Author Archives: ehimerateam

Backtrack #28: Take Me Home, Country Roads (Jennie Terman, Kamijima ALT, 2006-2008)

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What’s your name, when and where was your placement, and where are you from originally?

I’m Jennie Terman, originally from “almost heaven” West Virginia in the USA. When I applied for the JET program, I had requested to work on a remote island, and I got what I asked for! From 2006 – 2008, I lived on a small island in the Inland Sea called Yuge. It could only be accessed by ferry (not sure if they’ve built a bridge since my time there), and the population was a couple thousand. I taught English in all the schools on the island and for all ages, including kindergarten, elementary, junior high, and high school, as well as adult English conversation classes. The junior high school was my favorite, partly because of the amazing teacher with whom I co-taught (we’re still friends 15 years later!) and the amazing group of kids. There were only about 50 students at the junior high school, and some of the grades only had 12 students, so I was really able to get to know them. The school was literally built right on the Inland Sea!

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Have you heard of Brass Band Camelia?

By Patrick Peh

Prelude

At the end of January we had Tsubaki “Matsuri” (meaning Festival), which is a massive festival held at Tsubaki Shrine, marking the coldest day this winter. But what I am going to write about here is not so much about the festival but about a concert band of the same name. In my final year of the JET program, I had the honor and privilege to perform with Brass Band Camellia in Masaki Culture Center. Previously, in Listen to the Japanese School Band I narrated the story of students playing their instruments in band. This time, I will write about their teachers who play their instruments in band.

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Ehime AJET TTRPG: Spooky Scary Skeletons in Matsuyama

Edited by Jordan Rocke

On February 5th, 2023, JETs and other English educators from all over Ehime converged in Matsuyama for Ehime AJETs first TTRPG conference for the year! This was the second in-person TTRPG event since the start of the pandemic, and the first not to be hosted in an Australian’s house in Hojo. The game in question was The Skeletons by Jason Morningstar, published by Bully Pulpit. For more information on the game and how to play it, you can check out the itch.io page here, or you can check out game #9 in this previous article by your humble editor here. However, the biggest question is: how did the games unfold? To answer that question, I’ve asked representatives from each of the four tombs to explain how they found the event, and what their impressions were. Please enjoy this tour of the catacombs, far more populated than you would expect!

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Backtrack #27: A Lightbulb Moment (Maura McCarthy, Uwajima SHS ALT, 2013-15)

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What’s your name, when and where was your placement, and where are you from originally?

My name is Maura McCarthy, and I had a placement in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.

I’m a military dependent, so I’m not from one place in particular– but I spent my last year of high school and undergraduate career in North Carolina before JET. I lived in Kanagawa prefecture for 3 years in high school (on a military base), so Japan was also a part of my upbringing in some ways. 

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Where the Track Splits: The Aiaru Iyonada Line and the Uchiko Line

By Carl Sotomil

Hello there Mikans! My name is Carl, and I like trains. I am the ALT for Iyo-Nakayama, so if it still does not ring any bells until now, nice to meet you.

I live in the middle of the mountains (that’s where “Nakayama” got its name) in Iyo City, so much so that I can not even call it a city anymore. My daily life is almost entirely dependent on taking the train from the mountains to the city below. I love being on trains here in Ehime because it is almost guaranteed that you will have a seat every morning; though I am sometimes a little frustrated with the lack of scheduled trains, sometimes going hours without one!

A lot of you are probably afraid of going south because the Yosan Line splits into 2 lines, though I can reassure you that you will enjoy where both lines go through. Allow me to guide you through the mountains and the coastline by rail!

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Map of the 2 lines
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Backtrack #25: I Didn’t Want to be in England (Steve Turner, Hojo High School ALT, 2003-06)

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What’s your name, when and where was your placement, and where are you from originally?

I am Steve Turner. I was an Ehime Ken ALT in Hojo Senior High School, in Matsuyama for 2 years and then added Imabari Nishi Senior High School and Imabari Technical High School for a year.

I was originally from Walsall near Birmingham in England. The ongoing joke was if there was a small group of brummie sounding kids now in Japan.

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