Archive for category Off Topic
I am happy to report that I have a new job. As of this morning, I have signed a contract with Kyoto Sangyo University as a Contract Lecturer with the General Education division. I will be teaching compulsory first year English to non-English majors. It’s a very good job at a very well-known university and I couldn’t be happier. I was sorry to leave Momoyama Gakuin University, but all good things must come to an end, and I am looking forward to the new challenges that a new position brings.
My teaching career began on January 10, 1998 when I first arrived in Japan, for those doing the math that is fifteen years ago today. I couldn’t find a photo of me from that first day, but here is a picture from my first weekend off, when I went to Nagoya Castle. It was fun to look through my old (analog!) photo albums from that year, and if I have the time (and I remember) I will try to post some more images as the year goes along.
As someone who was raised in Aurora, Colorado, not far from the Century 16 movie theater complex, I am deeply saddened and shocked by this senseless incident. My heart goes out to the victims and their families and I hope for a speedy recovery by all those who were injured. It’s at times like this that I cannot help but reflect on the tenuousness and uncertainty of life and I can’t escape the knowledge that any of us could be gone in a moment. Certainly none of us expect to be gunned down at the movies, but then again none of us expect to be hit by a bus either. It is so important for all of us to live each day to the fullest and to make our lives meaningful, for we never know when our last day might be. It would be easy to write this off as just another shooting in America, but I see similarities to violent attacks in Japan. Early indications are that the shooter was unable to find meaningful employment after graduating from university. We may never know whether or not this contributed to his motivation to perpetuate violence against the innocent, but it seems that this is becoming an all too familiar scenario – the marginalized in our society reacting violently because they have no hope. This was the case in the 2008 stabbings in Akihabara and the stabbings in Shinsaibashi just last month. As an educator, it is my job to give my students knowledge, but events like these make me rethink that perhaps I should focus less on my students’ intellects and pay more attention to their emotions. Maybe my job should be to fill them with knowledge and hope. I don’t know how to do that and I don’t know if I will be successful, but I believe that I have to try.