Tagged: October

Diary: 10/15/2012 Mon.

There seems to be a “demographic shift” of our class… someone begin to skip a few classes that seem less attractive for them, others stay there, also, on the exam day morning most of us(sometimes including me) skip morning lectures so as to prepare for the exam in the afternoon. It’s interesting to see cos such phenomena are globally common in university, same as students in Japan. Anyway, it’s natural. Too many lectures and too many homeworks. Sometimes we need a rest, or to manage schedule strategically.

Quantitative Foundation
Today we learned about screening test. Sensitivity and specificity of a screening test is basically trade off, ant we can’t make a test with both of 100%. Also, it is always possible that we may miss false negative people, those who actually have disease but screened as negative(that mean they are regarded as not having disease) without diagnosing their disease and providing with treatment. Of course I know nowhere is a “magic bullet” that detect all patient with disease with 100% sensitivity and specificity. So we should not be overconfident about the result of “scientific” test too much, and should be sensitive about missing case.

U.S. Health care system
Most of classmates who originally attended this lecture seem to move to other cohort’s professor’s lecture, and now there are only about 20 students staying… To be honest, this lecture is hard for me too, and I was almost deciding to skip this lecture, but today finally I felt I am gradually catching up with this module. As I’m unfamiliar with the U.S. health care system, it was hard to understand the reading materials and lectures smoothly, but this time it was not so terrible. I hope I will do well for the rest of the lecture in this class…

Health and Behavior
Today, the lecturer talked about the theory of social support, or social network that is helpful to promote health behavior. Such kind of social factors of public health is exactly what I’m interested in! My last job was also one that aimed to revitalize and strengthen social bind and capital of people living in a disaster area, so I agree with the importance of these ideas. Some classmates said that such theories related to social and environmental factors are too vague and less specific. Yes, it is, but I think we need to be accustomed with these new ways of comprehensive thinking cos today’s public health challenge becoming more and more complex. I wanna study this area more.

I had a workshop with the lecturer and classmates to brush up my plan of research paper. Although it was tough time, thanks to them, I could made my options clear.

Art exhibition of Kikue Miyatake
Today, I found this exhibition by chance when I entered the building to go to another floor. It was so awesome meeting with wonderful arts! Her style seems abstract paintings and I received direct and energetic message from her drawing. Bright and vivid colors arise from bleak and darker ones and their contrast were so beautiful. Surprisingly, she the painter was sitting at the front chair with a clerk, and I talked with them for a while. She also moved from Japan to NY when she was 24 years old, same as me. And, last year she visited north east of Japan too. How thankful time it was..

授業の合間に、ダウンタウンまで下って、Socia Security Cardの申請に行ってきた。やっぱりキャンパス周辺の168thとは雰囲気が違うな。人の交差が活発だ。昨日の夕食で、ニューヨークの街並みの開放感はどこから来るのかという話をしていたのだけど、ビルが高い分歩道・車道に余裕があること、人があらゆる方向に交差していくことが、どうも東京との違いを生み出しているかもしれない、と。一方東京は、小道・脇道の多さが特徴的で、また、人々も最寄り駅に向かって同じ方向へ動く傾向が強い(場所によるが)。東京のせせこましさも、いじらしくてとても愛おしいけど、時に息場を失くしてうろたえてしまう。New Yorkの街は、余計なことを考えなくて済むから、出歩くことが僕の精神衛生上、良い気がする。No one knows me, I know no one there. しかしそれが気楽なのだ。

「思い出すことなど」 病気で倒れていた時期を回顧する漱石。




Diary: 10/14/2012 Sun.

My former teacher at a seminar of the University of Tokyo (actually he’s still teacher for me even after his retirement) came to New York, and had dinner with him and other alumni students at a french restaurant near the Lincoln Center. Whenever I meet him, I fell secure, and cannot help talking about personal matters…

Well, here Columbia is a wonderful place to learn and build my capacity to work as a public health professional. But not only that this one and half year term of staying abroad must be an import “personal” term to think deeply again about myself – identity, worth of living, role in society, relationship with others. Calm down, and walk moderately.








Diary: 10/13/2012 Sat.

Spent most of the day for reading articles and thinking about paper for writing course. I’m thinking to take mental health problems after disaster, and write a review paper(cos it is not feasible to do a new research by myself within a one semester). I couldn’t do well other things such as review of skipped classes, pre-study for next week classes and homeworks… Don’t need to be too nervous but, a little frustrated.


Diary: 10/12/2012 Fri.

Exam finished!!! Now we gonna have two weeks without exams(after that of course there will be…). After the exam today, I talked with a few classmates, and found they had the same feelings as me. Most of exam questions too general, so we were not sure what we’re supposed to answer. Also, every week, we miss the classes in the morning on Friday before the exam, and worried about being behind… Anyway, time is limited. I shouldn’t be a perfectionist who can do everything (pre-reading, study for exams, homeworks and other things) for one week.

At night, I met with one of my classmates at the University of Tokyo Law department in Washington Heights. He came to New York state from this fall and is going to language school to learn English. He seemed suffering his study, and frustrated with troubles with his roommates. I understand what he complaints, but only we can do is to survive here in a foreign country. If he wants to be released from his suffers, he has to brush up his English, and then go up to a higher level class where is better environment. Well, good luck with each other.



Diary: 10/11/2012 Thu.

During the lunch time, there was a general body meeting of a student group “Group for Community Recovery.” As I’m keenly interested in community based researches and actions, their activities seemed quite exciting. I want to take part in as much as possible.

Tomorrow is an exam day. Every week days pass so fast…

ランチオンイベントで、”Group for Community Recovery”というstudent groupの集まりに参加した。興味分野にガチっとはまった活動をしていたので、今後色々と参加してみたいと思う。キャンパス周辺のワシントン・ハイツでも色々な取り組みをやっているそうだ。


Diary: 10/10/2012 Wed.

Today I’ve started working as a language maintenance tutor at Columbia, and met with my counterpart student who wants to speak Japanese. He’s MBA student, 4 or 5 years older than me, and really good at Japanese(I felt I don’t need to ‘teach’ anymore!). Tutoring session is mainly for general speaking. We decided to meet once a week and have a session to take one or two article or essay to discuss each time.

As this is the first time, He and I self-introduced with each other, and surprisingly, he’s friend with one of my friends in Ogatsu, Ishinomaki, where I worked last year! Awesome! He went to Ogatsu and participated in volunteer activity, and become friends with her. It’s a small world! Anyway, it was really nice meeting and my tutoring work must be exciting.



今日は初日だったので、お互い自己紹介をしたのだけど、これまた驚いたことに、石巻・雄勝で一緒に活動していた千鶴さんと友達なんだと。It’s a small world!!! 牡鹿半島には行ったことが無いけど、ボランティアで何度か雄勝での活動に参加していたらしい。もう、ほんとビックリしたし、なんか運命じみたものを感じて、勝手に感動してしまった、ひとしきり、東北や東京の話で盛り上がった。合計10回のチューター活動なのだけど、来週以降とても楽しみだ。

彼と別れた後は、そのままButler Libraryに移動して勉強して、11時半頃にメトロに乗って帰路に着いた。彼と話したのはビジネススクールの図書館の部屋だが、図書館なのに、みんな活発に会話を交わしていて、こちらの図書館とはずいぶん雰囲気が違った。なんというか、実にMBAっぽい空気。「おっきなミーティングルームみたいなもんですね」と彼も言っていた。スクールによって全然カラーが違うものだな、と改めて。




Diary: 10/09/2012 Tue.

Had a meeting with my academic advisor Dr. Michel Sparer, and talked about my certificate and summer practicum option. It was good for me to know, even in my department Health Policy and Management, I can choose a field-oriented project as my summer practicum. As I’m interested in social and environmental factors of disease, and as a way of approach, empowerment and inclusion of people in local community. Maybe I would choose to work in a foreign country (Asia, Africa, U.S., Europe, Latin America etc.) instead of go backing to my country Japan in the next summer. That must be precious experience for me to work in a different place. Anyway, I should check out the past summer practicum projects and find interesting field and organizations as my options.

アカデミックアドバイザーのDr. Michel Sparerにアポを取っていたので、オフィスを訪ねて色々相談。この先生、学部長でもあるので、ちょっと緊張した…いつも以上にたどたどしい英語になってしまい、もっとちゃんと話す準備してから行くべきだったなと少し反省。レジュメと、興味関心・相談事項を箇条書きにした紙を持っていったので、それ読みながら話を聞いてもらったから意図や相談趣旨は察していただけたが… 僕が所属している学部はHealth Policy and Managementというところなのだけど、Certificate(学部のなかの細かい専攻)も分かれていて、まだ決めてない人は来月までに決めなければいけない。うちの学部のMPHでは、政策分析 Policy Analysis、効果の比較研究Comparative Effectiveness and Outcome Researchのどちらかを選べるのだけど、たぶん前者になりそう。それから、MPHでは修論は課されない代わりに、夏にPracticumという実習のようなインターンのような期間がある。2ヶ月ほど、どこぞの機関に自分で出願・マッチングして働きにいくっていうプログラム。せっかくなので、日本ではなくどこか海外の国で働きたいなと思っている(代わりに年末年始は帰国予定)。とりあえずこれから過去の卒業生のPracticumの一覧などをチェックして、色々調べていこうと思う。

Diary: 10/08/2012 Mon.

Surprisingly cold morning! When I went to the morning class, I found a lady classmate already wear a coat and realized again, here NY gets cold much faster than Tokyo. In a good timing, I received my winter clothes sent from mu home in Japan. Well, I’m ready for winter.

Today we had a international students luncheon event. About 20 to 30 classmates gathered at Hess Commons. Looking around the room, about half of them were those who I’ve already seen once, or talked before, and I could see who are ‘international’ students. Interestingly, or naturally, whether he or she is ‘categorized’ as an international or domestic student, is not necessarily judged at glance from their appearance and voice. Different from my country Japan, here I easily feel what is globalization and how people mingle within a society.



Diary: 10/07/2012 Sun.

Compared to a little warmer Saturday, suddenly it has been a cold day with rain. Soon my clothes for winter will be delivered from my home in Japan. I keenly wait for them.

Studied for Monday’s classes and finished homework for the course of Health and Behavior which deals with various behavioral and cognitive theory. The homework required us to analyze which kind of behavioral theories and constructs can be applied to this article(Kim Severson(September 24, 2010). Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries. The New York Times, Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/health/policy/25vegetables.html ) . It was interesting, but at the same time felt serious point that a report introduced in the article suggest that one of the reasons why Americans do not eat vegetables(that do not include French fries) is they do not have enough time and ability to cook vegetables at home and prefer to eat tasty and convenient foods sold at shops and restaurants. As the generation goes down and modernization progresses, the more activities that originally played by private family level including cooking become outsourced by industry. It seems to be, and to some extent it actually is, efficient and convenient. However if these process progress excessively, basic literacy and wisdom for human beings to live by themselves would be lost. Then what should they do if they were attacked by natural or man-made disaster and lost lifelines and convenient shops and restaurants? This is not only public health problem, but is a disease of modernization as a whole.


終日、予習をしたり宿題を進めたりした(あと溜まってた分の日記を書いたり…)。美術館にでも行こうかと思っていたけど、残念。来週どうにか時間を作りたい。宿題が出ていたのは、Health and Behaviorという授業で、行動主義心理学や認知心理学に関係する内容。人々が健康に良い、あるいは健康を害する行動をとる上での、態度や思考プロセスの形成過程・結果などを扱っている。学部生時代の専攻ではなかったが、参加していた読書会でよく扱った分野でもあり、見覚えある論理にしばしば出くわす。当時の勉強がちゃんと頭に入っているかはさておき…
で、New York Timesのこの記事(Kim Severson(September 24, 2010). Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries. The New York Times, Retrieved October 7, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/health/policy/25vegetables.html )が宿題の題材。アメリカ人がなっかなか野菜を食べないもんだから、その原因は何なのだろうってな調査の結果を紹介している新聞記事です。時間なかったので、紹介されている論文・レポートは参照出来ていないけど、記事に概要がまとめられていてなかなか面白いので英語いけるひとは良かったら読んでみてくださいな。