the nikku

reflecting on ESL/EFL and its relation to faith

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

But how are you feeling?


In response to the most popular response to my mass email, "How are you feeling?":

I am feeling relieved. Relieved that I know what I will be doing for the next two years.

I am anxious. Of course!

I am confident. I've been to Japan before! For a combined total of three weeks. I know everything there is to know about Japan. :) riiiight.

I am excited. I am excited to teach something I know well. Excited to use my skills, and to be useful for my students and my school. I am excited to learn all the modern day intricacies of a culture whose history is longer than 300 years. I am excited to be a part of a culture that still has some rules about what social interaction should consist of.

I am worried about what the process of learning a new culture will entail. I am worried about how long it will take to make new friends - I am just getting to know some real friends here in SF! I am worried about being a foreigner for two years.

I am curious. I have read (thanks for the book BP & NP of CL! It was very useful) that in Japan your classmates become your second family. And when you are done with school, your co-workers become your second family. I am curious to see for myself just how "group oriented" Japan really is.

I am looking forward to meeting my students and co-workers. I look forward to working with, teaching, and being taught by them. I am looking forward to the challenge of making the material interesting and memorable for students with whom I have very little in common.

Mostly, I just can't wait.

***

I think it is important to note, that when I was living at home, I promised myself that I would NEVER be a teacher. As I watched my father work - very hard - it seemed very troublesome and not nearly rewarding enough.

And now, only one year after my college graduation, I feel as if being a teacher may be one of the greatest things ever. Right now in SF I am volunteering as a teacher's assistant in an English classroom for immigrant children. Already this experience beats my six months of software development, hands down. If only the two jobs paid the same!

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