Author Archives: MThomas

About MThomas

Long ago, I gave up my high school dreams of becoming the next Carl Sagan and instead wound up working (in order) at McDonald's, a '60s-themed restaurant, a video rental store, a used bookstore, a computer seller, Kinko's, a Jewish newspaper company, and an HR firm. I eventually became a teacher of intercultural communication in Kyoto, where I vainly attempt to apply quantum mechanics to language teaching, practice martial arts and Zen Buddhism, and always keep one eye on the sky.

The First Year Wall (Part 1) – Gakudo and the Kid


Three weeks ago, our youngest daughter went to nursery school for the last time. The following Monday, she started gakudo (学童, short for 学童教育 gakudokyouiku, which is usually translated as “after school program”). Since both my wife and I work … Continue reading

Posted in child safety, coming of age, education, Japan, Japanese, Japanese society, parenting, school | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

End of an Era: Goodbye, Nursery School


And so it begins. The end of the start of the rest of my children’s childhood. By which I mean our youngest daughter graduated from nursery school / kindergarten. Thinking back, we’ve been coming to our local nursery school every … Continue reading

Posted in coming of age, day care, education, festivals, Japan, Japanese, Japanese society, nursery school, parenting, school, separation anxiety | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Death of a Cherry Tree


This past Monday, city workers came to cut down a cherry tree near our house. It had been there for years. We found out later that a neighbor had complained that leaves falling in her backyard were a nuisance to … Continue reading

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