Monday, August 2, 2010

First day of orientation

So I've completed my first day of JET Orientation. Fun time! Except I was exhausted ALL DAY. It wasn't until I took a 10 minute nap at around 9 PM that I got a second wind and decided to go out. I went out because a fellow JET ALT said to a friend I just met, "When's the next time you're going to be in Tokyo?" With those words in mind, I dressed up and headed out. I tried to see if he was still in his room, but he had already left (probably while I was sleeping). I simply set out to look around the neighborhood a bit, and I saw plenty of bright neon lights everywhere and tons of things to buy. One of the electronics stores I went to had an eyesore of signs plastered all over the walls. It was like the store was yelling at me to purchase something. Things that piqued my interest in that store were phones and denshi jisho (you know, electronic dictionaries). Didn't buy anything of course. In fact, I didn't spend any money...

...until I got to the arcade. :-D I saw a Sega arcade which I almost thought was a pachinko parlor (because earlier I saw a pachinko parlor which I thought was an arcade). When I walked in and looked around, I was surprised at how small it was; but I believe there were multiple floors. I'm not sure exactly because I chose to stay on the ground floor; maybe I'll check out the rest tomorrow. In any case, I played Initial D Stage 5. If anyone else has played this series, they'll know that in each iteration, there is a new physics engine, and this one definitely had a new one. I couldn't get the turns or drifting right at all. Oh well, I still won.

Then, I walked around more, saw some more fun stores, and another arcade. And this one was where I spent quite a while in; maybe almost an hour. I lost track of time because I was too busy schooling other gaikokujin (foreigners) in Street Fighter IV. Got 5 wins and no losses! Then proceeded to beat the game. All on one credit. Win. :-D Tekken 6 was there, too. And I would have played it if someone else was; and if I had more time.

The orientation itself was very interesting and valuable. Apparently *everyone* in the JET Programme (and by extension, anyone who moves to Japan to stay for an extended period of time) will experience Culture Shock. I can agree with this statement, because Culture Shock (a.k.a. Cultural Fatigue) is something that happens on a personal level, and it's something that is very difficult to describe but easy to understand if one has experienced it. The speaker explained that Culture Shock (which I'll abbreviate as CS from now on in this post) is something that occurs in four stages very gradually. Which is why it makes more sense to call it Fatigue than Shock. It's something that builds up and wears you down. The four stages are basically 1) Excitation/Happiness/Euphoria 2) Sadness/Anger/Depression 3) Recovery 4) Assimilation. I won't go into detail about what each one means, but it's basically a roller coaster, where #'s 1 and 3 are high, 2 is low, and 4 is back to normal again. Some people get stuck in Stage 2, and that is the problem with CS; the person suffering from it has to go through Stage 3, or else will suffer during the entire duration of his or her stay in Japan.

The other seminars I heard dealt with teaching at multiple schools, cooking/eating out, and adult conversation classes, which I will apparently be doing. I also continued networking, mingling, and meeting more people! Overall a very exhausting, but equally fun day.

Word of the day: 時差ぼけ 「じさぼけ」 "jisaboke," or "jet-lag." The first character, as I've mentioned before, means "time," while the second character means "difference."

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