Learn All The Things!

So just an update as so so very much has happened in the last few days.
As many of you may know I am very technologically inclined and as a result I have tracked down every little detail about my placement and what to expect before I would have found out anything bar the cities name if I hadn’t taken the initiative.
I did this by posting in the ITIL and official forums, tracking down the Kobe-shi CIRs and extensively networking on Facebook. For any new JETs heading over who are desperate for details regarding their placements, CLAIR tends to be very slack in releasing details (my situation is case and point) however i guarantee you there will be a plenty of current JETs that will be more than willing to help you to the best of their ability if you put yourself out there.
So on Tuesday I finally discovered the identity of my predecessor (by Facebook lurking until I came across him) I have been chatting with him since and he has been extremely kind as to reply with insight into the 3 pages or so of questions I sent him. Alas at last the plethora of queries I have had in the back of my head for the past few weeks have been answered. Turns out he did break contract early to work for private ALT dispatch company, so effectively I have him solely to thank for my amazing placement and early departure!
Schools
Regarding my teaching schedule and placement, seems that I am fortunate enough not to have my schools spread to widely or far from my apartment. I will be based at one large JHS on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, whilst my Tuesdays and Thursdays shall be spent visiting 2 nearby ES’s.
All 3 school are less than 5km away from my apartment so once I get settled in I might consider purchasing a mamachari and biking it (even if just from the station) as I think this would be a great opportunity to get some exercise and explore my local area on the way to and from school 🙂
Apartment
Although I am inheriting my predecessors schools, he is remaining in Kobe so I shall be moving into the apartment of an ALT who vacated a month ago, as a result I will be of those unlucky JETs that moves into an empty apartment bar the four F’s supplied by the Kobe BOE which are:
-Futon
-Fridge
-Fone
-Fan
Also since I only intend on bringing 100,000円 with me as the AUD-JPN exchange rate is less than amazing at the moment, my new home might be a bit on the spartan side of things for the first 2 months! At the end of the day when it comes down to spending my yennies on beer or furnishings obviously the apartment can wait 😛
After joining the Kobe FB group I have met a heap of super cool Kobe JET’s who will be my future neighbours in the apartments around me as I was told the which room i would be getting from one of the CIR’s. One such kind soul sent me some pictures of her apartment to give me some idea of what I’m getting into (as all the apartments are carbon copies) only that mine will be on the bare side of things. It’s only a 1DK so its not particularly huge but the fact that its located in Gakuentoshi, Kobe (debatably the best placement you could ever hope for as a JET) more than makes up for it. Anyhow here are a couple of them.
Basically I have just been blown away by the kindness and hospitality I have received from the JET community thus far and I haven’t even arrived yet!
I have high hopes for the next couple years, I stressed over placements so much prior to finding out I was headed to Kobe but something tells me I’m going to fit in just fine ^______^

I am Shortlisted!!!

I can’t even describe what im feeling at the moment!!!!!

I just rushed home early from work, ran to post box and there was my letter from the Japanese consulate, I vigorously ripped it open and tears swelled to my eyes as I read that I had been shortlisted for the 2012 JET Program! I’d go into more detail regarding the animalistic screaming and involuntary flash-dancing that ensured, however I shall abstain from elaborating and retain some dignity.

Its been an enduring period of anticipation leading up to the results (62 days in fact), I’m not exaggerating when I say that waiting is by the most difficult part of the JET Program application process.

For the past 2 months I have kept my mind off my ambiguous future by studying Japanese as much as humanly possible and occupying my evenings marathoning TV series. I became exceedingly engrossed in Zombie fiction after watching The Walking Dead and as a result find myself constantly criticality assessing buildings I pass on their potential of defending against the Zombie apocalypse………. yes applying for the JET Program probably definitely will make you this kind of crazy.

The wide range of emotions I have gone through during this period have been testing at times, everything from brash overconfidence to weeks of sleepless nights plagued by rejection (often zombie themed) nightmares.

However I always fell back on the thought that if I were to start the whole application process over from the beginning, would I do it any differently? Well no.

I worked harder putting together my Statement of Purpose and studying for my interview than I have for anything else in my entire life! God if I was this dedicated at university I would have graduated with honours. =P

One of the hardest contributing factors is not having anyone to talk about the frustrations one goes through waiting with (bar the forums) as the JET talk got old with my friends and family long ago. It would have been amazing to have a friend applying alongside me if only for the moral support.

I have read through the JET Program General Information Handbook (GIH) and found it incredibly informative, in fact I wish I had come across it prior to my interview as much of the information contained within it regarding conflict resolution and living in Japan is interview gold (note: the current years GIH is released in February each year)!!!

Now how to kill the time for the next month or so before placements are released…….