This week, after years of standing on the edge of committing, I learned a new skill.  

Skill might be a bold way to categorize the jumbled, slightly off key, and choppy ukulele playing that I was serenading Denison’s campus with. Regardless, as Riptide by Vance Joy poured out of the instrument, I was astonished. 

I am far from musical, still can’t read the notes on the sheet, and should probably never play an instrument around other people, but as the upbeat intro began filling the air, I couldn’t help but beam with pride. 

There is nothing like sitting in the shade with a friend, the birds chirping, the sun filtering through the trees, strumming an instrument. It was a joy foreign to me until I was kindly gifted a ukulele this week. 

In the world of academics, with assignments piling high, athletic pressures breathing down necks, and expectations to meet, there is no time to do something poorly. To be intentionally bad. 

So, as I spend the next many weeks of the summer strumming my potentially off key ukulele, I will be endlessly grateful that I get to be bad at something this week. 

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