Thursday, October 9, 2014


Today is payday. Wait! No it’s not. Payday is tomorrow. What?!!!

One of the issues of living in Japan is dealing with the time difference. Seattle is sixteen hours behind Hachioji, which means, I have to wait.  It’s not like I can’t wait, but it always gives me pause to wake, realize it’s the 10th of the month, or the 25th, then realize there will be no deposit in my checking account for sixteen hours!

It’s not like I didn’t plan for the lag in paydays, and it’s not like I’m spending money hand over fist. It’s the principle of the thing! Psychologically, I need to feel the gratification of receiving monies earned on the appropriate day, even if I am in Hachioji.

The other telling aspect of the time difference is communication. I send emails during my waking hours, and my spouse sends them back during his, but he always wants to know what time it is here when I’m sending my emails. What?!!

I guess I understand, but I always forget to mention the time. It is something I should get in the habit of doing because some of my colleagues send out time sensitive emails while I’m in REM sleep. Then they badger me, while I doze, with emails on my lack of response. That does wonders for my blood pressure the next day because even though I am teaching in Japan, and it feels partially like a vacation, it isn’t a vacation, and I hate feeling like I’m not preforming at my usual capacity.

When we arrive in Japan, I set my watch, my computer, and my phone to Japan time. This year, though, Canvas (my online classroom) was still set to Seattle time! That was a bit confusing because all my due dates have an electronic time signature, and that sixteen hour time difference gave the students the impression they had more time to post papers. Alack and alas, I have fixed that issue to their chagrin, but I had to revise all the due dates and times because they translated to Seattle time on Japan time. Does that even make sense?

The time difference can be very confusing. My approach is to be on Japan-time while I’m here, and Seattle-time when I’m home. It simplifies things, plus it’s all relative, right? Just be in the right place at the right time!

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