Friday, July 23, 2010


I mentioned before that this time of year is when a lot of people in my job go home, and new ones arrive. I'm an ALT- Assistant Language Teacher- here in Japan. There are several different ways to become one: direct private contract, work for a private company or apply to the government program.

JET- Japan Exchange and Teaching- is the Government program. Japanese Embassies around the world (36 countries) interview potential candidates and liaise with towns, cities and private schools here to see what they want. They select candidates and then they ship them out. Generally they come in 4 groups: Group A, last week of July, Group B, first week of August, a small Group C- for upgraded alternates- at the end of August, and an April Group, for those countries who are on a different school year from the West, mostly the other Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

When new JETs first come to Japan, they spend 4 days in Tokyo at a huge Orientation, where they listen to Ministry Officials, CLAIR Officials (The organisation that runs JET has the same name as me, except my name is spelled different. It makes for fairly hilarious jokes), and current JETs present on a wide range of topics.

Tomorrow, I leave for Tokyo Orientation. I don't have to present, but I will be present at both Orientation A and B. I'm the Block 1 (4 Northernmost prefectures) representative of AJET (Association for JETs)so I have to be at both of the major Orientations. Not that I'm complaining. That's 2 weeks in Tokyo without having to use any of my vacation days.

Even if Tokyo tends to be 40C and 85% humidity, I'm happy. Tokyo is just like NYC- absolutely fantabulicious to visit, but you might not want to live there.

Oh, as for my net presence... I'm trying to set up posts for every day. I'll have internet access but I'll be superbusy. So I may not be as active commentwise.

I'm so excited!!! SHINKANSEN :D (high speed train- just in case you haven't heard me freak out about them before)


Alleged Author said...

Have fun at Tokyo Orientation!

Marsha Sigman said...

Have a great time and take pictures! I know you will!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Have fun. It's fascinating to hear about Japan. Tell us more when you have time.

Postman said...

That's what I've heard. Tokyo's a grand place to spend a day (or a week) but living there...yeah.

You've REALLY got my curiosity piqued now. I want to hear EVERY LITTLE DETAIL OF THIS PLACE when you get back, seeing as I'll be there soon. My Canadian friend climbed Mount Fuji and hung out in Shibuya for the few days he was there, and I'm jealous as hell.

Claire Dawn said...

Thanks guys! I'm already exhausted. It's Monday, and I haven't even had time to even be online- 14 hour days... I'll try and have stories for you guys. I hope I get some time to take pics.

Oh, and if you're ever in Japan, look me up.