Heartless Philanthropy

The process of applying for scholarship took me between three to six months. Call that a semester; three months for course duration and the other for vacation. That is if you are in Japanese context.

When I lastly managed to get it I was the happiest person. How else would you express your patience for six months? I went to the inauguration ceremony well dressed and thankful. Here I met prominent persons. For the first time in my Japanese life, I passed on my business card to an elite only to be systematically declined. His junior colleague was besides him, so he took it, I couldn’t tell if he did that on his behalf or otherwise.

To the point. Two days after inauguration dinner, I went to the school counter to provide them with my bank details for the last leg of the process. It is here that we found that I had a little complication. I had, because of waiting for the results of scholarship application for six months without assurance of being awarded, decided to take one semester off. During this off period I would engage in as much part time job as I could to accumulate as much money as I could for readiness of next semester. For this to happen I had of course to work beyond hours stipulated in my work permit.

Taking a semester off resulted to not meeting the stipulated requirement for scholarship, so I was told. I felt like I had my facts in place. But this being an act of philanthropy I reasoned inside me, “you cannot set your own standards to people who have voluntarily offered to help you.” It was clear that I would loose half the amount of scholarship. But there was hope that after resuming school my scholarship would begin to be implemented.

Today I received the first stipend. It had gone down from 10 to 5. I got curios on this.

The lady at the scholarship counter explained to me; “you have received a tuition scholarship from another organisation, never mind they have completely no relations, and therefore you cannot receive the full amount.” A principle I fully agree with. This meant that in sum the scholarship will go down from 100 to 35. I want to ask how the organisation will account for the use of 65, but I cannot dictate how to be helped. And I also want to get the explanation on the logic that when I took a break the organisation withholds the funds, and when I get another help from another source because of withholding, I still have to pay for that.

But I cannot say much. My hands, lips, thoughts, and everything else is limited to the fact that I cannot give my own terms to be helped. Nobody tells you the cost of free things. But you know, after experience, that they can be the most expensive of all.

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