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My father has always said that I have “hands of a true pianist,” probably because they’re rather large with fingers so long and thin that I had to resize my class ring with duct tape. Those who know less about my ambitions tend to call them “basketball player hands.” Under it all, I am primarily a musician; music has allowed me to express my feelings and ideas in every discipline.Often when I have a free moment, I find myself looking bemusedly at these hands of mine, and reflecting on the many things they have done. When I was a child, these hands curled themselves around a crayon to scrawl my first letters; they clutched at the handles of a bicycle, refusing to trust my training wheels, and slid, wriggling, into baseball gloves. Later, they would wrap around the body of a saxophone, echoing the first notes of what would soon become a jazz song. These hands once turned pages of church music filled with references to how great God is. They went with me, deep in my coat pockets, as I walked to school early for choir practice.They graduated to the insides of the white, marching band uniform gloves and learned to march in time with the beat of the percussion cadence. These hands glided across the smooth ivory of the piano, creating new melodies and harmonies that complemented each other. They supported my chin during late-night studies. They hoisted my increasingly heavy book bag to my shoulders and toted it back and forth to Latin club meetings, jazz improvisational sessions, and my job, during which I hoped to get a free moment so I could study my calculus. They dissected worms, frogs, and crayfish, and I thought they would never be rid of the smell of formaldehyde, but they survived. They have endured cat bites, paper cuts, and chlorinated water; when they needed to retreat, there was always a soft pillow to wrap around.Someday, these hands will grip chalk and impart knowledge to open-minded students; they will rake through my hair with fatigue as I sit in the library studying complex math formulas. Someday soon, they will hold a coiled diploma from my High School, and they will hold again, as they have in the past, certificates and trophies. I have every hope and confidence that these hands will become the hands of an educator, passing on what I know to this world’s future.

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