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I'm So Indecisive

Do I really want to go to UCLA for graduate school? Is it worth it?  Is a Masters Degree really going to help me in my future?

Is it a smarter decision to go for something more practical? Maybe get certified for some position in a growing field?

I can't decide what I want to do...I don't know what's good for me.


I Really Want To Try...


After seeing all of these entries of people cosplaying at various cons or just talking about cosplaying at different cons, I guess normal people (what we otakus like to call panpees) might feel overwhelmed or just straight-up confused about why the hell would anybody put themselves through any of it. I know that once one gets hooked there's no way back.(It's like crack)  It takes time and money and patience to finish a costume. And I know some people are so serious about it that they will alter their own bodies to fit the image of the character (i.e. go on a ridiculous diet, cut their own hair, get a tattoo, get color contacts...) I guess if you're normal, you wouldn't want to do any of that.

But, as we all know: I'm really no panpee. I'm more of the otaku type of person. And at first I was very hesistant about the whole cosplay idea, but after hearing about it and seeing various friends do it, I'm really starting to see the beauty in the whole fandom.

Now, then it all comes down to what character I want to cosplay, right?

That's right...Tifa. Tifa Lockhart is who I desperately want to cosplay.

Now...this would require me to alter my body....a WHOLE LOT I know.




I'm here sitting in my now cleaned bedroom with the fan on--but still sweating--and full of Hamburg steak...mmm...hamburg steak...just chilling. It's July 1st here already over on this side of the world. And DANG! I'm going to be done with my stay here in Japan soon. SHEESH, that went by real quick didn't it? Well, sometimes it did and sometimes it felt sooooo long.

Well, I had a lovely dinner/anime tonight :-) you know why???

Cuz I just had a great awesome time with this hottie here:

That's right baby, he's back!!!! Back into my life again. :-) Teehee!!! The reason why he's suddenly back into my life is that I just finished downloading the whole series in HD!!!! IN HD BABY YEA!!!!! OMG, everything is so crystal clear and perfect!!! The Gundam Wing DVD HD remastered edition that just came out last year is a gift from god for all Gundam Wing fans, but seriously I am not going to spend all that cash and the yens to get them. So....download away I go!! From this lovely torrent, I even got some extra stuff like the ODD and EVEN numbers and the whole Endless Waltz series edition. Ahhhh...thank you Jesus, thank you so much for this lovely lovely gift.

If god was even nicer, he'd present me with a real human man that looks like Heero! Ahh!! Why doesn't my boyfriend look like Heero Yuy? LOL. (don't tell Brian i wrote that)

I've been going to the lovely Nico Nico Douga site non-stop these days just diggin up old anime material. Why aren't any of the animes that are on right now in this damn country like the anime that were on during the late 90's???? What happened to our Gundam Wing?  What happened to our Utena? Our sailormoon? I want the golden 90's to come back to the anime world now. They should seriously air Gundam Wing again, or even better, make a whole new series with the same characters! Why not? I mean, so many places are just making re-makes of older anime series anyway? Maybe a series where all the pilots are older? OMGGGGGGGGG how that would be hott!!!! Heero Yuy 26 years old or something??? Hey, what about Duo man?? What would he look like when he's older? I'll tell you the answer, real masturbation material, that's what he'll be! (ahem!)

Anyway, going back to the old Nico Nico...I found some great Gundam Wing drama cassette stuff!!! OMG!!! Can you believe it? Drama cassette?? Not even Drama CD!!! But the seiyuus are all so hilarious!!! I just cannot stop listening to it. LOVE NICO NICO.

It's Getting Hotter Here

It's what they like to call tsuyu season here in Japan. It's really really humid and it rains every hour or something. Luckily it's been pretty sunny the whole day (so far) today. I hope it stays this way until this afternoon since I plan on taking some boxes over to the post office to begin my great sending-stuff-home routine. I'm so fucked because I haven't started doing any of that yet.

I'm looking back at this livejournal, and I feel so disappointed snice I haven't really been able to keep up with the whole blogging about my life here in Japan. Hahaha. It's not because I wasn't having any fun, it's because I'm a very lazy blogger. Sorry guys. I was hoping I would be able to put up more photos and write more about my life here. But man! A year goes by so quickly! So many things happened in this one year. But I don't want to get into all of that sentimental stuff just yet. I have about a month before I end my job as an ALT here in good ol Nachikatsuura. WOW! Just a month!

I'm hoping to go out into the city and live it up in Tokyo for the rest of the time I'm in Japan before I leave. So excited! Can't wait!!

Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts!!!!!!


I want to go to this SO BAD!!!!!!!! But I don't think I can since I don't have enough vacation days left!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

Hurray for the Hurricane!

These are the times I love being a mere ALT and not a ral teacher in Japan with so many responsibilities. :-) I'm sitting here at the BOE not at school this morning because of the sudden hurricane that came crashing down on our prefecture just last night. All the schools in the area including my junior high that I had to go to this morning was closed down. That means no work for me, and I get to sit around in the BOE all day and just relax.

I wish this happened more when I'm supposd to go to Nachi Junior High more. I would love going to the other schols, seriously.

I still can't believe I'll be done with JET in a couple months. Actually, I should say just a couple more weeks. It seriously feels like just yesterday when I arrived in this middle of nowhere town, with nobody I know and no appetite in the sizzling heat. Hahahaha...ahh the memories. My supervisor still loves to harass me about it. He would watch me joking around with the girls in the office about eating so much and he would say to us oh...how I remember Joanna when she first arrived from the airport...dying of heat and barely able to eat anything! Hahaha.

I'm sort of dreading having to work my ass of for all the grad school applications when I get back though. All the letters I need to get from the professors and the studying for the GRE and the essays and stuff...man...I hope I get it all finished by time. ::shudder::

Although I can't wait to see everybody back home. Especially my boyfriend (haha) and my lovely roommate. ::smile:: I can't wait to have my car back and freedom to travel to anywhere I want without having to trouble anybody. I can't wait to eat all the nasty foods I've missed so much.




What's Your Image of a Good Teacher?

Is what my friend asked me late last night on AIM while I bitched and moaned about these horrible kids at wonderful Nachi Junior High School. The new school year began early this month and in most Japanese schools that means a new set of teachers and a new set of rules. I know I already mentioned how bad the first years were last year. How bad were they? Well, their English teacher Ms Ueda who I worked with last school year quit. This school was her first school she taught at after she graduated from college and it made her retire. That's pretty much how bad these kids were. I'm working with a new teacher now, Ms Ichitani and she used to work in Shingu with my friend Rose. She seems to be a very nice woman and most definitely more experienced than the last Ms Ueda but the students are still giving both of us a tough time.

So I told my friend about my situation with these students. I don't know why I told him, since I knew he wasn't the type to be like awwwwww, poor Joanna, I'm sorry this is happening to you. But I had nobody else to bitch and moan to that late at night in Japan time and I was pretty desperate to vent.

What he said to me really upset me. And when I think about it, it's probably because he's right in some sense. But it still upset me. I really wanted to reach into my laptop and magically appear in front of his face and punch him! That's how much he upset me. He basically said, the reason why kids are that bad is all because of the teachers. That it's totally alright for the kids to not respect their teacher and act like aild animals in class if they think their teachers suck. REALLY????? Because that's not exactly what I was taught in my schools. Sure I've had my own share of some really bad teachers who had no idea what they were doing but I never thought it was my place to let them know that by screaming at them or yelling vulgar comments at them and intimidating them. Even though the teacher was not that great, I still had a sense of respect for an adult. A person who was older than me and probably knew a lot more than me about life in general. The authority figure. I mean yes I had reallybad teachers that used this power of authority in the wrong way, yea I hated teachers like that but it's not like I ran around the classroom and started hitting other students because of that.

He said to me, that teachers are suppose to be a dictator, an autocrat. No really, that's exactly what he said. Sure, I know some teachers that are exactly like that. But I don't know i that's really being a good teacher.

When I think of a good teacher, I think of the obvious characteristics like they know what they're talking about, they know their stuff. Or they know how to take the knowledge that they have and have the proficiency to give that knowledge they have to their students. Yea, that's the basic stuff but I believe that there's so many other factors that make a good teacher a good teacher. I said to him for example, the little things like if they are speaking clearly in class so that everybody in class can hear them, or if they always begin class on a positive note, and have a smile on their face when they greet their students, or if they are able to remember all of their student's names, if their writing is clear and easy to understand, if they are fair to all of their students and don't obviously play favorites....etc, etc.

When I told him those things, he said none of that matters to kids.


I was shocked to hear that from him. He told me that none of those things I mentioned to him would convince him that a teacher is a good teacher. He said that he thinks teachers are only good if they are well experienced and they understand the subjects that they are teaching 100 percent. And he only wants the teacher to give that knowledge to him and he's fine. He doesn't want anything else from a teacher.

He also said teachers are all hypocrites. He said teachers try to teach their subjects like it is important for students' lives and their futures but they have no idea why their subjects are important to them or the world. He said that the teachers are trying to make the students into good model citizens of the workforce, but they themselves have never really been out in the workforce or the real world so they have no idea what they're really teaching.

---EDIT--- Sorry, had to rush to class so couldn't finish the entry

Of course he might be right if he was talking about these teachers in Japan. The society is very different in this country and he is right, a lot of these teachers have never worked! A lot of them go through school without ever really working. And they graduate college and they go straight to working in the classroom so he might be right to say that a lot of these teachers have never really seen the real world.

But I don't think he's right for every teacher.
His argument was something like this: these teachers don't know why their subjects are important in the real world, they've never been in the working world. If you asked any math teacher this question: why do we have to study this now? how will this be helpful for my future? Would any of them be able to give me a satisfying answer? No. I would be able to. You know why? Because I use math everyday in my job. Teachers can't tell you these things and that's when they lose their students' trust. Why should the students respect anybody that doesn't know why they teach what they teach?

I think what he wanted to say was that teachers are worthless unless they are experienced. And that until they are well experienced teachers, then the students have all the right to treat them like shit. (excuse my french)

I think he's right about how it's not only the students' fault for a classroom going bat shit crazy. Yes, I understand that. I understand that the students lose interest in a boring class, or will get frustrated with an inept teacher. But I think classroom management works because both sides cooperate. Yes, the teacher has to enforce it and the students have to respect it.

But what do I do if the students just don't want to respect any authority figure anymore? What if the kids are, just REALLY BAD kids? Then what should the teacher do?

And what about what he said about teachers just being robots that give you information? Are good teachers robots? With no emotion whatsoever? I certainly have memories of some of the best teachers I have ever had in my life, and they never really seemed to be like robots.

They were fun to see everyday. They were usually happy and gave me a positive image of life. They encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing with positive reinforcement, but never let me get away if I did something wrong. They were the kinds of people I didn't want to let down, I respected them because they respected me and the other students too. I knew they never played favorites, but somewhere deep down, I knew that they really just liked me out of all my classmates. But honestly, they liked all the students and that was just me hoping. Hahaha. They liked doing what they were doing and I was able to tell by their manners in class. But it wasn't like I was buddy buddy with them, oh no. Teachers had a special place in my social system. They were not my friends, they were not my parents, they were my teachers and I liked having that nice border between us, but I also had this strong bond with them too.

My friend emphasized that a good teacher was a person that knew what they were teaching 100 percent. But, I remember having teachers that weren't really super smart or super experts at what they wrote down on the chalkboard. They would make mistakes once in a while and the students would sometimes just let it slide. we wouldn't do anything to put them onh the spot and embarass them. That's just...not what you do to teachers. Sometimes, I felt sort of good to see that they made mistakes and they honestly accepted the fact that they made the mistake. It gave  them a nice human-like feature.

I'm sure sometime in the near future, Japan will build robots that would teach the students in schools. There will be no more human teachers in this country. I can see it already. And these robot teachers will be the perfect teachers just like my friend said. Knowing everything and anything and will be able to give the students any answer they desire. Then maybe there might not be any of these crazy classes with really bad kids. Maybe. Maybe everything will be perfect then.

But...I think if I ever had a kid, I don't want a robot teaching my child.

---EDIT AGAIN--- sorry I keep doing this.

The one thing that really upset me was how he also told me not to care so much.
He said that I shouldn't care so much about the job. Just do what I have to do and get out. That...just...is not what I want to hear about the job of teaching.

In the end, I think what I realized from our long conversation was that you really can't understand about any job until you actually experience it yourself. My friend has never been a teacher and I guess this is what non teachers would say?

Since I'm feeling Way Too Lazy...

to upload all those photos of my spring break with my mom and Tori and Dean. I'm just going to post a few pictures for now. Well, actually just 2. 2 of my favorite pictures from this whole trip. Hahaha.

We gave him the name "Punch Dog." We found him hanging out on his little balcony one day when me and my mom were walking to the local onsen (hot springs.) He was a really friendly dog, but I think he got a little frustrated with my mom here. Hahaha. No he was actually trying to pull her closer to him, but missed her arm and hit her face. Hahaha. The whole time I was with my mom, it was just lots and lots of LOLs.

Awwwwww....isn't this like a cute little family portrait? Who's the mommy in the picture though? Hahahaha. It was just so much fun with Tori and Dean being over at my place. All we mostly did was just relax and watch anime together but it was so nice to have people to relax with.
:-) It was also really fun climbing all those stairs together. hahaha.

I'll have more pictures up later I swear. You can also see them on my facebook.


 I am currently in Rose's apartment. By myself. Hahaha. I actually came to her place pretty early in the morning today and hung out with her for about 2 hours before she left to go to her weekly Japanese lesson in the other town. So I am here still hanging out in her apartment, just keeping her chair warm. and using her internet and eating her White Lolita crackers. Hahahaha. I love having friends who are so laid back. 

Speaking of laid back friends. I just bid farewell to Tori and Dean this morning. It was so sad seeing them both off at the train station this morning. We woke up at 6 am for them to make the train that left Katsuura at 8:53. They have a very long day ahead of them. 5 whole hours on the train and then their long plane ride back to the States. 

My mom actually leaves Japan today too. That's what makes me really sad! I already missed her a lot after we parted in Osaka last weekend. 

It was just really nice having people over. My mom really loved hanging out with me in my little town. It was just really fun hanging out with the two of us. Shopping together, cooking together, and going to the onsen together. It just felt so nice. It's been a while since we hung out like that! I really want to do it again. And Tori and Dean were both just so much fun to be around. And so laid back! That's the best part. I mean, they are both in love with any food like myself and they both have some sort of knowledge of Japan and Japanese so that made things really easy for all of us. 

I have tons of pictures that I need to upload later. 

I'm just really going to hate these next 3 months I think. Haha. I'm probably going to be counting down how many more days of work I have here in Japan. I can't wait to get away from this job and just travel and have fun the rest of the time I'm here. 

I already spoke to my friend Taka about me staying at his place for a while when I'm homeless. And he said it's totally ok if I crashed at his apartment for a while. Man! What a great guy!!! So that's settled then. I will be living in Tokyo for a little bit after JET is done. 

Taken From Alexis :-)

Alexis posted this earlier on her journal. We both had some fun playing with it, so I was wondering what other people would say about me. :-) I will answer about you too.

1.) If Joanna were a color, what color would she be? Why?
2.) If Joanna were a flower, what kind would she be? Why?
3.) If Joanna were a fruit, what kind would she be? Why?
4.) If Joanna were a vegetable, what kind would she be? Why?
5.) If Joanna were a season, which one would she be? 
6.) If Joanna were a fabric, what type would she be? Why?
7.) If Joanna were a genre, what would she be? Why?
8.) If Joanna was a piece of music, which would she be? Why?
9.) If Joanna were a dessert, what kind would she be? Why?
10.) If Joanna were an entree, what kind would she be? Why?
11.) If Joanna were a day of the week, which would she be? Why?
12.) If Joanna were a beverage, what would she be? Why?
13.) If Joanna was reborn during any era, which would she be reborn during? Why? 
14.) If Joanna was a pokemon, what type would I be? And maybe give me a funky name!

I added the last question. (Obviously) If you can think of any more clever questions, please add
them! Hehe.
Oh, I wanted some people on facebook to answer these questions too but I'm not really great with the newness
of that friggin facebook. How do I make a note?