Interview by Chris Simmons
GMA has moved on to our second ‘Kyle’ interview, this time it’s Shichinohe’s own Kyle Buck. A short chat with Kyle will reveal a vast array of interests and experiences. Check out our interview to learn more about the man behind the beard.
Why did you choose to join JET?
I have wanted to live abroad since I was a young child, and I have been entranced by the Japanese culture for nearly as long. Not only was JET a way to fulfill my childhood dreams, it is also a good way to gain work experience and make a little money on the side.
What do you hope to gain from JET?
The things I most want to gain from this experience are friends in the global community.
What are your plans after JET?
I am going to go back to school and study genetics. Right now, I am looking at either working towards my doctorate in genetic engineering or getting certified as a genetic counselor.
How long do you plan on staying in Japan?
2 or 3 years.
Do you participate in any clubs or extracurricular activities/hobbies?
In school I, of course, go to the English club, but I also try to attend the art and ping pong clubs whenever I can. Out of school I play taiko with the Kaminari Daiko group in Towada, I am an active member of the Freemasons Aomori Lodge #10 in Misawa, and I am the Scoutmaster of the Boy Scouts of America troop 14 on the Misawa Air Base. Additionally, I like to play in the Magic: The Gathering tournaments that are held in Hachinohe on Sundays.
What are a few things you like about Japan?
Culture, history, and food. I really love the samurai and the society that surrounds it which led to such a unique culture that is vastly different from Midwestern America. Also, seafood is awesome.
What are a few things you dislike about Japan?
I am really not a fan of the gender inequalities that still plague this country, and there lack of insulation in many buildings.
What do you miss the most from your hometown/country?
Do you have any interesting or embarrassing stories about adjusting to Japanese culture?
At the SDC after party auction, I won the fancy manicure. I was really excited to get a different symbol from Magic: The Gathering painted on each nail, but when I went into school, everybody was very shocked. The JTEs quickly told me that while it is ok to paint my nails over holidays, I was not allowed to wear it into school. And that is when I started to notice that nobody in any of my schools had painted nails.
Is there anything important about yourself that you would like to share with others (unique ability or interests)?
I am an Eagle Scout, Freemason, Furry, Brony, and Ally. I have been employed as a janitor, game adviser, Ranger, and nano-chemist. I love to hike, ski, swim, sing, play instruments, and play video games.
How did you spend your winter break?
I took a trip down to Tokyo. While I was there I went to my penultimate Disney park (Only Hong Kong Disneyland left), and celebrated New Years in Shibuya Crossing. I also went to Nikko and was brought to tears by the sheer beauty of Toshogu, where Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined.
snowboard or ski? Ski, although I have only ever owned snowboards.
snowshoe or ice skate? snowshoe
build an igloo or snowman? igloo
drink tea or hot chocolate? hot chocolate
shave your beard or shave your head? The beard is actually a defence against shaving my hair. I can shave off my beard to spare my hair, and then let the darn thing grow back in a month or two (my current beard has been growing since November 14, 2013).