Monday, September 9, 2013

U.S. JET teacher features in 3/11 film | The Japan Times

U.S. JET teacher features in 3/11 film | The Japan Times

I never met Taylor Anderson, who was among the many lost to the March 11, 2011 tsunami here in Japan.  So many died that day it feels strange to single one person out, a stranger at that.  From our safe little house in the United States, my mom and I watched the news unfold that day and over the next few and we fretted and worried about a lot of people, about an entire country.

Later, after I returned to Japan, I lived for a short time (about four months) in a coastal city where several died and at least one of my students lost his house.  It seemed we felt tremblors ever week there.  Unsteady ground to start a second life in Japan.  Hard to find your feet.  The trainers in the main office talked of the 3/11 quake and tsunami pretty often and references to it turned up in company literature, especially around the first anniversary.  Strange to go from viewing something practically through a telescope to walking places where it happened.

Anyway, Taylor Anderson's story was one of many taking place that day.  As I've said, I never met her, so all I have to go on are the photos shown on TV and reminisces from people who did know her here in Japan. My sense of her is she was a person really getting the most out of her experience.  I find it easy to admire her.  Would I have ever made 50 personalized cards for my students' graduation?  I doubt it.  When I think of someone who would do something so simple but so lovely like that, I can't help but wish I were more like her.

It's easy to wish, but it's the doing that's the thing, isn't it?  Whether you're an ALT in Japan, or just someone reading this, make the most of wherever you are.  Do a little extra to help here and there. Be involved in your own life rather than just a passive observer.

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