Big Brother is Watching

A few days ago I had my semi-annual scheduled chat with the head of the Deaf School Kindergarten where we talked about my daughter’s future education, etc. M.-Sensei said that she felt I was holding back, and that if there was anything I wanted to complain about, I should go right ahead. Well, she didn’t say it exactly like that, but it’s true that the other mothers complain much more than I do and she’s right in thinking that I am rather reserved. At any rate, I thought I’d throw her a bone, so I said that I thought the school memos pertaining to homelife were intrusive and unnecessary. I’m talking about the memos the teachers send home telling us to put our children to bed early and wake them up early, even during summer vacation, or to make sure our children wash their hands before eating and gargle with water after playing outside. I also don’t like it when the teachers ask me to write down what my daughter does from the time she gets up in the morning till she goes to bed at night. And I don’t like it when the teachers tell me to take my daughter to the doctor to get medicine when she has a runny nose. It’s none of their business. Yet, in Japan, schools seem to feel that they are the directors of our children’s lives. M.-Sensei thanked me for sharing and told me that probably nothing will change. I told her that I would just have to get used to this way of thinking and learn to ignore it.

Today there was a meeting for the parents of upcoming first graders at the Deaf School. We mothers were told to get our kids used to waking up early and going to bed early, to make sure our kids brush their teeth and wash their faces and eat three meals a day. I seem to have made some progress because for once, I wasn’t irritated at all.


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