Setting off for second hour with chalk in hand, I felt as though I were marching into enemy territory. On entering the room, I saw that the students in this class were all bigger than those in the first hour. I'm a Tōkyō man of small and slender build. Even stepping onto the high platform, I couldn't cut a figure of authority. I'll grapple with anyone in a quarrel, but there were forty big students in the rows before me, and I didn't know how to inspire their admiration with just the tongue in my mouth. However, I did know that showing weakness in front of these country folk would set a poor precedent, so I rolled my tongue a little and laid into them with my loudest voice. For a while the students seemed caught off guard and fully bewildered. Feeling more and more triumphant, I continued lecturing until a big fellow in the middle of the front row stood up. Thinking "here it comes," I called on him. He spoke timidly in the local dialect. "You're lecturing so fast that I can't follow, could you please slow down a bit?" I told him that if it was too fast for him then I didn't mind slowing down, but that I was a Tōkyō man and couldn't lecture in the local dialect. If he couldn't understand my words he would just have to listen patiently until he did understand. Employing these tactics, second hour was easier than I'd expected. Then, as I was heading back, a student approached and asked me for help with a geometry problem. I had no idea how to work the problem, and I felt myself break into a cold sweat. I had to admit I needed time to think about it. I promised to explain it next time, and then I beat a hasty retreat. The students hooted and reveled in my failure, and I heard gleeful voices saying, "he can't do it, he can't do it." Idiots! Of course there are problems a teacher can't solve on the spot. Is it so strange to admit one can't solve something? Would a highly gifted mathematics teacher trudge all the way out to these sticks for forty yen a month? When I returned to the staff room, Yama Arashi asked again how it went. I said "okay" again, but then added that the students at this school were a bunch of boneheads. He gave me quizzical look.