Summary of “What Japan can teach us about cleanliness”

As every day, the teacher’s final words: “OK everybody, today’s cleaning roster. Lines one and two will clean the classroom. Lines three and four, the corridor and stairs. And line five will clean the toilets.”
Most first-time visitors to Japan are struck by how clean the country is.
So they’re left with the question: how does Japan stay so clean?
“In our home life as well, parents teach us that it’s bad for us not to keep our things and our space clean.”
“I sometimes didn’t want to clean the school,” recalled freelance translator Chika Hayashi, “But I accepted it because it was part of our routine. I think having to clean the school is a very good thing because we learn that it’s important for us to take responsibility for cleaning the things and places that we use.”
In the Zen version of Buddhism, which came to Japan from China in the 12th and 13th Centuries, daily tasks like cleaning and cooking are considered spiritual exercises, no different from meditating.
So why aren’t all Buddhist nations as zealously clean as Japan? Well, long before the arrival of Buddhism, Japan already had its own indigenous religion: Shinto, said to enshrine the very soul of the Japanese identity.
“So it is vital to practice cleanliness. This purifies you and helps avoid bringing calamities to society. That is why Japan is a very clean country.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The history of parents complaining about how much homework their kids have.”

As the education researcher Brian Gill and the historian Steven Schlossman have reported in a series of articles, ever since the early 20th century, when American law began to require that all children go to school, many American parents have found homework infuriating.
Gen. Francis A. Walker, a Civil War veteran and economist who was the president of the school board in Boston in the 1880s, described his own experience helping his kids with their math homework: “Over and over again, I have had to send my own children, in spite of their tears and remonstrances, to bed, long after the assigned tasks had ceased to have any educational value and had become the means of nervous exhaustion and agitation.” Walker got the school board to restrict the city’s schoolteachers from assigning math homework except in “Exceptional cases.” But mostly, the 19th century consensus was that if a student couldn’t handle the homework, he was free to drop out.
More than one author writing about the history of homework notes that since the ’40s, we’ve swung back and forth on the topic in 15-year cycles: 15 years of homework rejection, 15 years of homework celebration.
Cathy Vatterott, a professor of education and present-day homework reformer, cites a 1968 statement on homework limitation by the American Educational Research Association: “Whenever homework crowds out social experience, outdoor recreation, and creative activities, and whenever it usurps time that should be devoted to sleep, it is not meeting the basic needs of children and adolescents.”
By the late 1990s the pendulum swung again, and we were back to the idea of homework abolition, with cover stories in Newsweek and Time lamenting homework’s effects on what early-20th-century writers would have called “Home life.” If the 15-year theory of American homework sentiment holds, we’re in a pro-homework period right now, when homework is assigned to younger and younger kids; some parents of kindergarteners are now reporting sitting with tired 5-year-olds at the end of the day to get a packet of worksheets done.
As present-day researchers on the topic have found, the answer to the question “Does homework help children learn?” is “It depends”-on the amount assigned, the age of the students, and the content of the homework.
The superintendent of New York City’s schools, William J. O’Shea, wrote in 1929 that homework could consist of reading, drawing, or visiting museums; others thought field trips to “Woods, factories, museums, libraries, art galleries” could be “Assigned” as homework.
Why can’t we seem to find a happy middle ground on homework? Brian Gill and Steven Schlossman observe that “Homework has been one of the most emotionally charged topics in American education. One side has idealized homework: The more the better. The other side has demonized homework.” The history of homework protest shows how the debate over homework has always been about a much bigger question: What is childhood for? There’s little wonder we can’t agree.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My Mom”

My mom’s always been sporty but since she stopped dyeing her hair she looks her age.
I’m waiting with a 24-year-old colleague that I hired straight from college who idolises me and I’m worried that my mom will hurt herself and that people will see.
One lunch, I was dragging myself around the playground when I saw my mom standing by the fence, waving big and calling my name.
The summer before I turned 14, my mom, brother and I moved to Texas.
We’d always known that some day before Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule, we’d join my mom’s side of the family in the US. While our Green Cards were being approved, my father bought a house in suburban San Antonio despite our extended family living 1,400 miles away in LA. After 13 years of sardine life at high-rise altitudes, he liked the idea of spreading out.
My mom was the only one of us with a driver’s licence.
School was easy for me but those years were tough on my mom.
A senior on the bus once asked if my mom knew that we could all totally see her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Day Treva Throneberry Disappeared”

Then there was that day when Treva’s young niece J’Lisha, who was staying at the Throneberry home, told people that Treva had shaken her awake the previous night and whispered that a man was outside their room with a gun-which turned out to be not true at all.
1985.It didn’t take long for the rumor to spread through town that Treva Throneberry had last been seen down at the police station, where she had given a statement claiming that her daddy, holding a gun in his hand, had raped her.
In court Carl and Patsy insisted that Treva had made up the entire story, and their attorney went so far as to demand that Treva be given a lie-detector test.
“Honey, you’ll be Treva Throneberry until the day you die,” Patsy said in a wobbly voice.
Why? Why had Treva Throneberry used at least eighteen teenage aliases since the early nineties, and why had she spun such gruesomely outlandish tales? Was she nothing more than a con artist, pretending to be a downtrodden teenager to receive free foster care and a free education? Was she afflicted with what doctors call psychiatric Munchausen syndrome, in which she intentionally feigned intense emotional distress to receive extra attention?
Although Clark County senior deputy prosecutor Michael Kinnie said that Treva needed to be treated as a common criminal-“What we are dealing with here is a woman who knows exactly what she’s doing,” he said-a writer for the Vancouver newspaper suggested that Treva’s behavior “Doesn’t suggest maliciousness so much as misery.” As for Kinnie’s contention that Treva was dangerous-after all, a Vancouver security guard went to jail because of her accusation of rape-the writer reminded his readers that the security guard pleaded guilty.
After a long silence Treva said, “This Treva in these pictures. What was she like?”.
“She enjoyed church. She enjoyed tennis. She had a wooden tennis racket. She was always very appropriate, very thankful. She always apologized if she hurt my feelings. There was another long silence. Treva stared down at her notebook, her eyes blinking. Was it possible that the past was returning-that she was remembering the girl she once was?”Was Treva smart?” Treva asked.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Hedge Fund Billionaire’s Guide to Buying Your Kids a Better Shot at Not Just One Elite College, but Lots of Them”

Her fictionalized account of her brief stint working for the Wall Street billionaire David E. Shaw never reached a wide audience, but the script became samizdat among the harried members of Shaw staff – as the family’s highly compensated, Ivy-educated, hierarchical cadre is known.
D.E. Shaw & Co., the legendary hedge fund that bears his name, pairs proprietary trading algorithms with obsessive risk management.
Starting in 2011, when the oldest of their three children was about two years away from applying to college, the Shaw Family Endowment Fund donated $1 million annually to Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford and at least $500,000 each to Columbia and Brown.
Although Shaw left the day-to-day management of the hedge fund nearly two decades ago, he’s still the chairman, and it remains molded in his image: decidedly elitist, tight-lipped and risk-averse.
One of Shaw’s common sayings, repeated at an annual training session by a compliance officer, was that it was important to avoid risks and legal trouble because Shaw wanted to make sure that his kids could go to college.
Shaw left the hedge fund in 2001 to found D.E. Shaw Research, which applied computer simulations to the arduous process of drug development.
Peers of the Shaw children remember classmates talking about where they wanted to go to college – and understanding that they might very well not go there – as early as the sixth grade.
Mark Lipton, a professor of management at the New School who has worked with the hedge fund, said that while Shaw cares deeply about his family, “He’s a real meritocracy fan. My hunch is that he invests in his kids from Day One so they can get in at these schools on their own. What’s so self-evident, whether it’s for his own kids or not, is the extraordinary importance he puts on the best higher education.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is China’s Gaokao the World’s Toughest School Exam?”

For two days in early June every year, China comes to a standstill as high school students who are about to graduate take their college entrance exams.
On a June afternoon, parents of exam takers at one school in Beijing were packed tight around the school gate, jostling to get to the front of the crowd where a white metal barrier held them back.
A red banner above the barrier declared the school a “National unified gaokao examination point.” At the first sign of movement inside, the parents pushed in closer, craning their necks to spot their children emerging.
Suicides are a regular feature of every exam season; a 2014 study claimed that exam stress was a contributing factor in 93% of cases in which school students took their own lives.
Last year, a middle school in Hebei province fenced off its upper-floor dormitory balconies with grates, after two students jumped to their deaths in the months leading up to the gaokao.
Once there, Yuan Qi enrolled in a better middle school and, thanks to a good performance in the zhongkao – the entrance exam for high school – got into Beijing 101 at the age of 16.
“In middle school I realised that primary school was easy,” he said.
Not every student in China signs off their fate to the gaokao.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What to do when your child cries at school drop-off.”

Do you have any advice for this school year? Is it normal for the early grades to have outdoor drop-offs, making it the parent’s responsibility that the child stays put? Should I consider the school bus-or a therapist?!
One of my good friends is a very talented and dedicated elementary school teacher.
Many parents avoid posting photos of their own children on the internet, so to have a teacher posting images of children-regardless of the temporary nature of these posts-is far beyond the bounds of professional behavior.
It’s only a matter of time before a parent discovers that the image of his child is on a teacher’s Instagram account and things get very uncomfortable for her.
In student teaching and my training program more broadly, when I have had an episode, it has been nigh impossible to manage the responses of my cooperating teachers’, supervisors, professors, and academic/administrative superiors.
I’m pretty sure many of them are at the point where they no longer believe I can teach, when in reality, teaching is fine-it’s managing their emotions and reactions that is difficult.
If you will need a reasonable accommodation in order to teach, you will have to disclose your condition so that your employer can meet your needs.
Halloween is on the horizon, and I’d like to plan a party for the class, but his teacher has told me she doesn’t need my help.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This Football League Was Built For Girls Who Love To Hit”

Her husband is a coach on the West Jordan boys high school football team and now her two daughters and three nieces are all signed up in the Utah Girls Tackle Football League.
The girls love football and they love the league, but when I ask them about playing sports at school, a lot of them look less happy.
That’s why the members of the Utah Girls Tackle Football League are suing their school districts.
If a school, for example, has one sport for boys and one sport for girls but 10 boys play that one sport and only two girls play, that school is not Title IX compliant.
There’s no other league of 500 girls playing tackle football in the entire country.
Football is a contact sport, and the girls’ tackle football league knows that.
“You always know who is going to stay in the sport after you start full hitting. Some girls thrive on that. They don’t just love to play football, they love to hit.”
All of the parents and all of the girls in this league say that they’ve faced criticism from people who don’t think girls should be playing football, and don’t like that they hit each other.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How American Kids Are Learning About 9/11 in School”

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Lauren Hetrick was a 16-year-old sophomore at Hershey High School in Hershey, Pa. Her French class was just about to start when a strange announcement came over the P.A. system: “Attention, teachers: The computer tech is in the building.”
Nearly two decades later, Hetrick has cause to see her teacher’s behavior that morning through a slightly different lens: She became a high school teacher herself, so helping students understand the events of 9/11 is part of her job too.
Many teachers who remember what it was like to have been in school at that time use the memory to help their students connect to the topic.
That variation is part of the reason why Jeremy Stoddard, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, set out to analyze how teachers are talking about 9/11 in classrooms nationwide.
The third most mentioned approach was sharing personal stories, the way Hetrick does; Stoddard says younger teachers in particular tend to aim to get kids “To feel like they felt that day, to understand the shock and horror people felt that day.”
“Middle schools are focusing a little bit more on first responders and heroes of the day. High school is where you would probably see more of an emphasis on the causes, the events leading up to it and maybe more on the response. High-school teachers did talk more about the Patriot Act and surveillance and some of those national-security-versus-civil-liberties types of issues.”
Part of the reason is that, even if publishers update textbooks, schools may not have the budget to buy the latest edition; Kayla Turner, a high school social studies teacher in Raleigh, N.C., says some of the textbooks used in her classes haven’t been updated since 2001.
What do kids themselves say they’re learning about 9/11? At the 9/11 Memorial on the weekend before this year’s anniversary, kids and parents alike told TIME that school wasn’t where they had learned most of what they knew about the attacks.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How a Trip to Disneyland Changed My Trans Family Forever”

A few days later I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and saw my dad wearing a frilly nightgown.
My dad wasn’t living as a woman, but she had started taking hormones and growing out her hair.
Their ringleader said, in the snottiest voice she could muster, “Jessica told me your dad’s a transsexual.”
That year, my dad’s 40th-birthday present was a week in Disneyland as a woman.
We’d been walking around Disney for days with my dad dressed as a woman and no one cared.
Didn’t hear my dad saying she couldn’t go back, she couldn’t keep pretending, she couldn’t be a man anymore.
They’d chosen a date in the summer when my dad would start going to work at her one-hour photo store as a woman named Hilary.
When summer ended, I’d go to a new school where no one knew that Hilary used to be my dad. I wasn’t changing schools just because my dad was changing genders, but I definitely blamed her.

The orginal article.