Participant Stories

Lou N.


I guess I should call the results of my Project Talent survey IRONIC. Results showed some disappointing scores in English grammar and usage. What’s my career choice? English teacher, of course. Thirty-three years. Go figure. As a kid, I loved to read…in fact I was the only kid my age, on my block who could read comic books, not just look at the pictures. Very often some of the kids would stop by and ask me to read their comics to them.

I also remember warm summer evenings in our blue-collar neighborhood, sitting on my porch with the neighborhood kids gathered around while I told them stories extemporaneously…..perhaps the reading and story-telling made up for the low scores in English language, grammar, and mechanics. As a youth, I felt the creative urge outside of story-telling. My parents loved music…my dad was a whistler which drove the family crazy but mom played a little guitar and piano. They encouraged my brother and me to take music lessons. My brother showed aptitude in percussion….banging on pots and pans with a wooden spoon and torturing us for hours.

I was influenced by two cousins who were a talented musicians, one played the accordion( like every good Italian kid in Auburn) and one sang and played the piano.I began my music career on the accordion and eventually, as an adult, began playing the saxophone….my instrument of choice to express my love of jazz.    A glance at my Project Talent results show a high percentile in CREATIVITY and MUSIC. What a relief. My love of jazz, of playing extemporaneously, fits in well with the Project Talent scores and what I loved to do a summer evenings as a kid. What I found most interesting were my high scores in Math and Science….This confused me since limped my way though those coursed in high school and college and was convinced I had had my left brain removed by a nocturnal alien encounter.

So now, in my retirement I find time to read a lot, to rehearse with my jazz band and to try to find more hidden meaning in the results of my Project Talent survey which, remarkably, I remember taking…..I guess the aliens missed me.

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