Justin Dobbin's Children
Justin Dobbin’s Children

My name is Justin Dobbin, class of 97′. I am a Colorado native, and a second-generation CSU alum. My mother and my uncle also graduated from CSU. I enjoy reading about all the events happening on campus for students and alum alike, and especially excited when football season comes around. However, I get a bit blue each year at this time because I cannot be there to take part in the activities.

After graduation, I was hoping to return to school and work for my Colorado teacher’s license. However, school loans were hanging over my head, and the potential of an additional two more years’ worth of loans was a bit overbearing. Therefore, I decided to try teaching English abroad for one year, to try and save money, while experiencing life at the same time. I ended up taking a job teaching English conversation at a university in Japan. I was a bit reluctant, but the goal of saving money for school pushed me to follow through with my decision, so I was off to Japan.

Of course, from the beginning, I was nervous and soon yielded to homesickness by using my first vacation to return home, instead of traveling in Japan. In the second term, after my trip home to the states, I began making friends, despite the language barrier. In my second year, I began learning the language more and met the woman who would eventually become my wife. In the third year, I was able to realize my dream of teaching children by beginning my career as a kindergarten English Teacher.

Although it was not elementary school, I came to love teaching kindergarten children even more. After 17 years here, I have many experiences and lessons learned that I never would have had if I had not come. While I still hope that my children, who at the time of writing this are 8 and 5 years, will have a chance to experience American culture by living in the states, our current financial situation makes it impossible to move back to the states, and even visit any more than once every three or four years.

We are very happy and are thriving here in Japan. However, it is at this time of year, (namely the beginning of the football season) that I get nostalgic and wish we could return more often, and dare I say, even move back to the states. This time of year has always been my favorite, and I would love to share the excitement with my children, especially the oldest, who is a boy. As I played football, I would love to be able to teach him the game and, or, at least watch him play.

Longer story made a bit shorter, none of this would have been possible without CSU, and I always wish that I could return to take part in activities or at least show my kids where their old man went to school. At any rate, if this story can be of any use to anyone thinking of traveling, studying, or even living abroad, please let me know. After 17 years, I have gained some insight and would be happy to share with anyone who needs it.

Go Rams!

Share your Department of English story with us during our celebration of 80 years as an independent academic department! More at english.colostate.edu/english80.