Monday, September 14, 2015

The Plan

              I don’t think it will come a shock to any of you when I say I recently graduated college. After all. I’m pretty sure I announced it. Didn’t I? Well. If not. Here is the official announcement.

Oh yeah. This is my AWESOME graduation photo. Robert, you know, the Dear World photographer, was a speaker at my graduation and also did a photo session there. I was soooooooo lucky to be able to meet him and have my photo taken by him.
Go find the place that's good for you.
              Okay. Now you can’t say I didn’t tell you.
              Coming back to Japan I had a couple of goals and this year I plan to knock quite a few of them out. Or, to try anyways. Listed in no particular order…

Goal number one:
Attain a driver’s license. While I miss my baby and being able to drive in general, I don’t particularly want to buy a car. I’m told there are quite a few costs associated with that. Rather, I want to have the OPTION of driving. If I need to go somewhere, or travel to somewhere, I’d like to be able to easily rent a car. Yes, I have an international driver’s permit, however, it expires in August. The number one reason I want one though? The street cred. When people ask for my identification I want to hand them a shiny driver’s license instead of my foreigner card. 

Goal number two:
              JLPT N2. It’s now been one year since I passed the N3 examination. It has also been approximately 6 months since graduation. I took time off from studying because, let’s face it, I’ve never had a REAL break from it. (Summer vacation doesn’t count). Not to mention, I had no summer vacation this past two years thanks to study abroad. Not that I regret it, but I missed out man! All that free time… just gone. *sigh*

             Back to the point. I have finally picked up my books so I can start studying. I’m most worried about two areas. Number one is kanji. Okay. So not EXTREMELY concerned about this one, but I have noticed that I’ve forgotten quiiiite a bit of kanji I should know. So I need to start hitting the books on those again. While I only basically need to know them when I see them for the test, I simply CANNOT remember kanji unless I’ve written it ten thousand times. Yep. I’m one of those. Flash cards and writing them out over and over and over and over and over until I’m dreaming about them again. I’m going to get carpal tunnel thanks to kanji someday.
              Number two is the most concerning. Reading comprehension. Listening I have very few problems with. Vocabulary and grammar come with practice and time. But reading comprehension leaves me totally lost and confused. In fact, I think I only passed this section by the skin of my teeth on the N3. So I need to start ramping it up. I’m not sure how to go about this yet. I am thinking about trying to pick up a middle school level book from my school library or public one (is there even one in my town???) and see how I fare. Fingers crossed.

Goal number three:
              TESOL. Ah TESOL. Just the thought of you makes me wish I’d majored in education or at least taken a few more classes in it. As I want to be a long term English teacher in Japan, the TESOL is the first step along my path. I’ve been told over and over again that no amount of accreditation is going to make people see me as a “real” teacher over here. And while TESOL isn’t exactly a teaching degree, it’s a start. It can help get my foot in the door at other jobs once my time on JET is over.

              Once I’ve attained this I’d eventually like to take education courses to become a full-fledged licensed teacher, but for the time being it’s looking a little difficult. For one, I would need to live close enough to a university to take the courses as no reputable program I know of will allow me to earn my certification online. I also am unsure as to whether I want to try and attain a Japanese license or an American license. If I ever plan on returning to the states, the American license is clearly going to be the better investment in the long run. On the other hand, if I do stay in Japan long term, the Japanese one would be better to go for, if not exceedingly difficult due to my level of Japanese ability.

              So there you have it. The plan. At least as far as certifications go. I’m currently debating taking the N2 in the summer and, if I get the grant, I will be completing my TEFL around next December or January. As for the license, I’d love to get it before August, but it’s the least pressing of my concerns.

              As always, if you have any pressing questions or topics you’d like to hear about, please let me know. I’d love for my blog to be more interactive and would love to talk about the things all of YOU want to hear about!

Until next time!