Nathan Tam: Beethoven, Beef Heart, and a Weird Enjoyment of Poetry

A chilly autumn wind blew through the streets as the sun slowly began sinking in the sky. As the last rays of sunlight fell upon the streets of Reading, Pennsylvania, strains of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony drifted from one of the houses and mixed with the scent of pumpkin spice in the crisp November air. As Nathan Tam played the final notes of his favorite classical piece, he stood up from his beloved piano and bowed to his imaginary audience. Like always, they filled his head with thunderous applause. Nathan turned back to his piano as his fans silently chanted his name, but before he sat back down, he noticed something strange. A black cloak was sitting crumpled on the floor, piled right over the piano’s pedals, a position it could not have been in just a moment before. Shrugging, Nathan reached down to pick it up, but before he could touch it, the cloak fluttered to life and flew off the floor and into the center of the room, hovering a few inches off the ground.

“Greetings, Nathan, it is good to finally make your acquaintance.”

Nathan stared in disbelief and wondered if his mind had gone too far in imagining an audience.

“Excellent playing,” the cloak continued. “Beethoven’s Ninth. The best I’ve heard in quite a long time.”

“Who… wha…” Nathan spluttered. He quickly regained his composure, however, as he coughed and straightened himself. “Yes, thank you for the compliment. Would you like to hear another piece?”

“Perhaps in a moment. But first, my superiors have heard many tales concerning you and your love of music, and they wish to know more about you. Would you consent to answering a few questions?”

Still slightly astounded that a talking cloak had just flown into his room and complimented him, Nathan simply shrugged. “Sure, I guess.”

“Excellent. Let’s begin with some basic facts: your age, grade, where you live, and siblings.”

“I’m sixteen and in eleventh grade, I have a younger brother and sister, Brandon and Naomi, and we live in Reading, Pennsylvania, though I’m not sure how you found me if you didn’t already know that…”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Anyways, what do you want to do when you grow up?”

“I don’t know for sure. Anything but engineering I guess.”

“I see. Now, I happen to know that you are enrolled at The Potter’s School. How long have you taken classes there, and what classes are you taking this year?”

“This is my second year, and I’m just taking AP Calculus BC.”

“And what’s your favorite and least favorite subject in school?”

“Math is my favorite, and English is my least favorite.”

“Excellent. What are some of your hobbies?”

“I like playing the violin, piano, and especially the viola, and I enjoy just listening to music. I also play board games with my siblings and basketball with my brother.”

“Sounds like fun. Now, let’s discuss your favorites. Who is your favorite music artist?”

The words had hardly left the cloak when Nathan responded without hesitation. “Beethoven, hands down, no question.”

“You’re very sure about that, aren’t you? I take it your favorite song would be one of his pieces?”

“Actually, no, I think it would be ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ from Les Misérables.”

“Interesting! What’s your favorite movie?”

“All three Lord of the Rings movies.”

“Favorite book?”

1984 by George Orwell.”

“Favorite game?”

“Axis and Allies.”

“Favorite food?”

“Steak, definitely.”

“And what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?”

“That would probably be beef heart. Jellyfish is also pretty weird too.”

“Do you have any pets?”

“I have a dog named Mocha, she’s adorable.”

“Who would you say is one person you aspire to be like?”

“I’d say George Washington. I admire his leadership qualities, especially his selflessness to lead in the first place.”

“What about your favorite bible verse? What is it and why?”

“That would be Isaiah 55:8. In the midst of the past year especially, it’s good to remember that God is in control, and that even when we can’t comprehend how He’s working in our lives, He always knows exactly what He’s doing.”

“Inspiring. Now, if you were given the chance to meet either one of your TPS friends or Beethoven, who would you pick?”

“My friends, hands down. The TPS community is amazing, and there are so many cool people I’ve become friends with in my time at TPS.”

“Any closing thought before we conclude?”

“One last random fact is that I have a weird enjoyment for writing poetry. I think that’s about it.”

“Excellent. Thank you for your time, Nathan Tam.”

Without another word, the cloak vanished into thin air. Nathan shook his head and sat back down in front of his piano, wondering what article of clothing would be the next to compliment his music.


  1. Haha nice to know something abt you that I previously was unaware of , my dear young nephew! Also, Beethoven is ok, Mozart is way better.

    P.S. Every time I see something you’ve written, Joshua, all I can think of is “????You’re welcome!????” XD.

  2. Great job answering, Nat!
    Awesome spotlighting, as always, Joshua!

  3. Awesome job Nathan!! It was nice knowing more about you!! :]
    and wait, beef heart? xD
    Great job, Joshuaa!! Love how you start your spotlights, it’s kinda hilarious ahaha.
    also ikr chuchu x]

  4. haha, this was v fun to read, gj xD

  5. This was epic, Josh!!! *thunderous applause* Great job!

  6. This is great

  7. *applauds wildly* Glad to know more about you, Nat! And I must say you are a better poet than you think. You should write one about Beethoven. 😉

  8. awesome, this was so fun to read :]

  9. Nathaaaaannnnnnn!!!! Hi????

    This is a great article???? Veeeewwwwy fun to read lolz

  10. Awesome spotlight!!

  11. -looks for something i didn’t know-
    eww beef heart? that just sounds wrong
    Anyway awesome aritcle Josh!



  13. OliverMunzer/omunzer

    hahahaha, good job Josh!

  14. The Dancing Chameleon

    Yess! The world must learn to appreciate Axis and Allies better!

  15. great work, joshua!

    and nice to learn more about you, nathan 🙂