Reversing the Black Keys: Rhodes Scholar I was Not

Reversing the Black Keys: Rhode Scholar I was Not


In junior high school I used to be in the school band. I couldn’t dance and while I made pretenses of singing at home, I wasn’t much of a singer. I, like many other Puerto Ricans in the South Bronx, grew up asthmatic. Thus, sports were not my thing. Therefore, I was left with being part of a band. I played the clarinet. I was decent, not grand. I still think it’s silly that as an asthmatic I played the clarinet getting very winded by the end of practices and performances. So, it was.


After junior high school I went to a private boarding school where they basically tried to groom you to be a future Rhodes Scholar. Meaning, you had to excel at course content, sports, community service and perhaps some performance talent. Instead of continuing with the clarinet, I decided to take on the piano. I thought I could be the next Tori Amos or something like that.


I kept going to the classes with much enthusiasm and was excited to take my final exams. I went into the studio room all jazzed up. I sat at the piano, tapped lightly on the keys and placed the music sheet before me. I played with much spirit and gusto. At the end of the piece I wanted to say “ta-da”! Instead I turned to my left and smiled. The teacher smiled back and noted that I played with much enthusiasm. She asked me if I had been nervous. I scrunched up my nose and thought about it for a second. I then answered “not necessarily. I was excited to play.”  She nodded again and smiled again. She then noted that while she admired my enthusiasm, I did have a slight problem. I apparently switched up the black notes all the way through the piece. My mind and thus my fingers played the white and black keys in reverse. She thought it was quite a feat. Despite being extraordinary in my reversal of notes, a Rhodes Scholar I was not.


C’est la vie. Transposing stuff has become since then a way of life that I can life about.


Inspired by the Daily Prompt of: Land of Confusion

Other thoughts on confusion:


chronicles of an anglo swiss

my atheist blog

views splash

edward hotspur

the wandering poet







10 replies »

  1. I would have thought switching up the notes would have been an accomplishment in itself. Maybe include improvisation as well as enthusiasm.


  2. The reversal of keys is exactly the kind of thing I do when I am extremely focused and excited. Would totally read a book about your life. It sounds as though you have an amazing life, sans Rhodes. : )


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