A Fresh Start; A New Blog: Soccer & Education

First off, I would like to say, “Thank you and welcome!”

I am still in the process of customized all of the small details on the site (side menus, etc.), so it’s still under construction.

I have been thinking about starting a new blog quite some time now, so it’s great to finally get my fingertips moving.  I this first post, I will give some background info about myself.  This way, all of you will get a image of who I am and where I come from.

The reason behind naming this blog “Soccer & Education” is because soccer & education are the two passions in my life.  I started playing soccer at the age of four, and continued to play competitively until I was 22.  Unfortunately, I had to hang up my spikes because of a career-ending injury, but that end brought a new beginning—my venture into education.

As an undergrad, I double majored in Japanese Studies and Linguistics; as a grad student, my field was Multi-lingual Multi-Cultural Education.  At this point in my life, I knew that I wanted to teach at a university in the future; however, I did not, more like could not, continue to a doctorate. So, I entered an IT company and I told myself that gaining experience in the “outside world” (meaning the academic world is closed off) would help me in the long run, but this “long run” was only 6 months long; it was more like 2.5-3 months of work. I went into a deep depression and lost sight of what was in front of me, but I still wanted to teach.

I wasn’t qualified to teach at a university, so my next adventure was a 6 month stint with a large English Conversation company where I worked as an English instructor, which I will also blog about in the near future.  As an undergrad, I was an English writing tutor and I also taught English part-time after coming to Japan, so I had about 5 years of ‘experience’ under my belt, but teaching English in the dog-eat-dog world of English conversation in Japan was a reality check, which I will also blog about in the near future.

After a few months working as an English conversation instructor, I started looking at teaching positions at universities in Japan. 90% of them, included part-time positions, required a phD and more than 3 years of experience.  I did not let this lack-of-qualification/experience hold me back, so I sent my resume all of the required paperwork to more than 10 universities.  I got word from nine ONE university saying that they wanted to have 2 interviews.  So, I went in and got interviewed.

These interviews were held on Christmas Eve in an area of Tokyo that is one of the most popular dating spots on Christmas Eve. I finished these interviews full of psychological bruises because of the drilling I received from a few professors and the university’s board members. I got home, cracked open some (more than some) beers and tried to forget about the day’s proceedings.

A few hours into my self-consoling drinking session, I received a phone call from an unknown number.  Lo and behold, it was from the university! They wanted to offer me the position despite my lack of credentials (research experience, number of publications, etc.).

I will save details of my experience and ideas on education in Japan and beyond for future posts, but this is official beginning of my venture into education.

This first post is getting quite long, so I will end things here with a quote that embodies my philosophy in both soccer and education:

Intelligence plus character—that is the true goal of educationーMartin Luther King, Jr.

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