My youngest son is just finishing his freshman year at Laurence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He loves music and plays the flute and also piano. I asked him to comment abut his recent discovery of ‘Coffee as a Weapon’ for college students and here’s what he sent… unedited:
“I always thought I would stay away from coffee. A year ago today, I didn’t know the beauty in bitter. I had never experienced the loyal, reliable friendship that is coffee. Coffee had its influence on me the summer before college. I knew college wouldn’t be easy, so I decided to get a head start and spend the early summer mornings hard at work practicing Russian and flute. The first few days were fine, but there’s always a certain point you reach when you start to question yourself: “Why practice? I could be sleeping, enjoying my summer.” I soon learned two things: that sleeping a summer away does not make it enjoyable, and that motivation often comes in liquid form. And so began the ritual of brewing and adding the world’s most pleasant aroma to my day.
The immediate reward: enjoyment of the daily grind. Previously, waking up to practice flute was a strained exercise. It hurt to be up so early, and being productive at that. Without coffee I thought this activity made me an “over achiever.” With coffee, I realized that this work was actually pretty damn common among the rest of the world’s working population. Besides that, when I was done in the late afternoon, Coffee spurred on another ambition, that is, piano.
From third grade to around my junior year in high school, I was an avid pianist along with my usual flute playing, but the difficulty and rigor of it got to me, and ultimately, I gave up the piano. I continued playing but stopped taking lessons or practicing regularly. Had I never started drinking coffee, I probably would still be a casual piano player. When the strong, smooth reward became a part of daily life, I realized how inexpressible stupid it was to stop piano. I had to be honest with myself: playing the piano made me happy and was the ultimate reward at the end of any day. Even as a flutist, I then knew that piano would be vital part of staying sane. So after I finished flute and Russian, the lazy afternoon sun hung over the my swim suited town, and I decided, “Hey, what say we practice some scales, arpeggios, and see what I remember.”
After that realization, I began taking piano lessons again, and I can’t thank Coffee enough for what it brought back into my life. I was once a lazy teenager that thought he would be better off sleeping than living his life, and coffee gave me the boost I needed to realize otherwise.
So now I’m a full time college student, living a life that, without coffee, would be vastly different. Russian has been a breeze in college because of my avid summer practice, and I gained the foundation I needed to begin the new level of rigor practice at the conservatory. I can’t say for sure, but I doubt my GPA would be nearly as high had coffee not kick started me into adulthood last summer.
Samuel Charles Rolfe “