Friday, October 30, 2009

Pandemonium amongst the Students?

The Japanese princess is staying home from school according to news reports.
The boys in her class are too wild.

A junior high school teacher was beat up by his student in our area recently.

Students are smoking in some of the classrooms of local junior high schools.
The police are regularly called due to crime by some junior high students.
This is not happening in the roughest area of Tokyo, it is happening in our area--
the Odawara, Oi, Kaisei, Minami Ashigara area.


Kaisei area, sorry to say it, seems to be the worst. I don`t know what it is
about Kaisei Town. It is a beautiful area, I admire the mayor there, and I have taught many of the kids there while they were in elementary school or even at my English school but some of the junior high school students are very difficult. Yet the kids at the elementary school were great!

These days it seems:

The junior high students think nothing of swearing at their teachers. We have
monster parents coming into schools and kicking over chairs in the staff room
or screaming at teachers over the phone for forty minutes. There are many fights amongst
students and teachers risk injury to break them up.

Kids need to be kids. If they aren`t allowed to vent their frustrations at home
due to domineering parents or an angry, frustrated home atmosphere, they may do so
at school, with devastating consequences for the learning environment.

I worry about the future of this nation on so many levels. I fear the success
of the past is just that--in the past.

What is it about Japan these days?

So much has changed since I arrived twenty years ago now.

It is a much more violent and angry society. Is it simply

Some Japanese often seem to have a disdainful attitude towards spiritual
study or religion, however I think we need a good dose of something
spiritual, especially now. We need some kind of spirit of caring for one
another. I think traditionally Japanese had that, but seem to have lost
their way recently.

I think Japanese need to practice being kinder to one another.

I try to instill that by being a good example. But it is tough.

I just saw a high school boy kick another boy in the stomach
on the Odakyu line and then grab his private parts and attempt to take
a picture with the boy`s cell phone. The smaller boy had been complaining to the bigger boy, why do you always bully me?

Of course no one did anything except me.

I got up and asked the bully which school he went to. He mumbled something. Then I took a look at his school symbol on his jacket.
He was a high school student judging by his uniform.

If I hadn`t have been there, would anyone have done anything?

I asked my wife to try to track down the boy`s school. I wanted to report the
incident to the school feeling this to be a better option than the police.

He obviously lives in Matsuda, and the letters on his jacket were stylized either NA or MA--It was vertical like this:




I think it was NA--being stylized I found it difficult to read.

What has it come to that people here tolerate watching another boy kicked in the stomach in front of them and pretend not to notice? I know people are scared of getting involved, but if we all ignore the bullies the problem just gets worse.

The announcements at all the stations say that we should report anything unusual at the train stations.

But when I reported rough-housing, a chimpira-looking punk was
slapping and pushing a high school boy at Shin Matsuda Station on the platform, the station man refused to look (in spite of my explanation in Japanese and pointing at the altercation only five metres away--just across the platform).

In exasperation I finalled yelled:

"Nihongo ga wakarimasuka?"

To which of course, he pretended not to understand.


I told a friend the stories above and he said:

"Oh yah, I see the junior high kids hanging from the rings on the
Daiyuzan line and kicking each other in the stomach all the time."

He doesn`t feel it is a big deal unless someone seems pretty hurt.

I agree I guess but the kid I saw seemed to have the wind knocked out of him
with that kick.

Sometimes I don`t understand this country.

I try to find the good in this country and there is a lot of good here.
But I do wish people made more of an effort to greet others. Made more of
an effort to be kind with strangers and colleagues. Japanese are famous
for their politeness as store clerks and other service providers--offering
an example that I would love to see store clerks and service providers
emulate in my hometown of Tsawwassen; however when it comes to other forms
of kindness I wish people would reach out more and be kinder and gentler--
more friendly.

I always try to welcome the new guy at the tennis school. I am most often the
first to do so--introduce myself and talk to him.

I think Japanese can do the same they just have to try.

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