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Four Years After the "Nova Shock"

The Japan Times has a mini-retrospective on Nova four years after its collapse, with yours truly given a chance to flog Nova's corpse.

For added measure, there's also a piece on the horrors of working for Gaba.

According to William, his troubles began back home in the States when he was interviewed for a teaching position at Gaba by webcam.

"They told me I would be legally required to teach 160 lessons per month for visa sponsorship at a rate of ¥1,500 per lesson. But that didn't happen."

William says that rather than the 40 lessons he was promised, he averaged only around 25 — 30 on a good week, and sometimes as low as 10. "This was a source of conflict between myself and my management," he says.

Despite the fact he was teaching what amounted to a part-time schedule, he had to be in the workplace 40 hours a week or more.

"I would be sitting around in a booth — they would call it a booth, but I would call it essentially a prison cell — and you are expected to sit there until something falls off the cart," he says.



What a predictable reply, but as for projecting? Yes, yes, you are right.

"I" am projecting and it's all in "my" head.

Yes, you are right, you are right.

You are very, very, very clever (cough, cough)

It’s been pointed out time and time and time and time and time again.

You are a troll.

You are a super troll.

But most of all, you are a super stalker.

You have been up to your sick little tricks for years.

Only you can change that. But we think you never will.

We think you will remain imprisoned by your own mental weakness for eternity.

Yeah, bravo on pointing that out. You got me there. Because we both know that your statement that caused me to comment on in the first place, I think the same could be said of most "educational" institutions in Japan. I wouldn't get much job satisfaction working in public or private schools forcing teenagers to cram for stupid and pointless entrance exams, is totally useless in terms of adding anything to this dicussion.

"Most" educational institutions. And how many might "most" be? 60%? 75%? 80%? The answer is, or course, that you have no idea-this is just based on your entirely anecdotal opinion. Let me put it this way-even if every single personal experience you had with an educational institution in Japan has lead you to this opinion, the size of the sample population-every educational institution in Japan-is so large that it effectively renders any opinion you have about what goes on there pointless, given your personal experience hardly constitutes a representative sampling.

I would have settled for a journal article citation, or some kind of reference to back this position up. But as always with guys like you, you seem to think that merely living and working in Japan automatically affords you some ability to make sweeping generalizations of it's society and culture.

Not all high schools in Japan make their teenagers universally cram for entrance exams. I happen to work at one that doesn't, depending on where the student plans on studying upon graduation.

"Not all high schools in Japan make their teenagers universally cram for entrance exams. I happen to work at one that doesn't, depending on where the student plans on studying upon graduation"

The point is you are just a helper in a High School in Japan. So shut your mouth and stop big noting yourself.

Excuse me Mr. Intellectual but I hope you get the point. What the person is trying to say is that you had better wake up to what it is that you do for a living. That means shove your standard deviations and talk of sample sizes up your rectum. That’s what it means. Up your rectum. You got that? Up you god damn son of a bitch rectum. Or does it have to be spelt out for you more simply? Hope you don't miss it.

I would have settled for a journal article citation, or some kind of reference to back this position up.

Ooh! Fancy! I'm not sure lesser intellects such as... well, myself and everyone else except you, could manage anything quite as impressive-sounding as a "journal article citation." How about a quote from a newspaper?

But as always with guys like you, you seem to think that merely living and working in Japan automatically affords you some ability to make sweeping generalizations of it's society and culture.

That's rich, given that this is all you appear to be basing your opinion on:

Not all high schools in Japan make their teenagers universally cram for entrance exams. I happen to work at one that doesn't, depending on where the student plans on studying upon graduation.

Good for you. How superior that must make you feel. It's not exactly what I would describe as "plenty of anecdotal evidence." Plenty? Hardly. All you can do to back up your assertions is cite your own experience, which does nothing at all to prove me wrong or demonstrate that the manner in which you draw your conclusions is in any way better than mine. It just makes you look hypocritical as well as insufferably condescending. Well, here's a question for you. If most private and public schools and universities in Japan are really doing such a great job, why is anyone bothering to spend time and money on jukus (nearly all high school students wanting to get into university, according to this article and eikaiwa schools?

By the way, "it's society and culture?" I'm not usually a grammar nazi, but I hope you're not teaching stuff like that to the students at that ultra-progressive, right-on school of yours.

Are you a Doctor Who fan then? It follows I suppose, all trolls are geeks at the end of the day. Hope you're getting your rocks off over my monikers on here.

Just watch how this sets him off again.....

William may be a complete honky white mofo, but he does make a valid point, that is that you appear completely deluded that someone is addicted and obsessed with you over the internet.

This person that you've constructed in your mind actually provides you with comfort, safe in the knowledge that there's some other maniac out there who, just like yourself, gets obsessed, trolls and stalks people over the internet.

You're an extremely disturbed man, and I hope to god there's no way of tracing IP addresses over here.

The most disturbing thing about this troll is that he doesn't get the fact that he's a troll. He thinks he's a genuine poster, and tries to absolve himself of all responsibility, placing the troll/stalker/nutcase label onto his "arch-enemy". Just he makes a feeble attempt to hold out an "olive branch", off he goes again on another round. There's no stopping him.

Somewhere out there, he's loose in the classroom, in front of a group of giggling Japanese students, who no doubt all love him and think he's god. Jeez, do I fear for them, and the damage he's doing to their collective psyches, without them even knowing it.

This is all very interesting and useful though. Many thanks.

Why are you talking to yourself like this? You were the one who hijacked my name, bombarding the board with a string of shite so that the name got banned. Not to mention the oodles of nonsense over on NTU, for god knows how long. And you're saying this guy's a troll who's obsessed with you?

Take a look in the mirror mate. You're an out and out, disingenuous lunatic.

You know what?

I love the work-shop / group therapy aspect that has developed during the most recent evolutionary surges of LetsJapan.

What you say, brave as it is bold, is fundamentally true.

Working in Eikaiwa or for anyone in Japan as an English language teacher does tend to make people talk to themselves.

And this place does actually evidence it.

What I like is that at least you have the courage to step forward and raise it as a topic of discussion.

The instructor mental health awareness and impact on instructor mental health ramifications could be enormous.

Indeed, the thought “I might as well be sitting here talking to myself” is a negative thought that has actually plagued every instructor in Japan from day one.

In actual fact, many instructors do spend most of their time talking to themselves, or very close to it, at work and outside of work.

Let’s work shop it further. I can’t just now. I have a call coming in, and I am sure it is me.


Even though you are making a joke of it actually talking to oneself is a real phenomenon in Japan for English Teachers. I think the root causes are the overly and constrictive nature of the job itself and the self-limiting nature of the culture. People end up suffering from identity crisis. I used to compensate for it by having a definite on-line identity which reflected who and what I called “the absence of me” in Japan could be. It helped me get through. You know. In a world thick with Oseiji, the thought that I could actually be listened to and that my opinions really could count and stand for something, helped me. It was nice to have the possibility there. Getting it out there so to speak. Surely there was someone out there who could relate to what I was thinking and agree with me! That is of course until some silly buggers got sick of reading my rather loose opinionated self-promoting waffle, and hi-jacked my handle. I have never been able to quite forgive them, and still want justice, but I am at least more balanced these days. The need for justice only comes in waves. It used to happen every day. Getting out of Eikaiwa helped me I suppose. Anyway, I just wanted you to all know that from my own first hand and personal experience the topic is real and relevant. Just about all Eikaiwa workers sooner or later end up suffering from mental illness to some extent. I know I did. And I still miss my handle to this very day.

Who do you think you are to make such broad generalized statements?
I admit that I do end up sitting in my apartment talking to myself. Especially when the net is down. But I view that as being good intonation practice.
My students ended up benefiting from it.
Why do you view everything so negatively?
Like it or not talking to yourself can prevent you from going completely bonkers when you are in Japan.
It’s so easy to focus on the bad side of things. It’s not just me you know. Many people like me prefer to look on the brighter side of things. Talking to yourself can at first feel strange but at the end of the day, especially you record it and play it back to yourself, it can help your lessons.
For example, “That did not sound quite right. Perhaps if I use a different tone I might be able to communicate the point better”
In Japan accent and intonation are important selling points. Talking to yourself can actually help. You can even give your recordings to the students.
Talking to yourself? It happens in Japan. It happens to just about everyone so use it to your advantage.

There are real language teachers….

There are real teachers….

There are real teachers who fake it as language teachers….

And then, last of all, on the bottom of the dung heap, there are people who are not real teachers and are also not real language teachers, who get very confused about the difference between the two, and fake it as both….

They are otherwise known as “Eikaiwa Instructors”.

You will find lots of them in Japan, working in places like Nova or ECC or Interac.

Bottom line. Eikaiwa is run by crooks, and it employs monkey dancing idiots.

We went to the HQ in Harajuku for the orientation. The people giving the spiel were dipshits. There was a blonde woman, Canadian I think. Had the brilliant notion of speaking naturally to all students. Pity those poor pricks who needed a bit of help and support. Her lipstick kept getting on her teeth. She was aware of this and kept moving her mouth accordingly. Then there was this really tall dude. Bit of a dick, obviously an ABSOLUTE NOBODY who though he had made it in the managerial world. (We all know what happened now, don't we. he…he….he…). There was also perhaps a Japanese/American dude. He tried to be the big man by telling us not to get in trouble with the cops. Seemed like one of thos "don't worry boss, I'll keep the monkeys in line" types. They mentioned availability for overtime quite a few times, like they had been primed to do so. At that time, overtime was in huge demand. Even though I was such a newbie, I could smell the fakeness through their suited asses. Cardboard cutout people for a house of cards joke company.

At my "school" there was a feel goody poster featuring some of the fore mentioned morons on it, sitting around a big table with broad, fake grins. I remember telling the staff that I wanted to keep the poster when it came down. Why? "Evidence" I said half -jokingly. How fucking prophetic. I wish I would have gotten it, as it would have been good sport for everyone to play 'spot the loser' when taro the guppy started doing backstroke.

I was at Harajuku a few years later. Looked forward to walking past the office and letting fly a big golly onto the NOVA sign. Patooiiiee!! Or at the very least empty my nostrils over it. But alas, the office was gone. At least I found some satisfaction spitting on a NOVA flag some time later. You know, the big ones that used to be outside on the sidewalk. Was I being immature? Hell yeah!! But hey, after having done my time as a battery hen for the mad ape Saruhashi, I felt as if I had EARNED THE RIGHT.

How the FUCK anyone in their right mind could have taken that criminal pyramid scam seriously is still beyond me.


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