I should have been more willing to visit the principal on my own. Because of the subjects he tried to discuss, because of how difficult it was *with* my coteacher there, I convinced myself it was impossible to deal with him alone.
Something Rabindranath Tagore said: “I can learn nothing from my own language in translation.” He describes learning German in order to read Goethe. How as a result, for him, Goethe will always be only fuzzily understood, which is how it should be.
I could have let the captain speak for himself more often, drawn diagrams on his memos and used the dictionary. Perhaps we would have only dimly understood each other, but what we did understand would have been unmediated, and perhaps that’s how it should have been.