By Harrison Gordon
Spotlights is back with a no-holds barred interview with the elusive, reclusive Nick Bingham. A man of few words, we here at Good Morning Aomori are pleased to have had the chance to dive deep into the enigma that is Nick. Origins, schooling, motivations? We got it! Hopes, desires, dreams? WE GOT IT! Simply read on and you, too, will learn a lesson or two from the Book of Nick…
Could you tell us where you’ve lived before coming to Japan, and what kind of a place it was?
I lived in Hawaii. The people are always nice there and the sun is always out. The food is great and there are a lot of nice little nature spots as well.
Did you go to university in Hawaii? And what did you study?
Yep I went to Hawaii Pacific University and got a BA in TESOL.
Then JET must’ve made sense as a next logical step for you. Had you known about JET before going into University, or did you hear about it later? And what got you to sign up for the program?
I heard about it after I got into college. I signed up because I figured it would be a good way to gain hands-on/observational teaching experience all while receiving decent pay and having few responsibilities.
Could you tell us a bit about your JET life? Where you’re placed, how long you’ve lived there, what ages you teach, etc.
Yeah I live in Itayanagi-machi. It’s a small town, but super conveniently located, being ~30 mins away from 3 different cities (Hirosaki, Goshogawara, Aomori city). I’ve lived here for almost 3 years now. I teach 99% of the time at JHS and 1% of the time at ES.
Have you gotten involved in your community in any way during those 3 years? Joining a club, helping out at festivals, or something like that?
Nope! Not at all. Lol. Sorry to disappoint.
Nothing wrong with keeping your personal time to yourself. Well, could you tell me what kind of things you do to pass your free-time here in Japan?
I play games, exercise, and eat out!
Word on the street is you’ll be finished with JET once August comes around. Do you have any short-term/long-term goals you wouldn’t mind sharing?
Yeah, a couple of long terms I have is to become a better teacher and travel the world. After JET, I plan to move to Korea to teach English there in order to further both those goals.
Is there any particular reason you chose Korea for your next stop?
I went there for about a week last year with friends and it was awesome. English proficiency also seems to be much higher there than it is here, so I feel like I’d be able to gain a lot of valuable teaching experience there.
That sounds like a great step forward towards that goal. Lastly, is there any sort of advice you would want to give to other JETs out there? Or maybe just to whomever will be replacing you after you leave?
Just have fun here. There might be a lot of stuff for you to complain about, but no one likes a negative Nancy. So stay loose and have a good time.
And there you have it, folks. Words to live by if I’ve ever heard any. Next month the Aomori Spotlight will be shining down directly on one of our East Tsugaru Region JETs. So get into contact with me if you have some interest in being interviewed! Otherwise, I’ll be out on the hunt soon enough!