At first blush the title of this blog seems simple if not stupid. I will grant you the second but the first we need to discuss.
There is a word in Japanese, 本気 (read: Hon-Key … the ‘o’ being read as a long vowel) that means serious, earnest, or real (as in, “are you for real?” The answer to which is, “you bet you life, sister.”)
If you then travel over to the English dictionary and look up the word ‘earnest’ you will find this: serious in intention, purpose, or effort. Showing depth and sincerity of feeling. Full of seriousness, as of intention or purpose.
When I set out to start a life in Japan I had no idea it would be a permanent move. The one thing I did know is that I was coming to be a teacher. I had dreamed of being a teacher on and off for the better part of ten years at that point and I had my heart set on being the best teacher I could.
In the five years that I have lived here I can say that at times I have lived up to my intention and at others I have failed miserably. Teaching, especially in Japan, did not live up to many of my expectations at first and I learned a lot of valuable lessons about the necessity of altering ones perception to fit the reality.
In February of 2012 I took a job working at an international preschool in Japan and it has been one hell of a rollercoaster. Teaching, especially small children, is one of the greatest jobs on earth as far as I am concerned but it requires a lot of a person. It takes heart, it takes patience, it takes love, it takes massive amounts of energy and determination. In short, it takes someone who is earnest. You have to be 本気.
This blog will be dedicated to all the craziness that is being a caucasian male teaching small children in Japan. Let me warn you now, it’s not all sushi and ninjas… and that may be the saddest line I have ever typed.