In my time in Japan, no event has taught me as much about this country and its people as the crisis that began on March 11, 2011. I work as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) for English at junior high and elementary schools in Shizuoka City, in Shizuoka Prefecture. I was at school when the first big earthquake hit. Immediately after it occurred, I was glued to my iPhone, sending updates to my friends and family through email, Facebook, and Twitter, verifying my safety and any facts I could gather. Simultaneously, I was scanning the news to try to translate what I was watching and hearing on the television screen in the staff room. But most of all, I was observing the people around me.

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