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Sitting in the train, I listen calmly to the first tones of Beethoven’s 5th symphony: da-da-da-dum! Calm is not quite the right word though. It’s loud and very dramatic. As it should be. This symphony has helped me through the roughest times. I can get lost in the power of the first part, the softness of the second movement, the hope of the third and the triumph of the finale.

Listening to the first tones, I’m already lost in the music. The first movement ends strongly, and I feel that I, too, am regaining my power after this long and exhausting day.

After seven minutes, we enter a new phase: the softness of the second part. The strings give me a sense of comfort; in this moment, nothing needs to be done. I am one with the music. I can hear the different instruments, each contributing in their own way to the harmony of the orchestra.

Soon the third movement starts, almost as soft as the second. Questions are racing through my mind, and yet at the same time, there is silence. I think of everything and nothing at once, lost in thoughts about what I have done today and what still needs to be done this evening.

Powerful notes announce good times, and my energy is returning. The fourth movement has begun. I can only enjoy the last minutes of the symphony – once again, my thoughts take me to another dimension until I hear the strong tones of the finale roll in, almost making my ears explode.

I refuse to turn the volume down. Beethoven must be listened to loudly and in the most dramatic way possible – at least the 5th. The finale gives me energy. I can’t wait to leave the train to do everything I just thought of.

And then? Silence. Still relishing the ups and downs of the last thirty minutes, I am returning to reality. I look out the window and see that it is raining. This doesn’t bother me at all; my evening can no longer be ruined. Slowly the train reaches its destination. And I reach my conclusion: Beethoven is my hero.

Jo Haas, second-year student of Health Sciences 



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