Facing the Music

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.


One day I was playing piano, lost in own musical universe, when I was interrupted by a faint tapping sound not of my own making, accompanied by a superficial fragrance. Tap, after tap, after tap. I stopped playing, turned around, and saw my mother standing next to the piano, tenaciously applying her compact powder for what seems like the tenth time of the day. "You need to start using more make-up," she interjected. "It doesn't matter how talented you are. As a female, appearance is your most important quality." As per routine, I struggled to suppress an audible scoff, and returned to practicing my 'useless' talent.

Despite my mother's incessant attempts to sway me with her credos on cosmetics, I felt certain that playing music was, and would always be, superior to playing with make-up. Music allows one to see without sight, and feel without touch. It is a form of communication transcending time, an intrinsic and constant part of being human. How could any form of physicality eclipse playing music? Why would I knowingly waste valuable time and resources on futile attempts to avert the inevitable fading of physical beauty?

My views on the matter were intractable until one day when I found myself flicking through my mother's old...

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