There are a few things that I just have to record about Oneonta, NY. It begins with the name. It calls itself “the city of hills,” therefore it is surrounded by tons of hills. This description was exemplified when ma and I was on the highway leading into the city, with the NYPD driver Karold picking us up from Albany. The road had endless fields, trees, and farms on the side, and as we cruised around hills, we saw more. As Karold said, as we got into the up all hills, that’s Oneonta. When I asked him whether Oneonta was a city or a town, he replied “it is an overgrown town because of the college!” So there it goes, it’s a city during the school day, and a town during the vacations, like right now.
Arriving SUNY at Oneonta, I felt back in school again. I felt La Salle/Brentwood way of school, living in the dorms, eating in the cafeteria. That really brought back a lot of memories from the past, somewhat refreshing, yet rather familiar. All excepted that this time we were as parents. Cafeteria became an important gathering place for us because, well, dorms were dorms. It was also the place that I met Kate’s mom, the home-school philosopher that really had me thinking hard on discussing the pros and cons of children education. I admired how she had kept Kate in such simple and well-balanced environment while providing the sufficient exposure to the reality of life. I don’t remember being challenged so hard back and forth this intense ever since my return to Taiwan, and this really was one of those moments that reminded me where I came from and what I grew up with. That was a lot of two-way exchanges of affirmatives and objections, and definitely very intriguing.
Probably the most memorable experience of all was to attend the New York Pop’s Night. After all, this was New York Summer Music Festival that we were joining. The NY Pops were joined by some of the elites of the camp students, where were already preselected during the application process. The magic moment revealed itself on the moment the conductor shook his wand started the night. Being the Pop orchestra, they played many pieces that were from popular movies. Yet it wasn’t only music that was played, there were also vivid images flashing through my mind when the music sounded! I can still remember clearly when the first few tabs of “Pirates of Caribbean” was on air, I was stunned to see a pirate boat striving through waves of ocean in a stormy day. What an unforgettable moment. While I was amazed by the music and the orchestra, it also made me wonder what kind of stimulus would take for the composer to put together these master pieces. Vivid images! Incredible!
I left on the next day for Chautauqua, NY. Though it was a brief visit, it has awakened and re-planted many elements in me that was either forgotten or left ignored for too long. Seeing mei blended in so well confirmed the belief that I knew I’ve always had the talent in music, up there with everyone. Watching these children of music allowed me to recognize what I could have become. I know my life is on a completely different track, yet I am glad that I’ve never let music walked away from me. I am glad that though I may not be the musician anymore, I still have the ability to appreciate, and to sense, the beauty of it. Most importantly of all, I know the element of music, will only root further, and blossom greater, into my life. And for that, I’m grateful. And with that, I believe I will be playing, let it be a guitar, piano, or even a saxophone (it will come true! Someday) sometime in the future.