Posted in Uncategorized

Today Was Horrid, Thanks for Asking

It started off with me throwing away about half of my room. For reasons I can’t quite get into, I needed to get rid of as many things as possible, and quickly. So that’s what I spent a good two hours doing in the morning, just getting trash bags and throwing things away. 

It sucks. I cried, a lot. If you followed the old moving blogs, you’ll know I already had to get rid of most of my stuff before I moved to Tokyo. Now I’m basically scaling down to nothing. It cuts, bad, but it’s absolutely necessary. 

Then, I got to my transfer station for work and discovered the goddamn Chuo-Sobu Line was down. I was in trouble already for (supposedly) being late too much, and I had promised my boss I would never be late again. I was lucky that a senior teacher met me at the station and called it in. 

S.T. and I jogged our way to another train line, then speed walked it to another station, and then finally arrived at work, I was already mentally thinking, “That’s it, I’m fired.” 

“I’m fired and done and everything is going to hell in a hand basket.” When I arrived at the school, I already kind of accepted in my head it was going to happen. I’m a pessimist, worst case scenarios are assured. 

One small nice thing was the S.T. who actually offered to fight our boss for me if he gave me a hard time about today. I told him with a smile, “Don’t worry. It’s gonna be alright!”

Because that’s what I’m good at, faking that it’s all okay. 

I also didn’t eat much today, which kind of adds onto this misery a little bit. I actually haven’t eaten much in three days, my stomach is in knots and I can only force myself to eat like 3 things – peaches, cereal, and maybe chips. Even then, I get halfway through and then stop. 

After I prep for all my classes and I ate a pear for lunch, I told S.L. I needed to go for a small walk. He approved it, so I headed off. I walked and walked around, just thinking about everything. I thought about how much I wanted to just throw it all away today: the job, the apartment, the stress, the life that I’m living…

Heya, depression, it’s been awhile, can we not? Oh good, now this is a thing to add to the shitpile. I contemplate what would happen if I gave my boss my verbal two months notice, then I move out of the apartment, and then I just end…things. Note: Not the best thing to contemplate before you have to be bubbly and teach children. 

I walked, walked, all in circles and just wondered if I should walk out and away. Other teachers in the company have done it. Hell, I replaced one. Regardless, I couldn’t do that, not to my students. The kids wouldn’t understand, I would know, I was kid who got walked away from, so I wouldn’t do that to them. 

I decided to go back and try to figure things out. 

And of course, my boss came while I was out of the school. So now I’m late and I’ve left the school, so he’s showing up to find me “slacking” on the job. 

Fantastic…

I expected him to lay into me as soon as he got the chance, but I discovered he’d holed himself away in a spare classroom with a laptop. When I knocked to get his attention, he put up a finger and told me he’d be a minute. 

Surprised, I made to move back to my classroom, but not before reassuring the school’s assistant. “Don’t worry, everything’s alright.” She was hovering close to me, worried, I could tell. 

I went into my classroom and set up everything so I could just be ready if the meeting was too long. I didn’t know what to do, or what to say. According to the internet, say nothing or as little as possible was the best method. I didn’t know if I could speak. I was on this knife’s edge between knowing I was fired and finding out I wasn’t. 

My boss came in and sat down across from me about five minutes later. He came in and, well, didn’t lay into me. 

“Jess, alright here’s the paper, read through it first and then we’ll talk.” 

I will confess, I didn’t actually read it. My vision was fuzzy and my mind was in a thousand other directions. I nodded my head anyway and said I was done, and he said simply. 

“Alright, I know you’ve said you’ve got a medical condition, but you’ve gotta factor it into your transportation. If you’re gonna be late, still call in, yeah? But when you’re calling you’re making other people scramble to work and it can inconvenience up to six different people to figure things out. Now, it’s done, I’m not one to belabor these things. We’ve talked, and it’s settled.”

Oh.

Oh I’m NOT fired.

…This is good?

I said some things, asked some questions, they weren’t important. He also said that, “Of course the trains are out of your hands! Just be sure to call with enough time for us to get things in order.” 

Neat, ok.

I didn’t really feel relieved though. My chest still hurt, and I was still in fight or flight mode. I wanted to either scream or run away, or both like a madwoman. Luckily, a student showed up, and my teacher switch flipped on. For the next two hours, I was on autopilot. I was smiling, laughing, joking, and getting kids to speak English. 

There were other bad parts about the day I still can’t get into, but essentially every other hour my phone sent me an alert and I had to deal with it in between classes. Nothing felt better, nothing felt right, and I knew it wouldn’t for a long time yet. 

But at least I have a job, so yay, not completely broke. 

Going home I felt sick, like I wanted to throw up sick. A warning probably did mean I wouldn’t get a recommendation letter if I left, so that was awful, on top of everything else going on in the background. I wished I could’ve been born someone stronger, someone who could just push through and not hurt so much all the damn time. 

I’ll just keep pushing through, somehow. As I’m typing this, I’ve abandoned my half-eaten bowl of cereal, and I’m trying to convince myself to sleep. We’ll see how well that goes. For a day like today, odds are it will end with nightmares. 

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Posted in Uncategorized

So I Rolled My Ankle

When I was younger, like all of five years younger, I could push myself through a lot. I once fell off a stage, completely wrecked my ankle, and I could force myself back into work the next day. Now that I’m 29 and running right into 30, I’ve discovered that I can manage to sprain my ankle by just tripping. 

I was on my way to work on Thursday when my heel – because ya know, women we gotta wear heels or risk looking “unprofessional”- got caught on a bump and sent me tumbling to the ground. I felt an all too familiar crunch and roll in that ankle socket. 

With a resounding, “FUCK!” that no one around me really responded to, I picked myself right back up and walked to work. I compartmentalized it as something to deal with later. I’m usually good with pain like that, so I forced myself to work and went through the motions. 

On the day of, it hurt, but I kept sitting down and propping it up. Luckily, my last two eikaiwa classes canceled, so a bit of ibuprofen and determination kept me going. When I got home to friends staying over and my roommate, I briefly mentioned the ankle but once again compartmentalized. These friends were from Sweden and a rock band. I had to stay up to make sure they got on those taxis and headed to the airport. 

I stayed up late with them, learning Swedish and Finnish, singing Disney songs and generally having a good time. I was aware of the pain, but just chugged more ibuprofen when no one was looking. After 3:00 am, they were off in a taxi to Haneda and I fell asleep. 

I woke up in SO MUCH PAIN. 

My ankle wasn’t as swollen as I expected, but boy it didn’t feel good. I forced myself to relax, just take it easy. I had work the next day, so I needed to recover and go.The whole day I put ice then heat, I canceled classes and plans, I KNEW I needed to get better to go to work. 

See, at my job we only get 5 personal days. That’s it. Granted, we get long winter holidays and other random holidays interspersed throughout the year, but only 5 paid personal days. No sick days, just 5 paid leave days. I knew if I wasn’t better I’d have to take that day off. I had a run of bad luck with sinuses and colds in the past couple of months beforehand, leaving me with one last precious paid day. 

Saturday came, and I woke up once more in pain. I thought about it hard, as in furiously trying to tell myself that I SHOULD just push through it and go in. As I thought about it, I knew I couldn’t. The kids were active, it was 6 plus working hours on my feet. There were toddlers who would need someone running and jumping around with them. I knew I couldn’t do it. 

Calling into work has to be done in a set time. If you miss the time window to call in, that means there is a chance student classes will have to be cancelled. From the business standpoint, that’s the real worst case scenario, and I get that. I’ve always called in within the time frame. 

On Saturdays, it’s 8-8:45. Ok, fine, no big deal. I tried to call, twice, only to encounter a busy tone. I’m not surprised. I imagine a lot of people are calling in with a holiday on the horizon. It probably won’t look good on my records for me to call in as well. My stomach is in knots. I’m not calling in because I want more vacation time, I’m calling in because I literally cannot work with a sprained ankle.  

When I get through, the operator gives his name and asks me how he can help me. I get tense, because I know this man is at a higher level in the business than me, and he’s not really as understanding as the other higher ups. 

“Yes, hi, um I’m calling in because I’ve hurt my ankle and I can’t make it into work today. I’m really sorry.”

He sighed. He mumbled something, asking if I had tried to call in before. I said I had, tried to make my tone sound light and friendly. He didn’t seem to care. He asked about my schedule, if there’s anything to note, and I tell him. I did my best to answer his questions. 

And then he said,”I see you’ve used 5 days of absences,” like I’d become the worst employee of the year for this, “is there anything we can do to help you?”

I…didn’t know what to say to that. 

A thousand different thoughts flew through my head. Was he really asking because he cared? His tone definitely didn’t really imply that one way or the other. Was it a threat? No, it just sounded automatic, like he’d asked this question before a million times. 

“No, I just got sick a lot recently. I know this is my last day, but I just can’t work on this ankle. I’m really sorry.” 

I hate myself immediately. I hate how I sound, like I’m groveling to keep this job. I’ve found myself recently questioning what I really even like about it nowadays, and the answers are few to none depending on the day. Moments like these, where I feel as if I have to be sorry for being hurt or sick or just…unwell? It feels like fire ants under my skin.

“Alright, well take care of yourself. See you around, cheers.” 

After the phone disconnects, I wonder if my boss will call sometime soon, to ask me about the absence or demand proof or something. The day goes by, but I don’t get that dreaded phone call. But then again, they will come to observe me at some point in the near future, and they’re never satisfied with what I do in the classroom.

I feel like a puzzle piece that doesn’t fit. It’s not the worst work in the world, but eikaiwa isn’t something that fulfills me. And it suddenly dawned on my half-way through the day why I could push myself through the ALT work and not the eikaiwa work: Because I was a part of a team at a school, but at the company I’m just a cog. 

When I was hurt before, I went to work but the other teachers made sure I rested between classes. I knew the school nurse had compresses, so I could chill and heat it throughout the day. I knew I wouldn’t have to run, jump, or play but just use a crutch from the gymnasium that was lying about as I taught a grammar point on the board. 

With eikaiwa, there was just me and the students. There wasn’t any help, just go to work or don’t and look bad. I’m still wondering if I’m going to get a phone call or an email or an observation with a side of lecture. And when I do, my normally backbone-hardened self might crumble again. I need to keep a job until the next hiring season, at least, I can’t just lose it only halfway through. 

And all over a rolled ankle. 

I’m going to do what I can, try my best not to get sick for the rest of the year. Maybe I’ll go out and find some nice professional looking flats? I don’t know, all I know is I have to make sure that I survive until the end of this contract without missing another day.

Hopefully, next year with a TEFL certificate and a JLPT certificate a few more doors could open up for me. Until then, I’ll just keep “taking care of myself.”  

Posted in Uncategorized

I Won’t Give Up On #JaymeCloss

Jayme Closs is 13 years old. She is missing and she’s in extreme danger.

Five days ago, police in Barron County, WI received a 911 call from the Closs residence. The caller didn’t talk to the dispatcher. Within four minutes, police arrived to discover James Closs (56) and his wife Denise Closs (46) murdered in their home.

Barron County Sheriff’s office issued an Amber Alert for Jayme Closs some hours later. Due to the fact that a suspect and a vehicle were not identified, it was a delayed release.

But something happened after the alert went out with this particular photo.

People began to demonize Jayme immediately.

In the first 24 hours, instead of helping to share information, social media decided that they had already decided who the murderer was.

Conspiracy theories even began about the picture itself.

However the truth was far more mundane. The first publicly available picture for the police was Jayme’s Facebook profile picture.

While it’s not the best angle, it’s all that was available at the time. The rest of Jayme’s public photos on her timeline were too old, with Jayme looking more rounder faced and shorter than her now five foot self.

Usually in kidnapping situations, the parents are the first to give photos of their missing child to police. Since that couldn’t happen with this case, police ran with the most recent photo available to them. Later on, other family members gave different photos, much more clear and less strange looking.

But the narrative of her as murderer was already locked in place, especially on Twitter where True Crime fans love to spread “theories,” even at times encouraged by news media personalities.

As most people are probably aware, the first 24-48 hours of a missing persons case is critical. Police rely upon this unspoken and necessary trust with the public that when an amber alert is released that people will be looking for said missing person.

Despite Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald stating repeatedly into the void, “She’s not a suspect,” over and over again, the news sensationalized it and the speculations continued.

Thanks to Twitter users liking and responding to the speculations, many of those hit trending pages, cluttering up the feeds with wild theories.

And thanks to that, a lot of misinformation made its rounds.

Many news outlets latched onto the Miami lead, spreading that misinformation like wild fire. After it was deemed not credible, that Jayme was in fact still missing, it has been over 48 hours before that got cleared up.

Paul Blaume, a reporter for Fox9, tried his best throughout the whole case to continually give factual as well as credible details. He also was one of the few voices humanizing Jayme online.

The case of Jayme Closs is terrifying and heartbreaking. Someone shot through the door, killed her parents, and then took her by gunpoint.

And in addition to that horror, social media failed her. Speculation and sensationalism ruled over facts. Deemed a villain, Jayme wasn’t looked for properly, and the window to find her alive has drastically narrowed.

Over 400 tips were called into the hot line provided by Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, but none of those leads panned out. Now on day 5, it’s over 800 tips, but still no leads. FBI has expanded its search nationwide.

Yesterday, the ground searches finally began.

Over a hundred volunteers searched along Highway 8 for evidence. That means the police have credible suspicion that someone might have thrown evidence along the road, so someone might have fled from the crime scene in that general direction.

Yet, still no leads and speculation only increases with each passing hour. Finding her alive means that the narrative of Jayme Closs must change. Usually, parents are the ones who tell people about their missing children and plead for their safe return.

The plea that should exist for Jayme Closs should go something like this:

Jayme is a sweet, shy thirteen year old girl. She loves to dance every chance she gets. She loves to spend time with friends. She has dreams of being a dancer when she grows up. Her family is grieving tremendously. They’ve lost two very loved people, and the thought of losing Jayme too is too much to bear. So if you have Jayme, let her go. Give her back to her family. Drop her off at a hospital, fire station, or somewhere else safe where she can be found. Please don’t harm her. She’s just a child.

Instead of vitriol and villianizing, people should be sharing her image along with the tipline 1-855-744-3879. Talk about her as of she’s the child endangered as the police do.

Speculation isn’t going to save Jayme’s life. Actually, it might have devastated her chances of being found. Going into day five with no leads paints a grim picture for investigators.

I’ve started a rather long Twitter thread that I’ve added to as updates occur. I’m not giving up on Jayme, because I feel like so many other people have. The local county and police haven’t, but a rather large part of the nation’s population has, and that’s heartbreaking to me.

Jayme Closs is a victim, not a suspect. Let’s try to find her before it’s too late.

Updates:

It’s day 13, and a few holes are filled into the story.

Jayme’s family – her aunt Jennifer and another relative – came out to say they’ll “never stop looking” for her. With them was the Closs tiny family dog left behind at the crime scene.

Which now makes sense as to why law enforcement believe that Jayme should still be alive. Someone shot open the door, killed the parents, but not the dog. Whoever took Jayme has a semblance of a conscience.

The Barron County Sheriff’s Office and the Milwaukee FBI both seem to think that whoever broke completely intended to take Jayme with them.

The Sheriff Fitzgerald also released vehicles of interest to the case.

Over 2,000 volunteers helped to comb the area around the Closs house, and over 2,000 tips have been called in and 1,200 tips have been closed.

Rumors and speculations still abound on the Internet. A lot of people still live the secret boyfriend theory, even though the FBI have combed through her social media by this point. Both the Sheriff and the FBI have stated that if there was a person of interest or a suspect that information would be released.

As it stands, nothing.

At this point, the investigators will shift through forensics over and over again to see what they’ve missed. Tips will get called in and throughly vetted. With any luck, someone like you will see Jayme and call 911.

Any information of direct knowledge about Jayme’s location is worth $50,000.

Do you know someone acting suspicious?

Odds are Jayme was taken by someone she knows. They’re probably someone in the community, probably someone who is a loner, and has a history of petty theft or burglary. Oddly enough, this person probably has no history of sexual misconduct or murder.

Here is where people would say that’s speculation, but it’s actually based off FBI behavioral analysis of residential kidnappings.

Now, someone who kills and kidnaps while also having a shred of empathy (i.e. not killing Jayme or the dog) won’t be unaffected by those actions. They will be stressed, act out, react to the news either explosively or not at all. Think extreme reactions completely out of character for this person.

The FBI behavioral analysis paints the usual suspects as male, white, 30’s – 40’s, with no family or really close friends. They may have had sexual deviant tendencies but never acted on them before.

A female residential kidnapper usually kidnaps children as surrogates for the children they lack or have lost. With Jayme doing dance, it’s possible that someone was able to get close by being a female that the troupe and kids could trust. That being said, female residential kidnappers tend to take babies, not 13 year olds.

Either way, if you know someone in the Barron County area who isn’t acting like themselves, is a bit too interested in the Jayme Closs investigation, knew her and her family, and something doesn’t seem right, call it in.

Jayme Closs is in danger and we need to find her.

Posted in Uncategorized

We Don’t Talk Anymore

Sometimes I go through old diaries and wish I could go back in time to hug myself. A lot of people have this bitter self-hatred of their teen and young adult selves, but I don’t. I wish I could give my past self a hug and tell her everything is going to be OK.

I found a snippet in there about my father and it was jarring to say the least. See, we don’t talk anymore. Why? Oh boy, where to start.

When I came to Japan in my first year, it was the “honeymoon” period. I was all about having the best time I could in Japan, and I did. I traveled every chance I got, went on these crazy adventures with JET Programme people in Ibaraki, which made for some great memories.

My mom and brother kept in contact with me via Skype and Facebook. We would call on the Skype phone or vid call. My brother actually helped me get miles so I could come home for Christmas!

But, well, complete radio silence from Dad.

I tried to call him once. I called, he picked up the phone, and I got maybe 5 minutes of conversation before he started complaining about how expensive the call was going to be. I don’t remember saying goodbye, just hearing the click of the line dropped. I cried my eyes out for the better part of an hour after.

I didn’t try that again.

I figured he’d call me, or maybe my step-mom would get in touch via Facebook for him. Right? Not so much. My brother actually worked as the go between for that year, helping to finalize plans and everything.

I wrote that diary entry above in 2012. I was beginning to hit a really important but kind of traumatizing realization that I couldn’t live with him as a shadow figure in my life anymore. He couldn’t care about me unless I was right in front of him, and even then, only if a football or basketball game wasn’t on.

As a child of divorce, he had weekends he could visit, but he often didn’t/couldn’t come. I remember waiting by my grandmother whenever the phone rang at her house. I remember one time I stood there and didn’t move, because I wanted to just pretend I was still waiting, or maybe he’d call back and change his mind.

Basically, I spent a very disproportionate amount of time in my life just waiting for him to show up, and he didn’t.

It’s a stereotypical story, I know, divorced kid with an abandonment complex, but the pain of it was still valid. He tried to make up for it with things, like a car on my sixteenth birthday- a Ford two-seater with a sliver of a backseat that I drove until the transmission got wonky- and a week long vacation on the Alabama coast in my senior year. Grand gestures, like he was trying, you know?

However, I knew he wasn’t paying child support for years, same for medical bills. Mom and student loans put me through college, although he would occasionally send grocery money here, emergency money there. He was inconsistent with how he wanted to care about his children, like my brother and I were two things that were on the list of things to cross off, but it depended on the season.

Christmas of 2012 was a roller-coaster ride. I was running around from city to city, trying to see as much of my family and friend groups as I could in a short time. I stayed with my dad for a bit and he got me on the plane to Japan. I thought it was all good.

Then 2013 rolled around.

I decided to just wait and see. Surely, I thought, surely he’ll send a message at some point. I left him with all my information, he can do it. Or maybe step-mom?

No birthday, no Thanksgiving, and no Christmas message.

Months into 2014, I don’t know when exactly, but my step-mother (bless her) tried to ask me about when I was coming back for a visit… And I went off.

I said some very awful things to her. Some of them I didn’t mean, and I was largely unfair to her. If I could regain contact, I think I’d apologize mostly to her. She didn’t deserve to get the emotional pent up frustration and rage I felt towards him.

And he messaged back through her account. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but I remember reading through it and thinking to myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” It addressed nothing, didn’t even attempt to form understanding about where the anger came from, it was just…uncaring.

So I blocked him.

Ever since then, I’ve felt oddly freed. I’m not waiting around for him to acknowledge I exist anymore, and I’m not wounding myself by expecting some kind of love that’s never coming. Instead, I’m learning to love myself with the family and friends that do love me.

Maybe one day we can talk again, but I’m not going to open that door. Past me didn’t deserve to have her heart broken like that for so long. Maybe when my heart is a little bit stronger and I’m a little wiser…until then, I guess.

Posted in YouTube Videos

If You Wanna Get Caught Up…

So I’ve been vlogging a little bit more than usual, and my channel has been growing a little bit.

Basically in this video, I talk about how unhappy I was with the old way I was doing things and revamping the ideas on the channel.

Actually managed to do a semi-daily thing for a week, just talking about different things as they happened in my life.

And here we have the BEST THING I’VE EVER BOUGHT AS AN ADULT WITH MY OWN MONEY!!!

Ranting about the rainy weather and typhoons. Hahaahahaha, little did I know that I would have 5 more after that. 

Hello other typhoon, how are you? Man, these past couple of months had some brutal weather. Really, really tired of rain at this point.

Eating things I shouldn’t, also Mondays are cursed.

This one got the most views and hate. A LOT of people came out to defend Japan, which is normal. A lot of times whenever you talk critically about Japan, you’ll have tons of people try to tell you how wrong you are about the racism in the country. And most of those people DON’T ACTUALLY LIVE IN JAPAN, so it’s super frustrating. Somehow this little thing accumulated over 1,000 views, I guess because it was a hot topic at the time. Oh well, opinion unchanged (actually Japanese media is already proving me right in some instances, but what can you do?).

Anyways, hope that gets you caught up!

Posted in Uncategorized

Dear (Adult) Eikaiwa Students…

I understand that you want to improve your English for various reasons. You’re really, really trying hard, you think. You’re going to a class once (maybe twice) a week, you’re reviewing the material, but somehow you’re just not improving.

You’ll see other eikaiwa students in the lobby chatting it up with the English teachers, and you’ll wonder, “How come they’re better than me? Is it the teacher? Is it their methods?” And I might have a couple of answers for you.

If you’re having trouble in eikaiwa maybe…

You should increase your study time.

A class or two a week is not enough, not even nearly enough. When I was in the JET Programme, we were shown graphs and charts from various studies around the world. On average, you need at least two hours a week of studying to remember the material. If you want to improve in dramatic fashion, you need three to four hours a week for results.

Many eikaiwa students make the mistake of thinking that one class a week will magically make them better at English, but that’s just not possible. Languages for the average person means developing multiple skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. It means you can’t just expect a “fast food English” approach and expect grand results. I’m sorry, that’s just not how it works. In addition to that…

You might need a group class. 

A lot of Japanese students are under the impression that a private class is better because you’ll get more time with a teacher. While that is an advantage if you’re studying for a specific exam or have business related things to improve. However, for general conversation things, it would actually be better to have a group class.

Speaking with one person for forty five minutes to an hour (depending on the company) means you’re only speaking to one person. Yes, it’s a native person, but then you’re limiting yourself to that teacher only for your listening and verbal skills. With other people, you’ll have different experiences, backgrounds, and ideas. With other people you can learn from them, basically, and even learn from their mistakes.

Think about naturally learning Japanese, you didn’t do it with one teacher or one parent. You talked with all different kinds of people in different situations. That’s how languages work, you need to have a variety of different people in order to gain more conversation skills.

It also helps that in a group class you’ll make friends. When you have people you enjoy hanging out with in a group class, you’re more likely to show up to class regularly. Private students often drop classes halfway through a course because, well, their teacher is a teacher. A teacher might become your friend, but that’s often not the case. With a group class you’ll have people you can get to know, and maybe even hang out with after class, possibly even study together. Emotional investment isn’t something to ignore.

And we finally come to…

You need to set realistic goals. 

Many students at eikaiwa set themselves up to fail. Often times the expectations are something along the lines of, “Oh! If I go to class every day, once a week, for a year, I’ll be fluent!” But that’s not a realistic goal. Fluency is complicated, and usually requires years of practice and study.

Fluency would also be better acquired, honestly, in an English speaking country. In Japan where 99% of your interactions daily will be in Japanese, expecting to become fluent in one year through an eikaiwa alone is just setting yourself up to fail.

Now, there will be people who will say, “I became fluent in one year!” online. That’s probably because they devoted themselves to that language daily for hours and possibly lived in the country of the language’s origin. It is possible, but not through one class a week.

Also, expecting one class once a week to make you fluent is putting an unrealistic expectation on the teacher. Believe it or not, your teacher’s job is not to make you speak perfect English, our job is to make you communicate effectively in English. What does that mean? It means we want you to speak and then be understood.

We don’t want you to speak like the Queen of England, we just want you to be able to use the language in a way where in a conversation you send a message with words, and the person listening to you gets that message. Yes, vocabulary and grammar are important, but the core focus in our classes is communication, not tests.

In short, set yourself goals that are reachable within a year. It can be as simple as, “I will be able to travel in English.” That’s usually a basic level, asking for how much something is or where a place is. Or maybe a goal like, “I will be able to help foreigners around town.” If you’re a beginner, try to go with goals that meet that level. If you’re higher level, maybe keep an English journal for a year.

And those are just a few things I wanted to bring to your attention. I don’t expect you to maybe understand this post well, and perhaps this advice isn’t that helpful for you. Still, I hope perhaps you’ll take these points under consideration as you study.

Keep up the good work, you’ll get there!