I relived a day of high school

Today, I visited Six Flags to take care of some paperwork for my music gig, and what a fun day it turned out to be!

First, I got stuck in traffic. I know that doesn’t sound like fun, but as someone who lives walking distance from work and the grocery store (the only two places I frequent), driving through traffic has a kind of a specialty factor because it is such a rare occurrence. As I sat in my car, I reflected on how blessed I am that this is not my routine every single day as is the case for so many residents of this city often referred to as the traffic-capital of the world. I thought hard to try to remember the last time I was stuck in traffic. I couldn’t.

When I got there, my appointment coincided with a high-school hiring event that they were having, and I got to talk to some of the students. They were dressed up very nicely, and one was hoping to land the first job of her life. I know that working a job is one of the best ways to learn some crucial life-lessons that will propel them far no matter what the job is or what they decide to pursue in the future, because every job has its unique challenges and makes students think critically in a very different way from an academic setting. And a job that is mostly outdoors in the midst of summer in Valencia, CA can be quite tough, as far as I can tell. Looking back on my life, my first job as a busboy and dishwasher taught me that money is hard-earned, and it turned an embarrassingly clueless and entitled kid into a somewhat responsible person who can function in society.

I chuckled a little bit when one staff member thought that I was one of the interviewees, told me that I should never wear jeans to any job interview, and handed me a math test. I guess I still look young enough. I contemplated whether I should tell them that my degree is in aerospace engineering, and any math test short of problems involving some second-order differential equations or the free-body diagram analysis of a passenger on X2 (their popular 4th dimension roller coaster) would be an insult to my intelligence. But curiosity got the best of me and I took the test just to see what it is. It wasn’t easy! Not because of the math concepts, but because the problems involving pictures of various U.S. currency were printed in black and white. It turns out that dimes and pennies really look alike without the help of color.

I didn’t expect I would get so much kick out of a day of driving, paperwork, and an unexpected math test. Life is fun when I can find the humor in all situations and just roll with it.

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Shin Adachi

I am a pianist and composer based in Los Angeles.