ステップアップ-STEP UP・アメリカ人講師 Jonathan ジョナサン
Greetings, everyone! I`m Jonathan (or Jon) from Washington, D.C. in America. Before I moved to Japan, I was a high school teacher. I taught courses in Literature and Composition and really enjoyed it. Now I enjoy teaching various aspects of English, including TOEIC and TOEFL. In my spare time I enjoy mountain sports like snowboarding, rock climbing and mountain biking. I also like cooking, reading and practicing my Japanese when I have time. I look forward to another great year in Sapporo!
|９月のお得 1: 『1000円英会話』 9,800円で始めよう クーポン！|
|９月のお得 ２: 『個人レッスン』 入会金半額 5,400円 クーポン！|
|９月のお得 ３: 『会員制チケットTOEIC』 19,800円で始めよう クーポン！|
|お得情報: 『個人レッスン昼割』も (費用シュミレーション)|
Over in the blink of an eye.
This year’s Obon holiday has come and gone in Sapporo, and so has my mother. She stayed with me for 12 days. We spent more time together than we have in the last 30 years.
To be honest, I was a little concerned that guiding her around would be a hassle. I worried that she’d be picky about food, or headstrong about seeing different sites around Hokkaido. Of course, I wanted her to have the best time possible. But I wasn’t really looking forward to driving across Hokkaido to visit Shiretoko, or Wakanai or some other far off place when the roads are so crowded. Thankfully, she was very content to hang out with her son and his Japanese family, taking little trips around Sapporo, or on occasion to Lake Toya and Shikotsuko.
I realized that my mom is actually pretty cool. She’s very easy-going, happy to hang out with my friends, and fairly adventurous with new food. All in all we had a very good time. When I talked to her after she’d returned to the states, she said the entire trip was like a dream.
Over in the blink of an eye.
Young and free
So my mother and cousin arrived in Sapporo Wednesday night, and since then I’ve been busy trying to give them the best “Japanese” experience I can. Yesterday, for example, we went to Lake Shikotsu, hiked Mt. Tarumae, went to Marukoma onsen and then had sushi for dinner. They had a blast. My cousin Andrew, who’s 26 years old, has been teaching English in Korea for the past year. Next month he’ll start a new job in Suwon, a city near Seoul. He described to me his experience of getting used to living in a completely foreign culture, and the difficulties intrinsic to such an endeavor. It reminded me of my first year in Japan. I couldn’t speak the language, didn’t understand the cultural nuances that I do now, and felt very ungrounded.
But! I remember feeling very free. I wasn’t beholden to anyone, nobody was relying on me financially…I was young and free. While I’m not terribly old, nor very restricted by my current situation, I don’t have all of the freedom (or youthfulness) that I did 11 years ago. I told Andrew that now is the best time for him to explore. He’s single, has a full-time job (and thus money) and has all of Asia right at his doorstep. The next several years will be very formative for him, and I hope that he takes advantage of his situation to make discoveries about the world and himself.
He’s been very impressed with Japan so far, and I’m sure he’ll come back for a visit. It’s been very easy for both he and my mother to see why I’ve spent so long in this great island nation.
I’ve lived in Japan for over a decade now. In that time (more than a quarter of my life!) my family has only visited a handful of times. My younger brother came about 10 years ago when I was living in Ibaraki. We had a great time, although there was an episode that I now refer to as the Tokyo Meltdown. I’ll not elaborate on that.
My parents came 5 years ago and we toured Kyoto, Nara and Osaka before spending a week in Sapporo. And as far as family goes, that’s it. My younger sister has yet to come visit me. My cousin and her husband lived for 2 years in Manila, and yet did not come to visit. It’s pretty depressing, actually. Distant is the biggest factor. If I were Australian, my family wouldn’t have any excuses. Alas, I’m from the east coast of America and a direct flight to Tokyo takes 14 hours (although I do it almost every year…).
But this year, happily, my mother is visiting from next week while my father is off on a 6-month hiking adventure. And another cousin of mine who lives in Korea is coming for a short stay, as well. While I wish more family was coming to visit, I’m very much looking forward to next week. So if you see me walking around town with my mom and cousin in tow, please come up and introduce yourself to them. They’d love it!