By Natasha Ubani
Wow! I cannot believe I have been in Japan for almost eight months already. It is absolutely mind-boggling how time has flown by! Considering that my program officially ends the last week of July, I have only a little over 2 months left.
Over the past month, I resumed my studies at Waseda University for the Spring semester. However, school was barely in session for two weeks before we took another break called Golden Week.
Golden Week is a Japanese national holiday celebrated for 10 days usually between the last week of April and the first week of May. It’s widely celebrated and somehow Tokyo – already overflowing with people — manages to get even busier. All of a sudden my usually calm neighborhood was teeming with people!
You might be wondering how I spent my first Golden Week. I hate to disappoint you, but I spent my holiday teaching an intensive Beginner’s English course. It may sound underwhelming, but I can honestly tell you it was quite rewarding.
A few weeks before the holiday, at the English Café where I have been working as a chat host, I was approached with the opportunity to teach English during the holiday. I was wary – even a little scared. My initial anxiety stemmed from the fact that I would be teaching adults not children.
So, I did what anyone facing a daunting decision would do – I called my mother (what would we do without them?!). She helped change my perspective on the job and I agreed to give it a try.
After my first day, my anxiety was assuaged. I began to look at it as a life experience that would stay with me and always remind me of my time in Tokyo. I must be a teacher at heart because even I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I even created an account on a teaching resource website.
Plus, my students and I would go out for lunch together every day and have conversations in both English and Japanese. Sometimes the roles were reversed, and they would become the teachers. Teaching adults also made me appreciate the nuances of the English language that I take for granted as a native speaker.
Besides my stint as a teacher, I have steadily focused on my goal to make the most of my remaining time in Japan. When I’m not in school or participating in extracurricular activities, I’m tirelessly exploring Tokyo.
School is back in session again and the Spring semester is finally getting underway. My classes are picking up and homework is piling up. So, until next time!
Natasha Ubani is an international student from Nigeria. Ms. Ubani is a Junior at JU pursuing a double major in International Business and Marketing. She is currently spending her Junior year at Waseda University in Tokyo as an exchange student through the Davis College of Business.