Saturday, August 28, 2004

Message to Sophia Poole

This is a message for Sophia Poole.

I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but couldn't. I don't know if this is a problem at my end or at yours. Whatever, I have some questions for you. Some of these might be too personal for you to want to answer, but feel free to pick and choose.

Here goes.

You say you are in your second year. What do you teach? How long do you intend to stay? Is this a 'time out' or a career? How are your working conditions? What kind of institution do you work for? How are the living conditions? What about your visa? How long do you get, and can you renew easily if you want to? What sort of cultural problems do you encounter? Are you treated as a real teacher/person or as a foreign oddity? Both? How are your students? Are you free to teach the way you want to? Is daily life comfortable? What about access to decent medical care, is that available? Can you save money? How is the housing? Are you learning the language, or is it not necessary/too difficult? Can you get around without a car? Is the food good? Do you get enough holidays? Is navigating the local bureaucracy not too difficult?

I have more questions, but that will do for a start. I wish I could leave these questions on your blog, but since I can't, I'll just have to hope you come back here at some point. As a NZer living in Japan the experiences of ex-pats anywhere interest me, very much. I know you've just started your blog but I'm itching to read more. Please don't stop now.

(I hope you are using something like Statcounter to track your hits, so you will know that I've visited several dozen times to leave lots of hits on your record and provoke you to return the visit and see this.)

(Also, if anyone else reading this can leave comments on Sophia's blog (why can't I, dammit?), could you please point her back here?)


Badaunt said...

Never mind pointing her over here. I've done it myself. (Something was wrong with my browser, now fixed.)

Anonymous said...

Oooo they got rid of the ads at blogger, nice :o)

A Broad Abroad said...

Hey there! Excellent questions, and a definite instance of synchronicity - only last night I was talking to a Kiwi who'd just completed a year in Japan with JET. I went to a JET presentation about ten years ago, and was totally sold on the concept of teaching in Japan, but since they said the cut-off age was 35 (iirc) I've had it on a back burner. I'm thinking about trying Japan after the end of this year, though, because it STILL really fascinates me - look forward to picking your brains about life there! Meanwhile, I think I'll answer your most excellent questions over in my Blog. Thanks for the welcome!

Badaunt said...

I'll go comment on your blog rather than here. (This is getting confusing.)