Monday, December 19, 2005

cheating on the “End of Year Review” meme

for my non-cyber fluent relatives this is a meme that all my friends are doing. meme rhymes with dream and, according to wikipedia is "a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation.” the meme that my friends all did reads like this:

Meme: Go to your Calendar and find the first entry for each month of 2005. Post the first line (or so) of it in your journal, and that's your "Year In Review".

Since I didn’t start my blog until August I’ve flipped through old letters and journal entries. I’ve cheated and chosen the most reflective or best writing, rather than the first of each month. Most are substantially longer than one line too. but life has been exciting. so enjoy. It’s been a crazy year. (also, I’m adding a retrospective entry at the beginning of each month on my blog. that way, if you are looking for something, or a picture, it might be easier to find. or if you want a quick way to catch up, it’ll also work for that. you may need to hit your refresh button to see it.)

while I’d give my current relationship an 85% chance of imploding miserably in the next month, I’m tired of breaking people’s hearts and am not going to get involved again soon.

I had every intention of giving the Univ of Chicago a chance but after wandering around the gothic architecture yesterday and waking up to rain on snow this morning, it's going to be that much harder.

(a letter to Rob after a long midnight talk)
I have no idea if you realize how much of a live saver you were Wed. night for me, but I wanted to say *thanks* in a big way. I called David and he says that he's driving up this weekend with his car. So he's prepared to get his stuff even if he vows that he hasn't given up yet. This will be rough but I think I'm finally ready for it.

… isn’t it a good time to have a mind boggling adventure? isn’t it a good time to postpone my graduate school career and all it entails? isn’t it time to run through the rain and laugh when I slip in the wet grass?

and I think to myself that this could be a huge mistake. this could be a miserable commitment. this could ruin many things.

(part my application to NOVA English school)
In short, I have set myself up for a promising career as an academic and scientist. Yet I do not feel compelled to take the next carefully planned and prescribed step. I am not remarkably excited to start graduate school in the Fall; I somehow feel that at this moment pursuing a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology is not a challenging enough objective. It is not a challenge that inspires my imagination.

(A letter to two of my advisors and mentors, Janis Weeks and Pete von Hippel)
But, for now, I am not ready to start a 5-year PhD program. Instead, I have accepted a position teaching English in Asia. I feel that this is the best time for me to engage in such an adventure, while personal and professional obligations are still minimal. I feel that this international wanderlust is better satiated than denied.

I’m caught up on the idea of voyaging back to the source, as Tom Robbins says in his book, Another Roadside Attraction. I feel like that’s one reason I have to travel and, specifically, why I need to live in Japan again, even though I’m not convinced that there is any one source. So I’m looking to find something even though I don’t know what or where it is. I don’t know what it looks or feels or smell like. I’m not sure if it will feel like home or not. I’m not convinced that I’ll want to stay once I find it. But I do know, that at this point, I do want to go out looking.

And so I’m off to Tokyo, not remembering the language, not remembering the customs, doing something that I haven’t studied and don’t know well. I’m off to explore and be responsible for a job that I’m afraid will boggle me. I don’t know how to teach, especially something like my native tongue. I’m not sure what to make of the situation I’ve gotten myself invited into.

I know even less of how to say goodbye.

After 100 pages of workbooks and four days of training up in Vancouver BC, I'm now qualified to teach English Conversation at on of the most expensive schools in Japan!!! Wooo hooo!!!!

I arrive on the 18th of August. The adventure begins.

one of those stupid foriegners who says 'hi' to every white person they see.

it's funny to me that despite choosing to live abroad we all gravitate to each other. part of it is the language, of course, but also the cultural humor is very different. it's about everything being a little too small.

yes, it is the end of the month and I finally got payed. and before I open a bank account and turn my small fortune in to digital dots, I thought I'd play with all the pretty paper first.

here was my first (Septemeber) paycheck [picture], after rent and such was taken out. 923 yen or about a little more than eight american dollars.
(that's payment for one day minus rent for many days)

“Kori Sytle adventures”
1) put on my tennis shoes and grab my bag
2) start walking
3) keep walking and/or hopping trains and/or busses until I find something new and beautiful

and that's how I spend my free time. maybe a little too hard to explain when the students asks in broken Engrish, "what are your hobbies"

My cat looks at me and I think that she knows. I think she knows all kind of stuff like where my mom is and how she’s doing.

1 comment:

Murray said...

I have such amazing friends and you are no exception. I'm glad to have such inspiration in my life to help keep me from becoming boring. Keep it up.