ksquishysworld

The Awkward Diary of K Squish


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How to deal with homesickness

It seems like my confident proclamation that I would update my blog once weekly has now turned into an amusing and utterly false statement, which probably surprises no one who is well-acquainted with my personality. Briefly looking through the lonely and pathetic looking three posts that this blog has, last updated nearly a year ago… I have to make an apology to everyone who has actually read this blog and asked me when I was going to update again (i.e. pretty much only my family members… sorry no one else really cares). However, after a spate of being exceedingly busy recently, I finally find myself with a rare moment of breathing space today… and there’s been an issue that’s been on my mind recently. This post will be a bit of a departure from my other updates, but it involves how to cope with living abroad, so I felt it was appropriate.

Recently, I was contacted by a person in my program (teaching English in Japan) who said she was struggling with homesickness and was feeling very down. This is, of course, extremely common. It pretty much comes with the territory of living abroad. No matter who you are, how confident you are, and how used to being independent you are, you will have low days. I’ve had students approach me who were interested in studying abroad, but were always scared of the doomed day in which homesickness would strike them. It’s a very real fear. However, as someone who has lived abroad for nearly six uninterrupted years now (first in university in Scotland and now in Japan), I’ve come up with some techniques for dealing with these issues. So if you’re feeling down, or have ever experienced homesickness… feel free to check out my coping methods and borrow as many or as little as seem appropriate for you!

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Sick in Japan

So I realize that given the way I was progressing with this blog I really should be moving along to what happened when I first got to my new school… but this past week I have been extremely under the weather and now feel like detailing my experience of being ill in Japan.  While I’m not entirely sure how I managed to catch the stomach flu that afflicted me all week, I blame my students.  They seem to be disease-ridden on the best of days, and teaching in a high school is most certainly not the best way of staying healthy.  On top of this, last Thursday my students participated in the “marathon,” i.e. an event where girls are forced to run 5 kilometers and guys 10 kilometers in the freezing cold, while wearing shorts.  Literally, it snowed that day, and they were wearing shorts.  I decided it was my job, as resident foreign cheerleader, to stand outside with the students, getting warmth only from random students who surprise attacked me with hugs.  Let’s review… how does the norovirus spread again?  Oh yes, physical contact.  And I was hugged by approximately 100 students attempting to warm themselves in my coat… there was basically no hope for me surviving the day without some sort of illness.

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Yes I wasn’t planning on showing my face but hey… mask + instagram makes me look pretty!!

 

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Tokyo orientation: survival guide

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A couple people have been asking me why I haven’t updated this blog yet, and so here I am, back with another life vignette. Sorry about the delay. I was without my laptop for a week because of technical difficulties, and then frankly… well… I’m lazy. I’ll try to do better but I really make no promises. My laziness is quite chronic and if I’m busy at work for one week then I might not post for a while.

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My totally not awkward introduction

After countless nights debating the pros and cons (and frankly the level of my laziness) of constructing a personal blog for the duration of my time in Japan, I have finally succumbed to the temptation of pouring my inner thoughts into an online forum. With my usual promptness, I have waited until a sound 5 months into my trip to do this, but hey, better late than never right?  While I’m loathe to sound self-important, a personal blog in my opinion is quite often tantamount to nothing more than a diary, and as such will be fairly centered around… well… myself.  I’m fully aware that any extended text or conversations following one person’s life is bound to get boring, or annoy some people, so I do apologize ahead of time.  However, if you are willing to pardon my waffling along about my life, which in reality is significantly less interesting than other people always seem to believe, then feel free to continue reading.  If not, well, then frankly I’m not entirely sure why you’re here in the first place, but feel free to continue reading if you really want to.  If I’m able to provide amusement in any fashion, whether it be due to my exceeding brilliance, or at my very stupid expense, then I will count this blog as a success.

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