I’ve been a language teacher for over 20 years. I’ve taught almost every conceivable type of language class. But honestly, I’ve never been that great of a language learner myself. The modest French I worked so hard to acquire is a distant memory and my young daughter has far surpassed my Japanese already.
So I’m in awe of polyglots. Polyglots are people who can use multiple languages fluently. I became fascinated by the online polyglot community for two reasons. One, most are unimpressed with conventional language teaching and teachers. A group I am a proud member of. …
I was picking up speed. I could only see sky but I know there must be trees and rocks in front of me. I tried to grab onto the side of the mountain but it was all ice. This was going to be bad. I used to work at a head-injury rehabilitation hospital so I knew what a hell that could be. Shoganai the Japanese say, there was nothing to be done. I was going down the hill until I hit something. I put my arms over my head and waited for impact.
The day had started out pretty well…
Memorial candles in Japan. Photo by author.
The pandemic reminds us tragedy and suffering are ever-present parts of human life. The photo above is from a memorial to the Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1997. My neighborhood was particularly hard hit. The pain of those who lost loved ones is still strong 24 years later. This year those that lost loved ones or suffered significant health or financial hardships will look back on the 2020–2021 pandemic year with sadness.
I’ve been very fortunate. There were a few bumps along the way. I had to adjust to teaching online. I couldn’t meet…
I know what you are probably thinking. What's the matter with you? The Perseverance lander just sent pictures back from Mars. We made it! We are on another planet. It's so cool! Link to NASA’s Mars Exploration Website.
"Elon Musk is a genius! We'll live to see a million-person Mars base"
The above quote is from a coworker. It is the inspiration for this article. I hate it, but he is wrong.
I get it. I love Sci-Fi. Star Wars, Star Trek, Battle Star Galactica, The Expanse... But, sorry, it's not going to happen. Do the math. We are not…
A constant question from new Medium writers is: “Which Medium publication should I publish my article in?”. The algorithm of exactly who gets shown your article is not crystal clear.
There is often confusion and disappointment after an article is published and does not have the desired impact. New writers often assume bigger is better, but this is not always so. The number of followers is important. The reading preferences of the followers is important. Also, the number of articles being published is important.
Is it a big publication publishing lots of articles each day? Your article will get quickly…
The visa is really the key. You can't do anything without it. You need to focus on getting the stability of a longish-term visa for your life in Japan. Once that is done you can branch out and do the things you came to Japan to do.
If you are coming to Japan on JET or another teaching program you are all set and you can just relax. If you have a working holiday visa also you can just focus on the job hunt. Just make sure to hand in all your paperwork on time and in order.
The fox knows many things, but a hedgehog knows one important thing. - ancient Greek poet Archilochus.
Are you a fox? Dabbling in many things. Able to react to changing circumstances but also prone to spreading yourself too thin and accomplishing nothing.
Or are you a hedgehog? Doggedly following one path to success, but also sometimes stubbornly going down the wrong path for years.
Insight into your personal style using this framework can help you make better decisions by recognizing one of your most common cognitive biases.
Arrgh! I've cleaned the whole house. Answered all my emails. Organized my closet. Now the kids are coming home. I'm out of time and I haven't written a word. Again!
We have all felt this self-destructive procrastination throughout our lives. As writers, it is a particularly acute phenomenon for most of us. In my mind, I often use the label it resistance but you may have another name for it.
To defeat it we need to learn about our unique resistance and find your silver bullets. Learn to trick yourself to bypass resistance and get writing.
We can still learn…
I was in the middle of my social work degree when it suddenly hit me hard, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”
I had already been working in the field for almost a decade. I started volunteering for a suicide prevention line, worked with people with disabilities in group homes overseas, worked at a residential brain injury rehabilitation center, and finally as a financial aid worker for the government. The next step was a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a job as a child protection worker.
“I don’t want to do this anymore”. So I stopped. I was…
In the wake of the incidents at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021, there has been some debate whether it was an attempted coup or “merely” a protest/election related violence. To prevent such incidents in the future and address the issues that caused it; it is important to understand fully and correctly categorize what happened.
So was it an attempted coup or not?
The first most basic definition of a coup is the “ sudden seizure of power”. Were those in attendance all just protesting, or was this an attempt at taking power? The timing was no accident…