AEON Interview (Day 2)

Day two is considerably shorter than day one.  Which is nice, but also leaves you with nerves at the end, a lot of them.

So, if you get the personal interview, you are invited to come back the next day.  They assign you an interview time, so it’s your job to make sure you’re there on time.  Since I stayed at a hotel about 15 minutes away, I had to give myself plenty of time to prepare in the morning to be there by 9:15.

I got there with some time to spare, so I went up to the third floor of the hotel and waited outside the room.  I could hear snippets of the person interviewing before me, which only added to my nerves.  A fellow interviewee came up a few minutes after I did, so we talked and discussed some of the things we had learned the previous day before I was called in.

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David Jester: 6 Tips for Better Writing in 2018 — Drinkers with Writing Problems

Definitely what I need to read today.  Here’s to a happy, writing for myself, 2018!

Stop writing for others and start writing for yourself. Write like you don’t give a shit, because you don’t, and you shouldn’t.

via David Jester: 6 Tips for Better Writing in 2018 — Drinkers with Writing Problems

AEON Interview (Day 1)

[2018: I’ve edited this post a bit.]

The fact that you’re looking up stuff for your interview with Aeon already puts you ahead.  And I’ll tell you why, eventually.  🙂

I interviewed in Columbus, OH for a position with AEON.  I was 1 out of about 30 applicants that day.  I drove down from Detroit, MI early that morning.  I left around 6 a.m. to make it for the noon interview time.  There was an event going on in downtown Columbus, so I afforded myself some extra time.  I ended up getting there any hour early, though.  Awesome.  So I hit the bathroom, made sure I didn’t look too rumpled, and sat down with my fellow candidates.

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Happy 2018: Myself

As I round out my 7-day trip through 2017, I had a hard time thinking of a final thing to be thankful for.  And then it hit me like a ton of bricks:


When I consider everything I’ve been through in the last year, and how I’ve managed to continue pushing through, I have to be really thankful and appreciative of who I am as a person.

Life enjoys throwing curve balls my way, and I’ve become quite an expert at dodging them.  I could get into nitty-gritty details, but that would spin this back around into a negative.  And that’s a place I don’t want to go.

So I’ll leave it as this:

I am strong.  I am smart.  I am adequate, I am enough.  My world does not revolve around the choices or actions of others.  I am my biggest fan and my best friend.  There is no one I would rather be at the end of the day besides myself.

And for that, and many other things, I am eternally grateful.

Hello 2018: Living in this Century

It’s fitting that I’m writing this entry from my iPhone rather than my computer, which is where I usually write from. When I took the time to think about things I was really thankful for, I really had to appreciate the advantages living in this technologically advanced age afford.

Living in this Century

When I first came to Japan I’m 2009 living abroad was much more difficult than it is now. I often found myself lost and confused, trying to read maps and feeling downtrodden and tired frequently with my attempts to do anything outside of the University.Now, ha, I can whip out my iPhone and locate a place, get directions, the phone number, read a plethora of reviews and start walking all within the 3 minute time span. If that’s not convenient I don’t know what is. It makes living abroad much easier, but at times can be a crutch. I try to do things on my own as much as possible, but when I feel overwhelmed I turn to technology.

The other nice part about technology is now I connect and contact with friends and family back home much easier. I can call my mom on Skype for free whenever I want. It’s just like talking on the phone, but we use an app instead of the calling function on our phones.

SMS also makes it much easier to share and communicate about my life abroad. If I had been even 20 years earlier, I wouldn’t have been able to document and share with so many people. It’s amazing what technology can do.

Makes me wonder what’s next…

Hello 2018: Living Abroad

I’ve lived in Japan since I made the jump in 2013.  I’ve had the opportunity to live in two different cities while I’ve been here (not including my study abroad in Kansai in 2009).  Since I’ve come here, I’ve fallen in love with the island that is Kyushu.  So today, I’m thankful a thousand times for this chance!

Living Abroad

I’ll be honest, living in another country where English is not the native language has been a challenge.  And even though everybody studies English from Junior High School, their communicative skill in English is not very good.  Hence the reason why conversation skills are really popular.

But, when you have a challenging situation and you can power through it and be successful in another language it’s way more rewarding.  I’ve had plenty of situations where I’ve had to bumble through with my Japanese skills and though I was nervous and scared at first, but when I finished I felt such a sense of accomplishment.

Living abroad has taught me a lot about myself, and a lot about patience and acceptance.  We’ve talked a lot about making study abroad mandatory in some of my higher level classes and I truly believe that we should be encouraging more students to study abroad if they can.  It helps to make more well-rounded and diverse global citizens.  And I think on this global stage and as we continue our slow, seemingly slight descent into the future, we could use more people with level-heads on their shoulders.

Just about 2 years ago I moved to Kumamoto, Japan and I think I’ve finally found a place where I can be comfortable and happy.  When I was living in Fukuoka I felt happy, but I always felt like something was missing.  Coming to Kumamoto gave me a city full of amazing and accepting people, a wonderful night culture and the most amazing friends.  It was a bit strange how I came to be here, one day I’ll address it, but I wouldn’t change this decision for the world.

Hello 2018: Books

When I think about what has shaped me throughout my lifetime, and what is my #1 go-to when I’m feeling down, it’s definitely books.  So when thinking about things that helped me through 2017, I want to take a time to shout-out reading.


As soon as I could read, books were all I thought about.  One of my favorite stories to tell in my classes is a contest we had when I was in second grade.  For every 20 books we read we would get pushed down the hallway in the principal’s chair.  And whoever read the most books would get a prize at the end of the year.

Every week I went down that hallway.  Every. Damn. Week.  And it was exhilarating.  I blew the competition out of the water.  There was no contest.  I was the clear winner from day 1.  I remember one of my classmates trying to keep up but that didn’t last long.  I was barely 7 years-old but that always sticks out at one of my fondest memories.

Every time we had a book fair or a guest author my parents continued to help foster my love of reading by buying me books and getting autographed copies.  I still have most of them, and very rarely if ever have I sold a book to a used bookstore.  Even the really awful books that I have to slog through over the course of a couple of months I’ve kept because one day I want to have my own floor to ceiling library in my home.  With a small sitting area in the window…  One day.

This year I didn’t read a lot, mostly because I went to work, came home, slept… rinse and repeat month after month.  I finished Game of Thrones earlier this year and have been trying to read through a couple other books.  My goal for this year is to read at least 24 new books.  (I re-read Harry Potter all the time, so that doesn’t count)  I’ve always wanted to read through a list and post reviews, I’ll look into doing that later this year as well.

Books.  They just make me happy.  The smell, the feel, the pages as I turn them.  Ahh, books.