Gold Star

The violin lessons are going much better. I’m still just working on rhythm exercises and improving my bowing technique, but progress has definitely been made. Today my teacher said something along the lines of, “That was actually not too bad,” but stopped short of giving me a sticker. And I know she has them.

It gives me immense pleasure to know that I am a full page ahead of a third grader who started around the same time as me in the Suzuki Level One violin book. The two of us are now in fierce competition, although he doesn’t know I exist.

I can feel OK about my progress as long as I’m one step ahead of the eight-year-old, but the problem is that he gets away with a lot more than me by virtue of being cute and little. My teacher is always telling stories about the endearing mistakes little Peter Protégé is making, but something tells me that she isn’t regaling her other students with tales of “the soccer mom who always forgets her checkbook.”

It kind of sucks being the eager non-traditional student, like the middle aged lady in your college French class who always sat up front and asked tedious questions in her bad accent. You know, the one who was always forming a study group and wondering aloud if there was a homework assignment just as the bell rang and everyone else was hightailing it out of there?

That’s me as a violin student: I am nothing if not earnest. I pore over YouTube clips of violin masters, practice diligently, work ahead in my book, ask a million questions, and marvel aloud at the awesome beauty of a single perfect note.

I would have hated myself as a twenty-year-old.

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