Saturday, September 7, 2013

The JET Orientation: Three Days of Workshops

The three days of orientation should be reworded as the "Three Days of Discussing Culture Shock and How Every Situation is Different Orientation." The workshops that were beneficial were "Driving in Japan" and the teaching workshops that focused on your specific school grades (ex, middle school). I can't say that I remember much, because I mostly just stared into outer space. However, I had one defining moment. My friend Alexis and I attended a "Self Study for Intermediate Japanese." Aside from the handout, the workshop was useless.  However, what made the workshop amusing was the presenters. 

This graph shows how much you'll be hating life in Japan

There were two presenters, but I was only focused on the British girl. In the beginning of the presentation she expressed how difficult it was to learn Japanese (true). However, it wasn't just what she said. It was her body language. If I could paint a mental picture, she was slightly hunched over looking sadly at the powerpoint. This is where I turned to my friend and said, " I think she hides under a table at home and cries (over learning Japanese)." Too bad, I should have kept my damn opinion to myself. Why? Because everything the presenter said after totally supported my "you hide and cry" assumption. She talked about how everyone is better than her at Japanese, how she sets really low goals and, most importantly, how her school won't let her speak Japanese to her kids. 

Every time she brought up another point, I would start to laugh which would only set Alexis into a fit a laughter. At one point, I had held it together up until the "my school doesn't let me speak Japanese" and that's where we both lost it. I had to bend over to pretend I was messing with my bag, while my whole body shook with controlled laughter. I attracted some attention some fellow British JETs behind me, who also thought the workshop was horrendous.

I can't go into more detail about what happened after, but let's just say when you are retelling stories, but sure to look around. Ha!

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