In 4th grade I can recall hours and hours of class time devoted to something called the T.A.A.S. test. This was (or is) the standardized test given to different age levels throughout the Texas public school system to grade one’s “aptitudes” up to this point.

The big deal of the T.A.A.S. test (or what I was convinced was the big deal) was the writing part of the exam. We were convinced this was such a big deal and so stressful that the teachers would make us stress relievers to squeeze and teach us yoga-like, meditating breathing techniques to use during this writing part of the exam. I was 10 years old, mind you.

To this day I can remember the Golden Rules we learned for writing on this exam.

  • Fill the pages with as many words as you can.
  • Use big fancy words.
  • Adjectives, Adjectives, Adjectives = A+

And now I’m unlearning what was required to be meditated on…

Less can be more. Big words sound fake. The right words won’t need adjectives.

What would happen if more 10-year-old fingers touched pianos prior to holding the pen?

I think the music would start to unfold in both scenarios.




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