May 20, 2004 amidst a raging, early season typhoon, I landed at the former Nagoya airport to begin my adventures here. My employer offered one year contracts and required 6 months notice if terminating. Fairness required that I should observe a full cycle of seasons before deciding my next move, so that plus the notification period added up to an initial determination to stay at least 18 months. When the first year ended, I was very enthused and extended my contract. One thing led to another and now it has been 7 years with no apparent end in sight.
After my second year wrapped up, I was strongly considering my own school; however, an acquaintance heavily pressured me into working for the school board. Her arguments were that I needed to understand the ‘education system’ better; however, I realize in hindsight that she was worried I would compete directly with both her and her friend’s schools.
In actuality, I have worked in contact with or for the board of education almost continuously during the past 7 years. My regular readers know that I don’t have an abundance of love for the way the board treats foreign teachers, nor a lot of faith in my ability to affect positive change in the system. I fully expect that my future will include a separation from them to pursue more independent business; however, the regular paychecks and insurance are difficult to walk away from.
One year ago I married my wife and while she is not opposed to living in America, we are both continuing to weigh our options here. Occasionally concerns about family come up, but her grandmother is 97 years old so we want to stay nearby if possible. I fully expect my parents to be thriving until 120 based on all indications.
Who knows what the future will hold, but we plan to face it together.