SILVER CITY, N.M. — Former Columbia University law student Brendan Stack recently transferred to Western New Mexico University, fleeing the embarrassment of having accidentally called his law and finance professor “Nee-san.”
“Okay listen, she just has a really reassuring voice,” Stack explained. “And when she was answering my question, ‘thank you nee-san’ just slipped out of me, loud enough for the whole class to hear. I felt like such a baka.”
With news of the utterance no doubt spreading through the Columbia campus, Stack understood there was no chance of social recovery. The only rational move that remained was for him to move as far as he could and start his life over again.
“My oya were pretty upset — excuse me, oya means ‘parents,’” Stack explained. “They weren’t going to understand the hell I had made for myself, so I just told them I’d developed a fear of tall buildings and needed to move to the Southwest.”
Upon arriving in New Mexico, Stack set to work deleting his social media presence and beginning the process of legally changing his name.
“I just need a fresh start. Do you think anyone will buy that my last name is Miyazaki?” Stack asked, a glimmer of hope returning to his eyes.
Because WNMU did not offer law courses, Stack decided to restart his college career and focus on learning Japanese, with a minor in Animation.
“I’ve even become secretary treasurer for the school’s ‘Japanese Art and Animation Appreciation Society For Men.’ It’s great to feel like I’ve found my people, you know? We’re even producing a little short that I am directing— a Miyazaki picture. Huh? Huh? Pretty cool, right?” he asked, pausing. “Right?”
When Stack first went missing, many of his former Columbia classmates were questioned about the event. They offered few answers.
“Who?” said Jess Clambert, who was sitting near Stack when the incident took place. “This is the first I am hearing about it.”
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