The Longer You Teach in Japan, the Better It Gets

I just ran into a guy the other night that I used to work with many years ago at a crappy eikaiwa school. It was weird because I’d totally forgotten about that place, and just seeing him brought back all of this crazy trauma. It reminded me of an alien abduction movie I saw where the abductee has a flashback and curls up under a table at a party and sits there in a fetal position shaking.

I was like that guy under the table.

The eikaiwa was run by a madwoman who suffered from acute paranoia and thought everyone was stealing from her. She made my life a living hell for a good six months before I had enough and quit. Continue reading

Living In Japan Without Teaching English

Last night at 2:30 AM, another of my gaijin friends left Japan.  What can I do to keep them here?  He got on a plane with his family back to New Zealand where he will open a convenience store (what I guess they call a ‘dairy’).  He figures that it will be more fulfilling than a career as an eikaiwa teacher.

There were serious reasons why he quit actually.  There was a ridiculous complaint that was totally unrelated to teaching leveled at him by an unsatisfied customer (oops… I mean student) and his superiors stuck up for him.  Kind of.  Well, they defended him, reassured the complainer that he’s a good teacher, and then put him on The List. Continue reading