Tagged: 2012

Diary: 09/26/2012

After the classes, I went to a career support event held by a Japanese organization focusing on Japanese students living in U.S. Time schedule and system of job hunting in Japan is different from that in U.S. and this year I may not do job hunting for Japanese companies. So, the event itself is not directly related to my recent life, but I attended today, because I wanted to meet and great again with an organizar. He supported me my application to Columbia, giving advice on my essay and resume in 2010 when I was a senior in college. He, as always, was so powerful and seemed with confidence. In addition to my self, 4 young Japanese students in U.S. college attended. They seemed to be energetic, ambitious and pure, thanks to their youthfulness.

Even if I didn’t do a kind of “normal” job hunting for Japanese companies, the ideas and strategies he gave me us would be helpful for me to seek my own career path and create a job. Now I’m on the new stage of life after working in Ishinomaki, Japan and now is the time to rethink my future goal and process to it.

授業を終えた夜、在米日本人学生向けのキャリアゼミに顔を出してきた。Times SquareのNew York Marriott Marquis の一室を借りて、20時から23時頃まで。毎年ボストンでは、ボストンキャリアフォーラムという日本人留学生向けの就活イベントが行われているのだけど、それに向けてのゼミという位置づけ。期間中はボストンに日本人就活生が約1万人!集まるらしいのだけど、3日間かけて出展企業による説明会や面接が行われて、そこでインターンや採用の内定が出たりもするらしい。なんとまぁ。












Diary: 09/25/2012

25 September 2012 Tue.

At lunch time, “Professional Development Seminar” was held. This time, the lecturer told us about resume writing.
Master program is very short, and time passes soon. So, gradually career design and job hunting process are going to start.
So, I know the importance of resume and other materials and tips. But… first of all, I should deepen my interests and find what I should do, what I can do and what I want to do. Let me clear up my mind, and search for a good way to fly.




Diary: 09/24/2012

24 September 2012 Mon.

During the core courses in this semester, one of the most fascinate class is “Qualitative Foundation.” Qualitative approach has a potential to dig out buried factors and problems. In today’s lecture, the professor showed us an example of the past student’s summer practicum case in U.S. that took qualitative approach, so I asked her after the class whether students can do such program outside the U.S. These days, I often think back about my country. After the disaster, there seems to have broken out various conflicts and disparities, especially on issues related post-disaster matters, within or between, residential places, generations and occupations in the small country. I fell, I should listen to their voice again.
My department is Health Policy and Management. There might be some directions and limitations for what I should/can study here. So I’m still not sure what topic I choose as my research project (I’m also interested in health issues in U.S.) Anyway, she said that she will introduce a faculty whom I should talk to to think about this matter.

Sunny and warm day. Walked around the town around the campus, and that made me refreshed. Well, I study public health, but also should take care about “personal” health. Keeping myself healthy is a key factor to enable good learning.


質的研究の授業が実に面白い。授業終了後、Summer Practicumのテーマや場所について、少し教授と相談した。日々の勉強の傍ら、どうも最近、度々日本の、とりわけ東北、もっと言えば昨年結局行けなかった福島のことが気にかかる。



Diary: 09/18/2012~09/23/2012

18 September 2012 Tue.

Windy and rainy day. Trees shock in wind, and people at outdoor stall struggled not to have their store broken down.

Had two classes, and stayed at library all day long by doing an assignment and reading materials for tomorrow.

I was so sleepy today, though I don’t know why… I did have enough time to sleep last night, but I couldn’t help nodding off all day long while I was in the classes and reading at library.

This week we have an assignment paper, but I haven’t started yet. Time passes fast while I’m only reading class materials…

I might fail to sleep deeply even I’m in bed. Need to calm down myself.



19 September 2012 Wed.

Both of the Quantitative and Qualitative Foundation classes are exciting for me. The lecturer of Quant. speaks in a clear and simple way, and that do make me feel the sharpness of statistical theory and thinking. The lecturer of Qual. speaks, on the other hand, so passionately, and her character seems to reflect characteristics of qualitative approach to provide deep insights on issues.

Sleepy today too. However long I take sleep, I’m still drowsy. Took a little rest between my study in the evening. Couldn’t finish pre-readings for tomorrow.



20 September 2012 Thu.

I felt, I need a refresh, so walked around my dorm before going to the morning class. Unlike yesterday, it was so nice day, with blue sky.



21 September 2012 Fri.

Invited to my classmate, I went to the Tedeschi Trucks Band Live at Beacon Theater. Although this was the first time to know the band, their powerful and warmful sound attracted me.

チケットが余ったというので誘われた、Tedeschi Trucks Bandのライブに行ってきた。このバンドを知るのはこれが初めて。事前に数曲聴いた程度の状態で行ったのだけど、とても良かった。力強いのだけど、でもやさしいサウンド。Midnight in Harlemという曲が一番印象に残っている。都会で生きるには、こういう音楽が必要だ。

22 September 2012 Sat.

When I got on the train, three men were wrangling with slangs that I cannot hear well that they mean. one man hit another, but nothing could I do.




23 September 2012 Sun.

Finished my Foundation Paper, and biology assignments, both are due on Monday. Studying together and posing comments on each other with classmates was very helpful.

I still have materials to read for tomorrow classes…Anyway, keep working.

In a biology lecture last week, the lecturer took nutrition as a topic. Learning about both of obesity and malnutrition and hunger makes me disconsolate mood, but I can do nothing but study here.

Just one month has passed since I came to NY. Study at Mailman is still hard, but gradually I’ve come accustomed with. Being accustomed is of course good thing, but that also can lead to laziness.

Diary: 09/17/2012

17 September 2012 Mon.

Did not sleep well last night, and that bottled me up a little. Needs to make ways to be relaxed.
Today’s first lecture was “Quantitative Foundation,” the new module. As I’m not good at statistical analysis, this is a good chance to overcome my weakness. In fact my speed of calculating is not so fast, so I need to make preparation well before the class starts so as not to be upset (whenever I become upset, my performance will be quite poor).

The second lecture today was “Qualitative Foundation.” Although I don’t have a research background, the way of thinking the course shows sounds quite similar to the style of my last job in local community in Ishinomaki, Japan, such as being based on contexts, and having in-depth interviews with a small group. Qualitative approach is sometimes very effective to find a critical question itself (of course both qualitative and quantitative approaches must complement each other). Also, the professor on this course is very powerful and passionate. Hope this course will be exciting and fruitful one for me…

I feel a headache and spasm of my nerve on my forehead. That may be caused by my tension and anxiety. I know my tendency to easily go up and down. I need to make myself relaxed (writing down diary can be one of effective ways), this is my, not others, own duty.

During the free time after the second class, I went several places to clear up my worry. First, I asked one friend about an unfamiliar question in a biology assignment, second sent a e-mail to request to fix my bath duct, then went to the housing office to talk overt my money order problem (tomorrow I have to go to a bank to ask if I can make my order into money, and then if possible I have to go back to the office and have another discussion with them…), shot a flu vaccine at the student health service center, sent another e-mail to the mobile provider asking again about my SIM card problem, went to the ID office and finally asked a question about payment of tuition and insurance fee at the financial service office…. It was busy, but I could make my mind a little more moderate than before. Although there are still some unsolved problems, but I don’t need to be too nervous. Only I can do and i have to do is tell my situation clearly and logically to appropriate office or persons.

Before the evening class, I met with a Japanese person, same as old as me, at a cafe near the campus. He is a businessman in Japan and traveling U.S. for a while. The day before yesterday he sent me a direct message through Twitter and asked me to talk about studying abroad. He’s also thinking about apply foreign graduate schools within a few years. Thanks to his several questions and conversation with him, I looked back again my past life and thoughts on which I am based on today. No one knows about the future, or even tomorrow but still we live today by ourselves, and today is linked to tomorrow.

Today’s final class was a writing training course(elective class). Deliver a message to others directly and clearly is not easy. But one of the keys is writing simply as much as possible.

Every single day, my hearts swings between both sides, but it’s natural for human beings. Life goes on as normal.



一番の懸念だった、日本郵便発行の為替について、Housing Officeに相談した。やはり日本の為替で受け取ることは出来ないらしく、ひとまず明日銀行に行って、換金出来ないか相談して欲しいとのこと。しかし、”U.S.” money orderで払えとは通知書に明記されていなかったし、部屋の決定通知が日本に届いてから為替の郵送期限までほとんど日がなかったこと、日本国内では日本の為替を発行する以外に自分に方法がなかったことなど、事情は話しておいた。もしこれが銀行で換金出来ない場合も、自分に責任は無い旨を強調したところ、ダメだった場合、ディレクターともう一度相談しましょうということになった。全てがうまくいくわけではないだろうが、落ち着いて自分と相手の関係や責任を整理し、理を以って明確に主張することがこちらでの交渉を進めるコツなのだろうと思う。喧嘩腰になる必要はないが、簡単に折れたり泣き寝入りするべきでもない。日本での生活と違うのだとしっかり割り切り、ギアを変えるべきだろう。



Diary: 09/14/2012~09/16/2012

14 September 2012 Fri.

The last day of long week days… Thinking about the amounts of readings and assignments for next week, I didn’t see myself as a person who can go out at Friday night. So after the classes I kept studying till night… But thanks to that, I finished my pre-reading of Monday classes. That would give me time to tackle on assignments on Saturday and Sunday.

At night, I watched a DVD of the movie “Down by Law” by Jim Jarmusch (I found he also graduated from Columbia!) So humorous movie it was, and I cannot help laughing out. The last scene was my favorite; Zack and Jack exchange their jackets and walk away without shaking hands.

Down by Law (The Criterion Collection)
Down by Law (The Criterion Collection) Jim Jarmusch

Criterion 2002-10-22
Sales Rank : 10418

See details at Amazon by G-Tools

This DVD is one of the gifts from my friends before leaving Japan. Thanks a lot for my happy Friday!



家に帰ってからDVDを観て寝た。ジム・ジャームッシュの「ダウン・バイ・ロー」。ユーモアいっぱいで、思わずところどころ声を出して笑った。少し心が晴れた。刑務所の中で3人して“I scream,you scream,we all scream,for ice cream”なんて叫んじゃってさ。

ダウン・バイ・ロー [DVD]
ダウン・バイ・ロー [DVD] ジム・ジャームッシュ

キングレコード 2011-03-23
売り上げランキング : 13189

Amazonで詳しく見る by G-Tools


15 September 2012 Sat.

Had a lunch with two Japanese friends. One is an alumni of Columbia SIPA. Now she’s working at an investment bank and this month coming back to NY for training. When I met her first was October 2010 in NY. I was traveling around Boston and NY and had campus visits before applying to Columbia and other schools. Another one is a friend of my friend. So this is the first time for us to meet directly, but before that he contacted me through e-mail. He’s now in a language course of Columbia and planning to apply grad school. They told me about job hunting, and it made me a little nervous. Oh, I also have to design my career and work after graduation, not only just focusing on study, within the short master program. Both of them said “Don’t worry you can do it!” but…yes anyway, I do need to plan my future work again. This is not just a moratorium, I know.



16 September 2012 Sun.

When I came back to my dorm at night, I received a mail from the housing office, and in the envelope there is the money order I sent to them to pay my deposit and rent. They said they cannot receive Japanese money order and can U.S. order only. Really!? How do I manage this unreceived money order (it costed more than $900)? Is it possible to be paid back? They never told me that they only receive U.S. order only before. As I was in Japan I had no choice but making and sending Japanese money order to them. Also there was only a week or so between the date I received the announcement about my room accommodation and the due date for confirmation and deposit. I don’t think I was responsible for this trouble…but felt so nervous when worrying about the case I cannot be paid back. Anyway, I will visit the office tomorrow.

Also, there are other concerns. My iPhone still have not read my SIM Card (this card is one from a British provider that specialize in servie for Japanese living in U.S.) even after several e-mail conversation and asking at an Apple Store. The duct connected my bathtub clogged up and water doesn’t flow. Still have unfinished homeworks… So nervous Sunday





家に帰ったら大学のHousing Officeから封筒が届いていた。家賃の支払案内かな、と思って開けてみると、自分が6月に発行して送付した日本の為替(depositと初月の家賃用)が入っているではないか。米国発行の為替しか受け取れないから、これはダメですよ、と。いやそんなこと言われても…寮の部屋割り当て通知が来た時、checkかmoney orderで支払えとは書いてあったけど、”U.S.” money orderとはどこにも明記していなかったし、通知の封筒が届いてから、署名・支払い期限までほとんど日がなかったから質問する余裕もなかったし、日本にいたからどっちみち日本の為替を発行する以外に方法はなかったのだけど…しかも6月発行の為替だからもう期限切れてるし。今更返してきてどうしろと!?日本で換金出来るのかこれ…?日本円にして7万以上払って発行したものだから、そんな大金が無駄に消えるのは耐え難い。しかし、どうしようもなくて泣き寝入りすることになったらどうしよう…大事なお金なのに。不安が押し寄せる。



Diary: 09/12/2012~09/13/2012

12 September 2012 Wed.

When I read articles of history of public health, I often interesting to see how strongly a belief in individualism binds American people. It’s contrasting to my country. Even when they argue paternalistic action to prevent harmful material or environment, the norm, “freedom of choice” always matters.

Couldn’t contribute to the discussion well at the class today.
Casting a question at a lecture in a large hall made me feel a little nervous.
Train yourself.

Frequent sneezing. My body might be surprised with the sudden decline of temperature these days. I went to bed a little earlier today.

13 September 2012 Th.

At lunch time I participated in a lunch meeting of a student group “Perspective on Aging Society.” We talked about activities of this semester and just casually chatted with each other. The existence of a small community makes me feel easy.

The fact that tomorrow is Friday makes me frustrated with the speed of time, rather than satisfied. Every day passes while I only read materials and take lectures… Actually I do understand most of the contents, but I only have time to read and listen to them… not to settle into thinking deeply.







ランチタイムで、学生グループの一つであるPerspective on Aging Society(オリエンでもこのグループのイベントに行った)に参加。今学期はほとんど大教室の講義だから、こういった小さなコミュニティがあると安心する。


Diary: 09/08/2012~09/11/2012

08 September 2012 Sat.

I spent most of the day for reading materials for class next week. In the afternoon, I took the subway and disastrously mistook the trains tow times. I was not aware of getting on the wrong ones and reading materials for class desperately. They took me far place, Queens and Brooklyn. So exhausted with such a silly travel and muggy heat stations and trains, even though my reading got progress.

At night, I did something to promote a book which the members and I wrote and edited in the last job through social media and blog. Thanks to many friends and supporters, the book will be successfully published soon. A lot of voice of support filled my heart. Thanks.

09 September 2012 Sun.

At the morning-side campus (main campus) of Columbia, classmates and I held a study group to review the last week sessions of Biological Basis of Public Health. Most of ladies in my school are so powerful.

On Sunday, there are many street stalls around the campus. I bought used books.

Got out of the Butler Library around 11 p.m. and was surprised with how cold it is. The sudden down of temperature made me find the fall is coming. It is the first time to experience a turn of the season in a foreign country.

10 September 2012 Mon.

Last night I couldn’t have enough sleep, and also could not read today’s materials well. Most of the classes today was terrible for me. With less concentration, I failed to catch up with lectures and questions. They went through one ear and out the other.

Rhythm is important. I need to keep my condition by myself, with enough sleep, food and preparation for class.

11 September 2012 Tue.

It was a moderate and normal day with classes and study at library till late night, although knowing today is “the day.”
Every year, anniversary days remind us, at first, of the specific incident it self, and at the same time they show the shades of daily continuous pities in all the rest of the year.
I still not have an appropriate word to mourn. Just stopped at a park near campus and closed eyes for a while at the end of the day.





昼前にMorning-side Campus、いわゆるメインキャンパスへ。学部や大学院の大半がある、「コロンビア大学」と聞いて人が普通思い浮かべる方のキャンパスだ。生物学の授業の復讐勉強会をクラスメイトと一緒にやる。自分を除いて全員女子。なんというかパワフルで、しゃべるの早くて圧倒された。
日曜日はキャンパス周辺に露天が並ぶ。ファーマーズマーケットや、個人での古本販売。古本を3冊買った。Mark TwainとJane AustenとMary Cantwell。







Diary: 09/07/2012

07 September 2012 Fri.

Gradually, my ears feel to be accustomed with sounds and rhythms of English. Theories and logics themselves are not extremely difficult to understand (of course there are a lot of dilemmas for public health practice difficult to judge, and that is what we should think seriously and deeply). I don’t need to panic to catch up with the contents although they are delivered in a foreign language, just need to prepare well and tell my ideas and opinions at discussion, honestly.
Actually I do feel nervous sometimes in lectures or while I’m reading materials, but I found that is is not the only my case. Through chatting with my friends or looking around a hall before lecture starts (not a few students are still reading materials hard), I’ve understood, for most of classmates, whether they are national or international students, it would be hard too to take a lot of courses and read tons of materials.

So… language itself is not the only matter. But it DOES matter for me unfortunately. Yes, I think I do understand what’s going on (maybe about 80-90%) and am catching up somehow, but necessarily my understanding and response always must be behind a half-beat, so sometimes I lose a chance to deliver my opinion properly and smoothly. Even when I could raise hand and tell my opinion to others during a discussion, I worry, “Wasn’t it foolish or irrelevant word?” even when it would be easier to discuss if it was in mother tongue.
The mood of class is really open and confortable, and classmates are of course generous and kind to each one’s opinion and background. So this is not their matter. It’s my matter, I know. But, regardless of surroundings, I cannot avoid feeling inferiority, or chagrin so far now.

Anyway, time will resolve. Only I have to do to wipe out my such complex feelings, is just focus on my duty. Study everyday, and speak and listen carefully and persistently.