At the Counter

The rain was falling pretty steadily and even though I had an umbrella, I was still getting wet. Only a few more blocks to the red lanterns and greasy pine pillars. I was looking forward to this. God I hated Fridays. My kids class drove me up the wall. With Chris and Yo gone, I was the only male teacher in the school. I wasn't interested in my coworkers' gossip about the latest trendy dramas or forays to the local gaijin bar. I was going to forget about all that now.


Hearts and Minds: The Effect of Let's Japan

Background: We were initially surprised to find an email from GEOS. The subject line didn't bode well, either. However, as you read, you'll see that the missive is in our favor. We appreciate the note and revel even more in the notion that people are coming to our site for information.

Subject: A word to the wise
Date: Wednesday, 14 February 2001 19:25:15 +0900

The First Few Hours

About one month before I was to leave for Japan, I received a "Welcome to our School" card from the staff of the GEOS school I was being sent to.

It had greetings from all of the staff, a floor plan of the apartment I would stay in and a bunch of other miscellaneous information about Odawara, the city where I was to make my new home. One of the staff had even scribbled "Go Canucks!" in the card. I was looking forward to my stay in Japan.


Four Views of Mt. Fuji

The white Hyundai Pony of Doom rolled to a noisy stop outside my house. The door slammed shut with it's characteristic crusty sound. I walked out to the street and met John by the car. We were soon hurtling down 104th avenue. The floor of the car was covered with the shards of broken cassette boxes. The covers of various Black Sabbath tapes were mashed into the floor and smeared with shoe prints.

Fairies were wearing boots in Ozzie's world. On the back seat of the car were cassettes and empty beer cans. The car smelled like cigarette smoke and gasoline.

A Day Off

I had to get a day off, which is not the easiest thing to do at Nova, with one week's notice. Of course I could have just called in and said 'not today I have suddenly found a great drinking buddy on the train last night so I won't be up to 7 seniles all day' (the first level at Nova is 7C and the students are rarely beginners so the lessons are frightfully boring for the students unless the teacher acts like a monkey or worse窶蚤 drunk lunatic desperately seeking intelligent interaction), which is what my schedule seemed to be full of at this point.


The Last Straw

When I joined GEOS I was a very willing teacher. I would have done almost anything for the company. I thought being a teacher was a noble thing (still do), after all, you're not trying to convince somebody or sell something. I looked forward to a career in the company. The recruiting office in Vancouver had told us all about the wonderful opportunities in the other divisions of GEOS: travel, publishing, management. I figured I'd like to make a go of it. I thought I could be the kind of guy who works for a company. I thought I could get something marketable from the experience.

A NOVA Paper Chase

Many thanks to our Deep Throat for providing these documents. She tells me that these attendance sheets are nothing but a headache for managers when a student asks to see them. They are something that she would never show to a high level student and would use every excuse in the book to keep them from being read. For low level students, she would cover and read them, making up a BS story the whole time. Read them. They speak for themself.


The Unbearable Lightness of Being Scott W.

In January of 2000, a contributing writer to the site wrote an article that would launch a personality to the forefront of the eikaiwa debate in this country. This man brought to light a question that at once crystallizes and clarifies the entire English Conversation industry dichotomy. The question: "Like, is eikaiwa a chill way to make a few bones and go on with your life or is it, like, some kind of job (career), man?"



A Quick Drink

I had just spent the day in Tokyo. I was really tired and a little depressed. I had just had an argument with a friend of mine, one of the only at the time, and I had to go home. Home was Odawara which is a little bit of a ways from Tokyo- if you take the local train it is a good two hours away. I was too tired for that.


Osaka Bound

I'm looking for a list of schools approved by otherpeople that work or have worked there in order to avoid falling in a shit hole.



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