collegepark30349 comments

Posted in: Japan had record 610,000 school bullying cases in FY2019 See in context

As I have mentioned before, this ties directly to the declining birth rate. Who would want to bring a child in to this kind of environment? I'm pretty sure a lot of people of age to have children were victims of bullying, remember it, and that affects their decision to have children. Childhood here is to be endured, not enjoyed. Make a better environment for children.

That being said, the one experience my son had with bullying (public elem. school) was handled very well by the teachers. The only other experience was on his soccer team when a kid from another team, the losing one, ran up to him and shouted "gaijin-me" (my son was the keeper and had a shut out). That kid's coach was on him in less than a second. Maybe things are different here in tiny Okayama.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan considers making promotion of paternity leave mandatory for companies: Nikkei See in context

Another article about another misguided plan to make life easier for the parents. I have yet to see one idea from the government to try to make life better for the children. This is the reason, from talking to many friends and colleagues, why people aren't having children - they don't want to raise children in Japan. Many Japanese people I know did not particularly enjoy their childhood and don't have many fond memories (going to over-crowded run-down schools, rigidity and forced conformity, bullying, overloaded with schoolwork, clubs and naraigoto, hardly seeing their fathers...). Some of them boarder on PTSD from childhood. Nobody wants to bring a child into a system and culture that has not changed for 75 years and probably will not change for 75 more. Find ways to make life better for children and people will want to bring them in to this world.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Human Rights Watch report documents abuse of child athletes in Japan See in context

As a recovering jock (little league to NCAA level) and former coach, few things in this country disturb me more than the way youth sports are handled. The insanely long practices, the lack of true games and seasons, the abuse by coaches, the focus on seniority over ability, the insistence on only one sport all year, the "no pain, no gain" attitude towards injuries ... it is ridiculous and a shame and I can't see why people put up with it. I had very long talks with my son's and daughter's coaches and told a lot of them "Thanks, but no thanks" until I found clubs that I thought put the children above the sport.

But, perhaps the worst part is that many of the kids develop what is akin to Battered Woman Syndrome. From a psychology book (the insertion of "athlete" by me):

With battered woman (athlete) syndrome, a woman (an athlete) may develop a learned helplessness that causes her to believe she deserves the abuse and that she can’t get away from it.

And two of the stages:

Denial: The woman (athlete) is unable to accept that she’s being abused, or she justifies it as “just being that once.”

Guilt: She believes she has caused the abuse.

Youth playing sports should not be developing this.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Posted in: 'The Simpsons' ends white actors voicing characters of color See in context

As a Southerner, all I ask is that we get real Southerners to play and voice Southern characters. No worse sound in the world than a fake Southern accent. That is reason enough to ban GWTW imho.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Posted in: Gov't seeks more inclusion in education for foreign children in Japan See in context

This article is lacking a lot of information. Even the foreign kids that are enrolled in school are not getting properly provided for. I just did a lecture on this for my students who are studying go be social workers:

There are over 40,000 foreign national and 10,000 Japanese national (returnee) K-12 students in public schools that need Japanese language instruction. These students are spread out over 7,700 schools. 74% of these schools (5,700) have five or fewer students that need Japanese help. Only 2% of schools have 30 or more students who need help and can qualify for a full-time Japanese teacher. This is a major problem. I don't see the government hiring 7,700 new teachers even if there were that many available.

My son's school has a rather large foreign population in its district and has Japanese as a second language class. My daughter's school has foreign students, about 6, but does not have a Japanese class or even a teacher. My daughter helps where she can (a returnee from Ireland and a girl from Bangladesh can speak English), but she can do nothing for the Chinese and Brazilian kids. Not that it is even her job to help, but I'm proud that she does.

I proposed the idea of a magnet program to the board of education and they looked at me like I was insane. They could not comprehend the idea of a student going to school out side of their residence's designated school district, even if it was to the benefit of all involved. They also cried poverty for hiring Japanese teachers and made the process for volunteering so complicated and cumbersome that nobody wanted to do it.

Another problem is language. English is probably the least spoken language for foreign students. The top six are Portugese, Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Good luck finding teachers who can speak most of those.

What does this lead to? For K-12 foreign nations students: high school drop out rate - 10% (1.3% for Japanese), moving on to college / tech school - 42% (72% for Japanese), becoming "irregular" workers - 40% (4.3% for Japaenese) and becoming a NEET - 18% (6% for Japanese). Japan is creating a permanent underclass. I don't know what the solution is, but this is a ticking bomb.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: How COVID-19 might unlock Japan's giving potential See in context

I'm always disappointed with the charities here. I wish at times there were something like the Salvation Army, Easterseals, Boys & Girls clubs, Meals on Wheels...that would accept unwanted but usable items from people and give them to those in need.

I would love to give away my children's old clothes, toys, books and whatnot to people who really need and could use them. Now I give them away to friends, but they are not really in need and it just does not feel right to sell them or throw them away. My folks grew up hard in south Georgia and they both have commented several times that if it were not for the Salvation Army they would not have had shoes or gotten anything for Christmas (my mother still has the teddy bear she got from them in 1944). My mother is 80 and still rings the bell and delivers Meal on Wheels. Sorry, I'm rambling.

I remember right after 3/11 my wife and I took some old baby and children's clothes to a donation center and we were rejected. We were told that they would accept new clothes, but not old ones. These were not in bad condition, mind you. They were simply out grown and we washed, folded and packed them. I still can't wrap my head around it. If I had lost everything, I would not care whether the clothes I got for my children were new or not. Same thing with some toys we tried to give to a children's home. They were not new, so they were rejected. I just don't understand it. Giving money seems to impersonal to me. Plus, you never know if it is actually going where it is supposed to.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Universities to help subsidize students' costs for online learning See in context

I think some of you are misunderstanding the problem. The problem isn't that students don't have a PC or wi-fi at home. The problem is that not many students will have *exclusive*** **use of a PC. Most households have one PC and that is enough. If it were being used, a student could always go to the uni's computer lab and use one there or maybe even bum a friend's.

Now, a uni student may have online classes and her siblings also have online classes and mom or dad have to telework - all on a single PC at home and most schools have shut down their campuses including the computer labs. What is a family supposed to do? Get a PC for everybody? That's a lot of coin. You can do a lot on smartphones, but type a report? No. Not to mention hardware they may need. A quick check of my students showed that while almost all of them had a PC at home, only half had a web camera (an the shelves are empty now). A lot of families and school are in a bind. I've already had one of my students contact me to say she could not attend a ZOOM meeting because her father needed the computer.

"provide the same high level of education as in normal years, even though part of it has to be done through online teaching."

This is just being said for PR purposes. At my uni, most of us are realists. We know the best we can do is try to lay a strong foundation for more intensive learning in the second semester (hopefully we'll be back on campus then). We've already decided to unofficially stop using the official grading scale and make every course basically pass / fail.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: IOC reviewing Games scenarios; cancellation not among them: Bach See in context

Interesting how this will play out. Many of the leagues that are shut down now (NBA, MLB, European leagues...) seem like they will restart in June and probably go through August. Does the IOC want to compete with that? While many NBA players usually go to the Olympics, will they if the NBA is in the middle of or just finishing the playoffs? If they sit out, will people watch? What if you held an Olympics and nobody came?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Harry, Meghan to quit royal jobs, give up 'highness' titles See in context

I agree with Hugh Grant's take on this. The tabloid media was at least complicit in, and at worst responsible for, the death of his mother. Now they are going after his wife. As a man, he has to protect his family.

Great article comparing how Megan is treated compared to Kate:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/meghan-markle-kate-middleton-double-standards-royal

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: James Bond producer rules out female 007 See in context

What I don't understand is why does it have to be James Bond, 007? Why isn't somebody out there creating a whole new character? Or, maybe there is already a female / minority spy character or series out there and all it needs is the right person to bring it to the larger world. (I'm not familiar with the spy / espionage genre) Why would you just want to change an already existing character? That's just lazy.

I'm a big fan / researcher of hard-boiled detective fiction. The genre used to be dominated by by straight, white male characters: Race Williams, The Continental Op, Philip Marlowe, Lew Archer, Mike Hammer, Spenser...and white male writers. Then, something strange happened. Nobody started calling for a female Philip Marlowe (Phyllis Marlowe?) or a black Lew Archer. People took things in to their own hands. Sara Paretsky created V.I . Warshawski and Sue Grafton came up with Kinsey Milhone. Both strong, unique female characters who fit into and expanded the genre. Walter Mosely gave us Easy Rawlins. Not a black Philip Marlowe, but an original character who brought a much needed diversification to the genre. Alex Segura created Pete Fernandez (hispanic), George Pelacanos came up with Nick Stefanos (Greek-American). There are now hard-boiled series with Jewish, gay, autistic...you name it...detectives.

Why isn't this happening with Bond? Go out and create. The cliche is "Get out there and do something." Not, "Get out there and do something for me."

Also, I'm not British, but wouldn't a 007 from the sub-continent - India, Pakistan...be more subversive or inspiring (for lack of better terms) than a black or female one given Britain's colonial past?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Ghibli anime 'Whisper of the Heart' is getting a live-action sequel film See in context

This is too bad. The ambiguous ending is part of the charm. It let's you write you own. Not everything needs closure.

Also, this has kind of been done already with Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, and then Before Sunset and Before Midnight. If you haven't, check out the Before Trilogy. Film making does not get any better. I do hope a fourth movie is in the works.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese gov't, prosecutors, Nissan call Ghosn's accusations baseless See in context

"Japanese gov't, prosecutors, Nissan call Ghosn's accusations baseless."

Then prove it.

"prosecutors disclosed over 1,000 pieces of evidence to the defense team"

But did they disclose everything they had? The prosecutors had their hands on materials and evidence for months before they had to disclose what they had. How much exculpatory or contradictory evidence did they hold back or alter or "misplace" or "destroy by accident"? I'm saying this because there have been several documented instances of prosecutors (and bureaucrats and politicians) doing this. I found it laughable when they said they were afraid Ghosn would. Pot, meet kettle.

Prosecutors asking Ghosn to prove he is innocent is like asking me to prove I did not steal the socks I am wearing. I have no receipt, no record or memory of where or when I bought them, and can produce no witnesses. I guess I'm guilty because I cannot prove I'm innocent. Can they prove I did steal them? Doesn't matter, I guess.

32 ( +39 / -7 )

Posted in: Japanese hit song 'Paprika' goes global with English version by new singers and dancers See in context

I like it more with the original lyrics:

Tomorrow, tomorrow

I love you, tomorrow

I don't doubt he is talented, but he stole the melody.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Top doctor sounds alarm over heatstroke at Tokyo 2020 Olympics See in context

I'm from Atlanta and I don's see the big deal. The weather there in summer is worse than Tokyo - higher humidity (avg 70~80%), poor air quality, temps about the same but the elevation is much higher (1000 ft. above sea level). The Olympics there, in late July early August, went off without a hitch health wise for the most part. Marathon runners and other athletes had more problems with the elevation than the heat (the marathon did start at 7:00 a.m., which is actually a little before sunrise there). Common sense is the best way to prevent heatstroke, but, unfortunately, that seems to be in short supply. Folks there know how to deal with the heat.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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