2) Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?
"I'm sorry. I just don't think you have the potential." Hearing those words as a 3rd grader, I was devastated. Excitement embraced me as I entered through the door, but a rainy cloud loomed ominously above my head as I walked out. My fingers were apparently too short.
I had waited days for this moment to come. I was scheduled to meet with a renowned piano instructor whom I hoped would accept me as a new student. It was finally time to quit fiddling around with the Yamaha toy keyboard I received as a Christmas gift and time to start formal training in the realm of classical music. I begged my mother to find an instructor and in no time, she booked a "consultation" with the one and only, Carol Chuang.
Ms. Carol briefly greeted us as we were ushered inside her home. My mother and I were told to take a seat and I was startled when Ms. Carol suddenly grabbed my hands and observed them for the longest time. Curious, I began to stare at them with her, not knowing what exactly I was looking for.
"It's going to be difficult learning and practicing with those short fingers," Ms. Carol remarked, finally breaking the silence. "Maybe you should reconsider and look into other instruments."
On the way home I looked at my hands and cried. I despised my fingers and wished they were longer only for Ms. Carol to accept me. I tried to imagine myself playing some other instrument but I couldn't picture myself holding a flute or a violin. I just couldn't give up on piano. After several attempts, I persuaded my mom to contact Ms. Carol and reassure her that I would not disappoint. She agreed to take me in.
Looking back, I am thankful for Ms. Carol's initial rejection. Becoming Ms. Carol's pupil was not only a privilege but also taught me that persistence can help me achieve dreams; even those that others think are too far for me to reach. When it comes to decision making or goal setting, my stubbornness has revealed my true passions and aspirations. Knowing that those words were said to a much younger me I am proud that I didn't let Ms. Carol's rejection hinder me from pursuing a musical path I knew I had to take.
Today as I sift through my piano portfolio and reflect upon which accomplishments to highlight in my college applications, I think of the daily finger stretches and exercises that were necessary to increase the agility of my fingers and grimace. Although longer fingers would have been helpful, I never let my shorter fingers prevent me from tackling a Chopin impromptu or Rachmaninoff's Moment Musical in E Minor. Even now it's hard to sustain a perfect octave without straining the muscles in my fingers, but every time I do, I am reminded of the first time I met Ms. Carol and I hold out the note for a few seconds longer.
Word Count: 499
Any criticism is highly appreciated ! (: