Tagged: 2012

Diary: 09/06/2012

06 September 2012 Th.

Chance to Study Science Again!
Today, I had the first sessions of a science-oriented lecture, “Biological Basis of Public Health” that dealt with human genetics, such as structure of DNA and mechanism of heredity. Most of the contents today was that I had already studied in high school, but some of that was that I was unfamiliar with or I had only ambiguous image or knowledge of. Honestly, catching up with scientific words and contents was a little difficult for me… but I felt this is a good chance to study science again and be a kind of cultured people over areas. When I was in undergraduate college, I felt exciting to listen to what science major friends are talking about (especially I was attracted to the field of biology, and of architecture) and liked reading books of science. But at the same time I felt a little shame of my poor understanding of the basis of science, because I was a law major student.

By the way, it was also interesting to see the contrasts of mood of my friends differ in each class and upon his or her major. One of a friend with a background of biology seems to feel easy in today’s biology class, but she becomes nervous when she’s in history or human rights lecture. It’s opposite of me!

After the lectures today, I stayed in the library on campus too till night. But the reading materials for tomorrow.



自分のコンプレックスも一部手伝ってだろうけど、大学時代、同じ法学部の友人より、理系の学部の友人の話を聞いている方が楽しかった(とりわけ惹かれたのは、建築と、生物学)。分野問わず読書が好きだったものだから、自分の専門外の分野の本もちょくちょく読んで、見知らぬ世界への憧れを強めたりもしていた。しかし、読み物として面白いものを読めはしても、基本的な仕組みや構造、数式やらなんやらを結局丁寧に理解しないままでいた自分が「恥ずかしい」という意識は常に持っていた。とはいえ、専門の勉強やら就活・受験やらで、なんだかんだどんな道に進んでもそれぞれに忙しいわけで、教養レベルでの積み残しがいくつかあったまま学部を卒業してしまった。そんなわけだから、Public Healthのスクールに入ったのはコンプレックス払拭の良いチャンスでもある。もちろん、それだけで十分とは思わないけれど、しっかりした教材で基礎的な知識を復讐できるというのは有難い。ま、病気のことを理解していないで対処方を講じることができるわけもないから、学んで当然でもあるのだけど。



Diary: 09/05/2012

05 September 2012 Wed.

Emphasis on Integration
Today I had two lectures and an introduction session for a unique course, “Integration of Science and Practice.” Lectures were second sessions of “History of Public Health” and “Human Rights.” On the beginning of the session of “Human Rights,” the professor mentioned about the first session of “Ethics of Public Health” that held yesterday and showed connection in his lecture with her lecture. Also, the course “Integration of Science and Practice” emphasized the goal of this course “integration” through the process of case study in the course. We utilize our knowledge built through lectures to understand cases that really happened in history.
I hope, or am determined to realize that each piece of a puzzle will fit into right place and I will be able to see a whole picture some day.

Stuck with Reading…
The amount of reading materials vary in each course, or even in each session. Today, I became so exhausted after reading for Thursday sessions. Today I rarely had chance of talking with others, only ones were before and after the classes…
Well, I know time is limited. I need to structure my study plan, not on a day-to-day basis, but with a long term view of the semester. Make clear my priorities.



曇り空。先週より少し気温が下がってきたように感じる。今日の講義は2つ。”History of Public Health”と”Human Rights” 授業の開始時に、教授が他の授業に言及して、分野間の繋がりへの意識を喚起することがしばしば。全体の連関や統合性を意識してカリキュラムが構成されていることが伺われる。

Diary: 09/04/2012

04 September 2012 Tue.

Class Starts!
My first semester in Mailman has started! On the first day, I had three lectures, “Histroy of Public Health,” “Human Rights,” and “Ethics of Public Health.” As public health practice is closely related to real world problems, not only to experiment in laboratory, we have to face with people, who are living same as us. Furthermore, all human beings have a right to health as fundamental human rights. Thus we public health students, who are being to be professionals, have to understand human rights as a set of values and practical tools to seek public health goals, gain ethical sense to judge whether a specific practice or experiment is ethically justified or not and learn from history that tells us a lot of lessons of successful or unsuccessful public health practice.
On the History class, we dealt with an infamous study, the Tuskegee syphilis study that studied progression of black men living in poor rural village Tuskegee in Alabama without enough care and informed consent for them between 1932 to 1972. For the progress of public health, researchers sometimes do experiments on people that entail risks of diseases. But they are not just subjects but also living human beings. Thus researchers must pay maximal attention to avoid needless violation on health through careful communication with subject people and care for them. Tuskegee Study is a tragic lesson in history.

Lectures are interesting, and the contents of that are not so difficult, but sometimes I feel difficulty in catching up with their fast speech and questions…. so I got a little tired. After finishing today’s lectures and pre-reading for the next day, soon I dropped of to sleep.




今週からついに授業開始。学徒に戻りました。最初の週から盛りだくさん。初日は”Histroy of Public Health”、 “Human Rights”、 “Ethics of Public Health”の3つの講義。Public health – 公衆衛生は、現場で起こっている健康問題に対処するための分野(事件は研究室で起こっているのではない!)なので、生身の人間を相手にすることがほとんどだ。また、健康を追求する権利は一人ひとりの人間が持つ基本的な人権の一つでもある。よって、病気の知識だけでなく、人権規範を当然理解しておかなければならないし、自分たちの手がける調査・研究・政策が倫理的に妥当かどうかを判断する尺度が必要だし、そうした観念が発展してきた経緯や、実践の成功・失敗の履歴としての歴史を学ぶ必要があるのだ。
“Histroy of Public Health”の講義では、悪名高いTuskegee Syphilis Study―Arabama州にあるTuskegeeという小さな村で、貧しい黒人男性を対象に行われた、梅毒の症状研究について取り扱った。実験が行われたのは1932年から1972年と言われており、今からそう遠くない20世紀の出来事だが、当時の、根強い人種差別意識や、梅毒の治療方法の未発展(実験の途中でペニシリンの有効性や徐々に実証されていった)ゆえに、被験者となった人々やその家族に、十分な説明やケアが無いまま実験が進められ、多くの人々の健康を蝕むこととなった(実験を報じる新聞記事では”Genocide”という表現も)。
人々の健康増進に貢献すると言えば聞こえは良いが、時にはpublic healthの名の下に、人々の健康を損なう危険性もあることをよく理解しなければならない。


Diary: 09/03/2012

03 September 2012 Mon.

Caribbean Carnival on Labor Day
This is the final day of 3 day holidays before class starts. I went down to Brooklyn to see the Caribbean Carnival (before leaving Japan, one of my friends strongly recommended to see that).Getting down the train at the Flanklin Avenue St. and walked around. At first I didn’t find any carnivalistic mood around the station, but soon I found people going through streets, and finally got the street of the carnival.

Crowds of people seem to be really excited, and soon the carnival had come.

I was also excited, with festive music beating my ears and stomach.
(You can see other photos below in this entry)
I stayed about two hours, and then got back to Manhattan.



今日は月曜日だが、Labor Dayなのでアメリカでは祝日である。
「授業始まる前に絶対見に行っとけ!」とゼミの先輩に言われたので、Brooklynのカリビアンカーニバルを見に行ってみた。Brooklynは、同じNew York市内の地域だが、Manhattannから川を挟んだところなので、少し遠出。地下鉄、青のC-Lineに乗ってFlanklin Avenueまで行く。












幸子である、とか言ってみたけど、中の人は男の人でした。 彼だけ一人異彩を放っていて、なんかすごかった。

50th Streetあたりのカフェで勉強し、帰宅。

Diary: 09/02/2012

2 September 2012 Sun.

HCAP Reunion
In the morning, I had a breakfast with one of my friends from HCAP (Harvard College in Asia Program), a international conference program by Harvard and Asian several university, which I participated in when I was a freshman in the University of Tokyo. A reunion almost after two years! She’s now working in D.C. in a disaster risk management region, but before that worked for a few years in Manhattan. We talked about each of ours works; for me, emergency aid and community development projects in Ishinomaki and Oshika, for her, her research in D.C. about risk management of Asian countries (she said other Asian countries have a lot to learn from Japan). Coincidentally our was have crossed over while we were apart.

In New York, there are also other HCAP Alumni working or studying. We promised to have larger reunion with other friends next time. I felt happy to see post-HCAP friendships still continue strongly.

After meeting with her, I just read materials for classes on campus.

数日だけNYに来ているという連絡があったので、合流して朝食を友人と一緒に食べる。彼女とは2年近くぶりの再会になる。大学時代に参加したプログラム、HCAP(Harvard College in Asia Program)で出会った。HCAPは、ハーバード大とアジアの大学が提携して行う国際プログラムで、2月にハーバードに各国大学生が全て集まり1週間のカンファレンス(講義、観光、ディスカッション、レクリエーション等々盛りだくさんのプログラム)に参加し、3月には逆にハーバード生が15名ほどずつ、各国大学がホストするアジアカンファレンスに参加する。どちらのカンファレンスも、受け入れ側の学生が自分たちで企画・運営することが特徴だ。僕が参加したのは2008年、英語力がもうほんとにダニみたいだった1年生の頃。前年から東大は選抜に通って、僕らの代は2期目、ええと今年は…なんと7期目。隔世の感である。


彼女はこの休日の短期滞在だけど、New Yorkにはけっこう他にもHCAPerがいるので、今度またみんなで集まろうという話をして別れた。


Diary: 09/01/2012

1 September 2012 Sat.

September’s Come
Today is the final day for our lots of orientation events, and it’s already September today! Soon my exciting but horrible classes starts with tons of reading… Anyway, there are three day holidays till Monday (because of Labor Day) and I have enough time to study.

Before the noon, I joined to a picnic group organized by the Student Government Association at Great Hill in Central Park. For a few hours we enjoyed chatting and lunch under a leisure sky. Topics change variously from physics to Japanese economy. It was so interesting for me, and at the same time, I found I may be a only Japanese in this year’s class at Mailman School. Anytime they may throw me a question about my country and I’m expected to answer and explain it.

Miso, Soy Sauce, and Natto!
From the early evening 4 p.m. my friend I met on Thursday night spared me time again to go shopping. First we went to “Bed, Bath & Beyond” to by furnitures and daily necessities. She often tells me tips of shopping in U.S. compared to Japan. Some different customs there are, but I feel I can adapt with. No problem.

After B & B, we went to “Sunrise Mart” in Midtown to buy Japanese foods, seasonings and dishes. Wow, how wonderful shop! I could buy almost everything I wanted for cooking and eating, miso, soy sauce and natto…! Also I got a teapot to make green tea. After getting home, I enjoyed my dinner and teas with things I bought today. So happy time. However, Japanese foods are expensive to buy in NYC. I’m a student. In usual days I buy and use foods made in local. To settle and understand other country’s culture, one of the most effective or fastest ways is to love their food.

あっという間に9月。つい2週間前までドタバタと東京・石巻を走り回っていたとは信じられんが、とにかく9月だ。オリエンのイベントはこの日が最終日。来週から怒涛の授業が始まるよー。こちらはLabor Dayのため月曜日が休みで今日から三連休。勉強するには十分な時間がある…はず。空いている時間はじわじわリーディングを進めています。

というわけで、最後のオリエンイベント、セントラルパークでピクニック。参加者は20名程度だったけど、これもStudent Government Associationという学生グループの一つが企画してくれたもの。でっかいサンドイッチと、サラダやフルーツを青空の下、高台のGreat Hillでいただく。話題は物理のことから日本経済の話まで、ころころと移り変わる。なんとなく会話のテンポ感には慣れてきた。どうやら、今年入学のMailman School of Public Healthでは僕がオンリーワンジャパニーズっぽい。上の学年や、メディカルセンターキャンパス内の他のスクール(看護や医学)、それから研究生では他にもちらほらいるみたいだけど。というわけで日本に関する質問がやってきたらなんでもこっちにやってくるっってことだな。教養、大事。

早めの夕方に、木曜日に晩飯を一緒に食べた友達と合流、買い物に付き合ってもらった。忙しいだろうのに、どうもありがとう。最初に“Bed, Bath & Beyond”という家具屋さんへ。日本でいうニトリ的なポジションかな。値段お手頃。本棚が欲しかったのだけど、そのお店は種類が少なくサイズも微妙だったので、帰ってネットで探すことに。その代わりにこまごましたものをいくつか買った。
その後、僕が「しゃもじが欲しい」なんて言い出すもんだから、ミッドタウンにある”Sunrise Mart” という日本のお惣菜・食材・食器などを置いている店に連れて行ってもらった。こないだチャイナタウンで炊飯器を買ったは良いが、しゃもじを忘れていて、ご飯をよそうのに難儀していたのだ。

My Cups

“僕の胃袋よもっと強靭たれ もっと貪欲たれ

なんだって飲み込んで なんだって消化して


Mr. Children 「友とコーヒーと嘘と胃袋」



Diary: 08/31/2012

31 August 2012 Fri.

HAPPY Hour on Friday
TGIF! Today I joined a orientation event and happy hour organized by one of the student group (Perspectives on Aging) after morning sessions in campus (boring Math Review and interesting lecture of “What is Public Helaht?” btw how cold almost all the classrooms are!! lol). We gathered at a campus building and then went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (this is the frist time for me). This time we had only two hours, and we did a scavenger hunt game using a mobile phone application that explore the museum and answer questions related to the works in Met by each group of 4 or 5 members as a orientation event(honestly, I wished I had much more time to see excellent arts!). Within the limited time, we had to walk around the large floors to answer questions so in a flurry…but anyway it was interesting game led by powerful and active girls members.

After that we had an happy hour at a bar, “Jake’s Dilemma” President of the group seemed to be a regular at the bar and familiar with the bar staffs. Although we just did casual mindless chatting (but related to each backgrounds), it was so fun for me. I did enjoyed the happy hour with friends with pitcher beers and typical American foods. Honestly, I’m shy a bit and hesitated to talk to others so actively, but this time I could laugh a lot with no concern. That was, HAPPY Friday night.
Gradually the autumn goes on, and gradually I’m adapting to here.



今日は週末、フライデー。午前中のいくつかのセッションを終えて、午後は各student group (参加したのはPerspective on Agingというグループ)が開催するorientation event. キャンパスで集合して、「メトロポリタン美術館」―”Metropolitan Museum of Art “へ。ここは、初めて来る。デカイ。そして、美術品の数々に感動…!しかし、この日は2時間しかなかったから、ゆっくり見て回ることは出来ず(残念、また行く。)、携帯アプリを利用した美術館探検ゲームを少人数のグループに分かれて行った。最近日本の美術館でもやってたりするのかな、館内の美術品に関連した問題が出されて、それを探して答えていくやつ。なんせ広いから疲れた。にしてもうちのスクールの女性陣はパワフルだ。

終わってから、”Jake’s Dilemma“というバーでハッピーアワー。この時間帯はビールが安い。一緒に歩いていた3人で割り勘してピッチャーを2回頼んだ。Blue Moonと、Samuel Adamsという銘柄。まだまだこっちのお酒には馴染みが薄いから、1種類ずつ味見するのが楽しい。食事は相変わらずパンチの効いた、小麦粉とチーズの揚げ物達。
ほんと今週は、「名前は?」「どこから来たの?」「プログラムと所属コホートはどこ?」「ここ来る前は何を専攻してた?何して働いてた?」ってな定番質問の繰り返しだったのだけど(苦笑)、他愛のない話の中でも、今日はとても楽しかったな。心地良い音楽と、夕方の少し早いビールに助けられてか、だいぶ気兼ね無く話し、笑っていたと思う。気のいい連中と、文字通りのHAPPY hour。
Thanks God It’s Friday.


Diary: 08/30/2012

30 August 2012 Thu

Washington Heights Tour
After a few introduction lectures and workshops, today we had a tour of Washington Heights, a district around our campus. Nowadays, in Washington Heights most of the residents are Dominican, but this area has a themeless history of various communities (firstly the area was started as a Jewish community, then for European immigrants, LGBT communities, for Latinos, or Hispanics and today). We started from the campus building, walked through residential building, a small park, streets with restaurants and shops, and then walked around the High Bridge Park. The park is by the Harlem River, and we can see The Bronx , northern most district of NYC over the river. Looking forward the Bronx at a higher point of the park, I was pretty impressed with the fact how widely towns continues in NYC even outside of Manhattan, and felt like going theere at some time.
A trail of the High Bridge Park was also nice. Seeing thickly grown trees and rugged granites, I felt difference of climate from that of my country. I often passed with people who are walking or running the trail. Here must be good place for exercise.
Going down the trail, finally we arrived at Morris-Jumel Mansion, the oldest house in NYC which was the headquarters of George Washington in the past, and had a welcome reception together with other tour groups.
On my litte regret, I forgot to bring my camera with me, but my eyes and ears enjoyed enough to feel air of the town.



いくつかのイントロの授業・グループワークを終えて、午後はWashington Heights(キャンパス周辺の地域。リンクはWikipediaの日本語記事だが内容は少なめ、興味ある方は英語記事参照のこと)の散策ツアー。ユダヤ系、ヨーロッパからの移民、LGBT、ヒスパニック…と時代ごとに異なる集団が集住していたらしい。今一番人口が多いのはドミニカ人とその子孫、という地域。確かに歩いていると、キャンパスから北上するにつれスペイン語が聞こえる頻度が高くなる。
キャンパスの図書館前に集合して出発。住宅地を抜け、公園を通り、大通りを抜けて、最後に川沿いのHigh Bridge Parkへ。Harlem River沿いのこの公園は、川向うにすぐBronx(New York City最北端の地域)が見える。公園の標高は高く、Bronxの街並みを一望出来た。いい眺め。そのうち向こうにも行ってみよう。
最後はMorris-Jumel Mansionで、他のツアーグループもみんな集合してレセプション。これは、イギリス植民地時代からある古い建物で、George Washingtonが独立戦争時に総司令部に使っていたらしい。一度再建されているから、当時そのままではないが、外観・内装は再現しているそうな。ここも、なかなか眺めが良かった。

Diary: 08/29/2012

29 August 2012 Wed.

Not So Special
Today is already the third day of the orientation week. Gradually I’ve been accustomed with the life in campus and conversation with various students, but at the same time I’ve felt a little boring with the orientation…lol The contents of today’s sessions were not so exciting; Math Review (very simple and easy review of math basics), an orientation by the offices in the Columbia Medical Center campus, and Welcome Expo by offices, shops and organizations related to the campus, and a sign up opportunity of networks or events of student organizations. There were various groups that have activities related to particular health themes, and each group seemed attractive… but the session itself was not so special. Well, that’s all for today. So, not special things in campus. But, at night I had a happy reunion with my precious friend!

I’m Back to NYC!
While I was copying enormous reading materials of the classes next week (over 100 pages!), I got a direct message from twitter, and that was from one of my friend whom I met about one and a half year ago in NYC the last time I visited Big Apple for campus visit before applying and sight seeing. She said “Are you free tonight?” and immediately I replied “Yes,” and she invited me to dinner. Our reunion was at the Grand Central station, and we went to a restaurant (Japanese Izakaya-居酒屋 style one) she booked for me(While I felt a little missing Japanese cuisine and sake, it was so delightful dinner!).
Neither of us remembered when our contacts began, but through Twitter we talked often cos both of us had the same favorite artist “Shiina Ringo” or “Incidents Tokyo,” and when I visited NYC before we met in face. It was November 2010 and I was still senior in college, and kindly she guided and helped me during my stay. Of course in this time, she is, as ever, very caring person to those coming to NYC from abroad.
This is the reunion after one and a half year, and only SECOND time meeting together, but I felt we talked as if we’ve been long-time friends. With a lot of episodes of each one’s days(most of that were just silly, small but loving ones), we had big laughs all the time. Finished the dinner with an ice cream, we left to night town. Before getting on subway, we walked several blocks to sober up a little. She said “It’s still hot.” I said “much comfortable than Tokyo(but hotter than Ishinomaki).” August ends soon, and Autumn is coming. But it is still a “Sweet Season for Ice Cream.”




夕方に連絡を受けて、二つ返事でキャンパスを飛び出し、Grand Central駅にて合流、再会。およそ1年半ぶり。以前NYに来たのは2010年の10月で、その時が最初。それ以前にTwitterでやり取りしていたのだけど、そのきっかけも覚えていない。傾倒するアーティストが一緒なもんで、なんだか意気投合していた。そんなわけで、会うのはたったの2度目。それも1年半ぶり。だけど、なんだかそんな気がしないぐらいの心地よさ。空いた期間の、お互いの日々のこと、次から次へと話題は尽きず、バカみたいに笑いながら時間が過ぎた。

この日のディナーは待ち合わせ場所からほど近くの、日本食の炉端屋。「そろそろ日本食が恋しくなってきたでしょ?」粋なチョイス、thank you so much. お腹も舌も、大満足。本人は謙遜するが、相変わらず面倒見が良くて頼もしい。「困ったことがあったらいつでも連絡するんだよ。」って、何度も繰り返し言ってくれて(この日だけじゃなくて、こっちに着いてからのメールのやり取りでも、毎回そう)、その思いやりが、とても嬉しい。