Up until now, I’ve been keeping my JET Program blog posts on a separate blog. I want to blog more regularly, but have no desire to devote the time necessary to keep two blogs up at once, so I’m merging it into this blog. The now defunct blog is here.
Since the Japanese are more concerned about online identity protection and I work with kids in particular, all Japanese persons I mention are given nicknames.
Yesterday, it was very windy. That was great. It’s been upwards of and sometimes around 30 degrees celsius here in Nakagawa for the past 2-3 weeks, well past the usual point where the weather breaks and things start to cool off. It was still hot, but the wind made things bearable. Overjoyed, I left my house in the morning — by bike, as usual — and greeted the elementary school students as I passed them on my way to work*.
Taikyuu responded to my greeting with a worried look and worried words.
Taikyuu: It’s dangerous, Lena-sensei!
Me: (stopping, not sure I’d heard correctly) What?
Taikyuu: It’s dangerous! The wind is strong. Please be careful.
I assured him that I would be careful and carried on. This isn’t the first such exchange we’ve had. though it’s the first time he’s warned me about the wind. He’s a good kid, he knows me better than most of the other students in town since we both do taiko, and he seems to have become quite attached to me (which is really nice, actually). He tends to get really worried when he sees me doing something that isn’t wholly safe, though.
I thought he was being a bit silly, but my bike and I almost got blown sideways later that day. Read more…
My mother tells me that the first thing I ever said I wanted to be was a teacher. I don’t remember that. The first thing I remember wanting to be was an astronaut… specifically, a pilot. Much as I like learning the results of scientific experiments, I don’t much like to do them. Scientific experimentation is a tedious process. But being a girl with terrible eyesight, my chances of being allowed to take that career path were slim to none. I considered acting, but don’t have the passion to commit to strings of fruitless auditioning, working odd jobs on the side until I get lucky.
In high school, however, I locked my sights on a target about which I was — and still am — very passionate. Video games. I wanted to be a video game programmer. I learned some programming in high school, went off to college to get my degree in computer science, and started reading industry publications.
That last part is what dampened my enthusiasm. Not my enthusiasm for games, not my love of game design, not my desire to make games. No, just my enthusiasm for joining the video game industry. What I was reading synched up with things I’d noticed about the games I was playing to strongly indicate that commercial video games were going the way of commercial films. As costs to make them rose, funding to create them had to come from somewhere, and the people who could afford to fund the games wanted to make a profit and didn’t really care about revolutionizing gaming. On top of that, this was about the time that the scandal about how EA was treating its employees came out, illuminating a darker side of the industry. Read more…
Theatre has played a huge part in my life.
I’d give you specific examples, but the truth is that theatre is so tied to who I am that an attempt at making an exhaustive list would fail to properly explain. I made my debut on stage a couple of weeks after I turned nine and I can’t imagine the course my life would have taken if I hadn’t.
My introduction to the theatre came in the form of a summer youth theatre conservatory which I attended every year for 9 years — the maximum the program allowed. My grandmother found it for me after my first ice skating lesson bored the tights off me. She wanted my brother and me to each take up some kind of extracurricular activity and I, having never thought about any such thing before, was picking Things That Looked Fun at random. Read more…