「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら
「ST」は紙名を新たに「Alpha」として2018年6月29日より新創刊しました。 Alpha以降の英文記事はこちら


My first part-time job

By Kip A. Cates


In Japan, there's a clear distinction between being a student and being a member of society. Students devote themselves to their studies at school while members of society go out to work. Things are different in North America. In Canada and the United States, students are encouraged to get part-time jobs, often beginning in elementary school.

My first part-time job was delivering newspapers. I started when I was 9 years old. Each morning, I got up at 6 a.m. to pick up newspapers from the delivery office, then delivered them by bicycle to subscribers in the neighborhood. If everything went well, I finished just in time to grab some breakfast then head to school. The work was often hard — delivering newspapers in the rain, sweating in the summer heat or struggling through snow in winter. But it was worth it when my boss handed me my salary at the end of each month. Unfortunately, I never had a chance to spend my money. As soon as I got my pay, my mother took it away and put it in the bank!

When I was 12, I began my second part-time job, babysitting. There were a lot of couples in our neighborhood who had young children. Often, they'd go out at night to a movie or restaurant and needed someone to babysit. As a job, this was much easier than delivering newspapers! First, I'd arrive at the family's house and get instructions from the parents. Next, I'd play with the kids for a few hours. After that, I'd put them to bed and spend the rest of the evening watching TV or doing homework. It was a big responsibility to look after another family's children but it felt good to be trusted and to help parents enjoy a night out.

At about the same time, I started my third job, tutoring. At school, I was a good student. Some of our neighbors had children who struggled with homework and needed extra help. It was satisfying to sit down with these kids, explain ideas from math or science and get paid for it.

Another job I had as a boy was mowing lawns. All the houses in our neighborhood had grass which needed regular cutting. My brother and I often spent weekends mowing lawns for extra cash.

Altogether, then, I worked at four different jobs during elementary school. Later, in high school and college, I went on to other jobs: teaching tennis, washing dishes, being a waiter and working at the post office.

North Americans believe that part-time jobs provide valuable experience for children, promote responsibility and train young people for the world of work. I know my part-time jobs certainly benefited me. Anyway, please let me know if you need a babysitter or if you want your lawn mowed!



The Japan Times ST: April 29, 2016

The Japan Times ST 読者アンケート




2018年6月29日号    試読・購読   デジタル版