Is this the real life

Did I suddenly run out of things to write?

Life has become more normal.  Now that we are able to relax at home, normal-life things are no longer so alarming!  What is interesting is that I am finally teaching real actual classes with real actual students in them.  I teach at a few different places, which is interesting: I teach kids who have been given disadvantages by the world who speak fantastic English.  I teach kids who have everything and don’t even try.  I teach kids who know it all and are so shy they won’t look up from their desks.  I teach kids who know nothing but want so badly to learn that they never stop talking.  Every class, every lesson is something new, a brand new job every single day to adapt to, take on differently, and look back on with fresh regard.

I think that’s what I enjoy so much about teaching, the thing I never really thought about before: your “career” is not always about some sort of grand final ambition, the ultimate task.  Sometimes it is less defined, more simple: today, I am doing something new.  Every day I am doing something new.  It is discomforting, unsettling, but perfect.  The nerves of what cannot be anticipated begin to fade.  Instead of lamenting the unknown I embrace it because it is an inevitability.  I am perpetually aware that I am the outsider, the American, the tall white guy who every single kid thinks is cool (or an idiot) just cause he’s different.  It wears off on me, I feast on their curiosity.  I am my own brand new enigma, unravelled to every class differently, at my own pace.  To me this is what I always intended when I considered the idea of changing my life by coming here.  Not just the things I do but the way I approach events, thought processes, attitudes.  It’s exciting!

Also, there are so many snack foods and candies and chips and dried fish jerkies and restaurants that I could never try them all.  I can get a new drink from the vending machines every day for months. 

We are anticipating the delivery of an IKEA as-is clearance mattress which is in perfect shape but was returned by someone and stuck in the clear-it-out room for ¥9900.  It is a glorified futon, and I can’t wait to wake up without feeling like my spine is made of walnuts.

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3 thoughts on “Is this the real life

  1. mom says:

    it is so rewarding as a mom to hear you speak of your career "unfolding"…to hear you "discovering"…and you actually LIKE it! That is the ultimate! I'm so glad you like teaching..giving back. You are giving each student a little part of yourself that will stay with them forever. (mom is beaming!)

  2. Alicia says:

    I hope that mattress you get is better than the one that was in my dorm in Japan. It was called a bed, but it was a very thin futon on top of a wooden box. Very uncomfortable; if I hadn't left when I did, I was going to break down and buy a mattress pad from Jusco.

    Oh, and try the hot lemonade. It's really good, as is the canned hot chocolate. Probably better when it's cold out though. :)

  3. Jon says:

    You should write something every day. Get it? Get it?!

    After you settle down, things stop being so interesting to write about all the time, even if they still are in your head. Or at least that's how I felt.

    How many different kids do you teach every day (or week or whatever), out of curiousity.

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