I’ve completed my public speaking and piano performance finals, which were my last finals for the quarter.
This was a commemoration speech which could be about someone or something that’s very important to you, or our improvement in the class. I choose the latter. My speech was going to be about my stuttering, and how I’ve grown into a more confident public speaker. So there I was standing in a suit like a penguin with a tie. This will be the highlight of this quarter in college.
Less than a second later, I block on the first word. Instead of freaking out and becoming more nervous, I breathed and started again. It started to flow as I talked about my first speech, “I frantically changed words in order to not have a block or stammer”. As I got to the middle of my speech I realized I hardly looked at my paper, which made me engage with the audience more, a feat I never thought was possible.
At the close of my speech, I could hear a whimper. I see nearly every girl in my class in tears, or close to it. Once I ended, the whole class gave me a standing ovation.
After a brief break for lunch, I made my way down to the music building. I practiced my scales and songs for our final performance. To my amazement I was nailing all of it. My instructor comes into the practice room and says, “Wow James you didn’t have to wear a suit for the final, I just came casual”. I chuckle and reply, “I had a speech”.
I’m sitting at the piano bench playing the first scale. All goes fine until my fingers slip and I play a G# instead of a G natural. I finished the rest of the scale despite my error. The first song I played was “Ecossaise in G” by Beethoven, which I butchered. Sorry Ludwig. Next was “Working on the Railroad” which was fine until I had to turn the page, which made me lose my focus. Finally she asked me what song I would like to play, and I choose Fur Elise. The song flowed perfectly and she was impressed.
Finals week is over for me. I wish everyone luck on their finals, or if you don’t have any enjoy your summer!