A Gifted Prank

By Samantha Scheltema

Frankly, I did not want to read a depressing story about parents neglecting their children or a girl surrounded by cockroaches and unable to fend for herself, which is what the first two Feature Stories were about on the Pulitzer Web site. The next story down was one about a violinist. Being a violinist myself, I was intrigued.

Pearls Before Breakfast, by Gene Weingarten was something that I could relate to in a couple ways. First, I love the violin; both listening to it and playing it, enough said. Second, the article was about what people do when walking past a beggar on the streets, playing instruments or just asking for money. I’ve always felt awkward walking past them, especially when I do have a bit of money I could spare. But, I am not used to them and must admit that I am one to just rush by.

Joshua Bell, a child prodigy on the violin(and someone I idolize), decided that he wanted to do an experiment, involving him standing at the L’Enfant Plaza Station, behind a trash can, playing the violin. What a crazy dude. He discovered that out of the 1,097 people who walked by in an hour; seven people stopped to listen for at least a minute and 27 gave money for a total of $32 and change.

Definitely an interesting read, it was kind of long (it described the entire process and even some background insight to Joshua Bell and his violin) but it was amazing to read as a fan. It was a great example of storytelling.


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