Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Timeline: my road to Japan

January 2005
I watch my first anime, and the originality instantly amazes me. This isn't your average Saturday morning cartoon - this is something the West couldn't or wouldn't come up with in their wildest dreams. The characters, the plots, the settings - a little weird sometimes - but overall Japan's creativity is so boundless that three years later I'm still fascinated.

October 2005
I start watching Japanese musical theatre. This, on the flip-side, is where everything becomes familiar. With my background at a performing arts high school, it's endearing to see how some things are the same on every continent.

November 2006
I start listening to Japanese popular music. Despite not being able to understand a word - except for (barely) the ones in "English" - I enjoy a great deal of songs, and some artists become my very favorites.

June 2007
I graduate with a Bachelor's in Comparative Literature. In the long-run I want to be a librarian or author, but at this time of my life I'd like to do something more adventurous. I look at teaching English positions in Russia - because I spent two years learning the language - and Japan - my current infatuation.

August 2007
I apply to Nova, one of four major English schools in Japan. I am offered the job, and am scheduled to go over in January.

September 2007
I start to hear rumors that Nova isn't doing well financially and haven't paid their Japanese staff in months. I keep my eyes open for other opportunities.

October 2007
I apply to a smaller company that places teachers directly into schools (unlike Nova which has its own buildings).
Nova goes bankrupt. Thousands in the country are left destitute.

November 2007
The other company offers me a job. I am scheduled to go over in March 2008.

February 2008
I buy my plane ticket. I'll leave Seattle on March 14th, 2:30 pm, and land in Tokyo March 15th, 5:00 pm. The flight is ten hours, but the time zone difference is 16 hours ahead. This will be my first flight across the Pacific Ocean.

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