[2] Fly long against the wind

For part one of this interview, please go to:

Question: How did you feel about living on campus and the violence that occurred, apart from the insult to your dignity?

Mr. M: When I lived in the dorm, it was a mixed bag. I kind of volunteered to stand as punishment because I wanted to see how they would treat me. Then this one guy wanted front-row seats to the drama and I couldn’t keep quiet. He called in the tough guy who always had the upper hand. At first, I thought I could reason with him, but when he grabbed a broken steel pipe, I felt like a complete outsider.

Question: When those boys made you stand as punishment, weren’t you scared or upset?

Mr. M: To be honest, I didn’t feel much. Looking back, it was just a bunch of paranoid people showing off their different behaviors.

Question: You mentioned that you “couldn’t keep your mouth shut.” What did you mean by that?

Mr. M: It wasn’t a big deal, really. I was just commenting objectively on the situation, but that guy twisted my words. Then the tough guy showed up again, classic bullying the weak. He came at me with a steel pipe and left a shallow cut on my arm, a bit of blood. It was probably meant as a threat. Even though I tried to reason with him, he saw it as a sign of weakness.

Question: Did you tell your parents or teachers about this?

Mr. M: Yeah, I did, but I don’t remember what happened next. I tend to forget bad stuff pretty quickly. All I remember is that the tough guy and I ended up apologizing to each other. I think my apology was a bit more sincere. But the conflicts continued. If there was a fight, I wouldn’t waste time with words, I’d just jump in.

Question: Do you think the bullying left any emotional scars or made you uncomfortable?

Mr. M: Emotional scars? Nah, not really. Maybe it’s because I’m good at distracting myself, like reading books or watching documentaries. As for discomfort, it fades away. Middle school had plenty of those awkward moments. It’s a shame I never stood up to other guys except that tough one.

Question: You mentioned feeling “more anxious in high school than in middle school.” What caused your anxiety during high school?

Mr. M: Anxiety came from reading too many books and overthinking stuff.

Question: What ideas did these books inspire?

Mr. M: These books changed my perspective on life, values, and the world. I came across so many fascinating ideas that it ended up making me anxious.

Question: And what caused your anxiety?

Mr. M: The anxiety came from pondering about the path of life and the human aspects of birth, aging, sickness, and death. Those things worried me the most. For example, I wasn’t into electrical engineering, but I chose it anyway. I would have preferred animation, but I didn’t pursue it.

Question: Why didn’t you choose animation?

Mr. M: Well, first of all, I didn’t have the skills for it. Going for animation required more thinking on my part. I picked something that was more closely related to my daily life, but it wasn’t what I truly loved. I also had an interest in history, but I didn’t go for a Ph.D. in that either. It’s the same reason. Honestly, I can’t even decide between arts and sciences. I didn’t choose what I loved the most because I tend to overthink things. So, I settled for other options. My mind is already overloaded.

Question: Do you think you’ll regret your choice or have any other emotions about it?

Mr. M: I don’t think I’ll necessarily regret it. If I have time in the future, I’ll study and explore my interests. It might not make a big difference anyway.