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Made a fool out of myself by claiming I knew more than I actually did


Made a fool out of myself by claiming I knew more than I actually did

Okay, story time. This is a really long post – mostly to document my memories for personal keeping – but perhaps some of you can benefit from it too.

So I got a small harp not too long ago and began learning to play it, using both youtube clips and an instructional booklet. After watching harpists on youtube play beautifully, I began wanting to play songs like "Canon in D" and "Ave Maria" as well.

Unfortunately, the harp I owned was too small to play the regular composition of those pieces, so I began pouring hours into researching different arrangements of the songs I wanted to learn as well as different harp types in the case getting a bigger harp was unavoidable. A name that kept cropping up in my searches was "Sylvia Woods" – she was famous for her musical arragements for the harp and had quite a few videos on youtube where she would introduce pieces of music in her latest book or showcase different harp models her company was selling.

I finally decided to call her company after concluding it would be easier to ask a representative whether my harp could play one of Sylvia Wood's arrangments. After dialing the number, I glanced at the clock and noticed that it was already past 6:00pm. I wasn't really expecting anyone to pick up, but to my surprise, somebody actually answered the phone.

"Hello? This is Sylvia."

I paused, and then said incredulously, "Um, is this Sylvia…as in Sylvia Woods, Sylvia?"

"Yes"

Ah, my brilliance continues. "Really?"

"…Yes."

And for some reason, I responded with, "I've watched a lot of your videos on youtube and I've read your books and stuff!"

Now I hadn't actually read any of her books and the only videos I've watched of her on youtube were the advertisements for her musical arrangments. I think I was so surprised, my mind just shut down. Anyway, the rest of the conversation was just as embarrassing for me. I was fully expecting to just get a simple "yes" or "no" answer to whether my harp could play any of the Canon in D arrangments, but I ended up getting into a conversation about my skill level.

She began by asking me, "So you want to play Canon in D? How long have you been playing the harp?"

At that point, I started blushing out of embarassment after becoming fully aware that I probably looked silly for assuming that I could play an intermediate/advanced song at my current skill level. "Er…about two weeks."

"Hm. Yes, Canon in D is too difficult for you – you might want to wait until your skill level is higher. What have you been using to learn the harp?"

"Oh!" I chime in enthusiastically, "I've been using your book – I just finished it!" And for a moment, I felt a bit better about myself.

"Oh? Well, in that case…"

"Oh, wait. Sorry. I just looked at the cover – this isn't your book."

And so on. All in all, she was very gracious – but wow, I hadn't been that self-conscious speaking to another person in a really long time.

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