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bacholor of science in Business
My Japanese adventures started at the end of middle school. I was able to travel to Fukui Prefecture and stay in the little ski town of Katsuyama. I returned from this journey with a strong motivation to want to revisit in the future. The next opportunity came for me when I entered college at Colorado University At Boulder. I was looking to study abroad to expand my experience of the world and again Japan came into my focus. I was able to travel with CIEE and attend a summer study abroad program at Sophia University for a summer. While there I attended Japanese classes 5 days a week and attended Japanese business classes in English in the afternoon all the while staying with a host family in Northern Tokyo. The experience left me with a passion for the Japanese language. I returned back to the U.S and finished my business degree with sights to tour Australia as a songwriter and market myself as such, as music had been my passion from early childhood. Upon graduating, I flew East once again and was able to play all over Australia fueled by a desire to live spontaneously and share music. My trip ended in Cairns, Australia where I walked into a Japanese Embassy and inquired how I might be able to continue my worldly travels and revisit my Japanese roots. It was then that I learned about the JET Programe, which is a program that sends young people from around the world to Japan to work in Japanese school systems and assist with English education as well as share culture. I jumped at the opportunity and applied from Australia and then returned back to my home town of Aspen, Colorado to work the winter season. I passed the interviews and a summer later found myself in an airplane once again headed to the small rural village of Naraha Machi. At this point my Japanese level was quite low as three years away from the land had left me with a desire to learn once again. The rural village was a crash course in Japanese speaking, however virtually no one spoke English and so the learning curve to learn Japanese was steep.
After two years of living in Fukushima Prefecture in the little town of Naraha teaching elementary and middle school students, the March 11 Earthquake put the power plant 10 km away from my town into dire straits and I evacuated myself to nearby Iwaki and then took some friends a day later to Tokyo and then drove to Osaka before deciding to return to the U.S and try to raise money in my home town for Fukushima. After a period of hard decision making and a few months later I was relocated to Yamagata Prefecture and was able to finish my last year in the JET Programe teaching high school students and was able to play music for various cultural festivals in effort to raise money for the coast. After my four year JET Programe contract ended I found an English teaching job in nearby Sendai, but the different working environment did not work out and I found myself attending a Japanese international college hoping to pass my N2 certification test that would give me an ability to work as a translator in Japan. I was not able to pass the N2, but was able to pass a N3 certification exam. I soon returned to the states and currently have just graduated massage school, teaching a group of kids Japanese in my spare time and also continuing to perform as a songwriter in Aspen, Colorado. I am passionate about all the skills I have learned and have so far found that success seems to be measured by expansion, which equates to experience. I love running up the mountain by my house most mornings and looking out onto the sun hitting the distant peaks that light up like a flame with the coming of each day.
My Japanese adventures started at the end of middle school. I was able to travel to Fukui Prefecture and stay in the little ski town of Katsuyama. I returned from this journey with a strong motivation to want to revisit in the future. The next opportunity came for me when I entered
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