Tue., Oct.17@Administration Building

Better view with the resolution of 1024*768 pixels or larger.

In the afternoon of that day, we visited the Administration Building in Pinellas County. There we were surprised to know that smoking inside the building was totally prohibited. More than that, smokers have to smoke even outside the land of the building. Later, I heard that the US government have kept the policy to reduce the number of smokers, because more money is needed for cancer than the amount of tax that tobacco companies pay. I also heard the percentage of adult men has been reduced to 23%.

From my notes

We had lunch in the cafeteria of the Administration Building. The people working there were very friendly, one lady asked me, 'How do you like the weather in Florida ?' I also talked a lot about schools in Japan and about my family, showing some pictures I took, while we ate together at a table. I am sorry that I did NOT do my job as a translator. I was in a selfish mode ! After lunch, our group were divided into two groups to go around the building.

Inside the floor was divided into many rooms. Also, each desk was divided by shields. I asked the guide how they exchange information, and she told us that they do it through e-mail using local area network. Anyhow, the size of the Administration Office was about 5 to 10 times as large as the one of my city Kitakami.

There were a lot of Macintosh G3's and Performa 5000 series. I was so envious....

When I asked if there are some children who refuse to go to schools, since it is one of the big problems existing in Japan. I received the answer saying there were some. But I noticed the big difference from Japan. There are some special programs for such children, such as special classes twice a week or so. Of course, special training are given to the teachers teaching for them. I felt that any kind of child is treated well in Pinellas County.

I also asked if there are any club activities at school. She said that there are some, and that you need to get a license to become a sports coach. In Japan right now, all the students in junior high are supposed to choose one club, out of the kinds that the school have. Also, school teachers play the role of consultants or coaches until the club activity time ends. This is a tough job.

Our guide told us about a special course called 'Saturday School.' It is open for students who have hard time in studying to catch up. I also heard that various students from larger area than ordinary school district come together, and that the teachers for the course are paid for that, too.

There are some special programs for the Gifted, such as math, science, or technical subjects. Those children can take advanced study taught in upper schools, if they pay the tuition.

After we got back to the hotel...

As soon as we arrived at the Holiday Inn in St.Petersburg, I received my digital camera which was brought by the very nice driver and a staff of the bus company, with my great gratitude because I could go on taking pictures of our visit.

We went to Hotel Vinoy to have dinner. I hear this hotel has some expensive rooms which charge $3,000 for a day.

Back to 'What I Saw in the US' page


inserted by FC2 system