Monday, January 18, 2010

Well. . . I guess this means I'm going to Tokyo.

I sent an application for the JET program again this year. I applied to the program once before, and was interviewed last year. I documented that experience here. I just heard back from the Japanese embassy, and the good news is that I won't have to go through it again.

I was rejected, flat out. This is strange to me, since I thought my prospects would have improved. By the time of my second application, I had successfully defended my master's thesis (with a clear pass, something which only one other grad student in physics had accomplished at UNBC) and satisfied all of my dgeree requirements-- in other words, the only thing standing between me and a MSc degree was a silly robe and a long, boring ceremony. Not only that, I had been taking courses in Japanese course, and even got a letter of recommendation from my prof (I guess a measly 99.5% grade just doesn't cut it for JET). Plus, I had been doing teaching work as a supplementary instructor for a physics course, which added to the lab teaching experience I already had.

So what the hell happened? Did the poor economy result in less teaching positions? Did they decide they weren't going to give a one time semi-reject (I made it to on to the alternate list) like me a second chance? Did I bungle the application in some way that I managed to avoid doing last time? Did they somehow manage to find my blog and discover all the nasty things I've been saying about certain Japanese politicians? Honestly, the confusion that arises from being rejected despite being a stronger candidate is actually less distressing than the rejection itself.

Why? Well, first off, being rejected means I can leave for Japan sooner. If I were accepted, I would be waiting around until August before flying off. Second, it means I can go to Tokyo-- you don't even mention the word Tokyo on the application form for JET-- and that, to say the least, will be an adventure.

But ultimately, what it comes down to is that I don't need JET. I chose JET because I thought it offered the path of least resistance to getting to Japan. We all know now how well that idea turned out. On top of that, I'm a master of fucking science. A government position teaching English in some podunk high school in Asscrack prefecture is-- and I don't say this often-- beneath me.

(Gosh, that didn't sound bitter at all!)

I'm still willing to tutor English, don't get me wrong. I may even take a TESOL course before I leave. Until then, I'll keep saving up my money, kicking ass in Japanese. . .

. . . and writing the motherfucking Sailor Moon movie. That's right! You thought that just this once I wasn't gonna mention my little pet project. Well, think again! This is my new thesis, people. Only this time, I'll actually enjoy writing it!


Naomi said...

Wow, fuck those guys. Good for you Jeremy, you should just go for it and get yourself an actually respectable position befitting of your grandeur and education. From what I hear, Jet are really weird in their choice of candidates. I'm sorry they didn't accept you, but at the same time I'm glad because I think you'll find a much better path to Japan, one that's really your own, with your own interests in mind. Good luck brother, I'm certain you will find great success!!

Jeremy K. said...

Thanks! I've set a tentative departure date for June, since that'll leave me time to save up money and attend convocation so I can actually get my MSc in person. I'm still not sure how long the visa application process takes, or if I need to have all my money ready by the time of application, so like I said, tentative.

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