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Amparo Bertram

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09:18 pm: Keeping busy
Today was my first day back at work. Classes won't start until tomorrow, though (and even then, I don't have any classes tomorrow either), so that mainly meant sitting at my desk and reading for eight hours.

I did get a chance to meet the new exchange student from Michigan who arrived last night. She was quite homesick. I hope she feels better once she has a chance to get used to things here.

She went over her self-introduction speech (which she'll present at the opening ceremony tomorrow) with her homeroom teacher. Afterward, the teacher came to consult with me, because the student had mentioned having a step-father when talking about her family. The teacher wanted to know if it was okay to translate "step-father" into Japanese for the other students. She explained that most Japanese people try to keep step-parents a secret, so she didn't know if she should "spill the beans" to the other students. (The divorce rate is quite low here, and I guess it's considered rather embarrassing to have step-parents.)

After I came home, I decided that the photo on my home page was rather outdated, so I worked a couple hours on designing a new one. I intend to revise the look of the page overall...eventually. I made a few tweaks to it tonight, but I spent so much time on the picture that I couldn't finish everything I had planned.

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Comments

[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:August 31st, 2005 08:06 am (UTC)
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guess it's considered rather embarrassing to have step-parents

As opposed to Marmalade boy, where it's all "Let's divorce, swap and remarry!" hehehe

Looking forward to the new page/pic! And best wishes for a good semester! :-)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 31st, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
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Looking forward to the new page/pic!

The picture is already posted at my home page (the link is also in my user info). I don't know when I'll get the rest of the changes done.

I wrote the vast majority of the pages on my website about ten years ago, and the HTML is all archaic. I'm hoping to update at least some of it to CSS when I get a chance.
[User Picture]
From:firesign10
Date:August 31st, 2005 03:17 pm (UTC)
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Oh cool, you used one of you in your yukata! Very nice!!
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:August 31st, 2005 11:18 am (UTC)
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What did you recommend re: the introduction? Will this exchange student be staying for a year? A semester? One of those two-week deals that confused me before?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:August 31st, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
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What did you recommend re: the introduction?

I figure that if the exchange student herself voluntarily said it in her introduction, then she shouldn't mind having it translated.

Will this exchange student be staying for a year?

I'm pretty sure she's here for the year.
[User Picture]
From:wrenwyn
Date:August 31st, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
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I'm so glad I was never an exchange student. Make me get up and give a speech and all I do is get a migraine and vomit!

Have a wonderful semester!

(=^.^=)
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:August 31st, 2005 03:36 pm (UTC)

Cool picture!

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I like the new look already--that purple is wild!

Have a great new semester. The pen pals here are itchy for new letters! I'll share the book your students made. How nice!
[User Picture]
From:evil_overlord
Date:September 1st, 2005 01:08 am (UTC)
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How interesting, that's something that never occured to me.

So how would a death of one parent be handled, if the surviving parent remarried? Technically that *is* a step-parent, but then, might not be considered so if the 'original' were dead?

I actually have a step-father myself, who adopted me legally when I was still a kid [5th grade? 6th, I think...], so that too would be curious for me to know how that one would be handled. Would a parent still be considered 'step' if they adopted the child?

I ponder the strangest things sometimes. LOL

Good luck with your classes!
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:September 1st, 2005 02:58 am (UTC)
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So how would a death of one parent be handled, if the surviving parent remarried?

From what I've seen/heard, being the child of a single parent is looked down upon, even if it's because the other parent died. It's kind of like..."you can't expect that child to turn out as well as other children, because he/she doesn't have both parents." (It's better for death than for divorce, though.)

This combines with the cultural concept of uchi, the IN group, versus soto, the OUT group. Family is one of the most important in groups that anyone has. Someone not born into the family, like a step-parent, is considered an outsider, even if there is a legal marriage involved.

Would a parent still be considered 'step' if they adopted the child?

Technically, the word for step-parent is exactly the same as for parent-in-law. The relationship is viewed not as REAL family, but as family based only on legal documents.

That said, there is a long tradition of using adoption to obtain the child one desires for hereditary purposes, and this is viewed as just as binding (sometimes even more so) than the bonds to biological children. For example, if a carpenter wants a son to take over his business after him, but his own son isn't interested, he will adopt someone who IS interested and turn the business over to him instead. The same goes for a family that only has daughters and wants someone to carry on the family name--they will have a man marry one of the daughters and change his family name to theirs, making him their son.

So...adoption is okay, and even encouraged. It's just parent-by-marriage that (potentially) gets snide comments.

(All this is just what I've picked up from popular media, however, so it isn't as if I know the whole picture.)
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