to be prepared for it. I want to bring things from America I want to be ready for whatever tasks they throw at me and I want them to remember me and actually learn something!


Lastly, and most importantly, I found out that I had forgotten to fill out my tax form here in the US so I can take it with me to Japan all filled out and certified. It takes about 30 days to do and since I have about 40 days, I think I better get cracking. I actually started freaking out about it, like I do whenever I realize there's something I've forgotten (AGAIN!) but I realized it's a simple thing and being a little late on the paperwork is not bad per se, it's just very very inconvenient. Hopefully, I'll have it faxed and on it's way by tomorrow morning. Good luck to Nina, she totally needs it (^_^;)

I leave you with a funny video. I recently saw the Lake House with Christina and I loved it. But during the previews, there was a commercial for 6 flags. It was the funniest and most random thing I have ever seen. This isn't it, but it's close. If I ever find the commercial I'm thinking of, I'll be sure to post it :) for now, Enjoy.

2 shared their love:

Kathy said...

Hey, Nina!
My name is Kathy and I'm from Tampa, Fl. I just stumbled upon your journal today and am very happy for your JET placement! I am going to be a Senior in college this next year and plan to apply for JET so your blog is very encouraging! In addition, one of the places I'm looking into applying for is Ehime since a few of my friends have been placed there this year and it is very close to Kochi from what I understand. I look forward to reading your journal entries in the future about your experiences in Japan! I only hope I'm so lucky as to get into JET next year....I'm nervous about it already and the application process hasn't even started yet...I just like to know what I'm getting into I guess. I've wanted to do JET since my freshman year, however, and look forward to applying. I was wondering though what you thought of the Miami consulate? I'd prefer to apply through ATL since my college is located near there (SC) but since my permanent address is in Tampa, would I have to apply through Miami? I don't know if you would know but I thought it wouldn't hurt to introduce myself and ask. Like I said, I hope you have a great time! :)

PS- Sorry this is so long but I didn't see an email address to contact you through.

OSB said...

Japan is approaching soon....

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