I Am Merely a Student of Life

I went to the outside, lit a cigarette, and tried to bring myself under control. I was dissatisfied with the altercation, for she abruptly ended the discussion by shrieking. As a matter of fact, her hysterical shriek almost took my breath away. “Katerina Ivanovna must have shrieked like that when she saw Pyotor Petrovich Luzhin appearing on the threshold of the room after the memorial meal,” I thought to myself.

After collecting myself, I decided to see the principal.

As soon as I entered the office, he offered me a chair to sit down and inquired eagerly, “How was going on the conference? Are you okay with everything now?”

I looked at his eyes determinedly and told him everything without omitting any single detail.

He pondered over the issue for a while, with a troubled expression on his face, and then spoke, “I was extremely surprised by seeing you so angry. I know you, Shogo, you’re always friendly and easy going. I’ve never dreamt of seeing you bursting into my office agitatedly. I now understand why you’re upset though. To be frank with you, I didn’t expect the conference would end badly. It was not good for her part to end the meeting abruptly; however, it was not good for you to talk with your professor in this defiant fashion.”


“I admit that I talked to her disrespectfully; nevertheless, I didn’t regret it. Please try to understand me, sir. Today I went to talk to her with a firm resolution. I needed to fight for what I faithfully believe in. Look at me, sir, I am Japanese, and English is my second language. On the other hand, English is her mother tongue, and she has been teaching English literature for fifteen years. Today I went to the battle field, like a soldier without any weapons. I stood on the same filed as naked as I was born, even though she has a great deal of experiences; I am merely a student of life. And then what happened? She didn’t give me a courtesy to stand on the same filed. I tried to stand on the same field face to face, with an infinite disadvantage, but she dismissed me with the hysterical shriek. It’s not fair, you know…. Over and above, her reaction just confirmed me that something must be wrong with education system,” I expressed my feeling in agitated voice.

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