Published: Sept. 5, 2013

The Center for Asian Studies welcomes Patricia Yarrow, a CU Alumna, who is visiting from Japan and will give a presentation about her working her way through the Japanese education system as an English teacher. Her ultimate goal after gaining her M.A. in Japanese Literature at CU was to return to Japan, settle into teaching English in a Tokyo university, and continue her areas of research. 

While Patricia has found happiness teaching English in Japan, she benefited by not going directly from university graduate student life to university teaching in Tokyo. Instead, she worked her way up from working in grade schools, to junior and high schools. Along the way, she learned diplomacy and how to extract the silver linings from the following collection of situations any English teacher may encounter: the Mormon-Japanese family English racket buried off the coast of Osaka; wage-slavery to a notorious branch of a high-school outsourcing company in Yokohama accompanied by a year of pathetic wages in an English chain but with all the hours one could stand; punishing commutes by train and bus; evening business classes outsourced to valiant but cruelly fatigued engineers; and, in a military school, students saluted her, then slept blissfully.

She now teaches in two universities four days a week, with reasonable commutes and a community of colleagues. She has time to consider the future: retirement, benefits, social security, health care, and paying off her student loan. Patricia hopes anyone interested in teaching English in Japan will come listen to her experiences, which for all the ups and downs, still qualify as "very fun."

This brown bag event will be held on Monday, September 9, at 12:00 p.m. in Guggenheim 201E. Everyone is welcome, and we invite you to bring your lunch with you.