Yo-Yo Ma greets Dean Mark McCoy's triplet daughters at the Monday opening of Music on the Square.
My line of work offers some wonderful opportunities to interact with powerful and notable people. It's long been one of my favorite things about being a journalist.
I've had the chance to introduce a sitting governor as the speaker at a local event, watch as another politician (unknowingly) slapped my boss on an already injured shoulder and even meet one of the heroes of my profession -- learning, unfortunately, that he's kind of a jerk.
Other times in this job, it's not so much interaction with power and greatness as it is simply being greatness-adjacent, as has been the case for a number of Ubben lectures at DePauw.
I felt a bit of excitement as I knew that I again had the chance to be in the presence of greatness.
When Ma showed up, he didn't disappoint. Far from the arrogance one might expect from a former child prodigy and 18-time Grammy winner, he exuded kindness and modesty with a big smile, handshakes and hugs for everyone around him.
I was especially taken by his interaction with Dean Mark McCoy's triplet daughters, as he crouched to exchange a few words with each of them.
Later, inside the building, Ma continued to be the unassuming center of attention, his words and mannerisms belying his status as one of the world's preeminent musicians.
His unassuming presence didn't matter, though, when he brought forth from the cello wonderful and enchanting sounds.
I'm no expert in classical music, but when Ma played Bach's "Suite No. 1 in G major," there was no denying his greatness.
There is also no denying that, warts and all, I have an awesome job.