With a new JET year upon us, Hiroshima’s three Prefectural Advisors have taken the time to introduce themselves (or re-introduce themselves, as the case may be) with the Wide Island View’s new super-duper survey. This year Daryl Sato takes the reins as the new PA for Hiroshima City JETs, while Greg Beck and Natalie Oram remain the PAs for Hiroshima Ken JETs. Read on to learn more about them — you’re sure to discover a thing or two you didn’t know!
Name: Daryl Sato
Please call me: Daryl
School and Location in Hiroshima-ken: Inokuchi Junior High, Nishi-Hiroshima
How we know you: Hiroshima City PA
Birthday: February 10
Born and raised: Maui, Hawaii, United States
Family: Sister in Indiana, U.S., wife and foster son in Japan
University and Degree: University of Hawaii – Bachelor’s in Elementary Education
Other jobs you have had: Elementary teacher for 12 years and a private bento business in Hawaii
Travels: Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, France, England, Scotland, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Mexico
Hobbies: Finding the best foods and cheapest beer in Hiroshima
Food: Cold Pizza
Music: Makaha Sons, IZ, and Bob Marley
Book: Anything written by Amy Tan
TV Show: The World of Golden Eggs
Unusual Talent: Sorry, just your average Joe.
How good is your Japanese? Enough to get through an enkai with drunken Japanese teachers
Most unfortunate mistake speaking Japanese: Asking for a kancho instead of kanjo (bill) at a restaurant
Most Proud Achievement: Hearing my foster son say his first English word
Best life experience: Bringing my Japanese grandmother back to Japan after many years
Motto to live by: PONO: Do What is Right
When class is TOO QUIET I… feel like my lesson has failed…..lol
I remember when: I couldn’t speak a word of Japanese, even though I am Japanese-American.
Totally random fact about you: I am the oldest City JET.
Who would you like to meet? Junichiro Koizumi. I think he was a cool PM.
Best thing about Japan so far? Traveling to Hokkaido for the Snow Festival with other ALTs
If it was my last day on earth I would: Enjoy my last Hawaiian sunset.
My top tip for teaching: Be willing to sometimes make an ASS of yourself for the sake of the students.
Funniest story involving a student: For a whole year, I called three grade 1 students by their brother’s/sister’s names not realizing that they were 3 sets of twins. No one ever corrected me, I just got smirks.
Name: Natalie Oram
Please call me: Whatever you like. I like endearing nicknames. So far I am Nats, Nat, Bokkie, Bunny, Beaker and Naartjie
School and Location in Hiroshima-ken: Tadanoumi Senior High School, between Bunny Island and a big mountain. The most beautiful place in Japan.
How we know you: I was in that film with that girl who dated that man… you know the one.
Birthday: May 7
Born and raised: Born and raised Jo’burg girl. My family in South Africa are Afrikaans and Greek, but my father is from Yorkshire and I went to an English school in a very Afrikaans area. My heritage is a little mixed. Not been home for three years so now I feel even more in limbo.
Family: My folks live in the Cradle of Mankind, Johannesburg. They love to cook and travel, so I guess that is where I get that from. I have one brother who lives in Warrington, England, and I have not seen him since December 2005. He is quite the ladies man.
University and Degree: Rhodes University in Grahamstown where I read English Literature with a semester of teaching and my second major was Classical Civilization, which involves a lot of Greeks, Romans and toga parties.
Other jobs you have had: Waitress in a pub, gym assistant, newspaper editor and columnist, cellphone shop shrink (cellphones really are like children to some people) and fancy computer person.
Travels: England, South Korea (Yeousu and Seoul), Fiji, New Zealand, Malaysia (mostly Kuala Lumpur) and pretty much the whole of Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
Hobbies: Reading, watching films, playing the piano, listening to music, exercise, gardening and getting people to visit my town
Food: I should say sashimi, but right now I would give my left leg for fresh beetroot.
Sports: I am no good with balls, but I enjoy watching soccer, tennis, cricket, ice-skating and gymnastics. Rugby is too intense for me. For 16 years I was a ballet, Spanish, modern, National dancer.
Music: I lurve rock music especially Radwimps, Led Zeppelin, Placebo, Marilyn Manson and Velvet Revolver. I am also a die-hard Kate Bush and Donovan fan.
Book: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, but my favourite author is Ian McEwan.
TV Show: I like British telly. Right now I am all about River Cottage, Midsomer Murders, Foyle’s War and Ashes to Ashes. True Blood is also fun. Can’t beat The Wonder Years though.
Movie: “Gone with the Wind”. Even though I have it on VHS (twice) and DVD, I will still stay up ’til 3 a.m. watching it on TV.
Unusual Talent: I am great at finding bargains and collecting point cards. My wallet is bursting at the seams because of all my point cards.
How good is your Japanese? It really should be better. I love kanji because I like the pretty pictures.
Most unfortunate mistake speaking Japanese: For a good while I kept calling Osakikamijima “OsakiNIkamijima” which would translate to “excuse me island”.
Most Proud Achievement: Tying my shoelaces
Best life experience: Walking in the Waipoua Kauri tree forest in Northern New Zealand. The walk was led by real Maori of the area. Walking in the forest hearing their stories and the beautiful sounds of nature is the moment I felt truly blessed.
Motto to live by: Always try your best!
When class is TOO QUIET I… look out at the sea and try not to giggle.
I remember when: my mother asked my father what a CD was.
Totally random fact about you: I only learned how to ride a bicycle when I came to Japan. The little kids in the park laughed at me.
Who would you like to meet? I would love to have a good chinwag with Stephen Fry.
Best thing about Japan so far? My town. I really really love my town. Also meeting many people from all over the world.
If it was my last day on earth I would: Probably head straight to Bunny Island to sit on the beach with the bunnies and watch the stars.
My top tip for teaching: Always smile and don’t give up.
Funniest story involving a student: It happened just recently. I was interviewing the first years one-on-one. One boy forgot to come so the whole interview he sat with his hands behind his back. Then when he was finished he gave me a present; it was strange thick wire coil. The teachers tell me it was very precious to him. So now it is sitting on my desk amongst all my other gifts.
Name: Greg Beck
Please call me: Dhalsim *Yoga Fire*
School and Location in Hiroshima-ken: CIR – Hiroshima Ken-Cho Hiroshima City, former Kure ALT
How we know you: Telepathically? Can you do that? I think I need to know myself first, that’s harder than it sounds. Oh, I have an eyebrow piercing!
Birthday: May 14, 1984 (Taurus, reliable, clashes with Scorpio)
Born and raised: Tucson, Arizona, United States
Family: One dad, one mom, two siblings, and five half-siblings (no joke)
University and Degree: University of Arizona, Japanese Religion and Thought, minored in English
Other jobs you have had: In order: janitor, doughnut shop, Wienerschnitzel, grocery store cashier, pizza delivery, restaurant kitchen prep, telemarketer, English conversation school teacher (Japan), pizza shop manager, waiter, ALT, CIR, PA. (There might be a few I forgot.)
Travels: All over the U.S. and Japan, Germany, Thailand, England, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, and a half-day in Taiwan if that counts.
Hobbies: Skateboard, snowboard, touch rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, bowling, karaoke, drinkin’, poker, dancing, enjoying movies, music, stand-up comedy and food.
Sports: Bar Sports (pool, darts, Foosball, shuffle board)
Book: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
TV Show: Battlestar Galactica
Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Unusual Talent: I can smell when someone’s sick.
How good is your Japanese? Almost awesome
Most unfortunate mistake speaking Japanese: I said 失礼し*ました* instead of *ます* very slow, loud, and clear, in a dead silent room, and everyone in the office laughed at me.
Most Proud Achievement: Graduating from college
Best life experience: Trip to Thailand with eight friends for a week
Motto to live by: Live outside your comfort zone.
When class is TOO QUIET I… start singing what i was going to say.
I remember when: I lived in an apartment in Tucson and had an awesome cat named Cat Cat. We used to wrestle when i got home and then lay on the carpet and watch movies together.
Totally random fact about you: The only food i dislike is cucumber.
Who would you like to meet? Joe Rogan
Best thing about Japan so far? Kyushoku (school lunch) at elementary schools!
If it was my last day on earth I would: be old, I hope.
My top tip for teaching: Use the power of silence.
Funniest story involving a student: I was at the Firefighters Academy and this person was giving a really boring speech after mine. This one guy, maybe 19 years old, started looking at me with this “Can’t you do something?” look and after the third or fourth time, I started cracking up in front of everyone. Not a very funny story for you maybe, but I enjoyed it.