WB

1. His sister told me he was way nervous about asking me to prom. In her words “He was soooo nervous….he was telling me, ‘I’m not gonna do it. I’m not gonna do it. This is prom! There’s so much pressure to be a big deal!'” and “He almost just turned around and didn’t go to school.” This is the guy who doesn’t get worried for presentations, doesn’t get psyched out when playing solos (even improvisational ones!) for huge crowds, doesn’t miss a beat when taking charge…and he got nervous about asking me to prom. Mr. Perfect everything. Nervous. Over me. What?

2. Stopped me today very randomly (like he often does). Said my name; I turned around – and he awkwardly said, “I like your-,” stopped, gestured to my person, and waited patiently for me to understand his broken language. At my confused look, he continued, “The…the pattern. It’s cool.” Huh?  “The pattern of…of your dress.” Oh, god. WB obviously did not know how to compliment a girl on clothes. But you know what? He noticed my clothes? A guy. Noticed. Clothes. What?

3. Texted me randomly earlier this evening (like he often does). “I forgot to tell you something very very important.” No mention of what was very very important –  sent 2 hours ago, because I don’t check my phone often. Baiting for a response, so I respond. “Yeah?”

“It’s just that, um…”

No follow up message for 3 minutes or so. I wait.

“There’s no [activity] tonight.”

God. That inside joke comes across terribly here, but it absolutely made my day.

Prom!

So I guess I have a date to prom.

During band, I didn’t talk to him or anything, but I did see a flute under his chair…I thought maybe he’d been somehow playing the flute part or something off of my section’s music (he sits right behind them). I made a note to ask him about it after class…

Band was over, I just started to pack up, when the director gives a cue to the tubas in the back. They start playing this song that they always play at football games and such – one that the band sings along to. I had zero idea why we were singing, but that happens kind of a lot, so I just sang along, giving SNK C confused looks. Of course, I mistook his returned ‘shake-head’ laugh for mutual confusion.

It was a solid 30 seconds of singing before I realized that 1) someone was playing the flute behind me, and 2) everyone was staring right at me and smiling. Confused, I glanced behind me to see what everyone was staring at, and…WB was there? Playing the flute? Improvising amazingly? I was lost for like 5 more seconds – “Wait…wait…what?” –  before I figured it out – jaw dropped in this ‘ohhhhhh’ thing. And then I started laughing and smiling, and then I covered my head and ducked down for a bit in surprise/wthishappening or whatever, and then I came up and realized that WB was improvising jazz flute. Like, what?!? And then while everyone kept singing, and he kept improvising, I just leaned in and listened, shaking my head and smiling in amazement…

And then the song ended, and he just smiled and opened his arms and was like, “Prom?”

And I just grinned and said, really deliberately, “Yes.” 

And then everyone cheered he went and put down the flute, and I was just sitting there, still in disbelief for few seconds. Everyone started egging us on to hug, so he came back and held out his arms and I got up and hugged him, and he whispered in my ear, “Here’s a genuine hug.” 

You know how perfect that was? I’d told him, a long, long time ago, when he’d asked me what I like, that I loved genuine hugs. That was by far the best part. Better even than the jazz flute improvising. Or the total surprise. 

And then it was over and everyone started packing up, and I packed up really slowly – still kind of disoriented – while random people came and joked with me and gave me high fives. Across the room, the guys were crowding around WB.

I went up to him later and said thank you. Grinning. 

Man. Made my day. I’ve never been surprised like that, or had anyone put in that much work for me…it felt…really good 🙂

College Visits Day #9: Pittsburgh 4/12/14

Mom was in a sad mood still. I set of acted normal (but on the nice side).

We headed back to CMU and I explored the building for like half an hour before I finally asked a student where the practice rooms were. They were locked, but we got a stroke of luck and a piano major let us in. They’re an all-Steinway school – but some of them are uprights.

We had an hour to kill before the guy’s viola recital, so we walked to the Carnegie Art Museum, where ML and I went yesterday. It kind of sucked, remembering how it had been the day before.

She cheered up, though, and I found everything…surprisingly, extremely fascinating. Thanks, AJ.

Rushed back for the viola recital, which…wasn’t great.

Left during intermission to go to Primanti Bros…yeah. Not my mom’s cup of tea, but I ate the whole thing 

Car rental, airport, plane. The view was amazing – by far the coolest I’ve ever flown over.

Drove home – slept.

Got home, and did homework. So crazy and mundane, huh? I was up until 2am – so 5am. I wasn’t even tired. I even practiced some 3 am piano. So weird.

And…school today. *sigh* I miss ML. It feels like a dream.

*Note: All ‘College Visit’ posts are my journal entries from spring break of 2014, when I visited the Midwest area for, well….college visits. I typed them up when I got home.

College Visits Day #8: Pittsburgh 4/12/14

Today was amazing and awful at the same time.

We left my mom’s friend’s house early to catch my lesson at CMU with the professor. IT WAS AMAZING.

Man.

She’s this old, slightly pruney old lady – I was a little worried, because she’s asian, and my last asian teacher was terrible, but I was so wrong. She went straight to tone quality, and she was persistent. She knew how to teach. 

Now the awful.

Got back to the car, and my mom, who’d sat in on the lesson, had already began the lecture. I couldn’t take it. Really. I didn’t quite yell, but I lost my cool and and got to my condescending mode…I don’t remember exactly what happened, but she ended up getting really quiet and sleeping for an hour. Then I tried to apologize, and she blew up. I called Eddie in desperation –  no help. He spent the whole time telling me how “fucked up” bro K and I are.

I honestly had no idea what to do, because ML was waiting for us.

I decided to go meet him – my mom was not responsive, but I think it was the right thing to do. 

And when I was with him – pretty much my best friend – I forgot all about it.

We saw each other from afar, and I did this little duck, like, is that really you? And he mirrored my little duck, and then we ran toward each other literally just like in the movies and hugged so hard. Man. I couldn’t stop smiling.

His mom let us go off alone in Pittsburgh, and we walked around aimlessly, exploring random buildings and walking the street and going into the Carnegie Museum. Not a single awkward moment – it was perfect. I’d been worried, because sometimes our texts run into dead ends, but I’d forgotten how easy things are with ML in person.

His mom picked us up and we went back to my mom, hopeful that she would want o go to dinner.

No. Just…no. I brought Morgan, talked to her alone…

And so we said goodbye. We took 2 pictures or so – both wishing we’d taken more – hugged super tight and long 3 times. And then we just…parted ways. In the parking lot of CMU. 

After thousands of messages, tens of skypes, 8 months, and 2000 miles, we had exactly 3 hours together. Because my mom had a temper tantrum.

Drove off. Ate at a crummy restaurant. We’re both angry.

*Note: All ‘College Visit’ posts are my journal entries from spring break of 2014, when I visited the Midwest area for, well….college visits. I typed them up when I got home.

College Visits Day #7: Oberlin 4/11/14

Man oh man oh man. Why.

I visited Oberlin. 

Not because I was actually considering the school – there’s no way I could get in – but because it’s like Harvard. Or Stanford. And it was on the way – why not, ya know?

 Well, I fell in love.

The info session, the tour – when I went exploring solo when I first got there – the first thing I heard in the [all Steinway] practice rooms was Chopin Ballade No. 4. Wut.

And then they sold me on the whole double major thing by presenting it as totally doable.

Went off to the practice rooms – gosh. There are 2 FLOORS OF STEINWAY GRANDS. SO MANY. I would never need to wait for a practice room. 

Practiced for an hour, then went to the info session for the general college. That sealed the deal. I’m hooked. I WANT TO GO THERE.

Rushed back to sit in on Music Theory 2 class at 2:30 – something about the augmented 6 chord. Interesting, and the atmosphere was so chill. Every classroom has a Steinway. God, I love music.

Went to a studio class – beautiful, casual, and chill. Didn’t seem like a cutthroat atmosphere at all. A guy screwed up badly, but it was so chill and everyone just laughed it off good-naturedly.

Practice practice practice for the lesson.

The lesson – wow. A totally new technique. He basically undid everything DB’d worked to fix the past few months.

It was interesting. Not sure if I liked it, but I loved the professor – so easy to learn and I felt comfortable asking questions. We both – and he actually mentioned this within the first few minutes – have analytical minds.

Left Oberlin right away (sadly) to go meet my mom’s friends for dinner – they lived in Cleveland. Had Chinese. I didn’t quite like the wife at first – she kept making observations about me, to my mom, like I couldn’t hear her. Like, “Your daughter is reserved,” or, “She just smiles, huh? But doesn’t actually say anything.” That pissed me off – I gave my shut-down side – it’s really oddly confrontational and deliberate, but nice – like a hidden message: STFU. It gets people taking me seriously. I retorted something like “I talk when I have something to actually say.” 

After that, she started to take me more seriously, and I enjoyed our conversation a lot more.

 Went to their house, where of course I was forced to perform so they could compare me to their son. I hate Asian families; everything is a competition. Even the conversation at dinner was all about the kids’ accomplishments. We’re all just show ponies for our parents.

BTW, I loved the husband. So quirky, kind, and funny – in that lovable asian-dad way.

CMU tomorrow.

*Note: All ‘College Visit’ posts are my journal entries from spring break of 2014, when I visited the Midwest area for, well….college visits. I typed them up when I got home.

College Visits Day #6: Columbus 4/6/14

Ohio State got off to a bad start. Our tour was at 1pm, so we had zero motivation to be productive – we got out of the hotel around 9:30am, drove there, tried to find parking for an entire hour. My mom thought the area looked bad, so of course, she automatically hated the school. Wanted to just move on to the next city right then and there, based solely off the image. Typical.

So…she stayed in the car while I went to explore. I found the practice rooms, where some piano major let me in. All Steinways, although not the newest pianos I’ve seen, they were still better than those at, say, B University. 

I got a call from the professor, who hadn’t responded to my email ever…but she was very friendly and helpful. She set me up for a meeting with the head of the pedagogy department.

Went on the tour – the most thorough tour I’ve ever been on. Of course, my mom fell in love with the tour guide, and therefore, the school itself. I have to admit, it was pretty impressive. The facilities are amazing.

Met up with the the pedagogy professor for an informal interview of sorts – actually, more like a chat. Then a lesson with the professor – she was ABC, and totally utilized that common area. She wore this pink suit that unfortunately reminded me of that creepy lady from Harry Potter. But she was nice. *Very* different interpretations, though.

Dinner at the cafeteria, then my naive mom loitered around at a Juicy J rap concert. I was pretty angry – I mean, Oberlin tomorrow! Come on! It was a tense, angry drive to the Oberlin hotel.

*Note: All ‘College Visit’ posts are my journal entries from spring break of 2014, when I visited the Midwest area for, well….college visits. I typed them up when I got home.