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Oyama Megumi
Oyama Megumi

STAFF INTERVIEW: Oyama Megumi (Teacher, SILAC faculty)

Oyama: This is the first time you've done an interview for the newsletter, isn't it?

Kato: Yes. Euan's busy at the moment, so I've taken over. Demo komatta naa. So, where abouts are you living at the moment?
O: In Asuke-cho. I'm from that area so I commute to Yamasa.

K: Why did you decide to become a Japanese language teacher?
O: Previously I worked in the office of a language school in Nagoya. While I was there I met teachers from all over the world, Japanese people studying all sorts of different languages, and I started thinking that I would like to do something a little more international too. At the same school I took a training course for becoming a Japanese Language teacher...I guess that was the start.

K: How long have you been teaching at Yamasa?
O: Aaah...how long has it been? I can't think off the top of my head... Now it's the end of Heisei 12 isn't it. I started at Yamasa in January of Heisei 8, so that's one, two...already 5 years?!

K: Really?! It's been a long time! That's about the longest isn't it?
O: I think so. Probably get into the lifers group I think. But while working for Yamasa I've taught for one year in Korea, 3 months at Toyota Motor Company, I haven't just been here in Okazaki the whole time.

K: I see. I didn't realise that at all. Until now, about how many people do you think you've taught?
O: Hmmm. Another difficult question! Hang on a second....one, two...uso, uso! I can't say exactly, but I guess around 200 or 300 people.

K: Can you speak any foreign languages?
O: A little English and Korean.

K: Has your experience studying foreign languages been useful to you while teaching Japanese?
O: Yes I think so because it was hard, so when my students find the going tough I'm able to understand what they are going through.

K: Other than Korea, have you been abroad to any other places?
O: Other than Korea? Yes, Hawaii, Italy, Sri Lanka... Ah, very soon I'll be going to Uzbekistan.

K: Uzbekistan! Ah yes, that's why I thought it would be a good idea to interview you for the newsletter.
O: From January to March I'll be in Tokyo for training, then I'll be working in Uzbekistan from April. I'll be teaching at a University there for two years.

K: I'm envious. So what kind of image do you have of Uzbekistan?
O: Silk Road cities! Riding camels into the desert. And since I don't understand Russian, I guess I'll be a bit lost at first.

K: What plans do you have for 2 years from now?
O: Ummm, absolutely none.

K: So you'll come back to Yamasa then?
O: Ii desu ne.

K: Off the subject, but I heard that you have a slightly strange hobby...
O: Strange, you think? I like watching lines of ants in the garden. Somehow it looks like seeing a miniature copy of human society - really interesting. And it's a hobby you can enjoy anywhere!

K: Just as well they have ants in Uzbekistan too, isn't it...

Note: Oyama-sensei is now in Tokyo undergoing the training before leaving for Uzbekistan. Recently she sent this report about life in Tokyo.

Every morning I get up at six am, exercise, go jogging, then from 9am to 5pm study language and have lectures. After that, from 7.30 until 9.30pm I study in my room, every day much the same. From tomorrow, we start language study in earnest. I hear that at this point everyone gets worn out. Every day we have five hours of language lessons, just the same as at Yamasa! 3 months of this life, then we're almost there...
Anyway, it's beeen decided that I will be going to my post on April 6th. In the physical strength test I took yesterday, my score was the same as a 21-year-old!! I was so happy! The girl in the same room as me is a karate black belt, so I'm learning too. It feels like I'm getting close to the start now.
Mina-san, o-shigoto, benkyou ganbatte kudasai! Bye for now.

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