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  • #16
    A few thoughts

    Booker, I am going through a lot of what you are going through, but in Japan.
    As for your first question, are you happy with what you are doing? I would say I have mixed feeling right now. I like living abroad, but sometime I hate my job. Other day it is the job I have always wanted.

    As for your second question, is this what I have always wanted to do. I would say yes. I have always wanted to live abroad and to teach. After being in HR and teacher business people about 25% of the time and doing hiring and such the other 75%. I loved the teaching, but hated the business side. So teaching is fun, but as always there are some negatives.

    Finally, for your third question, what to do? I think you have a lot of positive ties to Japan. Otherwise you would not be so active on this website. You miss Japan. I would say finish the degree. It only two more years. Then take the MA and come to Japan. With the MA you can hopefully get a University Job and do even better here. Also after two years you may see other possibilities besides Japan that are bigger and better.

    I think the best way to look at life is to say glife is a series of unexpected possibilities, a collection of chances, and a series of unknowns. g Enjoy them all. I admired my dad and tried to follow in his footstep. He spoke three languages, lived in Europe for 7 years, had three unique profession (The Navy, a Chemist, and University Professor) and most of all he had a full and rich life. You can have the same. My dad got his second PHD and began be a University history profession at age 50. There are no limits. Finish the degree and see what you want after finishing the degree. Japan and the world will wait for you for another two years.

    Think of life in many way like that great scene.
    in Star Wars where Luke Sky Walker is looking out in the night sky. He was thinking like you and I are. Luke was thinking, gI am stuck in this place. Out there is a new world and new possibilitiesh. Much like Luke we all feel stuck in life and our current situation, but we are not. Opportunities come to all of us and your opportunity will come too. Finish your degree and watch the opportunities come in.

    Good Luck, Cali.
    Last edited by california84; 2005-07-03, 10:14 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by california84
      BFinally, for your third question, what to do? I think you have a lot of positive ties to Japan. Otherwise you would not be so active on this website. You miss Japan. I would say finish the degree. It only two more years. Then take the MA and come to Japan. With the MA you can hopefully get a University Job and do even better here. Also after two years you may see other possibilities besides Japan that are bigger and better.
      Good Luck, Cali.
      I dont want to rain on your parade and you can get a second opinion if you want, but i would not advise ANYONE to think about getting into university teaching here in the next few years. Sure the pay is great, students are docile, long holidays but there are a few big negatives that are even making me consider chucking it in.

      1. JOB SECURITY. It doesnt exist. Part time you can exist for ever but it means commuting between 3 or 4 campuses, teaching 3 to 4 classes a day. You can make a good living but you end up feeling like a nomad or grazing cattle.
      Full time you have 1-3 year contracts so you are continually in job search mode every 2 years. Great when you have a wife and kids to house and feed and dont now where next years pay check is coming from and you have 50 guys chasing aftre your job or the same ones you are looking for. Getting jobs is about connections, building up your resume and experience. A Masters just gets you an interview.

      2. FALLING STUDENT NUMBERS. In the past students had to compete for a place at university. Now there are more places than students and universitys are competing for students. All they have to do is turn up to get in. What we are finding now is student academic levels are dropping and unis are dumbing down their curriculums. You think teaching eikaiwa is bad. What till you see whats coming. The kids coming up now are DUMB. In the next 10 years the numbers of new students will drop about 10-15% or more and expect to see many insolvent universities go under with HUGE debts.

      More guys with Masters degrees chasing fewer jobs for less pay.


      3. COMPETITION FROM DISPATCH COMPANIES. nowadays heavy hitters like me with Masters and phDs are becoming too expensive to pay high salaries and unis are contracting out classes to ECC Westgate and Berlitz to teach university classes for credit. less pay more classes and dumbing down on educational quality of teachers. Blind leading the blind for lower pay.
      They think a Masters is not needed to teach university and all you need is a gaijin with a pulse and a fun lesson and all students pass. University education meets edutainment.


      Dont think Im just saying this to put you off. i have a wife and 2 kids, writings on the wall as universities downsize I have to look for new jobs every few years and I am looking at other teaching opportunities. Get your Masters and Ill even put in a good word for you at my school.
      Last edited by paulh; 2005-07-03, 10:33 PM.

      Comment


      • #18
        paulh is making a very valid point. The number of undergraduates in japan are shrinking and the trickle down effect is growing across the spectrum of universities here. I have a student who is one of the top professors in his field, yet next year he will have ONE student. He has a Phd, authored multiple books and has an international reputation, yet there are no new students.
        I have acquaintance in an english teaching position with solid credentials yet he will not be offered another contract and is seriously considering a move to a different asian country.

        My advice would be to finish out the masters, put it in your pocket and get on with life. You never know when you might need it...

        then again honest self assessment is a gift. If you want to bail on it do so, but I suspect you may regret it later.

        fyi still happy today, no regrets here.

        Comment


        • #19
          thanks for the good advice, all. didn`t know there were so many adults out there
          you all are right. i do miss being in japan, hence i stick around here quite a bit even though i`m light years way. well, that and i think of (most of) you as my little internet friends. never had that kind before...
          all things considered, finish my degree, think i will. it`ll take a lot of thought, but after all it`s only july and school doesnt start for another month and a half. i appreciate all the input. keep it coming if you wish...

          Comment


          • #20
            Thank you Paulh for your input. I did not know that.
            Cali
            P.S. booker I like your old avatar better. I also liked your old signature a lot.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by paulh
              I dont want to rain on your parade and you can get a second opinion if you want, but i would not advise ANYONE to think about getting into university teaching here in the next few years. Sure the pay is great, students are docile, long holidays but there are a few big negatives that are even making me consider chucking it in.

              1. JOB SECURITY. It doesnt exist. Part time you can exist for ever but it means commuting between 3 or 4 campuses, teaching 3 to 4 classes a day. You can make a good living but you end up feeling like a nomad or grazing cattle.
              Full time you have 1-3 year contracts so you are continually in job search mode every 2 years. Great when you have a wife and kids to house and feed and dont now where next years pay check is coming from and you have 50 guys chasing aftre your job or the same ones you are looking for. Getting jobs is about connections, building up your resume and experience. A Masters just gets you an interview.

              2. FALLING STUDENT NUMBERS. In the past students had to compete for a place at university. Now there are more places than students and universitys are competing for students. All they have to do is turn up to get in. What we are finding now is student academic levels are dropping and unis are dumbing down their curriculums. You think teaching eikaiwa is bad. What till you see whats coming. The kids coming up now are DUMB. In the next 10 years the numbers of new students will drop about 10-15% or more and expect to see many insolvent universities go under with HUGE debts.

              More guys with Masters degrees chasing fewer jobs for less pay.
              I will address Nos. 1 & 2 only (deleted 3 & 4).
              Concering points Nos. 1 & 2, PaulH is absolutely correct. I was in the publishing industry and academic materials (including books and printed materials) import business for a long time. The company I worked for is now going through contractions due to falling sales at university level throughout Japan. Sales people are scrambling for orders and universities will just not commit to big purchases such as archives anymore and even if they do, payment is now being spread out over a number of years. Online products are coming more and more into the fore and there is a lot of sharing (inter-library loan it is called) now whereas in the past universities would always purchase their own materials and so book compaines were able to sell multiple sets of the same archive or materials to many unis in Japan. Book companies - even Maru and Kinokuniya - are all experiencing the same thing. The budgets and money available for one academic year has shrunk. This is all due to the low birthrate and hence declining student numbers thereby affecting sales. It is true. Universities are now also consolodating and "merging" in some cases whole campuses and in other cases departments. Private universities (like Keio, Waseda et al) seem to be holding their own against the national universities but everybody is in the same situation. It will only get worse with the coming years.

              Then this means that, as PaulH has said, uni positions will become even more competitive.

              However Mr. Booker, from what I read from other web sites here in Japan, it appears that Korea and China are booming along with other S.E. Asian countries so it may be a good idea to look in those areas as well in the future years if you are interested in such. That's all - gotta' go. R.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by california84
                Thank you Paulh for your input. I did not know that.
                Cali
                P.S. booker I like your old avatar better. I also liked your old signature a lot.
                really? thanks man. didnt know people actually paid attention to those. might change it back b/f somebody else steals it.

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