Tag - matter-of-course

 
 

MATTER OF COURSE

LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Dec 16, 2004
Reflections on rich learnings we all shared
When I began writing this column, I thought it would be a one-year gig. My editors thought so too. But things went well, and for nearly four years now I've reported in this space about my children's experiences in Japanese school.
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Nov 18, 2004
The right way to teach values in school
How do you teach a child right from wrong? I certainly don't have all the answers. In our home, we're still working on why you can't hit your brother, even when he's being deliberately annoying -- as he has been all this week, answering any direct question with nonsense ("What do you want for dinner?"...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Oct 21, 2004
Disabled children at regular schools: inclusion isn't easy
When we moved to Japan and enrolled our sons in local schools, both they and I had a lot to learn. Every day was a challenge, and I was so focused on the basics that I missed a lot of things that should have been obvious. Like the fact that there was a disabled child in my son's kindergarten.
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Sep 16, 2004
Reading-out-loud renaissance falls upon deaf ears
I'm a fan of "Doraemon," the long-running children's television show about a blue robot cat from the future, who lives with an average family on the outskirts of Tokyo. The Japanese is relatively easy to understand, and I love Doraemon's magic pocket, from which he pulls amazing tools like the dokodemo...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Aug 19, 2004
City kids bring diversity to countryside schools
I was a little nervous when we went to pick up my son, who was returning from an extended stay in the Japanese countryside. He's 13, an age when kids go through tremendous physical and emotional changes. There have been days when he was a different person at dinner than he was at breakfast. And when...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Jul 15, 2004
Japan's kindergartens could serve families better
Procreation just ain't what it used to be.
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Jun 17, 2004
When the summer vacation is just too long
Just try to find something for foreign kids to do in Japan in the summer. There aren't many options, even if your children speak Japanese, as mine do. The most difficult period of all is the five or six weeks after international schools close down but Japanese schools are still in session.
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
May 20, 2004
Schools sounding false alarms over child safety
A few weeks ago my younger son came home from school all excited. "Mom! Guess what?" he shouted from the entranceway as he kicked off his shoes. "The ku gave us a gohan buza!" I had been hard at work on an article and was a little slow making the transition to his eclectic mix of languages. Why would...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Apr 15, 2004
When foreign children run afoul of the law
My kids generally don't mind it when I write about them in this column, although on occasion my older son has accused me of exploiting him for professional gain. It happened again when he heard the topic for today's column. "You're writing about foreign kids who get in trouble with the police?" He rolled...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Mar 18, 2004
Wartime stories of schoolkids on the move
I recently stumbled across a war story I knew nothing about. I was at the library looking for books to keep my older son reading in Japanese, now that he no longer attends Japanese school. Since he had just made a trip to Hiroshima with his international school, I chose books about Japanese children's...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Feb 19, 2004
Schools step in to teach kids table manners
Why is it so difficult to teach children table manners? My kids are quick learners. My oldest only needs to hear a Weird Al song once and he's got the lyrics memorized. His little brother can recite the specs for every fighter plane ever built. So why can't they master the trick of getting their napkins...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Jan 15, 2004
Meiji schoolhouse offers lessons in history
"You want us to go to school on our day off?" my 9-year-old cried in disbelief. "Zettai iyada! (Absolutely no way!)" He's been in Japan since he was 5 and tends to speak in Japanese when he's riled. "Yeah, leave it to our mother to come up with a cockamamie scheme like going to school while we're on...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Dec 18, 2003
Colorblind schoolkids can see clearly now
Red. Green. Red. Green. A simple pattern. Or so I thought, until I spent an hour at the Japanese elementary school my son attends. I had come in to do holiday crafts, and was showing the kids how to make a paper chain in Christmas colors. I told them to take a strip of red paper and bend it into a circle....
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Nov 20, 2003
Empty school buildings: reuse or recycle?
Not far from where I live, there's an elementary school with just 36 students. It's not a private school. It doesn't have a special curriculum. It's a regular public school designed to serve several hundred students. But the neighborhood has changed into a business district, and the few residents who...
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Oct 16, 2003
Lessons in the field yield unexpected harvests
Call me a coward, but I get nervous when surrounded by rowdy youths carrying sharp blades.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Sep 25, 2003
When the grass is greener on the other side
I was starting a load of laundry, my son's dirty trousers in hand, when I sensed something was wrong. I couldn't put my finger on what was troubling me. I held up my kid's khakis, looking for a clue. It wasn't that his pants were filthy. They are always filthy. It wasn't that they were full of holes....
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Jul 31, 2003
Guest teachers build barrier-free minds
My 8-year-old wanted to use my computer. "I need to search the Internet for a picture of a kurumaisu," he said, in his usual blend of English and Japanese. Never mind that both his parents are American; he's lived in Japan since he was 5 and attends a Japanese elementary school. This qualifies him as...
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Jul 3, 2003
Learning firsthand about rice cultivation
I have new respect for the rainy season. I used to hate tsuyu, these dreary weeks of drizzle. But now that I'm a farmer, I see the value of so much rain. I'm farming a bucket of rice on my balcony and can't keep up with the watering.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
Jun 5, 2003
National hygiene begins in the classroom
I always like to hear from readers, but it's especially nice when they provide ideas for my column. Several wrote in recently about severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Japan Times
LIFE / Lifestyle / MATTER OF COURSE
May 8, 2003
More breathing space in the classroom
Last month, just before the new school year started in Japan, I ran into a neighbor at the supermarket. She's a bit high-strung and gets worked up over school matters, so I try to avoid her. But she collared me by the cabbages and dropped her voice to a dramatic whisper. "Have you heard? The Suzukis...

Longform

Traditional folk rituals like Mizudome-no-mai (dance to stop the rain) provide a sense of agency to a population that feels largely powerless in the face of the climate crisis.
As climate extremes intensify, Japan embraces ancient weather rituals