The atmosphere is filled with anxiety. They are waiting for the recital. The finale. The perfect piece. And I sit here waiting as if I too am soon going to perform. Their fingers are tapping and they move their hands in little circular motions as well as their feet. It’s always about getting better-not really realizing the talent they already possess. I hear, “If I get a B in this class it’s like getting shot in the foot and then having to run a race.” Also, “It was a chicken hunt to get here.” There are sounds of piano, violin. I wish they would open the doors. People walk with their brains slightly forward. The brain leads the step. Music vibrates from the building to the concrete outside, underneath the bench I’ve sat on. A dandelion has pushed through the concrete. It’s lovely. There is a well respected Asian waiting for her turn to go inside. Her hair is pulled back in a tight ponytail and she has shiny silver shoes on. Teachers pass by and say refined hellos to her. Abruptly, she is called into the building, and a man sits beside me. Perhaps a teacher. His gray hair dances outside of his large oblong head. And he reads material. Perhaps music theory. He carries a smell of old closets and mothballs. Up he goes. He walks away with a giant duffel bag. Maybe people have to pretend they’re on vacation here. Maybe he had a lot to carry.
July 18, 2011
Attitudes at the USC Music Department