I am sorry to repeat, but I have to say this to begin this entry. I am working as a part-time English teacher. The lecture is to be delivered on a one-on-one basis. Not a few students bring me studying materials of other cram schools (塾), saying things like, "I don't understand such and such part. So explain and make it easier."
So in such cases, I have to read the English passages and understand them on the spot deeply enough to give a lecture about their contents. There is no opportunity for perparing. I never know what's coming. This job should be horrifying, but I always find myself enjoying it, for it tests my English ability far more stringently than any other kind of examination. I seldom, if ever, come across so complicated a passage that I don't understand it, but today there came to me one which the texbook said was quoted from an autobiography by Eric Hoffer. The passage was no longer than several lines, but it is confusing even at the beginning."Maybe I will understand when I have read further," I said to myself. However, the further I read, the more confused I got. In the end, I had to tell my student that the quotation was too limited for me to make sense of it and that I would search for the context in which it is originally placed. The search revealed to me that the editors of the textbook had omitted the part which was indispensable in order to understand the passage and even had interpolated it. I cannot help thinking that they don't even understand it, for if they did, they would make a proper quotation to make the passage at least understandable.