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Welcome_NissenSo it’s the end of the year already? It’s funny how time flies.

It doesn’t feel like a year ago that I met with my future teacher at NEC in a Starbucks across from Carnegie Hall, still being undecided on what school to attend “next year”. The BSO was in New York City to play three concerts at Carnegie Hall. I managed to see all of them (Mahler 3, an all-Wagner concert, and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra), and coupled with the Starbucks chat I was pretty convinced at the end of their tenure at Carnegie that I’d be moving to Boston soon enough.

I knew it would be a challenge. I wanted to rise to that challenge, and whether I have done so or not is debatable. One thing is certain, Boston was never going to be easy.


I love my teachers, my colleagues, my school, but I’m still undecided on Boston.

But that’s the thing about this city: Boston doesn’t care if you like it or not.

Boston isn’t an attention seeker. It doesn’t fawn to your expectations. You don’t come here to climb to the peak of its highest building like some cities. People don’t flock to this region because of its weather like others. They don’t do tours to celebri­ties’ houses as if the entire city is an extended theme park.

No, Boston is a working city. Its stubborn defiance in the face of seeming just criticism is admirable, if not infuriating, but it ain’t going to change any time soon.

Writing for The Penguin has been a great therapy for me. You’ve seen me write about inane things all year. Maybe you’ve enjoyed it, maybe you haven’t. In any case, writing for The Penguin is a privilege that I am honored to have. And it’s a privilege that I share with lots of other talented NEC students that have an urge to write.

It may be a challenge, but if you have that urge to write – to be heard – then submit something to The Penguin in the future! You may rise to it. You may not. But I bet you’ll have a great ride along the way.

Boston wasn’t necessarily easy for me, but I’m kind of happy it didn’t make it that way.


“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effot, pain, difficulty … I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and let them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt


Have a great, but not easy, summer!

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