In life, some decisions you make you regret, while other decisions you make there are no regrets. For me, I seem to have quite of few of these decisions on both sides (that I regret and not regret). The decision to start BASE Jumping is perhaps one that is both. Common sense would say “jumping off buildings & bridges with parachutes is a bad idea” but it was pretty exciting at the time. It is the most thrilling things I have ever done and I was even featured on Discovery Channel. The excitement lasted for quite a while, that is until I fractured by back and spent a year in therapy, LOL. I can laugh about it now because I fully recovered, but I was pretty unhappy at the time. I also felt pretty stupid when the doctor asked how I did this and tried to explain how I fell off a 150-meter bridge, hahaha. Probably not the best choice of my life but I do have some great videos to share with my students!
Now as for my decision to take over the English Conversation school (英会話), this has been one of the best decisions I have made in a long time, and there are no regrets. First, I get to live in Japan, and for location, Azamino (あざみ野) is just great!!! There are many great places located close to Azamino Station (あざみ野駅) on the Tōkyū Den-en-toshi line (東急田園都市線)and the Yokohama Blue Line (横浜ブルーライン,), as well as easy access to the city center. Even the smaller stations like Ichigao (市が尾駅) and Fujigaoka (藤が丘駅) have many interesting places to visit.
In my life I have had the opportunity to live in many places: all over the US, then Japan for 3 years, back to the US, then to Australia for 3 years, Vietnam for 2 years, and now I have returned to Japan. I have also traveled extensively and can honestly say Japan is one of the best places to live. I can even say it is better than my home country, America. The people here are wonderful, it’s a safe place and the food is just excellent!!! Second, I absolutely love my job and being an English teacher (英語の先生). At my school I get to meet all kinds of people, from kids to college students, salary men to housewives, directors, senior managers at Kirin Beer, company presidents and CEOs (最高経営責任者)!!! There is one woman in my school who is a company president and mother of 4 children. Absolutely amazing, I don’t know how she does it and she still manages to find time to study English at Smith’s (スミス英会話) and join us at the izakaya for our social events. So not only am I their teacher(先生), but we also become friends and enjoy social events outside the classroom.
Now the job itself is not always easy, there is a lot of work that must be put in to create good English Conversation (英会話) lessons. One of the challenges is most of my students work very hard (at work and studying English) and they are often tired when they arrive at my school after a long day. So not only do I have to teach them good grammar and conversation, but I have to keep things interesting, useful, and fun to help them get some energy for the lesson. But this is the challenge that I most enjoy. For me it is the best feeling when we have a great conversation class and my students leave laughing and more motivated. Keeping things fun and exciting are one of the key methods for long-term English study. If it starts to get boring then it becomes very challenging to continue studying.
Smith’s English School (スミス英会話 あざみ野校)