Two weeks ago, the decision was due as to whether one would continue on another year as a JET, or not. I just realized I have not written about that yet!
I said yes, of course, I want to stay. I've rehearsed all the reasons, but the basic underlying notion is that when I imagine that I only have six months left in Japan, I feel terrible. I feel choked and trapped and desperate. It is simply not enough time to do all that I want to do here. (This is not a surprise; I doubt there ever will be, for any place)
I briefly considered not recontracting based on my reaction to leaving the US after Christmas, but ultimately, that very reaction was an echo of the same symptoms. I didn't want to leave because I had more I wanted to do, more people I wanted to see, and in general, more I wanted to say. The difference is, I'm not planning to live in Japan for 'the rest of my life.' Once this gig is over, it's over. And when a gig is this sweet, you've got to really work it for what it's worth. This opportunity is a goldmine and I'm not done yet.
What, to have only one autumn in Japan, and it already be over? To have only one Japan spring to look forward to? And only one year of trying to remember names and faces and impart some English verbs to these students? Only one year of the ridiculous stupidity I've displayed? I should stay if only to validate those lessons learned..!
Honestly, the question in my mind had been more of whether I would stay just two years, or three. ^_^ This, however, is not a big deal, as I don't have to make decisions like that for some time, and I am sure I will be equipped to do so when the time comes.
Even though I more or less knew I would stay, I basically refused to say as much. I take commitments pretty seriously (it's just a personality thing I have), so I am not going to say "I'm staying," until the paperwork is turned in. I don't like to go back on my word or decisions, so if there is even a grain of a chance that I will change my mind, then I won't deliver sentence.
Now that the decision is officially made, and only major understandable catastrophe will prevent it, I can say, I've decided to stay.
I have no idea how I'll feel a year from now. One drawback to this time schedule is that everything could change in April. They rotate teachers around the school system after they've been in a place for around 5 or 6 years, and from what I understand, two of my three JTEs are pushing that limit. I could have two totally new people to work with once April gets here. I might get really awesome and engaging co-teachers. I might get teachers who SUCK [at working with me and using me effectively in their classes]. Either way, I am predicting that I will lose at least one of my partners in English.
This change in April isn't just English teachers, of course. They move VPs and principals too. I'm pretty sure to keep them, and Mikan-sensei (the guy who is kind of like my keeper, and of the three, my favorite co-teacher).. but I am aware that a shift in personnel means a shift in the entire feel of an office environment. I could go from a happy and laid-back office to an office full of xenophobes without even leaving my desk..!
This was calculated in my decision to stay. I'm glad I get to keep Mikan-sensei, and for the rest I'll just have to take my chances in the mystery wall.
This is just one thing that can contribute to a complete change of heart between my decision date 2010 and decision date 2011. I'm sure you'll know which way the wind is blowing as the seasons change.
A mini-update on Jermaine: I killed him quietly on Wednesday night because I thought that surely after a week and a half, he was too disgusting to go on, and also that the wound underneath must be MOSTLY HEALED BY NOW. The first: true; the second: not so much. What ha' happen' was, It began to heal really well from the outer edge inward, and I guess planned to meet in the middle once it healed its way there. So the middle was (is) like this horrible gross wound and the outer edge is almost fully healed..! I had the nurse approve of the disgusting shade of gross that the wound happens to be (I wanted the pink of new-healed flesh and I get the red of.. well..)...