All right, here we go…this is the rather inauspicious introductory post of what’s hopefully going to be a detailed chronicle of the next year and a half. Though I’m about 12 minutes away from Daylight Savings Time ending (right? since it’s March, there’s no need to save daylight since the days are getting longer…bah, anyway), let me go ahead and explain.
If you’re reading this at this moment in time, then you probably came here via blogger.com, as I haven’t begun publicizing this yet. So hello, firstly. :o) I’m Smitha. I recently graduated from Georgia Tech with a BS in media studies and a minor in Japanese (though I was a violinist in the Georgia Tech Symphony Orchestra for a longer consecutive period of time than I was involved in either of the above departments, but anyway), and I work as a web designer currently. I’ve maintained another journal, Let’s Try This Again, for nearly 4 years now (the anniversary’s in under a week).
Back in November, I applied to join the JET Program–JET stands for Japanese Exchange and Teaching. I applied for the position of Assistant Language Teacher, or ALT for short. After sending off my 20-plus page packet, I heard back in January that I had made it past the first cut and had been granted an interview. This took place on February 17th (as did my very first car accident ever–at least it served to dispel all the nervous energy that was building up that day). And just this past week, on March 31st, I received word that I’d passed my interview and was on the final ALT placement short-list. After they receive my confirmation info, I’ll hear back about where in Japan I’ll be placed in May. My departure date is July 22nd or 23rd, depending on which flight out I catch (and I’m still working on upgrading my version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, and installing the Japanese Language Support plug-in, so I can actually read the .pdf’s the Atlanta JET coordinator sent me).
The news is still slowly sinking in. And with it is the realization that I have so much to do in the next 4 months before I leave…I have to figure out housing, medical insurance, bank accounts, credit cards, setting up a phone line…I have to buy clothes (which’ll wait till after I find out what area of Japan I’m placed in) and supplies, and a laptop…I have to start researching how feasible it is to be a strict vegetarian (read: no meat, and definitely no fish) in Japan…I have to work on my Japanese, since I’m already getting pretty rusty with just a few months of no regular practice…
Okay, it’s now 3:00 AM. I’ll be posting back-entries summarizing my application process and interview, and I’ll talk more about…well, everything…soon. The next few months will all be preparatory–after that is when the really juicy stuff will hopefully start. I definitely intend to maintain this regularly and set something up to display all my photos. But for now, good night!