by

My Senior Year of College

I had a sudden realization this morning. Ten years ago this fall I was starting my senior year of college, I had accomplished a lot since then and currently I’am also working as a volunteer developing online GED classes with an online platform named MyCareerTools, though my education was in the classical music field.

Fall means back to school time, but for this conservatory alum that means back to choir time. We’re two rehearsals into the new season and it’s shaping up to be another amazing year for the  Choral Society. First on the program is Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms at Carnegie Hall in November.

Next on the list – and the highlight of this season for me – is Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (aka Vespers) in February. I’m so excited to tackle this work. There’s no way to describe how exquisite it is, so y’all’ll just have to come and hear it in the winter. And speaking of all things choir, we could use some additional singers. If you happen to be a tenor or bass, willing to dedicate one night a week to rehearsals and a few hours of personal music study, are a good sight-reader and have choral experience, let me know. I’ll set you up with an audition with our director.

But going back to studying during those first three years of school, I had completed several very important rites of passage:

– I went to my first bar and danced with my arms over my head.
– I consumed my first fruity mixed drink (amaretto sour, I believe).
– I had gotten my first highlights.
– I made my first trip to New York City and waited in line all day for front row Rent tickets.
– I became president of the campus gay/straight alliance.
– I stopped wearing Freedom Rings.
– I read the entire Tales of the City series.
– I got drunk and told a stranger that I loved him.
– I stopped wearing baggy jeans, flannels and t-shirts and started wearing fitted clothing..
– I was barred from donating blood by the Red Cross.
– I had seen The Adventures of Priscilla, Priest, The Object Of My Affection and Jeffrey multiple times.
– I was the star of my local community theater.
– I got involved in adult education (as a volunteer tutor)

By this time ten years ago, all that was left on the checklist was to get my nipple pierced and complete my bachelor’s degree in musical theater. I accomplished those tasks, of course.

ANYTHING YOUR HEART DESIRES WILL COME TO YOU

Apart from the fact that my family lives here, I can’t think of many other advantages that Cleveland has over New York City. But then, on a clear and crisp autumn night like this one, when the air is tinted with that scent of bonfires and leaf piles, I look up into the sky and suddenly remember another bonus:

Stars. Lots and lots of stars.

You just don’t see that many stars in New York. Not the celestial kind, at any rate. While the skyline glitters with millions of man-made twinkles, you’re lucky to see a choice few of the kind that filled the heavens long before man ever stepped foot on that tiny sliver of land. In a city full of big thinkers and bigger dreamers, there are only a handful of stars to wish upon. And those few stars must certainly be backed up in the wish granting department, don’t you think?

I’ve only been back to Cleveland once this year and I was too preoccupied to even remember the stars. So for these two Ohio nights I’ll go out after sundown and bask in the shiver of autumn. And I’ll look up into the night sky and make some wishes.

First I’ll ask the stars to make everyone happy. Then I’ll ask them to make everyone healthy.

No request is too extreme…or so we’ve been told. For my third wish, perhaps I should ask for time to come home more often so that I can keep wishing upon those stars. I could keep them busy for quite a while.

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