Japan

Reacting to Dokdo in the Classroom

March 5, 2014
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Reacting to Dokdo in the Classroom

It’s not always inevitable that Dokdo will come up as a foreign English teacher in Korea. Unless you’re assigning your students newspaper articles to read and they happen to choose one regarding relations between Korea and Japan, or they happen to have particularly right-wing parents who want to use their children to promote Dokdo...
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Food Discoveries in Fukuoka

February 1, 2014
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Food Discoveries in Fukuoka

Fukuoka, Japan will always hold a special place in my heart. As my first vacation spot inside Japan, I was introduced to so many new things: capsule hotels, ramen at the yatai, nightlife worth going out for, and the laid-back atmosphere of Kyushu. I’ve been back once before while passing through on my way...
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Making a Visa Run to Japan

January 30, 2014
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Making a Visa Run to Japan

First off, I should point out my situation is unique. The majority of English teachers are hired prior to departure and able to secure their Korean working visas in their respective home countries. I, on the other hand, received a 90-day tourist visa on arrival and hand delivered my E2 paperwork to an employer...
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Posted in Japan, South Korea | 2 Comments »

Plotting a Return to Japan

October 18, 2013
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Plotting a Return to Japan

It’s no secret Japan has weighed heavily on my mind since I left in 2008. I had a good setup there: - A brand-new apartment in a quiet area with a heated toilet seat. In the mornings I could run to a park overlooking Kinko Bay and see Sakurajima smoking in the distance. -...
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Traces of Korea and Japan

October 1, 2013
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Traces of Korea and Japan

Korean people are the most common to find anywhere on the planet, with populations in the millions outside their home country. It should come as no surprise that I encountered a couple here in Peru, touring the Santa Catalina Monastery. When they asked my friend to take their picture, I had to be sure:...
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Risking Disfiguration and an Exposed Scalp

September 28, 2013
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Risking Disfiguration and an Exposed Scalp

I will admit from the start I have very little to complain about when it comes to getting my hair cut in a foreign country. We can all say it: I’m a guy. Who cares if a barber messes up my ‘fro or shaves it all off? It’ll be back in a month or...
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Living At Home: Cultural Perceptions

May 7, 2013
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Living At Home: Cultural Perceptions

I feel ashamed. Like a failure. Broke, though I have some money in the bank. Inept, though I’m qualified to do many jobs. Lazy, though my routine isn’t really too different than that when I’m living in my own apartment. Unattractive to women, a source of mockery. Shorter, smaller. Sheltered. Mollycoddled. It’s only been...
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If I Did It: Returning to Japan

October 12, 2012
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If I Did It: Returning to Japan

It’s not the same as it was before, when I had to return to Dallas with my head hung low, lacking any job prospects and feeling pretty miserable about myself and the direction my life was headed. Such was the state I was in when I decided to apply to schools in South Korea....
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You May Say I’m a Dreamer

May 19, 2012
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You May Say I’m a Dreamer

I’ve come to realize something about myself: two years in Japan shaped my personality far more than high school, university, perhaps any other major transitional period in my life. Not to equate myself as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly by a cocoon of Japanese culture – obviously I held on to certain beliefs...
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Japan: Pros and Cons

April 22, 2012
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Japan: Pros and Cons

I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve been thinking about returning to Japan as an English teacher. And while I consider a pros and cons list the sign of a mind too confused and weak to truly appreciate his situation (should be able to work it out in his head), I couldn’t help but turn my...
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Posted in Japan, Living in America | 2 Comments »

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