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Chapter 6

PASSION

The first summer after I leave the resource room, I take a course in non-Western history so I can start catching up to my peers.

Summer 1995

“We are one of the best orchestras in the state.” We are supposed to be doing group work, but I am far more interested in hearing about the school orchestra from one of their leading violinists. “So, let me get this straight,” I say, focusing intensely on her. “You get to take trips around the country, and perform in front of sold-out audiences?” She nods. Images from my early childhood flash into my head. The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Academy of Music. Loud applause. Standing ovations. The music. The rush. My grandfather smiling at me from the stage.

Immediately after class, I find my ...

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