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Personal Essay: English-Only (1 Viewer)

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
English-Only by Aimee Friedland
Sometimes when I think of where else I could be right now, and what else I could be doing, I want to laugh and cry and bang my head against the wall, all at the same time.

Quite frankly, I don't think I've ever had any talents besides music. Music, which I devoted the first half of my life to, being called a 13-year-old jazz prodigy and then eventually giving it all up before I graduated high school. It's actually rather painful to recall. Not that I miss the competition and feuds between us young musicians, nor the 6-8 hour-a-day practices and drills, nor my lips that would split open and bleed into my mouthpiece from being overworked. Yes, this was the stress that made trumpet no longer fun for me.

I do miss, however, the extreme rush and embarrassment of performing improv solos in front of hundreds of people, recording studios, having crushes on the cute senior boys in our bands, and of course, I miss being the best at something.
No, really. I was good. Fucking good. I was offered a music scholarship at the local university by the time I was 12, but insisted that I would go to Julliard instead. I can't even count the numerous all-city and all-state honor bands I participated in, (and was first chair). I still blush when I hear myself play a solo on the first CD our jazz group produced. The years are fuzzy, but I believe I was 11.

I felt like I was destined for greatness. I would continue my path to stardom and eventually be first chair in the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. I'd be a professional musician like My Dad: Ed Friedland; I'd be famous and rich and doing something I loved.

It could have happened, who knows? Either way, by the time I was 14 I was already experiencing some kind of adolescent-professional crisis, and decided that music was not the path for me. Regardless I still continued to play piano at home and trumpet in school, eventually becoming the marching band's drum major (conductor) my Junior year. Then something even more profound happened: I went to Russia.

After that it was Russia, all Russia. Only Russia. I quit the band so that I could work 37 hours a week as a dishwasher. For Russia. I sold my trumpet on Ebay so that I could buy my plane tickets to St. Petersburg.

And here I am now. In Russia. No instruments in sight. I should be studying for the State Russian exam now, but something doesn't feel right.

Oh yes, that's it - I know I'm not talented in Russian, or anything else that I busy myself with, for that matter.

Oh well. The past is the past, and the future is.. not what I expected it to be. It's pretty pathetic to think that as a preteen I was more successful than I am now, but then again, at 17 I suppose I still have a few more years of youth left in me. A few more years to fuck up and learn the hard way, living in one of the most tarnished and beautiful countries in the world, Russia. This is what's called enjoying my experience for what it's worth. Life isn't perfect here, but in the end, it's gotta pay off somehow - otherwise my name's not Aimee Rae Friedland, directionless child-prodigy!
 
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mammamaia

Senior Member
it's left totally unclear why you went to russia... why be coy about it?...

what do you intend this piece to be?... and what market/s are you aiming for?... it needs some work here and there, but is a good start...

love and hugs, maia
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
mammamaia said:
it's left totally unclear why you went to russia... why be coy about it?...

what do you intend this piece to be?... and what market/s are you aiming for?... it needs some work here and there, but is a good start...

love and hugs, maia

good question - its really just a first draft. wait until i revise it, or maybe i can comply it into a diary-type thing
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
By the way i have NO idea why I went to russia. it's rly just ruined my chances in life (cause I was so brilliant at accademics and talented and everythign). But i guess i'm just selfish and spoilt?
 

thedreamweaver

Senior Member
It's a bit precious, isn't it?

As in, floods of 'Oh God I was soooooooo talented and soooooooooo brilliant and if I only hadn't FUCKED up everything then I would be world-famous!'

I'd cut the self-pity and also the egotism. Which doesn't leave much, I'm afraid to say.
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
thedreamweaver said:
It's a bit precious, isn't it?

As in, floods of 'Oh God I was soooooooo talented and soooooooooo brilliant and if I only hadn't FUCKED up everything then I would be world-famous!'

I'd cut the self-pity and also the egotism. Which doesn't leave much, I'm afraid to say.

But that's my image.
Check out my site for more...
 

thedreamweaver

Senior Member
I've seen your site and to be honest I think I doubt your proclaimation that you are a prodigy (or at least, I haven't seen any evidence that even suggests it.) Your writing is mediocre and frankly self-pitying.
And Shawn is right - utterly pretentious. Sorry! (Maybe you should go back to the trumpet playing....?)
 

thedreamweaver

Senior Member
Oh, and in answer to your earlier question (which, despite being probably rhetoric, I'll answer anyway) I think yes, you probably are selfish and spoilt.
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
thedreamweaver said:
I've seen your site and to be honest I think I doubt your proclaimation that you are a prodigy (or at least, I haven't seen any evidence that even suggests it.) Your writing is mediocre and frankly self-pitying.
And Shawn is right - utterly pretentious. Sorry! (Maybe you should go back to the trumpet playing....?)

Um, well if you actually read it, i said I was a "music" prodigy, that has nothing to do with my writing abillity. I am a jazz genius...Mozart was a genius and he claimed he wrote music "the way a sow pisses," so there you go.
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
Mozart was also the greatest composer the world had ever seen. So there you go! Der Zauberflote is always going to transcend jazz.
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
There's no need to be rude.. I am a composer as well, not a mere performer. I compose my own music, and am able to send you a song of mine, if you so desired. As I said, my dream was to be a member of an orchestra, not a jazz band.
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
God knows there aren't enough brass players in the world.

I will repeat: Mozart was the greatest composer to ever walk the Earth at that point in time. Just because you can play the trumpet naturally doesn't entitle you to spouting off "I'm so good" at everything that crawls around the lowest trench of the sea.
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
Did I do that? I simply stated in my essay:

No, really. I was good. Fucking good. I was offered a music scholarship at the local university by the time I was 12, but insisted that I would go to Julliard instead. I can't even count the numerous all-city and all-state honor bands I participated in, (and was first chair). I still blush when I hear myself play a solo on the first CD our jazz group produced. The years are fuzzy, but I believe I was 11.

Which is all true. Never did I claim "I'm so good at everything." You and the dreamweave merely called me pretentious and deduced from that essay that I was so - I never said I thought I was the best at everything.
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
I never said you were good at anything. I would be deluding myself to think so.

Your "essay" shows narcissistic tendencies. It is pretentious because even though there are some worse off in the world, you whinge about a mistake of your own making.

If you can't write who you are, then why are you writing at all?
 

aimeefriedland

Senior Member
well you can think what you like. The fact is, I DESERVE to be a show-off, because I AM gifted, talented and a genius. You wouldn't know how great I am at music (not just trumpet). I am also a gifted writer, and many have praised me for my insight and my views. Just look at the writing on my website. I'm sure I'll be known before you ever will.
 

thedreamweaver

Senior Member
You may be a music genius - I won't pass judgement on it - but you are not particularly gifted at writing. I am more so, I promise you, and I am not yet 16. However, when I write essays I don't tend to boast in them.
Just look at that last post of yours - it's shockingly narcissic. Comparing yourself to Mozart? Please.
And as to your insight - well, it's news to me if condemning size zero models is amazing insight (it's done daily by all the tabloids...)
 

Shawn

WF Veterans
The only thing you DESERVE is a kick in the teeth.

I already am known to my friends, my family, and my lover. I can remain content with that, and in that fact I am already far more successful than you can imagine.

Your writing lacks merit, and your undying arrogance leaks through. You have no literary drive or understanding of what might constitute a story. Please, the ones that claim they are geniuses are always farthest from.
 

thedreamweaver

Senior Member
Totally agree with the above poster.

You write coherently but it lacks originality and it contains an arrogance which makes it simply unlikable.

Reading the original piece you posted just makes me think 'Oh, poor little rich girl - has she decided she doesn't like Russia? She had to sell her trumpet on Ebay! What a traumatic life' (all heavily sarcastic, of course).
 
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