The oldest teacher at Sun* and the "live a worth-living life” viewpoint
"Retiring, having freedom, and thinking about my old age which means I don't have much time left, I'm determined to do what I want to do."
Hi, could you introduce yourself a little bit?
My name is Toshikazu Matsunami. This year I turn 62 years old. Currently, I am teaching Japanese for specific purposes at GEU Unit.
How long have you been doing this job?
Previously I used to work in the IT field. After retiring, I spent 1 year traveling around. However, at that time, suddenly the thought that it was good to do something else came to me, hence I ended up choosing to teach Japanese to foreigners. I have also been loving to go abroad so I started to study for this job. Retiring, having freedom, and thinking about my old age, which means I don't have much time left, I'm determined to do what I want to do.
And how did you come to Sun*?
After finishing my studies, I applied to many places, among which Sun* introduced me to the position of teacher of Japanese for specific purposes. I participated in the interview and was recruited to work here.
I have been working in this position for 5 months since I joined Sun*!
What makes you happiest when you work as a teacher?
A teacher's job is not simple at all, but it is the job that I feel I can be the happiest when doing, suitable for my age and experience. What I like most about my job are the lessons at school. In addition to the lessons, the preparation activities for the lesson such as planning, making PowerPoint, grading students, or handling related work, is quite hard but interesting.
You look so busy and highly focused all the time!
Although it looks like that, my job is not as much as everyone else. At the company, I had to study and work at the same time. For me, "work" is a profession commensurate with the salary. Based on that opinion, my tasks cannot be called "work". Therefore, I will still need to work hard to make what I do become a real "job".
How professionally you use computers and professional teaching aids! How did you learn?
As I mentioned above, I used to work in IT before. Although I'm not a development engineer, I've been using computers since the MS-DOS era (I wonder if you've heard of it!). When I was in Japan, I used to create a computer of my own. So I think I can use a PC more skillfully than a "normal uncle"!
What usually happens in a day of yours?
Every day, I go to work like you guys. After work, I come back home and drink and watch Japanese TV. On holidays, I often go sightseeing in the old quarters. I also want to go to the beach, the mountain, or go to famous tourist attractions like Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh, and even Phu Quoc.
Other than work, do you have any hobbies?
Fishing is my hobby but I haven't been satisfied since I got here. During the last Lunar New Year holiday, I tried out fishing at West Lake, but due to the lake's shallow water, I gave up. So I’ve been longing to go to the beach to satisfy the desire to fish. If you know any, please introduce to me some Vietnamese friends who also love fishing!
To you, what is the most important thing in your life?
Being able to live and do what I like is enough for me. For example, catching a large fish, then cooking it into a delicious dish, sitting with friends to drink and enjoy. If I am allowed to do so, I can live anywhere in this world.
I'm also a person who doesn't like repetition. Whatever I do, I always want to experience new things. To me, living like that is “so good”.
How long do you plan to work as a teacher?
I will continue with my current job until my body has no more energy, or when the company says "we don't need someone like you." ^^
Do you have any memorable memories since coming to Vietnam?
Since I am new to Vietnam, I have not had many memories. But from today on, I will create more memories here.
Thank you for such an interesting conversation!
"Mr. Matsunami is a responsible person and incredibly enthusiastic about his work. What I remember most was the time of online teaching due to the epidemic, we had to sit before the computer for more than 3 hours continuously to discuss and guide students. During the online lesson, listening to his loud and clear voice and seeing how he put all his energy into conveying to students, I am very inspired. After the lesson, he shared that he was suffering from back pain due to long time sitting in front of the computer for online teaching. That makes me realize the positivity of his work despite the fatigue and old age. Working with him is one of the great motivations for me to continue to do my best at my current job."
Hong Diem (IT Teacher - GEU)