Kobe Recontracting Conference
The recontracting conference is for JETS all over Japan to meet in Kobe for 3 days of unrestrained mania and I suppose there's some workshops squeezed in there somewhere. As everyone knows by now, I was lucky enough to go even though I'm not staying on the program for a second year. I quite possibly could be the only person in JET history to pull off such a scheme, but I still stand by my alibi: I was innocently forced! You see, I canceled my 2nd contract a couple of weeks before the conference, leaving my boss, in true Japanese fashion, apprehensive about changing the original plans. He sent me off anyway.
I'm really glad I did because if nothing else, it was the best and probably last chance I will get to see everyone, from my prefecture and all others from Western Japan, at the same place and time. Even better as it was El Diablo and Hannah-channah's birthdays. Good convo, long nights, stolen wheelchairs, indoor fountain swimming, Japanese cheerleaders, over-priced Indian food, missed workshops, bad karaoke, spastic dancing...oh dear.
Why did I quit? Long story short, I cant pay my bills back home and travel at the same time. It's hard for me to justify another year here, in my non-descript town (remember, no trips), while the rest of my life is on a backburner. Especially when they're other things I'd rather be doing than teaching, and other places I want to go to other than Japan. I'll be going home to take care of business ASAP so I can do another adventure like this, but more specific to what I want, while I'm still young, single and crazy. :) Ironically, the conference only made me that much more confident in my decision because a lot of the 'Guch JETS approached (read: interrogated) me about my rationale for leaving.
Sidenote: I found it interesting that not only did some of these people rarely/never talk to me any other time of the year, but also insinuated that I was making a bad decision b/c it's too responsible for someone my age--kinda like, "Don't worry about that, take care of your bills after the 2nd year finishes." To add insult to injury, a rumor spread that I'm going home b/c of my family. FALSE!
I was left having to defend and explain myself for a choice that leaves me quite satisfied and resolved. Yet, there have been a few who have expressed genuine regards in me leaving and not questioning my motives. My sincerest "thanks" to those. To the others, well....
I'm normally a big advocate of not fueling the fire by publishing a scandal on a blog (so my apologies for the emotional diarrhea), but I had to make an exception for this one. I don't want to leave the country misunderstood.