Man, I kind of feel bad now. Part of me is relieved like Jenner, and for the same reasons. But another part of me also knows how much you really wanted to go. Throughout all of this, it was never that I didn't want you to go per se, but that I wanted to check if you'd thought about this from all angles, and offer some perspective if I could. Ultimately, you gotta make the choice that you think is best, and that you're going to be the most comfortable with.
I don't know if this will help, but I'll offer something similar from my own experience.
For the last two years of college, I was getting prepared to go into the Peace Corps. I knew a lot about it, I'd spoken with a lot of people who'd gone, and I even wanted to eventually go into the economic development field. PC is also rather well-reputed, so it would've helped me in that regard. ... I ended up deciding not to in my senior year, and went ahead and started applying for regular jobs in DC. There're a few reasons for it (some of which weren't quite accurate reasons), but nonetheless that's what ended up happening.
Now, I don't regret not going. Things might have turned out differently, but there's no saying just what would've happened. In its place, I got the job I'm currently working at, and I was able to position myself to get promoted rather quickly because I was spending the first two years here instead of in the Corps.
One philosophy I hold to pretty strongly is that I never have any regrets, and I don't view anything I've done as a waste. I've made mistakes, sure, but no regrets. Things turn out a particular way and nothing is ever a complete loss: I didn't go into the Corps, but in exchange I got another two years at my current position. You may not be going to Japan to teach, but in exchange there are things you can take care of or invest your time/effort in here.
What I'm trying to say is that there's no need to think of things solely in terms of what you've lost. Count off the things you gain and are thankful for, and it can put it all into a more balanced perspective.
Nobiyuki wrote:I was about to make the same goddamn mistake I made when I decided to go to art school. Not enough planning, just follow my heart and see where it takes me. Well, 7 years later I’m not in an art career and still paying school loans. Yeah, that was really friggin’ smart. I nearly did it again too. I’m such a stupid person.
This could be another thing to apply the 'no regrets' philosophy to. Did you really not get anything
out of art school? Take a look at old drawings you made 10 years ago, and then what's in your sketchbook right now. Anyone you met while going to school there? Any directions it took you in that you wouldn't've gone in otherwise?
Yes there're costs, but there're costs to everything. All those years (and money) spent on learning Japanese in my case didn't actually help me with my career, but it was still worth the effort, even if the most use I've gotten out of it has been entertainment- or personal development-related. Most people don't even go into a career related to their college major--but it doesn't mean that those years in college were wasted.
Nobiyuki77 wrote:Now, I work an office job with much better pay, with nice people who like me and respect me for who I am. Or at the very least, they pretend to. ^^ Either way, I have a very agreeable job with very agreeable pay with a very agreeable manager with opportunity to potentially move up the latter in the future should the opportunity arise.
Sean, I actually was under the impression you were still working at those irritating retail jobs as when I met you years ago. I didn't know that you had something more stable and enjoyable now.
It's after-the-fact now, so I don't know if knowing that would've changed anything I said. Although it is, like you said, something to consider in the decision on whether or not to go.
Nobiyuki77 wrote:Kizyr did scare me last night yes, but that really isn’t the crux of this decision. It’s more so the question he posed to me yesterday and today.
“Why are you going?”
I’m going to learn Japanese, I answer. This is true, and in and of itself is not a bad answer. But then, I was struck by another question. One I hadn’t really thought about for a while.
“Why are you learning Japanese? For what purpose?”
The answer… is videogames. I have old videogames in Japanese that I want to play and be able to read and understand. Then I smacked myself in the head.
I really hope that this is truly what led you to your decision. Half of that hope is admittedly selfish: I feel like I've discouraged you from doing something you may have wanted to do. The other half though is that it does signify you're making this decision 100% for your own reasons. Were I in your position, I think that this question plus my current employment/career would be the two biggest factors.
I did find out a bit more about Interac and the EFL scene in general, but not much more. Basically, Interac isn't one of the bigger private EFL providers (AEON I think is the most well-known). It's possible to "move up" from working with Interac by getting a contract with a private school (so basically going from being contracted-out to being directly employed by a school), but those contracts can be just as risky as working with Interac/AEON/etc. in the first place. I also hadn't even considered the problem of finding housing: renting is not easy, especially for foreigners, as landlords are really hesitant to rent places to you. The company can find a place for you and avoid that hassle, but on the flip side you end up basically living wherever the company tells you to, and it can be difficult to move.
By the way, half my impetus for learning Japanese was because of video games. I did get interested in other aspects of Japanese culture as a result--history, poetry, literature, and calligraphy to name a few things--but I'd be lying if I said that video games weren't the biggest factor when I decided to take up the challenge. Whatever your reasons are, what really matters is that they're your reasons.
Hell I learned Orcish for Jenner. That's
not gonna get me anywhere.
Oh yeah, on-topic.
Nobiyuki77 wrote:Thanks Jenner. I'm sorry to have worried you two, but I'm really glad I posted this here. Kizyr was the only person I told who raised concerns, and that's what got me to think further about what it was I was actually embarking on. In a way, I'm still kind of mad at myself; I should be old enough and mature enough to think this through on my own without Kizyr breakin' out the harisen and giving me a few pointers on critical thinking. I've got a ways to go.
The most I did re: critical thinking was drop some hints and ask some questions. Otherwise, it was just specific knowledge, like trying to do some research on Interac, or spreading some of what I learned from immigrants who were living in Japan. In other words, you were thinking through this on your own.
So that this post isn't a complete downer..."You’re nearly 30 years old! You have to make time in your day to play the games you do today! In English!"
Bah, gaming doesn't end at 30! It just begins!"You DO want to get married someday, yes? Say goodbye to game time when that happens!"
Hogwash! Marriage means you finally have a Player 2. And someone to do all the Chocobo Hot & Cold sidequests while you're at work."Kids? Forget it; you live for your kids now. You’re not playing games anymore. Time’s up for you."
I dunno what you're talking about. My kids are gonna be gamers.
"But I wanna play the new Final Fantasy 26!"
"No, not until you finish both
Final Fantasy 6 and 9."
"Aww, but they're old and the graphics are so ugly!"
"Go to your room and don't come back until you've finished the opera scene!"
Unless they rebel and get into, I dunno, sports or something. KF