Author Archive: Aya Kobayashi

SMILE Vol.37 March 10, 2018 (H30)

Raising children with sympathy, thoughtfulness, kindness

Children with sympathy, thoughtfulness, and kindness, can be developed only through humanly activities that require a lot of time. Nobody teaches you how to do that. Human children are said to grow mimicking people around them. I am sure you have heard of the story of a child who was raised by wolves. The child learned to walk with two arms and two legs just like human babies. Likewise, the child ate like wolves, and was not able to speak a human language, but learned to howl just like wolves. This proves that humans have the huge ability to learn.
If children did not grow the sympathy, thoughtfulness, and kindness, it would be sad and unfortunate, but it may be because of an environment without adults to look up to. It really is unfortunate for the children, but the adults around them might have lost such humanity.

SMILE Vol.36 March 3, 2018 (H30)

Little by little, I gradually become “me”.

” Every single human being is not born to this world as ” me ” from the beginning, yet each of us would probably gradually become ” me ” little by little. Each of us accepts ” me as I am ” and eventually will create more desirable “me as I am”. ”
The birth of a person is the beginning of a journey of searching for himself/herself.
Life can be joyful, but at times life can be painfully hard. Also, there might be times that we run into inevitable ordeals. Through these times, each of us ultimately create a new “me” by overcoming one thing after another while getting help from friends, teachers, siblings and/or family. There are times that we might get frustrated. Let’s accept it as a currently evolving form of “me as I am”. We could live with confidence if we simply acknowledge “me”.

SMILE Vol.35 February 24, 2018 (H30)

2 months was not a waste of time

Yuzuru Hanyu obtained a gold medal in Men’s Figure Skating competition at the PyeongChang Olympics. This is his second consecutive gold medal, which is a feat that has not been accomplished for 66 years.

Initially, watching his performance, I felt more uneasiness than hope. However, once he completed his successful quadruple Axel, all worries transitioned to an image of the Gold Medal that was waiting for him. I recall that it was just in November when Hanyu injured his right ankle, which made not only skating fans but the whole nation worried about whether Hanyu could even participate in the PyongChang Olympics at all.

I imagine that he was more devastated about his injury than any of us and I was elated that he performed so well upon his return from his injury-induced hiatus. Hanyu states in his interview, “I believe that obtaining consecutive gold medals was a reward for me, after all the sacrifices and hard work that I have put in. I am proud of my performance and will relish this moment and my gold medal with honor and pride.” I feel that spoken words are insufficient to describe the struggles and battles that he has overcome in achieving this remarkable feat.

People say that “Hard work never betrays you….”

SMILE Vol.34 February 17, 2018 (H30)

Back to the basics and cherish your daily life!

New year has started for everyone. The month of January quickly ended and even the middle of February is about to pass. School year is about to end for JLSP students. In about 20 days, second year kindergarteners, elementary school 6th graders, middle school 3rd graders and high school 3rd graders will graduate. And the rest of the students will finish their school year. Especially for those who are graduating, this can be considered the end of a major period in life.
In order for each student to go on to higher levels in education and advancement, I would like them to go back to the basics and cherish the daily life and the lessons at school.

SMILE Vol.33 February 10, 2018 (H30)

After a fierce battle with the Patriots, the Eagles win the game of the centuryImage result for super bowl eagles win illustration

Without a doubt we must start this week’s edition with this story. In the 52nd Super Bowl, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles faced off to determine the NFL 2017 season champion. The Eagles won the game with a score of 41-33. Even though I did not know the rules of the game as I watched tv, right from the first half I decided, “Let’s support the local Eagles!” I was so drawn to the excellent performance that the players put on to the extent that i unconsciously cried out with joy the moment the Eagles’ won. Outside, fireworks ascended and the sounds of firecrackers and honking cars resonated in expressed joy. Having been able to experience the moment of the century,and to share in the joy of the Eagles victory will always be a good recollection and memory.

SMILE Vol.32 February 3, 2018 (H30)

Learning from children

I have been teaching at elementary school field for 36 years.
There are many things taught through the relationships with my students, and I also have learned a lot.
They have taught me countless times how I live as a person and as a parent.
At the same time, I met many parents/guardians and faculty members through my students, and they have also taught me many.
People are ‘creatures who realize themselves by seeing others’
When you look at other people and look at other things you get involved with, I believe that you are actually looking at yourself without realizing it.

SMILE Vol.31 January 28, 2018 (H30)

Lightning and thunder at dawn signal the arrival of spring

A few days ago, I was woken up by the lightning and thunder before dawn. “It is spring thunder(春雷-shunrai)! Spring is approaching!”, I got excited in bed and could not fall asleep anymore. When I got out of bed, I looked up the definition of the word “春雷”. “春雷”means thunder that forms from March through May, which signals the arrival of spring. It is also called “虫出しの雷(mushidashi-no-kaminari, meaning bug-poking thunder)”, because it wakes up the insects that has been hibernating over winter. My body and soul must have been longing for spring to arrive from recent extreme cold weather.
For ages, Japanese people reflected changes of four seasons onto their calendar. We have been embracing the seasons and lived with them side by side. We are feeling the seasons with our five senses.

SMILE Vol.30 January 20, 2018 (H30)

Doing ordinary things everyday with plain mind is extraordinary

Everyone tries to achieve success. However, getting quick results from discovering an accelerated path to achievement is rare. Doing ordinary things every day is harder than it sounds. It is actually an extraordinary talent to be able to continue a consistent effort every day.
“If we call a person who can achieve something without effort a genius, I am not. If we call a person who achieves something due to his or her effort a genius, I think I am. If you think I can hit a ball without much effort, that is wrong.” So said Ichiro, who is a genius of hard work.

SMILE Vol.29 January 13, 2018 (H30)

Without truth, honesty, and courtesy is a farce and a play!

This was the words of “Nitobe Inazo” who studied in the suburbs of Philadelphia the early Meiji era. He participated in the meeting at Morris House (main building) together with “Uchimura Kanzo” .
Well, let me explain the words at the first paragraph. There are the four Confucian virtues “benevolence, justice, courtesy, and wisdom” (Jin, Gi, Rei, Chi). Among them, especially “Rei” is a concrete representation of spiritual wealth. If that “Rei” is done by pressing, or if it is just a form, it can’t be helped even if it is told that it is a play or a farce.
The important thing is to be faithful and honest. We want to live faithfully every day.

SMILE Vol.28 January 6, 2018 (H30)

Happy New Year!

It is said that from the ancient times “It is important to start with a great New Year’s Day”. Now we have reached the new year, I think it’s important for children to have their own new goals.
In addition, the third semester is also an important time to summarize the current grade and prepare for the new grade at the same time.
Three Months from now, you will be reaching to a new grade. It’s time to review your learning attitude, lifestyle and know what you have to do to improve.