Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Another goodbye.


I know this post is going to probably sound repetitive because it's another goodbye but this was something I definitely had to post. I mentioned before I was volunteering tutoring English at my local library to immigrants. I took some training over the summer but it's one thing to have the training and it's another thing to do it.

I had a I had a 55 year old Mexican woman and it was definitely difficult to develop lesson plans that I believed would suit her. And she previously didn't have such good experiences with other English teaching services that were available. I didn't want to leave her with another negative experience. Luckily after the first few sessions I was able to establish a routine that she liked and would be able to learn from.

For the longest time I was worried that she didn't like my lesson plans and wasn't learning anything but when I told her that I was leaving to Japan and when she asked when I was coming back I told her I told her I was not sure if I was coming back anytime soon. She exclaimed, "Oh no! You're the only teacher I have ever learned with! I wish you wouldn't go!" and that made me so happy and sad at the same time.

I was honestly so surprised and it meant so much to me. I told her she could have her next teacher use my lesson plans to help.

And today was my last day, so she came to our meeting with the bouquet. She wished me the best in my life and blessed me and whatnot. It was nice because it reminded me of what my mom does. I wish her the best in the her life too.

Saying goodbyes are always a bit sad, but I'm looking forward to the future.
13 days till Japan.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

And I have reasons to believe that I'm not the only one you spend this time with, but I'll stay.


So I completely lied, the last concert in California was going to be the Silverstein and Being as an Ocean out in Hollywood. I forgotten about it because I got the tickets a while back. Thomas was going to come out but he ended up not being able to due to work so I took my friend Jenny.

It was at the Fonda Theater and the venue was super cool, I loved it. It had a vintage feel to it and was really clean, definitely falls under my top venues and it might have beat the Observatory if the balcony was open.

Coldrain was also going to be performing and I thought that was a big plus. They were the second opening act and they fuckin' killed it. Coldrain is always great live and never disappoints. The crowd was also pretty good, and I could see people getting into it and talking about how good they sounded.

The band after then was Emarosa I think? They didn't sounds good live to me, especially the vocals. I asked what Jenny thought as she agreed.

After them was Being as an Ocean, and I was pretty disappointed. I really like them, but they didn't sound too great live. At least they played, This Loneliness Won't Be the Death of Me.

After Being as as Ocean was Silverstein and of course they didn't disappoint and the energy of the crowd went way up, I loved it. I've had Smile in Your Sleep stuck in my head ever since they played it. I was a  bit bummed they didn't play a Midwestern State of Emergency though, but it was still a great live.

It's so hard to believe that I'll be leaving to Japan soon. I have my visa and everything, it really trips me out how quickly time flies. Just need to pack!

16 days till Japan.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last day with the little ones.


Today was my last day vounteering at the elementary school. I don't remember if I mentioned this, but I was volunteering at a pre-k classroom to get some more experience working with kids. I volunteered at a daycare with infants to 7 year olds but I thought it would be good to get some experience at a school setting and see what they are capable of learning at their age level.

I really enjoyed it, it was something to do and the kids were cute. They had their moments when they are not so cute, but for the most part I really loved them. And I became especially attached to this little boy. He took a liking to me right away and he stood out to me because he has a difficult family situation. I just hope for the best, though I'm so scared for the worst.

It's crazy how much people can touch your hearts, especially little kids. I won't forget the kids I met, and especially not this little guy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

flawless.

We teach girls to shrink themselves 
To make themselves smaller 
We say to girls, "You can have ambition 
But not too much 
You should aim to be successful 
But not too successful 
Otherwise you will threaten the man." 
Because I am female 
I am expected to aspire to marriage 
I am expected to make my life choices 
Always keeping in mind that 
Marriage is the most important 
Now marriage can be a source of 
Joy and love and mutual support 
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage 
And we don't teach boys the same? 
We raise girls to see each other as competitors 
Not for jobs or for accomplishments 
Which I think can be a good thing 
But for the attention of men 
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings 
In the way that boys are
Feminist: the person who believes in the social
Political, and economic equality of the sexes


― Beyoncé feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Happy International Women's Day ♡

Monday, March 7, 2016

Getting my work visa for Japan.

Getting my visa was pretty straight forward, after obtaining a certificate of eligibility from my school that is sponsoring my visa I just had to go to the General Consulate of Japan in LA. It's literally in the downtown area near the Broad museum so you can make a day trip out of it if you don't live in the area.

It's best to go in the morning around the time it opens up which is 9:30am. I went around 10am and the room was empty and there was only one person before me. When I came in the afternoon the following time, it was super crowded and it took around 30-40 minutes for them to call me up.

It isn't too bad, but if you want to leave the city before LA traffic starts, it would be better to get there in the morning because the consulate closes for lunch from 12-1pm and LA traffic generally starts around 2pm when heading East.

It's fairly simple, all you need is your passport, the visa application, a recent passport photo, your certificate of eligibility, and a copy of your certificate of eligibility. They will look over everything to see if everything was filled out correctly which takes about 3-5 minutes and then they give you a paper to come back in 3-4 business days, depending on the area you live.

It's all pretty straight forward! Oh, but parking in the building for the consulate is extremely expensive if you get there later, early birds are $15 for parking. Whereas later on it's $33. I wish I can remember the times but I can't remember for the life of me. There is parking around the area which can be anywhere from $15-20 so try to get there earlier to look for specials.

The people that work there are nice, if you need help looking for the consulate they will direct you to it. The old man who helped me with my visa was very kind and let me come even after my name was called because I wasn't in the room at the time. He was also asking questions about when I previously was in Japan because he saw my student visa and told me what I needed to do if I wanted to renew my visa.

I know if you don't have a certificate of eligibility it's a bit different and that I can't help but they have the forms on the website so be sure to download those!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Reasons for Moving to Japan.

Several people ask me why I'm moving to Japan, so I thought it would be good to just have a post to answer this. Most of my readers who've been following me for a while understand why but maybe there are some new readers that are curious. Also, I asked so much, sometimes it good to have it somewhere I can just redirect people to for when they do ask.

I like Japan. I mean, I didn't study East Asian Cultures and study abroad in Japan for nothing. Why I like Japan is a whole other post, but I really enjoyed my experience there and felt like I wasn't done with Japan after my study abroad experience. I enjoyed how I lived my life and I wanted to come back to explore more of the country.  
I got a job right out of college. I was applying for jobs in California and Japan and depending on which job I landed first and was better was going to determine where I would end up. I ended up getting a good job in Japan where I can support myself, have a place of my own (yes, that means no roommates), pay my loans, and still have some left over cash to go out with friends. Whereas, in California I found a job that basically paid minimum wage, I was still living at home with my parents, and if I did move out I would need roommates. Of course, the job in Japan was more appealing. Mind you, if I stayed and worked hard to look for a better job in California I'm sure I would have found one but I already found a good job abroad which was the goal so there we go!
I get to travel. Living in Japan and being a teacher makes it easier for me to travel to other parts of Asia and just other parts in general than if I were to be in California with a regular office job. 
I get more experience in my field of work. Even though my major was East Asian Cultures, if I were to go back for grad school my major would be education. I want to do something in the field of education, whether it's a professor, a study abroad advisor, an academic counselor, or work in a school's office, I just want to work in an educational setting. Whether I go to get my masters is still up in the air, but the fact that I will have some experience within the field of education will definitely be helpful for my possible future career goals. 
 The variety of people I meet. I remember I loved being in Japan because I also loved meeting people from different countries. Not only do you interact with Japanese people but you interact with other foreigners living in Japan or traveling and it's so great to hear about their life stories and how they got to where they are at their lives. I really enjoyed meeting the people I met abroad, and most of my good friends I did not meet in my own country. 
Gain independence. I liked living abroad and doing everything on my own and not relying on anyone other than myself. Was it sometimes difficult and overwhelming? Yes, but overall it was a great experience that definitely helped me grow and overcome several aspects of my life. As I mentioned previously, I have strict parents which makes it hard to spread my wings, as cliche as it sounds. I need space to grow and be my own person, I can't keep doing that with them coddling me and trying micromanage my life. Being in Japan gives me distance that I need to help figure myself out and gives me the space I need to grow.

That pretty much sums most of it. I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are the main ones I can think of. People ask me if I'm going to be in Japan forever, and the answer is: I don't know.

Studying in Japan and working in Japan are two different things, who knows, I might hate it or I might be completely fine with it, or even love it. Or, I might want to travel to somewhere else. Or, I might want to go to grad school. I don't know. So, I'm going to take it one year and a time and enjoy my life.

After all, I'm young and single so I have no obligation to anyone or anything, for the most part. If there is anytime to experiment with your life and figure out what you want, it's now.

Friday, March 4, 2016

the last bookstore.







Thursday after me and my sister left the Consulate of Japan we headed to The Last Bookstore, my little sis thought it would cheer me up since I was giving myself such a hard time about forgetting my passport.

It did make me feel somewhat better, she came across it online. It's this huge place was tons of new books, used books, and art. It really had a nice feel. If I lived in LA, I'd probably come here consistently to get books and just read and chill. They even had a records sections with several different type of vintage vinyls.

I saw The Little Prince and Harry Potter coloring book and I wanted it so bad, but I decide to be an adult and not buy it due to moving and lack of money. It was definitely a nice place and it was really close to the Consulate where we walked.

Mind you, it being LA and all, the walk was not too pleasant. Lots of homeless and sketchy people and different spots of the street that smelled like piss. Walking in broad daylight is totally okay, and with someone. Definitely WOULD NOT recommend going at night, going by yourself is okay, but still would probably be best to have someone there even in the day. Better safe than sorry!

I've honestly been to LA more these past couple months than I have been my whole life. And I can say, that I do really enjoy downtown LA, the more kept parts of course. It's unfortunate it's so expensive and so impractical living there, but there's a lot to do. I love the downtown areas of cities.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

eggslut.




Me and my little sis went out to LA today because I was turning in stuff for my visa. My dumbass forgot my passport in my nightstand so I'm going to go back tomorrow with my older sister. Regardless, we ended up having breakfast at the famous Eggslut.

I wanted to eat here so bad, because it's been hyped up and tbh, I'm such a sucker for the name. Me and my younger sis arrived early and waited, we were one of the first people and got the bacon cheese and egg sandwich.

I honestly didn't think I would like it as much as I did because I don't like eggs unless it's scrambled, with that being said I didn't have the eggs fried and I did not try the slut, but it was amazing. Everything about it was good, the eggs, the bacon, the sauce, the bread. It was literally perfection and if I lived out in LA it would be my go-to place for breakfast!

It's also fairly affordable, the sandwich was $7 and I ordered orange juice as well which made it to be around $10. I honestly thought the price was fair, the food was delicious.

I'm so happy I got to try this place before I left to Japan, and it was nice to spend the morning with my little sis.
26 days till Japan.