Saturday, May 12, 2012

On Hold

It's kind of felt like my luck's been against me for a while now.

First, and most trivially, was the Kagoshima Stamp Rally quest last Fall, which required me to visit 9 different sites around the prefecture to get stamps on a stamp card and then mail it in. The prizes were a $400 travel voucher, and a handful of gift certificates for local products.  I started collecting the stamps in August but couldn't get the last of them until October. The deadline was the end of November, with the drawing in the middle of December.  Only the top two winners would be notified by phone, the others by mail.  There's no indication that the results were posted on the Kagoshima City website.  It wasn't until mid-January that I discovered that the awards ceremony had come and gone, and that the woman that had driven me to half of the places for the stamps, had won a $50 lacquer tray (she entered the contest only because of my offer of a free English lesson if she gave me the ride).

At the end of September, I sent in the application for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), which was held on the first Sunday in December.  I spent 3-4 hours a day studying for it for the better part of three months, and the results weren't mailed out until Feb. Naturally I failed the test.

Also in September, I started taking conversational Japanese lessons at the international center in the Kenmin Kaikan building.  10 lessons, 2.5 hours every Wednesday for 1500 yen ($20).  About halfway through, the teacher started talking about everyone (the 6 of us still in the class) writing a speech to give to the class at the end of the course (middle of December).  The speech should be developed as if it were to be presented in the big Kagoshima Speech Contest to be held in the middle of January.  So, this took additional time from studying for the JLPT, and I figured that if I was doing this much work, that I might as well enter the contest for real.  The preliminary round was Sat. Jan. 14, and I spent close to 40 hours just rehearsing and memorizing the speech. I failed to make it past the prelim round.

Also in Feb.-March, the private students that I was teaching at the International Exchange Center went their separate ways.  2 to new jobs in Tokyo, 1 to a new full-time job in Kagoshima, 1 that decided to switch to reading instead of speaking practice, and 1 that has always had an erratic schedule and just decided to stop practicing with me for a while.

Then there was the application for the AEA (assistant English teacher for the Kagoshima school district).  I spent a couple days preparing the board game for the interview test, held in Feb.  Got the results in the mail in March - rejected but put on a back-up reserve list.

A couple of weeks after the AEA rejection, I get hit by a car (last Sunday in March) and get a bone in my foot broken.  The driver's insurance company will pay for the medical bills, but the eyewitness reports go against me and there's no way (right now) that I can ask for damages from the driver. 

Two weeks after that, the people from the AEA program call me and say that one of their other teachers has dropped out and they want me to start teaching for them in May.  However, the requirement is that I be healthy, and some of the schools I'd be going to are a 20-minute walk from the nearest train station.  I have to turn them down.  (In the same way, not being able to get to the International Exchange Center because of the broken foot means that I wouldn't have been able to keep my private students anyway, either.)

Finally, and this is the biggie, my foot isn't healing fast.  The x-rays after 4 weeks have shown no progress.  The next x-ray will be at the 7 week point.  Then I get to see if my luck has changed at all.  Stupid luck.


A.B. said...

I'm sorry to here about your string of bad luck. I hope your foot heals soon and that things improve for you otherwise.

A.B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TSOTE said...

Thanks, A.B., I appreciate it.