Monday, January 23, 2006

[Work] Heartbreaking News

I thought I'd post an update, since I haven't given any news for a while.

I'm midway through my second year in Asahi (or, the Asahi part of Echizen Town). It's great here. I have a nice big house, friendly neighbors, excellent co-workers, and awesome students. Really, really awesome students. You wish your students were as cool as mine.

But, it's pretty much the same thing as last year. I want to stay for a third year, and I felt it would be best for everyone involved if I changed to a new school. My students will be exposed to a new ALT (and accent, mannerisms, etc), I won't burn out teaching the same things over and over again, and I'll get new experiences in a new place with new people. That's kind of the point of being here, afterall.

There is a particular school I want to go to. Takefu Higashi. I worked at one of their English seminars during my first year, and have tried to volunteer as early as possible for each one since then. The students there are as cool as my students here. I know, it's unbelievable, right? So, if I have to go somewhere, I want it to be there.

All of which I've mentioned before to at least some of you. Here's where the NEW news starts:

The final paperwork for me to transfer to the Ken (prefecture) board of education went through this past Friday.

This weekend, I sent an e-mail to our kencho (boss) about what to do next, as I was wondering how to file the paperwork to request Takefu Higashi as my new school.

A few minutes ago, (after studying Japanese for two hours, which is why it's 2am as I'm writing this), I opened up my e-mail account, and found a response from the kencho. I will quote the key part:
As far as a school placement is concerned however, you will be considered a new JET. This means that your placement will be a part of the same process as new ALTs coming in July. Unfortunately, you will not have the option of requesting a particular school.
I find myself suddenly, unexpectedly, completely lost. I thought as a third-year, I would get priority placement, and in fact the opposite is true.

More news as it comes in. Phoenix out.


  1. word on the street is schools can request people, at least that's what ben lansen leads me to believe. so maybe if you talk to Higashi they'll hook your shit up.

  2. I'm working at Higashi's next English camp (Feb 25th). I'll try and slyly feel them out.

    Which is to say, I will be obvious in what I want, while simultaneously remaining oblivious to their lack of interest, and possible downright revulsion.

    Just like with my last girlfriend!

    Man, am I in a weird mood right now.

    I wish I knew what they were looking for. Should I study Japanese more? Is that what they want? I'll do it, if that's what they want.

  3. ill be at the camp too. i think joe is gunning for a spot over yonder as well, so you might have to janken him for it or something. i would have my doubts on their need of japanese, lauren speaks almost none and she got placed there. but who can say how much pull the school even has. i wonder if your cho status matters...

  4. Is Joe going for it too? *steeples fingers* We shall see...

    I hope they don't need Japanese skill. Because I suck at it.

    The reason I don't get to request a school is because I'm a Cho, but after summer, I'll be a Ken just like (almost) everyone else.

    Nancy was reassuring me that there are plenty of other high-level-English senior high schools in the ken, but it's just not the same. One of my students is applying to Takefu Higashi (her interview is this Friday, wish her luck), and literally EVERY English teacher here is going out of their way to help her practice. We're not doing that for any other student.

    Takefu Higashi is Special.

    Unless Joe is reading this, in which case, it's awful. You don't want to work there. I hear they spit on you. Just saying.

  5. There's only one way to solve this dilema between you and Joe: an all-out, kock-down, winner-take-all kancho battle. -)

  6. OOP! Thomas, you're a bad, bad man. We don't talk about the 'K'-word here.