I am at a point of transition in my life. I've discovered that over the last decade, as I've worked for paychecks alone, I'd forgotten how much I really love languages, and how working with languages is something I really want to do. And I've decided to do something about it.
I have been teaching myself Japanese since the beginning of 2003. I chose to study Japanese because, first, I find it fascinating, and second, the written language is particularly challenging, and I could never resist a challenge. In the process I've also come to understand how important understanding Japan and the Japanese people is to understanding the language, and my fascination with the language has grown to become a great interest in the country as well.
Applying for JET is part of the plan I have for my future. Whether or not I'm accepted in the program, I still intend to go to Japan. My primary goal is to become fluent in Japanese, which I hope will help me get accepted into a good computational linguistics graduate program (perhaps even in Japan). This, in turn, is part of my ultimate goal to move into that field professionally, a field that I see as the best possible fit for my background and interests. In addition, I enjoy teaching -- I think that much of life is really about communication, and true communication involves teaching, even if in the most informal way. There can be no true understanding without teaching others what you think, and why you think it, and at the same time learning the same things from them.
I believe that JET and the Japanese students I hope to teach stand to benefit from my enthusiasm, as I stand to be enriched by my very commitment to teach in (and in the process learn from) Japan, not only on a professional level in my chosen future field, but on a personal level as well. I hope you'll give me the opportunity to try to make a positive difference, both for myself and for those I would teach.
And... There it is.