my old teacher’s reminiscing

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Today I , for no reason, remembered a story my old teacher told me about. When he was a graduate student at a medical school, he would often stay at the research laboratory until late at night, reading data for his doctor thesis. And there was a food stall on the street near the laboratory serving a grilled beef tongue. This is a story of the late 1940s.

  • old teacher 恩師
  • for no reason 何気なく
  • graduate student 大学院生
  • medical school 医学部
  • would often~ よく〜したものだった
  • research laboratory 研究室
  • doctor thesis 博士論文
  • food stall 屋台
  • grilled  焼いた
  • beef tongue 牛タン

He lost his father in his early life, went to college on a scholarship, and made his living doing only a part-time job when he was a graduate student. His mother barely led her life selling daily dishes at a market but sent him a certain amount of rice regularly.

  • scholarship 奨学金
  • make one’s living 生計を立てる
  • part-time job アルバイト
  • barely かろうじて〜する
  • lead a life 生活を送る
  • a certain amount of A ある量のA
  • regularly 定期的に

He would often be knocked out by good smell of sizzling beef tongue coming through the window after 10 p.m.. Most of the people coming to the stall were store owners and after 8 p.m. , after having dinner, they came there to take a drink before going to bed.

  • be knocked down  参る
  • sizzling じゅーじゅーと音を立てる
  • most 大部分
  • store owner 店主
  • take a drink  酒を呑む
  • go to bed 寝る

He continued to study every night annoyed by the smell. He was a basket ball player in his high school days and had claimed the title in the National Athletic Meet. He was 180 cm tall, a big man in those days. He was young at the time, so the smell of char-broiled beef tongues late at night must have been more than he could bear.

  • continue 続ける
  • annoyed 悩まされる
  • claim the title 優勝する
  • the National Athletic Meet 国体
  • in those days 当時は
  • char-broiled 炭火で焼いた
  • must have pp 〜したに違いない
  • bear 耐える

One day, he went to the stall at last with what little money he saved by doing part-time job and a lunch box full of rice, feeling embarrassed. Looking at him, the owner of the stall just asked him if he was a student and kept silent. My old teacher ate up all the rice with a few grilled beef tongues. He thought it was unbelievably yummy.

  • at last とうとう
  • what little money なけなしのお金
  • save 貯める
  • feel embarrassed 恥ずかしく感じる
  • ask A if S+V AにSはVするかどうか尋ねる
  • keep silent  黙っている
  • a few A 少しのA
  • unbelievably 信じられないくらい
  • yummy 美味しい

Years later, when he opened up his own clinic and became successful, he visited almost all the famous restaurants serving grilled beef tongues. But, nothing compared with that he ate when he was a graduate student. He was laughing, saying it was a shame that he couldn’t come across the taste any more with all the money enough to buy a whole restaurant.

  • years later 何年も経った後
  • clinic 診療所
  • successful 成功した
  • almost ほとんど
  • famous 有名な
  • serve 提供する
  • nothing can compare with A Aに勝るものはない
  • laugh 笑う
  • shame 残念
  • come across A Aに出くわす
  • with all A Aがあるにも関わらず
  • whole 全体の

I love this story, for I think that there is nothing like happiness you feel in times of hardship.  You wouldn’t be able to feel the same kind of supreme happiness again. It is when we are in difficulties that we should notice happiness we are apt to miss. Don’t you think so?

  • ,for S+V というのもSはVするからです
  • there is nothing like A Aのような素晴らしいものはない
  • hardship 苦難
  • the same kind of A 同じようなA
  • difficulties 様々な困難
  • notice 気がつく
  • be apt to~ 〜しがちである
  • miss 見逃す

Today too, without any trouble,

I・KA・SHI・TE・I・TA・DA・I・TE

A・RI・GA・TO・U・GO・ZA・I・MA・SU

Thank you so much for keeping us alive.

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