Professor of History Michael Jones has praised the selflessness of his colleague Atsuko Hirai, Kazushige Hirasawa Professor of History, for conceding to him a prime office space in the new Academic Building that they both desired. But the truth behind her acquiescence lies somewhere else, according to Hirai:

"I wanted the corner office that I thought overlooked my beloved Olin Arts Center," said Hirai, who occasionally sings at Olin during noonday concerts. "Michael claimed the same office. So, he and I agreed to fight out our difference to a bitter end.

"Then, one unusually sunny day before Christmas, I drove down College Street, looking at every house whose front door faced northeast, as the history department's wing of the new Academic Building does. It was a revelation: the front rooms were filled with bright sunlight and looked so cozy and cheerful. But the corner rooms were the pits. They were dark and looked cold and depressed.

"At that moment, I decided it would be foolhardy to continue to fight against Michael. All along, I knew in my heart of hearts that though he is a merciless fighter with a Celt's killing instinct stored intact under the suave exterior of a Southern gentleman, Michael would concede, in the end, with the gallantry of the true gentleman that he is. When that happened, I would be stuck with a dark, cold, and depressing corner office. Moreover, I had discovered that the corner office doesn't really overlook my beloved Olin Arts Center.

"So I had to come up with a retreat, and I wanted it to be graceful. You know the rest of the story. It was fun to have a good fight with a good soldier while spectators wondered how we would settle the difference. And, it was fun to cut a golden key out of a tin bag that used to contain Japanese tea."

[home] [up] [reply] [help]

©1998 Bates College
All Rights Reserved
Last Modified 5/21/98 by tan