It’s been an interesting year here at GenkiJACS – we were chosen as one of the top language schools in the world, became only the third Japanese school ever admitted to IALC, fought off takeover attempts, reorganized our course system, reorganized our company itself, and much much more! I want to take a few minutes today to say thank you to the staff who have helped us so much throughout this year. We are blessed with a wonderful team, who have made the school a great place to be!
I’ve worked several jobs, both in Japan and in other countries, and I can honestly say that I’ve never enjoyed going to work every day as much as I enjoy going in to GenkiJACS. That’s partly due to the wonderful students – it’s a joy to see them improve little by little each day, and we’re lucky to have such lovely people want to study with us. But the biggest reason why I’m excited to go to work every day is the great staff I work with.
Machiko-sensei, our head teacher, is a great organizer, with a careful eye for detail, and somehow able to keep hundreds of plates spinning every day, to make sure every student’s lessons are going smoothly. She works harder and longer than anyone, often staying in the office until late at night to get everything perfect. She’s often quite serious, but that just makes it all the funnier when she tells an unexpected joke! She’s diligent and devoted to improving the education of students through teacher training. We’ve noticed that students’ Japanese ability is really improving quicker recently than it ever used to, and I think Machiko-sensei is the reason!
Aiko-sensei wears two hats, as both a Japanese teacher and our administrative head. She’s in charge of making sure everything outside of classes goes smoothly, and she does a wonderful job! She has a super-cool personality, never flustered even in an emergency, helping to keep everyone else around her calm. She has a great sense of humor and a super-fast wit, in both Japanese and English. And she has the perfect Japanese pronunciation of a TV newscaster.
Yuji-sensei is a student favorite – he even has his own Facebook fan club! Students love his relaxed teaching style, his sense of humor, and his bottomless knowledge of manga. We love the excellent way he’s handled class scheduling for the last couple of years – repeat students regularly tell us how much better class scheduling is now than it used to be. We’re sad to say Yuji-sensei will be taking a sabbatical leave for a year, to study German, but we’ll see him back here in 2011!
Mai-san was a newcomer this year, but she’s quickly become the heart of the school! She’s a fountain of energy, taking care of students both in and outside of school. She’s also one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met, and a huge asset to the school. She handles student accommodation, a difficult job at the best of times, but she’s done brilliantly this year, and improved the school’s systems in many ways too! Thanks Mai!
Rie-sensei’s first child was born the year she started GenkiJACS, and ever since, she’s had an incredibly difficult job – running a growing business while raising two small children. She’s done an amazing job, and made GenkiJACS into the internationally recognized school it is today.
Finally, the staff and teachers who run classes tirelessly every day deserve a huge thank you. The teachers’ room at GenkiJACS is always full of laughter, and the teachers themselves make being at GenkiJACS a joy.
Thanks again to all the GenkiJACS staff, for making this school a great place to study and work!
We posted a while ago about companies moving out of the GenkiJACS building, but this time, we're happy to announce a new company moving in!
This is the sign of 福祉研究カレッジ ("Fukushi Kenkyuu Carejji", Welfare Research College), a school devoted to training care staff to work with elderly and disabled people. They are of course a very socially conscious company, working hard to give back to society as a whole, and we're happy to be able to call them neighbors! From now on, we hope to be able to work together in a bunch of ways, giving our students new opportunities to help out in the community, as well as make new friends!
Recently the higher-level classes at GenkiJACS went to visit a local Japanese university, where we had Japanese conversation practice with the students. We talked about our home countries, Christmas, and lots of other things.
It was a lot of fun! We ate lunch in the university cafeteria afterward, and some of the students we met came to the GenkiJACS Christmas party the next day.
A．1. The pretty scenery!
--He went around Kyushu by car. (He likes hot springs, especially open-air baths. The other day he went to a 'hell onsen' in Beppu.)
2. Japanese food
--He wants to eat everything, it seems
Q．What's a nice place in your country, or a place you like?
A．Basque (Philippe-san's hometown) is great! Especially the scenery. The sea and mountains are pretty. The food in Basque is a little oily, but it's really good. The houses have white plaster walls, and each house has different color windows and doors. Basque has its own language and mythology, it's great.
Philippe-san loves Japan; this is his second visit.
After hearing so much about Basque, I want to go to! (I'll start saving up)
We just noticed that on the week starting the 21st of December, more than 20% of the students at GenkiJACS will be returning students (that is, students who studied with us in the past, coming back to study with us again)! This is a testament to the hard work that the teachers here do every day, and as a school, it's the best recommendation that we could receive. Most people only get the chance to study in Japan once in a lifetime. When someone who already knows exactly what we're like is willing to pay their hard-earned money to come back to the same school, that shows they thought it was worth it the first time! So thank you again to all the returning students - you make us even happier to do our jobs! We're working on a special program to reward returning students (beyond the 10% discount we currently give), and should have details ready shortly. Here's hoping even more students come back to study with us again in the future, and the GenkiJACS family gets even stronger!
Here is a list of the GenkiJACS events planned in the next few days:
Thursday December 10: Japanese movie "Hula Girl" on the big screen at school
Friday December 11: Karaoke party
Saturday December 12: Fukuoka Motor Show
Monday December 14: Pottery class
Tuesday December 15: Tenjin Xmas Illumination Tour, and Tea ceremony and kimono class
Wednesday December 16: Touchouji temple visit
Thursday December 17: Atago Shrine visit, combined class with Nakamura University, free city tour for new students, and movie at school (a busy day!)
Friday December 18: Sumi-e charcoal painting class, and Xmas party!
That's 13 events in just 9 days! Most students don't have the time or energy to attend ALL of these, but we want to make sure your time is full of fun things to do. We've recently powered up GenkiJACS' events program, and we'll be announcing a whole new program in the near future too. Watch this space!
We spotted this model house in Tenjin the other day. This is a "Casa Cube", a new type of house that the manufacturer is proud enough of to display in the very center of the city. The major feature of it, as you might have spotted, is its featurelessness.
We asked the salesman why it had almost no windows, and he said the main reason was to prevent crime, by removing the easiest way to get into a house. So, none of the windows are large enough for a person to squeeze through. Here it is from another angle:
It seems a little strange to us to cut out almost all natural light because of fear of crime, when living in one of the very safest countries in the world. But the other reason for lack of windows is to lower the cost. These are "off-the-shelf" houses - you choose one from a catalog, and they deliver it to your plot of land, starting from 12,800,000 yen (about $145,000 USD).
As of this past Wednesday, GenkiJACS is now an approved study abroad program for The College of New Jersey students! This means students from TCNJ can receive credit for short study with us, either in summer or winter. Contact your advisor for more details!