I got back from a three day conference in Kobe today. I really dislike JET conferences because, truth be told, I really dislike most JETs. I also find that JET conferences are tedious and my fellow JETs obnoxious. This was no exception. This conference was for re-contracting JETs. We were inundated with information that we really should know by now, such as the goal of the JET program. If you don’t know what the JET program is, WHY would you be re-contracting? It is just really frustrating to hear 90+ minute speeches about the same things you heard about at the last conference, which, in turn, was a recycled version of the conference before that, etc.
Then there are the JETs themselves. I don’t know how some of these knuckle draggers make it through screening, when I know wonderful people that didn’t. Some JETs behave in such a pathetic manor. This year there was a report of a pretty horrible incident potentially involving JETs that really hurts the image of the JET Program. I do enjoy the JET program a lot, but some individuals (and it really is just a few people) are unwashed simpletons that ruin it for us all.
It wasn’t all bad though. Some of the seminars were really good. It was nice because they focused on theory more than recipes. For example, I had a class devoted to the theory of language acquisition. Though it is not, necessarily, directly useful, it is wonderful to go and learn something just for the sake of learning something. I miss that about college so much. I miss the field of “theory.” The real world seems so obsessed with the “practical” and puts virtually no value on knowing as its own reward. I think there is an intrinsic value to knowledge and it was really refreshing to go to seminars that discussed that on some level.
The other great thing was hanging out with Daito Massive and Crew. The seminar was in Kobe, which is a really cool city, so we got to go out and about. Some cool people from Osaka joined us. We stayed up way too late some nights and I am exhausted (I had roommate troubles to boot, bah!) but it was really a great time. On a little tram ride to the JR station we ran into a class of elementary school fourth graders and talked to them on the tram. There were really awsome. Little kids in Japan rule! These kids had great English and we had a really wonderful time chatting it up with them.
Tonight I have to make a worksheet, but it is only a word search so it will not be too bad. I hope. But tomorrow and Friday I have school! That is so lame. I just got back from a JET seminar and now I have school, THAT is the unkindest cut of all.