Piano Keys

The soft pangs of the notes filled the air, swirling up from the grand piano all the way around the curving stairs and straight to the top of the high ceiling of the hallway. The girl sitting on the black leather bench had wispy blonde hair, her feet dangling far above the pedals.

She shared the small seat with her mother, a woman appearing to be in her forties. She had short dark brown hair, and her makeup was applied deliberately, giving her face a slight orange tint. As she pointed to certain keys and moved her child’s small wrists up higher, her brow creased and defined the onset wrinkles there.

They were an offsetting pair – the small girl’s fragility was evident next to the woman’s full frame. It was almost as though their appearance conveyed the unsung words of their relationship; the dominance of the woman over the powerless child. And as the small blonde girl clinked away at the keys, her small fingers were barely able to reach the far black rectangles, and so the woman pulled her hands further apart, stretching the little pads of her pointer fingers further than they could go, mounting a tremendous tension of tingling sparks in the girl’s tiny fingernails, ready and itching to explode.


The week leading up to the end of the quarter is stress-inducing for all Ojai Valley School students. In order to accurately evaluate each student, teachers are assigning copious amounts of homework, including big projects with a high point value to assemble a final (quarter) grade.

Every class seems to have at least one test this week, often worth even more points than usual. This week feels like a year, going on and on, but soon to be over!

Photo Credit: broadwayeducators.com

Students seem to be dragging around campus as a result of late night studying and cramming to finish projects. Getting a good third quarter grade is often important, since slacking can sometimes happen at the end of the year. Therefore, this final push is what brings everybody to the last quarter, and then the end of the school year.

With that in mind, the quarter end is highly anticipated – everyone just has to make it through this week first!