April 21, 2024

**Do Not Use**

New Director's Dialogue available now in ARC Event Library

Red Birds and Blue Birds

By John Murphy

Self realization comes at a price. Nothing is worse than someone trying to be something they are not. In my case, it was a singer.

Early on in my education, it came home to me that if I had any talents, they could not be found in the field of music.

First grade: Sister Virginia ruled the roost. A tough disciplinarian, she handled our 50 person class with complete authority.

A limited part of our curriculum she devoted to music. At one point she would call a student to her desk and with a pitch pipe emitted a sound. Each student was to parrot back tonally what they heard.

When my turn came, I really got into it and did what I thought would launch me into a new found career. One thing I do remember is the sardonic look on Sister’s face as she assessed my responses.

Several days later, the moment of truth came. She divided the class into Red birds and Blue birds according to our skills.

Judy was a Blue bird, Tommy a Red bird and so forth. I kept waiting for my name. And waiting and waiting. Finally the good nun advised the class that there was a special category other than a bird. It was a “helper.” The helper didn’t sing; the helper just hummed along. I was the helper…a hummer.

Tone deaf, I was forever relegated to the to pile of the unwashed. Unable to carry a tune, I stood mute when everyone would sing Xmas carols or on other such musical occasions.

I occasionally look back on those times and realize that they built character. Not everyone got a trophy. You realized that others were better, and that you would not always come in first.

As the saying goes, “Crow doesn’t taste very good, but it has a lot of vitamins.”

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