The other day, I received a letter from my high school in the U.S. No great surprise there. I'm always getting letters from my high school, and 99 percent of the time, it's a request for a donation. But this time it was different.
I'm well into my 30s and there are many things that still impress or shock me and make me feel that I have experienced so little of the world. Flip through a copy of ST, and you'll find lots of examples, like men marrying dogs, cows falling out of the sky and enormous tumors. You read about these things and you think, "Wonders never cease." It was the same with the letter from my high school.
I carefully wrote down the number ¥13,964. "Kana, sweetheart," my mother said, "I know you've never been great at math, but you've left off the million." "Oh, right, that's ¥13.964 trillion then," I said brightly. "Wonders never cease," my mother sighed, "You've put too many zeroes on the end now."
The final amount was almost ¥14 billion. We couldn't believe it. Perhaps it was April Fool's, I said. "In December?" my mother asked. "Well, it took a while to mature," I said. But then again, the headmaster of my school wasn't exactly the most humorous guy in the world.
My mother and I moved onto the next paragraph. It said that the gift was "the largest single gift on record to an existing independent school." The news was published in The New York Times where it became "the sixth most e-mailed article of the day." The letter said the school was going to use $2 million (¥217 million) for "student financial aid."
Finally, at the end of the letter, the headmaster had written that the school would continue to depend on the gifts of other alumni. Other alumni?! Is he perhaps including me here? Oh, yes, of course, a ¥14 billion donation, no problem. Just let me get my check book. Wonders never cease.
Q1 Ninty-nine percent of the letters addressed to Kana from her high school in the U.S. are:
A1) Invitations to a gala.
A2) Requests for a donation.
A3) Sent by mistake.
正解： A2) Requests for a donation.
Q2 The "wonder" for Kana's mother, other than the news of the $128.5 million donation, was that:
A1) Kana had made the donation.
A2) Kana had written the New York Times article.
A3) Kana couldn't convert the sum into yen.