Friday, April 15, 2005

27 days remaining - Welcome former coworkers!!!

Hello all who were directed here by my farewell email today at work. Thanks for the visit, and I hope you'll stop by often for updates.
***For my "regular" visitors, today was my last day with the Firm and I invited everyone to drop by here and bookmark this site via my farewell email.***

First of all, let me reiterate a quick part of my email message. If you would like to be notified of major updates, please send an email to michel_lafleur@excite.com with your personal (or work if you don't have one) email address which I will add to my list. Don't worry, I won't bother you with emails every day... just a quick reminder to drop in here once in a while because of ___________. (fill in the blank with: "my departure from Canada", "my arrival at my school", "my visit to Russia", "etc.")

So I guess the first order of business for those of you who do not know the details of my trip is to get you up-to-date.

  1. My (soon to be) home

    • I will be teaching in a city of 440,000 people called Utsunomiya in Japan's Tochigi Prefecture.
    • Utsunomiya is located near the mountains, about 1 hour (100km) North of Tokyo. From what I understand it's a very nice place to live. Onsens (Hot Springs) are abundant and it is close to a few national parks for hiking and such. Not too big, especially compared to the Tokyo metropolis (population 36M) and yet big enough to have most of the amenities to help make your stay comfortable.
    • My apartment in Utsunomiya is arranged for and subsidized by the school I'll be working for, so I don't have to go through the hassle of finding a place to live in a foreign country.

  2. My employer
    • I will be working for AEON Corporation, one of the largest private language schools in the country with over 360 branch schools in operation accross Japan.
    • I will be teaching English to adults who break down into the following demographics: 85% business people, 5% housewives, 5% college students, 5% high school students.
    • I've signed a one year contract from May 21st, 2005 to May 20th, 2006. I may be offered to extend my contract after 6 months.

  3. My first week in Japan
    • I will be flying Ottawa-Chicago-Tokyo, leaving Ottawa at 6:27 AM EST on Thursday May 12th. I arrive in Tokyo after 15 hours of flying and a 4 hour layover in Chicago at 2PM Tokyo time on May 13th, having crossed the International Date Line. In my tired and confused mind, it will seem like it's 1AM Eastern Standard Time.
    • I will be met at the airport by AEON staff and taken to the Seminar House where I'll be staying during my week of training. Training starts the morning following my arrival.
    • Following training, I will be taken to the train station and shipped off to Ustunomiya where I will be met by staff from my branch school and taken to visit the branch.
    • I'm assuming I will then be taken to my apartment and allowed to settle in and catch up on some much needed rest!
So that's about as much information as I'm willing to write out at the moment. Please feel free to peruse the rest of this journal, you can see past posts on the bottom right, as well as the current time and weather in Japan at the bottom of this page. Should you wish to do so, you may leave a comment using the chat box to the right of the page by entering your name and message in the appropriate fields.


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