Tuesday, April 17, 2012

College Life for Some Who Never Thought Possible

Maurice Olayinka, 21, works in the
student union food court at the
University of North Florida.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The crashing piano notes of Henry Cowell's "The Tides of Manaunaun" — parts of it played with the flat of the hand, the fist and the forearm — rings out through the University of North Florida classroom, majestic and brooding.
The students remain straight-faced throughout the 100-year-old experimental piece. It's a music appreciation class, but they give few signs of appreciating the composition, at least not openly.
Except for Joel Reeves, that is. He leans forward. He smiles. He really listens. He's eating it up.
That's what this time of life is about, what college is for, right? And Reeves, 23, is loving his college experience — though at one point in his life few might have thought it likely he would have one.

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