In reading the epics of Homer and Virgil, I was struck by the use of titles for each character, from “clever Odysseus” to “circumspect Penelope” to “glorious Hector” to “pious Aeneas.” Rarely is a character mentioned, even in the most unimportant instances, without his or her name being preceded by an adjective of some sort. If Odysseus so much as sneezes, “clever Odysseus” sneezes, just as “clever Odysseus” escaped the Cyclops’ cave. This trend of titles made me think: if I were a character in these books, what would my reoccurring title be? Thinking Ryanne? Pun-loving Ryanne? Musical Ryanne? But, on a deeper level, what would I want my title to be and would I be deserving of this title? It is both an intriguing and unnerving thought to me, this idea of being characterized by a single word or even by a couple words. Would these words be affirming or would they reveal flaws? I wonder…
That’s all- just some food for thought, a little brain snack if you will. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. 🙂
“What’s your major?” seems to be the question of the month and I am seriously considering giving false answers if (scratch that, when) I am asked this again because it is getting a little old. As a music major with an emphasis in piano performance, though, I have heard some terribly amusing responses to my answer to this frequent question…
The Top 8 Best (or perhaps worst) Responses to Learning my Major:
1. “Oh, so you must be pretty good at piano then, huh?”
Um…. How am I supposed to answer this? I either will sound arrogant or awkwardly lacking in confidence.
2. “Wait, a music major? They have that here?”
Yes. Yes they do. But you won’t generally see the music majors as we tend to lurk about in caves called practice rooms.
3. “Piano performance? So have you played piano before?”
Nope. Never. I just thought I’d give it a shot. (*voice drips with sarcasm as thirteen years of lessons flash though my mind*)
4. “Can you play ‘Fur Elise’?” (Or worse: “Do you know ‘Heart and Soul?'”)
Yep. I smile, but inside my face looks like one of those unamused emojis. Actually I had a teacher who forbid me to play ‘Heart and Soul’ on his piano because he found it insulting. (Admittedly I kind of enjoy it…but don’t tell anyone or I’ll never escape the round of C-A-F-G octaves.)
5. “Piano? I used to play piano! But then I quite because I hated it.”
Thanks for sharing…I think? I’m never sure how to respond to this one.
6. “So do you want to be a piano-ist?”
No, I want to be a pianist, but for the sake of conversation, sure. Actually, I would love to be a collaborative piano-ist, which is basically an “accom-piano-ist”. (*smiles politely but inwardly cringing at the incorrect terms*)
7. “Have you heard of (insert pop song featuring some keyboard riffs)? I love that song!”
No, I probably have not heard of it, but if you hum the tune I can play the same four-chord progression over and over so that it sounds like I know it. Is that close enough for you?
8. “You’re a piano major? Well, you’ll survive- maybe not with a soul, but you’ll probably survive.”
This one was from a senior piano major actually. Much encouragement. Very daunting. Many thanks.
*disclaimer: high levels of sass went into the drafting of this post and the author would like it to be known that she does not actually mind the “amusing” responses to her major. She also would like to inform readers that no communications or business majors were harmed or seriously offended in the making of this post.