That’s the best phrase I’ve heard to describe what’s happening at the moment.

The news about Nova closing branches has finally hit the mainstream Japanese press. Included in that are also reports about Nova getting evicted from its schools as well as evictions of teachers due to non-payments of rent.

The main thing the press is picking up on is that they are closing around 200 of about 900 schools. Nova’s press releases have denied that the schools are closing, but are ‘merging’ and this is not part of an ‘organizational decision’ . That sounds like doublespeak to me.

The Australian press has also picked up on the story. Given that a major proportion of recruits come from Down Under, it is a worthy news story.

So, in this state of not being paid, I find myself thinking about what will happen next. I want to stay in Himeji, my home sweet second home, but realistically, the chances of picking up another regular job are slim. The best I could hope for is to become an ALT – working in the school system. That takes me back to school, which was something I wanted to avoid. Another alternative is to move ‘close’ to Himeji – like Kobe.

I could just pick up private students and open my own school! Hmmm…. no. Risky with a capital ‘R’.

While the Japanese private English education industry is going through tough times, closer to my real home things are also not so good. Recent figures show that Australia spends less on publicly funded education than most other OECD countries. Also Australian school students spend less time on learning core subjects such as mathematics, science, languages etc. than most other OECD countries. No wonder parents are trying to send their children to private education in droves.

Here is a very well written article about problems with children these days – namely being disrespectful to elders and undisciplined. It firmly points the finger at parents (thankfully! As a former high school teacher I am truly tired of teachers being burdened with child-raising duties) who lavish their charges with excessive praise and few limits.

Enough heavy stuff. I’m getting exhausted with wondering if I’ll have a job next month…

Here are some awesome examples of 3D paintings in public places. There are some amazing optical illusions here!

Also (with apologies to Adam and Jodi) Coldplay is torture.