Sunday, June 15, 2008

777 posts and changes to my blog

Hello All -

If you've been a regular reader of my blog here, then perhaps you've noticed small changes that have happened over the past few months.

I stopped blogging like this - pure text - and started posting more and more from my YouTube page and updates from my Flickr picture site.

I kinda miss just typing my thoughts and updates on my life here in Japan. So I hope to do more of these types of posts in the next year.

Also, most of my "blogging" time has been spent recently producing a series of video blogs (vlogs) on my YouTube page aimed at helping new JETs on their upcoming journey to Japan.
I've gotten some great feedback from many soon-to-be ALTs, and I'll continue making these vlogs for the next 6 weeks or so.

If you're reading this post and checking out my blog as a result of seeing the link over at my YouTube page, then WELCOME. I hope you find some of the information here helpful as well.
While I haven't blogged as much in the past year about my life as a JET, if you search thru the archives, I think you'll find lots of interesting posts about what life is like for a rural ALT.

When I logged on tonight, I noticed that I've posted to this blog 777 times, making this post #778. Wow! I started this blog back in August of 2004, and after re-reading some of my older posts, I think it's an interesting time-capsule of my time spent here in Shimane.

The biggest change to my blog (and YouTube page) is the deletion of pictures and videos that feature my great students.
After getting some feedback from some of the teachers I work with regarding Privacy laws here in Japan, I've decided to remove almost all the pictures and videos I have up publically that include my kids.
I hated doing this. My students are the reason I'm here, and they really enjoyed my blog and getting to see themselves, etc. But I want to respect their privacy and keep everyone happy, so the pictures and videos are gone for now.
If that was the main reason you checked out my blog, then I'm sorry, but they won't be coming back.

I will still post pics to my FLICKR account, but I'll be more selective about it. And all my pictures are still on my site as "private" pictures, so if you know me and you've added me as a "friend" on Flickr, then you should still be able to see all my pics. I just can't make them available to the general public anymore. Same goes for my vids on YouTube. If I know who you are and you have a YT account, add me as a friend and you should still be able to see all my vids.

I've gained a bunch of subscribers despite all the videos I had to delete, and I suspect that many are new ALTs, so I'm glad that the videos are helpful. I have plenty of ideas to keep me busy for the next month or so.

My sumo vids are popular too, and I'll be reporting on each tournament this year. Next up is the Nagoya tourney in July.

I'll be busy this summer with the normal stuff - getting my kids ready for speech contests, taking some needed vacation days, etc. But unlike last year, when no new JETs came to Izumo, this year we have 4 new ALTs coming to the Izumo board of education and a few more High School ALTs coming as well. Since I'm the only ALT staying another year in the Izumo BoE, I'm sure I'll be busy showing the newbies around and helping them adjust to their new lives in rural Japan.
I have one more year to go on JET from August 2008 to August 2009. I'm the first ever ALT to stay 5 years at one school. It's been an interesting ride. I still don't like having a 2nd school, but I've come to really love my new kids at Hamayama Chu, and so I am happy that I got the chance to meet them and be their teacher.
Things could change once again as far as what schools I'll have this summer, so I'll keep you posted.

If you've been with me since the first 100 posts back in 2004 or just recently started checking out my blog, I appreciate the time you spend with my thoughts and ramblings. I hope you enjoy your time here. :)

Take Care,
Jason H.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Jason,

I found your blog and vids today and i diehard marathoned all of them just now. And i must say they are very interesting. As a result i'm your newest subscriber (at this moment).

I am probably not going to be an ALT, but i am planning on doing a traineeship or master in Japan (although i do keep getting to be an ALT in the back of my mind). So a lot of the info you had also applied to me.

When i read this particular blog entry of yours i was a bit sad you had removed the material that contained your classes and the more specific things you do in class, because, to be honest, i did hope to find out more about that through some other site you are maintaining, such as this blog.

Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing! And keep it up!


-your, now, newest subscriber-