Sunday, March 8, 2015

In Retrospect

So the trip is done now. Everyone is back  in the school mindset, and the whole trip already seems far in the some ways. In other ways, it's like I'm still there.

For example, the time on stage is something I'll never forget. Because of that, it doesn't matter if it will have been ten days ago or ten years ago; I'll still be able to remember that experience as though it were still happening. The climactic moment in Angels in the Architecture contains that note that is, even now, still resonating in my mind, and I don't think it will quiet down for a long time.

Of course, the performance as a whole also impacted me as a person. There was one feature of the whole experience that I didn't really notice until afterwards, and that was the way we were treated by the Carnegie Hall staff. They were generally polite, kind, and respectful. The last quality is the one that surprised me. We were a bunch of high school kids in a hall that hosted great musicians. It then struck me that we were being treated as performers of the caliber needed to perform at such a place. That whole idea changed me in the form of a realization: Pursuing lofty goals can lead to amazing outcomes. If you had told me, when I was in fourth grade and first beginning the flute, that I would play on one of the most famous stages in the world, I really would have doubted that. But after seeing how those staff members treated us, and having that subsequent revelation, I am far more willing to pursue high goals.

And finally, the all-important personal growth question, "What did you learn about yourself?"

I am happy to say that, for this trip, a genuine answer came quickly to mind.

I learned that I like to do new things. I don't mean trying a new flavor of ice cream; I mean going to a different state, a new city, a new culture. I like to go out with neither a tour guide nor a "must-see" list sometimes, and really just absorb everything. I loved being on the streets of a big city, free to experience as I saw fit. I like doing things on my own.