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Three Signs

Back in the days when when young adults were singing about the "dawning of the Age of Aquarius" and astrology inspired some curiosity, a group of high school students were comparing sun signs. I mentioned that since my birthday was June 27, I was born under the sign of Cancer. One young man looked at me in mock sorrow and said, "Oh, so sorry to hear you'll be dying in a few years." A first sign?

Another high school feature was language lab. Once a week, the class would gather in a room containing tape recorders and headphones. For the next half-hour, we'd individually listen to tapes of native speakers and attempt to replicate dialects and dialogue. Although I enjoyed the sessions, they were painful nonetheless. The right earpiece of the headphones painfully irritated my ear. I always thought this happened because the headphone rubbed against the earpiece of my glasses in an unusual way. A second sign?

After graduating high school, I went on to college and joined the news staff of the campus radio station for my last two years. I had a painful reunion with the same sort of headphones I endured in high school. The pain had not diminished, no matter how long or brief the newscast. A third sign?

Meanwhile, I learned to live with the pain...

Modified 3/4/2000