chris vs. the arctic

chris: 72 // the arctic: 47

Original Intentions

I have been busy making preparations for the next stage in my life this past month. As I wrote resumes and researched universities, I was reminded of the arduous application process for the JET Programme. How quickly one forgets the pains! After nearly half a year of applications, reference letters, essays, and interviews, I am here in Japan having the time of my life.

Inspired by a recent blogger posting, I want to open up my dusty computer folders and share with you my essay from my JET application:

My reasons for wishing to join the JET Programme are threefold: I want to experience Japan, I love to learn, and I love to teach. First, I am fascinated by the cultural richness and beauty of Japan. Growing up in the isolated city of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, I have come to delight in experiencing different customs and locations. I have traveled to Fiji, the Netherlands Antilles, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, the United States, and throughout Canada. Each new experience has broadened my view of our diverse world and the similarities that bind us together. Japan has always been a place of mystique and elegance in my mind, and I hope to immerse myself in its customs and language so as to gain a better understanding of it.

Secondly, I love to learn. My university experiences both in and out of the classroom have been profound. In the classroom, my studies have refined my ability to analyse and adapt to new concepts and methodologies. My education is scientific in focus; however, it is balanced by courses in Philosophy, English, and Literature. I have excelled academically and gained the skills necessary for effective oral and written communication.

Outside of the classroom, I have had many cherished experiences that have opened my eyes to the world around me. I spent my first and second years at the University of Guelph living in the International House on campus. This residence aims to facilitate cultural exchange by placing both international and domestic students as neighbours, so as to create discussion of each other’s backgrounds and experiences. The environment in International House heightened my sensitivities and awareness of cultural differences, and exposed me to global issues and debates. I served as President of the Hall Council for International House in my second year, forcing me to develop strong interpersonal skills in dealing with structured social situations and conflicts. These experiences, combined with my experience as President of my high school, guided me towards other leadership positions on campus, including Vice-President of the Future Vets Club. The leadership aptitude I gained with these roles will carry with me for the rest of my life.

I value the power of language, and hope to wholeheartedly devote myself to learning the Japanese language. So far, I have mastered the hiragana and katakana syllabaries, and plan to move onto developing basic conversational Japanese. Along with my extensive grasp of English, I have gained moderate experience in French through my secondary education. I look forward to the challenges posed by language barriers and the rewards of overcoming them.

Finally, I love to teach. The satisfaction of knowing that I have made a small difference in someone’s life is amazing. One of my most memorable experiences with teaching occurred in secondary school. I participated in a smoking cessation group, in which I travelled to several elementary schools teaching students the dangers of smoking. Interacting with those budding minds was enlightening and gratifying, and gave me a taste of what teachers must experience daily.

Recently, I have been mentoring an international graduate student in colloquial English. The idiosyncrasies of English (and languages in general) became apparent to me immediately as I explained to him common expressions and phrases used daily in Canadian life. I have an increased respect for individuals attempting to learn English, as it is not an easy task. As well as language mentoring, I have been assisting my friend in adapting to Canadian culture. In return, he has been able to teach me a great deal about his country and culture. The challenges I faced in mentoring have helped me develop the skills and confidence to continue teaching English to other students.

I believe the language and cultural skills developed with the JET Programme would assist me in my future career in science and research. My passion for learning and teaching, as well as my leadership and English language experience can be an asset to the JET Programme.


This is my favourite line:
I value the power of language, and hope to wholeheartedly devote myself to learning the Japanese language.

Wow. Sometimes the heart wants to do other things...

Thanks for not laughing too hard. (>_o)
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On February 01, 2006, Blogger laceylala said:

Thanks for not laughing? I was laughing by the second line...i wish i still had mine somewhere, I bet it is just as cheesy (though yours is very well written with an extensive vocabulary). In other exciting news I have become the tempoary guardian of my friend who is going to Paris for 6 months' cell so excited. it is one of those super fancy Razr phones, even nicer than my ketai.    

On February 01, 2006, Blogger ambamarie said:

A reminder that godawful JET essay (not yours) existed makes me grateful that my computer crashed the summer before I came Japan. Just kidding, yours was lovely, but oh how our eyes have been opened huh? Welcome back to the land of job interviews, fakeness, and frustration! Yay! I wish you the best of luck in the search for your future. You've certainly gotten off to a better start than I.

ps - i wanna join the "Future Vets Club"!    

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