E-mail to Dad 5.20.2004

Dad,

Thank you very much for the files from the Apple you sent me.  I understood
all the technical jargon very well and was able to read my journal from high
school.  I was honestly transported back in time and to my previous way of
thinking. 

All I can say is that I can never thank you enough for the
investment you’ve made in my education.  These experiences have made me a
completely different person who is filled with confidence and easily gains
the respect of others.  This respectability was tested the other day when I
went to a party filled with haughty Yale masters candidates and it was just
as I had assumed.  The mere ability to speak many languages imprints others
with admiration and the belief that I’m intelligent.  Also, my English
speech has improved to such a degree that I am able to speak with as much or
even more eloquence than those snobs.  In their circles, one must constantly
speak with wit, and they constantly put their intelligence on display for
all to see.  If they did otherwise, they might become unsure of themselves.
The superficiality of it all makes me nauseous.  I’m sure you come in
contact with this nonsense quite often in your work.  I’m also thankful that
I went to good ole Ohio State where people usually display at least a
modicum of humbleness.

I’ve also received the card from the Board of Elections.  However, should I
put my Tokyo address or simply fill in our address back home?

As for Japanese class, things have become interesting.  As you know my theme
is: America is the Best Country in the World.  I had wanted to write a
satire filled with allegory and irony.  However, the Japanese do not
understand satire nor allegory.  They continually want me to state directly
what I want to say so it will be come “easier to understand.”  As one who
likes to write, this constant pressure to conform to their bland style of
writing has driven me crazy. 

Yesterday, I was slightly admonished by the
“big boss” professor who told me that I should state directly one main point
and dispense with my imagery of the eagle, and a fun history of the United
States in which I explained that America was created by almost every
nationality present in the classroom.  I had wanted to write a light, fun
essay but they keep pushing me to be serious and concentrate on my central
theme which is that in America, the way of thinking is more important than
nationality. In America any national can become American and we are made up
of immigrants.  He used “strong language” which was the Japanese way to show
his displeasure with my writing, and he tried to smash me, but being the
American I am, I fought back and was able to get the last word which is a
cultural faux pas in Japan since he is “above me.” 

He told me to write what
I had just said and therefore has forced me to write one hell of an essay
that will actually prove America is the best country in the world and may
upset some other students.  I’ll keep the tone balanced but it’s so tempting
to mention the governor of Tokyo who is a nationalist and has used racial
terms to describe the Koreans and Chinese.  Could you imaging if Prez. Bush
referred to the Japanese as “Those Japs?!”  Well the governor of Tokyo has
used this language.  I presented this fact in class, but in Japan it is
taboo.  Some told me not to write about that and I said how ironic it was
that in a place of “higher learning” certain subjects are taboo, even when
it concerns one of the most popular politicians in Japan!  So today I’m
skipping class and rewriting my entire essay.

Ok, hope all is well on the home front.  I’m really looking forward to Lake
Tahoe.

Author: 魔手

Global Citizen! こんにちは!僕の名前はマットです. Es decir soy Mateo. Aussi, je m'appelle Mathieu. Likes: Languages, Cultures, Computers, History, being Alive! \(^.^)/