A new direction

I've made one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make, and informed my supervisor and the other teachers that I won't be recontracting for another year in Niikappu.
A lot of thought went into the decision, and it was not made lightly. I worked my ass off to get here, and now that I am here it seems like such a waste to head home after only one year out of a possible five. I realized that there is no shame in doing this, though. One year is a long time to be in a foreign country. It's a long time to be in a rural town. It's a long, cold winter with few friends.

Winter is almost unbearable here. I'm glad I have internet to keep me going. Even so, some weekends the only person I have to talk to is myself. The other teachers all have other obligations and work until late at night, so they are almost never free to hang out. I can't really go anywhere, because I don't have a car. This is my biggest mistake in coming here. I mean, I had no idea that they don't clear the snow off the roads in the winter. They don't even put salt out. So every road has 2+ inches of ice on it, and every time I think it's about to melt it just snows again. I can't bike much because of it, and even walking is dangerous. Coming from Minnesota where they plow the streets, this seems ridiculous to me. And I can't just pass it off as some cultural difference- this endangers peoples' safety. I've fallen on my ass countless times already this winter.

"There's no shame in going back after experiencing a full year of rural Japan," ...is what I'd like to say, but part of me still feels like I'm giving up a great opportunity. It is literally a once-in-a-lifetime chance that I have here to teach in Japan. No matter how I try to rationalize it, everyone here expected me to stay two or three years, and I feel like I'm letting them down. I still haven't told the students that I'm going back yet; I don't know how I can tell them. I told the teachers already, and it was just about the most awkward thing I've ever done.

Even if I am only here for one year, I don't regret my decision to come. It's been full of new experiences and new adventures, and even if I could turn back time on my application and decision to come here I would still come. Despite the lack of human contact, despite the sterile interactions at the BOE, despite the loneliness, I would still come here to learn what it is to teach and work here. I just have to move on because there are so many friends back at home waiting for me, and my true calling lies outside the classroom.

So I'm forming a video game development company with four of my friends! It's called Tie Breaker Games, and we hope to shatter the current expectations of gamers about certain game genres. Right now we're working on a puzzle game. It's going to be a blast, and I can't wait until I get home so I can begin working on it full-time!
We're all hard at work on it right now. Of course some of our members are still in school or have other jobs. But we're working on it in our spare time and I am having a lot of fun with it.

I will try to update my blog more often to showcase the development process a bit and to continue updating on my adventures in Niikappu. At the time being, I don't really go anywhere or do anything though because of the ice and snow. I hope it gets warm soon so I can ride my bike even further than before and take a bunch of pictures!

Sometimes it is difficult for me to express my thoughts in the way I want to, so I will let Confucius say it for me.
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Until next time, (and it won't be too long!)




I know this was a hard

I know this was a hard decision, but it sounds like you're following your heart.

Niikappu will give you a great sendoff, but don't start thinking about leaving now. Enjoy yourself to the very end. You still have graduation preparations, graduation, and the sports festival. Great stuff.

I still gotta get my hands on the one piece collection. I'm working on it.