What do You Stand for?
I stand for humanity, simplicity and ensuring that the only thing stopping people from completely grasping something is themselves, not how horribly the material explains things or leaves out things essential to understanding the info they present. I stand for the men, women and children who were rebuffed by those who told them “If you don't get this the way it is, then you'll never get it”. Specifically, I stand for making learning Japanese language and culture not only fun, but also interactive and personal-to help them make what they learn their own, and no one else's.
What Standards Do You Hold Yourself To?
In the things I want to get done, very high ones(e.g. 'You know, I'm glad you passed, but this certainly could've been an A or higher, if you studied better); how they get done, not so much, but they're getting up there. With food, I expect it to be tasty, cheap and filling(healthy would be a very big plus!), and with my body, I'm more concerned with health rather than weight or shape, and want to be able to do the things I could do in my youth well into the later stages of my life; if I ever develop the aerial sense needed to do a flip without landing on my neck, that would be a definite high bar I want to meet. With how I interact with others, I expect to show them utmost respect and consideration, no matter who they are or how much they make me want to wretch, and I expect the same of them, towards me.
With set appointments and such, I do everything possible to stay punctual and ensure I either arrive on time or earlier than expected, and I expect the same from them; unless it's part of their way of doing things or something happened to prevent them from being on time, I do NOT tolerate tardiness of the highest order, and if they're late by more than a half-hour or more without any contact from them, I am more than likely to call off anything I've planned with them. Few things piss me off more than being made to wait for something to be done when they more than enough to just do the thing and move on with their day, and it's a very quick way to push my buttons, just as they'd think that of me if I said something like 'Hang on, hang on, I gotta text this person, then I'll get back to you' while in the middle of a conversation.
In terms of personal relations, I expect myself to be understanding and open-minded about who the person is and seek to judge them on the merits of the character they demonstrate, not just lifestyle, preferences or whether or not their views jive with mine, and I expect the same of those I'd call 'friend'. If they demonstrate a lack of these characteristics, I am much less likely to want to strengthen my connections to them, and any physical or emotional attraction I held toward them is almost instantaneously silenced, never to return.
My looks and those of others, in this respect, is something I'm very lax on. Although I expect to dress well and present a distinct image, I'm not focused on if they smell good, dress well or any of that stuff. Others are not likely to feel the same, so when I know I want to open the door for interacting with others, I do my best to reduce my funky smells and dress for success, although that happens much less often than it should, admittedly.
In terms of how I teach and learn Japanese, I expect for it to be easy to grasp, thorough and applicable to their world as much as my skills will allow, because it's lack of that which breeds crappy students, which breeds crappy relationships, which breeds an overall crappy experience and turns that knowledge into shoebox knowledge faster than you can say “Find the square root of X”.
Which of These Will You (Not) Bend or Break On?
In terms of where I won't give any leeway, all of 'em, simple as that. I know I need to upgrade my look, my study habits and others, and that's where a lot of my efforts are focused, at present. Unless something big happens to make me re-evaluate how I do things, these aren't changing any time soon.
Why Do You Act and Think This Way?
They say you hate the things in others that you will not acknowledge about yourself, and the same holds true for me. I know I need to loosen up on a lot of stuff I've detailed, and know my insights and experience will let me do so, no matter how hard it may be. It's something I've had to do a lot of soul searching to allow myself to accept, thus giving me the will to just let it flow into the stream of life and death that encompasses us all.
Why Teach Japanese?
I know the stats: Japanese is the 9th most spoken language in the world, but the only places it's spoken in, primarily, are in Japan and communities of folks from Japan, while the other languages are not only more widely spoken, but also have a practical purpose outside the classroom and boardroom. On top of that, most folks only associate the language and culture with either that pop culture stuff, stuffy traditional aspects or it's much less savory aspects, like the bullying, the suicide rates, the rush hour gropers and so on.
Yeah, I know the whole sad story, and you know what? I still highly enjoy Japan as a whole and have a deep respect for the humanity that connects and underlines all that stuff. I love the innovations by those fashionable kids, the quirky stuff by the dudes in Japan's tech industry, the practiced hands that make Japan's cuisine and so much more in and of the country. My time with the language and culture has done much to help me understand it's base humanity and showed me what it takes to demonstrate that to the world; it's because of that love I've come to find people who capitalize on degrading the country and it's people into an unfeeling, unchanging objects-who I will not name, out of respect for what they do-to be no less than revolting human beings unworthy of neither my time nor consideration.
I teach Japanese not only to counter the conceptions they offer the world, but also to help people connect to the deeper aspects of Japan and approach the country with the kind of consideration they'd show their friends and family everyday. If I can get one person who approach an office jockey at a bar in Japan, chat it up with them and share some brews like they would back home, I'll know my lessons have done their job well and that it was worth the time and effort I put into each one.