For those of you who don't already know this, Justin and I have signed a contract to teach next year at Fukuoka International School in Fukuoka, Japan. We are colossally excited. But, as with everything Justin and I attempt, it's a real goatrope of a process. (Note: I don't know the etymology of "goatrope." It's just a word my boss in the Navy used to use for a disorganized mess. Actually, it's one of two words he used to use, but the other is unprintable. It's true, what they say about sailors and swearing, you know.)
Welcome now to the TOP-SECRET planning facility for Operation Verne: Our Move to Japan!
Phase 1: complete online courses via the University of Phoenix
Phase 2: Obtain PA teacher certification (necessary for visas)
Phase 3: Obtain work visas
Phase 4: Physical move to Japan
And as of this moment, all of our coursework is submitted!
I'm not quite willing to call Phase 1 complete, because we have neither grades nor transcripts yet, but we're clearly moving in the right direction. Maybe this was Phase 1A, and we're waiting on Phase 1B. Maybe I should have made more phases.
I've actually had a pretty good experience with Phoenix (bar the aggravating pedagogical habits of one instructor) but I am sooooo ready for this to be over. With my two Phoenix courses, I've been enrolled in six classes for the last three weeks. A full-time postgrad load is three. I'm sitting here with ThermaCare heatwraps on my neck and shoulders from typing-induced cramping, sore, and frozen upper back muscles. (I know, this is the lamest injury ever... tough tooties, it still hurts like whoa). So it will be with great pleasure that I observe Phase 1 fading into the horizon in the rearview mirror of my life.
Stand by as we move on to Phase 2, which depends on the PA state government. This is always a dicey proposition (in fact, depending on the PA government was what necessitated Phase 1 in the first place... but let's not go there). Please, keep us in your thoughts. Light candles. Recite the President's speech from Independence Day. Whatever it takes to get that bureaucracy bureauing, because baby, I want to go to the Japan!
P.S. Why Operation Verne, you might ask? Well, Justin and I will be moving to Japan from Edinburgh, not from the US. We've gone from the U.S. as far East as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (which to my surprise, is farther east than Xi'an). Westward, we petered out in Germany. So there's a whole stretch of world we've never crossed.
But when we pass the 101' latitude line, flying from Europe over Russia, Justin and I will have circumnavigated the globe! Yes, it will have taken us significantly longer than 80 days, but be fair: we don't have a hot-air balloon. We will also be taking a lot more than one carpetbag, and a lot less than 20,000 pounds cash.
P.P.S. Why Operation Verne and not Operation Magellan? Because Justin and I might go to the Philippines next year and have no intention of finishing our time there performing the charades for "shish kebab." Also, Magellan didn't actually finish the circumnavigation, as a result of said shish kebabing. So I'll try for a better-omened operational code name, thank you very much.