Stephanie Burgis
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At last!
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So, I've been studying music (to one degree or another) for twenty-plus years. I've done nine years so far of college, studying music. (And at least one and a half more to go!) But at last--at last!--it's come in handy! Yes! All of my academic training has been practical. I have won something on the radio!

I didn't intend to enter the drawing on BBC3 on Wednesday night. I was just cooking minestrone in the kitchen, chopping up various vegetables, and listening to "In Tune," a classical music interview/performance program, to kill the time. But darn it, they kept on announcing the drawing, over and over, for a pair of free tickets to the BBC Philharmonic's concert in Manchester this weekend--and the way to win them (well, besides having your correct answer picked out of the hat) was to answer the question: "Who was Liszt's famous son-in-law?" By the fourth time they announced it, I thought I was going to go crazy. I kept yelling at the radio: "Wagner! Wagner!" Finally, Patrick came home as I was furiously stirring the soup, and he heard my increasingly deranged shouts.

"Why don't you just enter and feel better?" he asked.

"Because we can't make it to Manchester this weekend."

"So? You probably won't win anyway, so you might as well get it out of your system."

It was true. The second I'd finished typing my contest email to InTune, my whole body relaxed. I finished the soup, we had a nice dinner, switched off the radio, and came into the living room to check email and, um, write. (Email, of course, came first.) I opened up my mailbox, and saw the first email heading: "Re: Liszt's Son in Law."

At the same moment, my cell phone rang. It was one of my friends. "Steph!" she said. "My mum just rang to tell me she heard your name on the radio!"

Well, cool. I feel like a celebrity. Now if only I'd kept the radio on, so that I too could have heard Sean Rafferty's plummy BBC voice announcing that "Stephanie Burgis, near Leeds," had won the contest....

Of course, we still can't make the concert. But there's now a very happy pair of Leeds undergraduates who will be attending it this weekend for free (they were going to be in Manchester anyway), and I get to finally feel satisfied that there has, after all, been a purpose to all these years of higher education.

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