maxjapank comments

Posted in: Thin line between neglect and independence for Japanese kids See in context

When I first moved into my house in a new part of my city, there was a young girl who often played outside my house. She was a bit older than my daughter, but she was friendly. One Sunday morning, she was over around breakfast time, and we asked her if she had eaten breakfast yet, and she said no. Turns out that her mother worked full-time as a nurse and was often gone. And her father would sleep all day on his day off. And no one was fixing breakfast for her. So we fed her from time to time. We did make contact with her mother, though, to make sure it was okay. Very friendly mom. Very apologetic. But we didn't mind.

This girl later became too old for my daughter and they went separate ways. But we'd see her from time to time. Still always friendly. In high school, she went on to a top level school and entered an international course which specialized in English. I've always wondered if being at my house, eating pancakes and what not, and hearing English spoken around her, led her to that direction. :)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan enacts law to introduce flexible working hours for teachers See in context

Having more days off in summer is nice, but it doesn't help the tiredness that builds up week after week if there isn't ample time to rest during the day or on the weekends. Extracurricular activities should be only two hours long from 4-6. Japan still doesn't seem to understand quality over quantity. They need a crash course in time efficiency.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: Long hours of gaming adversely affect daily activities: survey See in context

Doesn't matter what your passion is. If you let it affect your work, studies, or family life, it's a problem. But I find it funny how those who don't game much, have such a negative opinion of it. I'm an avid gamer. Love playing games, and have developed a pretty strong social network playing them. I also exercise nearly every day, work full-time, and am active in my family's life. It's all about priorities.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Teacher's kick leaves student with broken bone at prestigious Tokyo school See in context

It's a shame to see this still happening. My high school heads have explicitly told all teachers that corporal punishment is unacceptable and would result in being terminated. They have been doing this for years now.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: IOC Tokyo Olympic marathon edict should give pause to other cities See in context

In reality, Tokyo is not hosting the games. Japan is. And it is a fact that the Earth is becoming warmer and warmer every year. Comparing 1996 to 2020 is different. I think concern for the athletes well-being is a good decision.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Use of private English tests for university exams delayed after gaffe See in context

The TOEFL is a good idea. My personal opinion is that Japan should use the IELTS exam.

OK! Here's an idea: have all English tests in Japan be either TOEFL or IELTS. Students and/or institutions can choose which or both. Problem solved.

I agree. The IELTS would also be a suitable test for Japanese students.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Use of private English tests for university exams delayed after gaffe See in context

stupid. completely stupid. why do we need 7 different tests of 1 language. Choose one, and only one and make sure it is THE standard by which Japan evaluates English ability. After all, isn't that EXACTLY what they do when it comes to japanese language assessment? Its all about the JLPT. And not only inside japan, its global. Everywhere. The standard assessment of Japanese is the JLPT.

I agree. But as Japan is the only country to use Japanese, it is easier to have only one test. Part of the problem in Japan is that they have consistently used the Eiken. And while popular in Japan, it isn't recognized in the world. More recently, Benesse has been pushing their GTEC, claiming that it assesses students better than the Eiken. Not sure it really does. But it's a business. Benessee is trying to claim a piece of the money pie. But the same problem exists. GTEC isn't recognized in the world.

It's just my opinion. But I think that Japan would be better off using the TOEFL or TOEIC as they are recognized everywhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Labor minister opposes banning female dress codes with high heels See in context

Why must men wear neckties? There are a lot of dumb rules both male and female must follow.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Posted in: Gov't to urge firms to hire employees until age 70 amid labor crunch See in context

I'm confused. Does this mean that when my school tries to retire me at 60, I can legally continue working until 65 at the same salary if I so choose? Or is this just the usual way that teachers retire and 60 and then just continue working part-time on a part-time salary like now?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 teenagers hit, killed by train in apparent suicide in Saga See in context

If you work at a school, be sure to welcome each and every student with warm smile. Make them know that you are happy to be with them. And at the end of the day, be sure to send them off with a warm goodbye. Some students come to school with only negative thoughts from home only to be greeted with negative comments from teachers. We must break the cycle.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's labor shortage eats away at back-breaking work culture See in context

Some schools in Japan are making teachers clock out at 4:30 pm. They are only doing this so that on paper, it seems looks like teachers are not being overworked. However, the pressure is still there to continue working, even after having clocked out.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Cool Biz campaign under way across Japan See in context

Just let me wear what I want. If it's cold, I'll wear a necktie and long sleeve. If it's hot, I'll wear a short sleeve. Don't make me wear a necktie and long sleeve until you decide it's hot.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Ghosn's wife fears his trial may be unfair See in context

It will be unfair.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Posted in: English level at Japan's secondary schools falls short of gov't target See in context

Correction for 4) ... "these tests are no different from any other." Sorry for the missed word, but I'm sure you understood.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: English level at Japan's secondary schools falls short of gov't target See in context

Just my thoughts. (20+ years at a private high school)

1) Though I have seen an increase in English-speaking ability among younger teachers, they still conduct much of the lesson in Japanese. Five hours of English classes a week and the only one which is near 100% in English is when I am present. I get it that teachers want to maintain a rapport with the students, but there is so much wasted time and many students never get over the hump of being able to enjoy a class only conducted in English.

2) MoE textbooks are largely uninteresting. There are so many better textbooks on the market. And when teachers are deciding the next year's text, they spend barely one hour glancing through the 20+ books to choose from.

3) Teachers often do not know what English class they will be teaching from April until mid-March. Then they have roughly three weeks to become familiar with the book and think of what additional activities the might create - which if you might of guessed, they just don't bother with. So they follow these uninteresting textbooks as they were written.

4) While Japan school's have always been test-oriented, there has been a big push to pass this work to private companies, namely Benesse. And these companies are pushing their "new and improved" tests on the schools. And the schools follow suit because others schools are so that they can compare the rank of their students test scores. Frankly speaking, these tests are different from any other. It's just greedy companies taking advantage of over-worked teachers and further promoting this "test-oriented" society.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Ghosn family removes items from his Rio apartment See in context

I don't want someone guilty of crimes to get away. But I'm also laughing because this has been so one-sided from Japan. And Renault is basically giving Nissan the finger saying so.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Posted in: Kumamoto councilwoman who took baby to work kicked out of conference for using cough drop See in context

For someone who lives in Kumamoto, what an embarrassment!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Kobe gov't official's pay docked for repeatedly taking lunch 3 minutes early See in context

It's just so damn silly sometimes. My new vice-principal is such a stickler about working hours. He'll even insist on having a formal "Ending" time where everyone must be present before going home. But he doesn't seem to acknowledge the extra hour I or others show up to work beforehand. Or the extra 1-2 hours we sometimes stay after work. Or the extra time we sometimes spend working at our own homes, etc. Japan needs to focus less on "working time" and more on "getting work done."

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese consulting police more than ever on non-urgent matters See in context

Recently, my neighbors children are excessively noisy and their dogs are, too. And I'm at a loss about what to do. It's hard to say something cause you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and you don't want a feud to start. So I've been tempted to call the police as well. One word from them that some people in the neighborhood have been complaining could handle it. I could also approach the elementary school as teachers often handle these things. Or I could ask my wife to bring it up the weekly community meeting. It's just hard and you often wonder why are they not aware at how noisy they are.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man shot dead by police after knife attack in Kumamoto See in context

Some of my students go home on that road after school. Very glad none of them were injured.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: United faces public-relations fiasco over dragged passenger See in context

Overbooking should not be allowed anywhere - on airlines, in movie theaters, restaurants, at events, etc. So some people don't show up. That's too bad.

I agree, Brainiac. If I reserve and pay for a seat in advance, I expect to get it. And If I don't show up, I don't expect to get my money back. Now I know that some companies offer refunds for cancellations, but I thought that percentage of the refund became less and less the closer to the date. So airlines would be able to recuperate some of the loss and have the chance to resell the ticket for more profit. Seems that would be much more preferable to showing up and not getting what you payed for.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Stakes high as Abe eyes labor reform to boost economy See in context

By finishing work at 3 p.m., government officials and economists hope, Japanese workers will loosen their purse strings and increase spending on weekend travel, entertainment and eating out.

Finishing work early on Friday means nothing if you have to work Saturday. And with the recent change allowing schools to have classes on Saturday, they are just reinforcing the traditional 6-day work week that Japan has always done. Speaking from personal experience, all I do on Saturday after work is the weekly grocery shopping. And on Sunday, I want to go nowhere except stay home.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Kristen Stewart says coming out is worthwhile if she can help others See in context

It's a pity you keep on @clamenza. Not only are you insensitive to the plight of others, but you have to rub that insensitivity in. Hope your eye is okay. Sometimes there are birds flying over head. Be careful.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Posted in: Kristen Stewart says coming out is worthwhile if she can help others See in context

I want to thank everyone for the thumbs up. It's not so important to me as I appreciate the support you give to Kristen, gays, and tolerance. After reading so many attacking her and semi-attacking gays "coming out" so to speak, it's comforting to know that there is a silent majority present here. Personally, it really saddens me to read some of the negative comments here. But maybe your thumbs up will help gays know that they are not alone.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Posted in: Kristen Stewart says coming out is worthwhile if she can help others See in context

I don't go around telling people I am heterosexual!

But you do. Every time you introduce your girlfriend, or wife, or talk about how pretty that girl is, you are announcing yourself as heterosexual. The thing is, and I think you are missing the point, is that she is not "going around announcing to the world that she is gay." She has been repeatedly asked and she is finally being honest and open about it.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Posted in: Kristen Stewart says coming out is worthwhile if she can help others See in context

I see a lot of heterosexual people feeling uncomfortable here. Is there really anything wrong with being open with who you are? You may think that gayness is welcomed in this day and age. And in some parts of the world it is. But unfortunately, there are many places where it isn't, and gay people are bullied and abused. You all are too smart not to know this.

I don't see any need for her to keep her life private. It's really her choice. And I don't see anything "sexual" about being openly gay. She isn't implying about anything that "happens in the bedroom" as @sensei258 immediately brought into this conversation. So what's wrong with you all attacking her as a publicity stunt? Honestly, give credit to her. Take her at her word when she says, "I always wanted to keep what was mine in private, mine. And then I thought like you know, you open it up a little bit and you can help one or two people, it’s absolutely worth it!"

Sounds like a very selfless act to me. And I hope she reaches the hearts of those one or two people before some of your words do.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Posted in: Kristen Stewart says coming out is worthwhile if she can help others See in context

Power to her. If her actions help someone feel more comfortable with who they are, it's a good thing!

0 ( +13 / -13 )

Posted in: Starbucks CEO's refugee comments sour customer views of chain: survey See in context

@Tokyo-Engr Good for you! I, however, do support Schultz. I'm sure that the majority of those they employ are, in fact, citizens of the countries they operate in. But it sure is nice that they seek to give a helping hand to refugees, who have likely lost everything they have. Helping those in need is a good thing!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Starbucks CEO's refugee comments sour customer views of chain: survey See in context

Honestly, I find the Trump supporters to be silly. The promise of jobs is to countries where it does business. It does not specifically say America.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: U.S. soccer players must stand for national anthem See in context

Some of you "show a little respect for the flag and country" need to get over yourselves. Whether standing or kneeling, players are still showing "respect." They aren't turning their backs. They aren't walking off the field. There is nothing wrong with showing respect while protesting at the same time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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