Alright, let's back up.
AVNicholls wrote:If your grad school doesn't start until August 8th don't you think you should stay and finish your contract? Traveling is kind of a sad reason to break contract in my opinion.
My school starts August 6th. The program starts several weeks earlier than the normal school semester. When I first signed my contract, I wasn't sure I'd go to graduate school, go back home to work, or fall in love and stay in Japan forever.... Even with the possibly of grad school, it was reasonable for me to assume that I would have about about a month between JET ending and school (since most schools start late August). I still don't want to give up "break time" between work and school. I think it would be more sad to live with the regret that I didn't take the opportunity when I had it.
AVNicholls wrote: You agreed to work until the end of July, you signed a contract, to me that means something.
That contract means something to me too. Like showing up on time and fulfilling my duties. But I accept that sometimes the contract is not etched in stone, so I don't work by the letter of the law. And that's why I don't witch about all the things I do that are outside of or in violation of the contract (staying late without extra compensation, starting/running extra curricular activities, covering classes when the main teacher is absent, using my own money to pay for club activities when there isn't a budget...). And since most BOEs recognize that JETs are young people with their lives in transition, I think they too recognize that contracts are not pieces of stone.
AVNicholls wrote:The other thing that kind of struck me was how you want to use your nenkyuu for golden week to travel and break contract to travel more.
Yep, you got me there.
Before I came to JET, I worked 60 hour weeks for two years. I didn't take vacations and that's the No 1 thing I regret. I'm prepared to jump right back into that lifestyle when I go to the US, but since time and money are limited resources and we rarely have the two at the same time, again, now or *likely* never. There is no such thing as a guilt-free vacation, and I figure in 2-7 years I'll be prioritizing rings and babies. So I'm traveling this year. Selfish or not.
AVNicholls wrote:Didn't you just post about professionalism in applying JET?
I do like to complain about unprofessional JETs, though I suppose it's usually things more like the compelling reasons many ALTs recontract:
"You can always sign it and break the contract later."
"The economy is so terrible right now, why give up a sure thing?"
"I didn't want to stay, but they say two years looks better on your resume right?"
"We get paid for doing practically nothing."
"It's such as easy job."
AVNicholls wrote:It might be better, less hassle and drama for your CO, if you sacrifice those nenkyuu days from Golden week and use them to ease your transition back home post JET.
Hmm, I guess you're right. Though 90% of the hassle involved is the same stuff they would have to do whenever an ALT leaves though (cell phone, apartment, bank accounts, etc), and I figure five months notice means it has to be more smooth than when my predecessor left... leaving the country (with two days warning), leaving her car at the airport with the keys inside (that was rented for her under the BOE's name), two days later calling my supervisor to tell her she quit, leaving all her stuff in her apartment for my supervisor (and other ALTs) to clean, and insisting they pack her stuff and mail it, as well as figure out how to close her bank accounts and send her money (to country that doesn't allow transferring foreign money to local accounts) and this is all after she had recontracted despite the fact she hated her job, my supervisor, and was disliked by her schools.
Also, my trip is already set for Golden Week. If I had to go back in time and give up the rest of my selfish excursions this year, just to get the nenkyu back, I wouldn't. I'm accepting that there are consequences, many financial, I'm just trying to measure.
AVNicholls wrote: Again I know this is my opinion but I think it's a bit selfish and unfair, to you, them and your successor, to put the BOE through all of this just so you can go backpacking. If it was for school/work I think I would understand but I would not break contract for this kind of thing. Maybe that's just me though.
I understand your opinion and you are damn straight that travel is a selfish reason, but I wouldn't say a sad one. As for unfair to my successor, seriously? Come on, my placement rocks and anyone that gets it will be lucky. JET is what you make of it.
According to Ramit Sethi, the author of "I Will Teach You To Be Rich," 50.6 percent of people in their 20s who were surveyed wished they had saved money to travel. Meanwhile, people in their 30s wished they had saved for a house in the past 10 years. People in their 40s wished they would have saved for retirement in the previous decade. Although saving money for travel isn't the same as saving for an emergency, it does improve a person's quality of life if all the basics are under control.