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My Essays

So if anyone wants to read my writing, here are the five essays I have written so far, in reverse order of date written. Please feel free to post corrections or suggestions, or even topics you’d like me to write another essay on. I look forward to hearing from you. Note: All these essays have been written under the constraint of 500 words, in order to prepare for college essays. Essay 4 has yet to be trimmed to this limit. This limit has been rigorously enforced for Essays 1 and 2 (and 3), since they were assignments for English class. Essay 1 scored an 8/9; Essay 2 hasn’t been graded yet. Essay 3 was a discarded draft for the topic of Essay 2, and never turned in. Essay 4 was tailored for colleges, Essay 5 was for no reason at all, but I decided to keep it to 500 words anyway. Other essays I’ve written are handwritten for AP Lang, and not prose, so they both are unreadable and not appealing to readers that aren’t English teachers, and incomprehensible to people who aren’t familiar with the prompt passage.

Essay #5: Free Topic Essay 1:

I am, though I hesitate to reveal it, not a cyborg.

I do not have a cell phone as an ear, nor do I have a laptop keyboard for hands. I do not have a TV set as my eyes. I don’t even have an iPod implanted in my brain. Although it’s shocking to say, I am thoroughly, quite plainly, human.

For those of you fortunate enough to escape this affliction through the world of technology, I will try to explain how I came to be this way.

I have always been human.

Nothing special; all of you were human at birth. But as I grew, it was evident that the technology so attracted to you simply would not bond to me. Perhaps it was something in my DNA; I shall probably never know. The perfection reflected in you simply was not to be mine.

My mother and father are quite normal. Mother dear has a laptop connected to her hands; father has a BlackBerry in his ear. It’s even connected to his cerebral cortex, which makes receiving email much easier. But I, apparently, did not inherit those genes. Those of you with young children, cover their ears – I grew up on books. Instead of a TV set, I patronized one of the few libraries remaining in my town, and the librarian quite kindly let me sit amongst the bookshelves instead of at a computer or in front of a TV screen, as the other children did. They were already that age, you see, when they began to connect with the technology, the beginnings of a bond. But I? I sat for long hours, lost in worlds of other times and places, with other people, some of whom were different like me. How was I to know that I was wrong to be so?

They began to realize, when I grew. They realized that I had never bonded, had never attached to a piece of technology for life. Amongst the other students whose hands were cellphone keyboards or ears were iPod earphones, I stood out. They would mock me, call me “shameful.” My humanity was painfully obvious.

But one day, I found someone like me. A little boy, sitting alone in a library, a thick tome in his small hands. Although he was of the right age, he was not exploring any technology; rather he too was lost in the pages. I smiled at him, tilted my head to show human ears, eyes, human hands and legs. His mouth opened in wonder.

And that’s when they found me. I wasn’t aware of the new laws that had been passed. Apparently non-bonded individuals were traitors. To read a book was blasphemous; to spread ideas about the non-bondeds was sacrilege. I ran, of course; I write this in secret now. They haven’t gotten me yet, but it’s only a matter of time…in today’s society, someone without technology sticks out so. It’s unfortunate.

But please, when you find me, don’t judge me too harshly. After all, I’m only human.

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Essay #4: College Essay 1:

               It was a typical December day – about twenty degrees Fahrenheit, with a paltry foot of snow on the ground, cars swerving in the parking lot as their wheels sought a grip on treacherously slippery ice, and the world more or less resembling a giant marshmallow – perfect, in other words. However, oddly, I was indoors.

The reason for this becomes more apparent with a quick glance at the book in my hands – Robots and Empire­ by Isaac Asimov – and my comfortable perch on the windowsill in the far corner of the library. Nose buried in the book, I was happily oblivious to everything but the pages in front of me. I, of course, did not hear the high whine of a wheelchair pulling up in front of me, on the footrest resting bright red Nikes that would have tapped irritably if they could. The occupant of the Nikes looked impatiently at me, and was about to move slender fingers over the computer keyboard on his lap when a pair of silver, gel-soled Asics screeched to a halt next to him. The occupant of these shoes, possessed of less self-restraint, or perhaps possessed of more bodily function, sighed loudly, leaned forward, and snatched the book out of my hands. I looked up, startled, into glowing green eyes, but instead of getting angry, as I would have done on any other occasion, grinned.

“Hey, Connor,” I said.

Connor returned the huge smile, bouncing up and down on his new shoes. As if released from bonds, he began to excitedly talk about how glad he was that it had finally snowed, the movie he had just seen with his mom, and the A he had received on his latest spelling test, while the occupant of the polished silver wheelchair beside him smiled ruefully at me and rolled his eyes. I greeted him as well – “Sup, Mikey?” – and shifted into a more comfortable position to wait until Connor ran out of breath.

Mikey had cerebral palsy, which left him unable to walk or speak. However, he compensated for this with a sleek, shiny wheelchair which he drove as recklessly as any Ferrari, and an equally sleek Mac equipped with a state-of-the-art text-to-speech program. His Mac also allowed him to access the school Internet, as I discovered one stiflingly hot Thursday when I innocently looked over at his screen and saw him reading George Orwell as the teacher droned on about how to spell “proprietary”.

Connor, his best friend, had been diagnosed with autism at a young age, but really didn’t care a whit about the names people attached to him. A sweet, excitable boy, fiercely loyal to Mikey and with a passion for the ocean, Connor did actually need to know how to spell “proprietary”, and as such memorized the spelling textbook before tests and spent class drawing intricate seascapes in his notebook and tapping his feet to the latest song he’d heard on the radio.

Mikey and Connor were just two of the many kids that I worked with at my school, in an elective program designed to help disabled students assimilate into mainstream classrooms by having mainstreamed students work with them on a weekly basis. The program was designed to let disabled students interact with and observe students in mainstream classrooms, and learn from their behaviors so that they would be able to function appropriately in later life. We would join their classrooms weekly, helping them with assignments, playing games with them, or just talking to them like any other set of friends. Indeed, they were supposed to learn from us, but in the end it was I that ended up learning the most from them.

That particular December was an example of this.

Connor was quite a shy person around people he didn’t know well. With his friends he was as talkative as ever, but with others he became extremely withdrawn, didn’t make eye contact, and refused to speak in public. For the Christmas play at our middle school, therefore, although Connor was playing the main character, he refused to say his lines. However, as auditions approached, another autistic student, Ari, was asked by his aide to volunteer for the part. All went well until the day of the performance, when Ari, afflicted with severe autism, was frightened by the loud noises and bright lights onstage and began to cry.

Connor, sitting in the wings offstage, saw this. He rushed onstage, leaned down and comforted Ari, stepped in front of him and began to say Ari’s lines perfectly. Although Connor had been too shy to play the part, he had memorized the lines, and when he saw Ari unable to continue, he decided to step in. And at the end of the performance Connor asked me, having received a standing ovation and several curtain calls, “Why are they all cheering? I didn’t do anything special.”

So on that perfect winter day, it was really no wonder that I chose to stay inside. After all, I had a nice warm windowsill, a good book, and my friends. What more could I want?

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Essay #3: AP Lang Personal Statement Essay: Discarded Draft:

Red.

Red is the color of the ink that covers the latest test I receive back, the color of the LED on my flash drive containing everything I value in the world, the color of my Busy status on Gmail as I strive uselessly to complete stacks of homework, the color of my name as it spills from somebody else’s mouth, the color of the inside of my eyelids as I lie on my bed and watch the room fade to black.

Black.

Black is the color of my backpack that weighs half as much as me, the color of my watch that has already been carelessly scratched, the color of the cover on my favorite Isaac Asimov book, the color of half of my friends’ hair, the color of the ink in my pen as I scrawl over a page that used to be empty and white.

White.

White is the color of my cell phone that rings to wake me in the morning, the color of the eraser that rapidly expunges my incorrect work, the color of the snow as it falls from the sky and lies unmarked by footsteps, the color of my sneakers before several rainy seasons, the color of the sand on the beach that is periodically soaked by water shining blue.

Blue.

Blue is the color of my newest math competition shirt, the color of  the wireless icon on my computer  that signifies my ability to do homework, the color of the sky as I stare out at it from my desk, procrastinating on work, the color of the watch I liked that was too expensive even to admire, the color of a long-ago pair of eyes that in sunlight change to sea green.

Green.

Green is the color of people consumed by jealousy, the color of the marble as my hand turns it over and over, the color of parrots in jungles that I have never seen, the color of an online game that tries to lure me away from my work, the color of the only tree I climbed that I fell from, and landed on my hands and knees watching the blood spill from them deep and red.

Colors.

Colors have defined my life, as they coated my surroundings and attached themselves to objects that played roles in my life. Although I knew nothing of them when I came into this world, they have filled every portion of my world as surely as the sun sets, pouring meaning into experiences that otherwise would have been dull. Colors have silently and skillfully taught me to be creative, to appreciate simple things, to learn to fail, to ask questions, to push myself to my limits, to hone my skills, to believe.

Although colors have been quiet players in my life, they have touched every facet of my universe. They have showed me the world in a vivid and rich way, and reflected to my eyes a diverse and beautiful image of my surroundings. Colors have given me myself; they have shown me who I am.

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Essay #2: AP Lang Personal Statement Essay:

Personal Statement – Topic of Choice

My name is red. Not quite the red of blood, but a red with tinges of brown and orange, with a single dot of ocean blue. The color most accurately resembles that of a brick, one that is rather old and has been sitting out in the sun for a while. The color of the word “brick”, however, is more brown, with white lines. And the color of “lines” is very pale yellow, similar to the color of “linen.”

96% of the American population, upon hearing this, would think I’m schizophrenic (a colorful word, with silver, yellow, and pink,) but one in twenty-three people knows exactly what I’m talking about.  The neurological condition that causes this is called synesthesia, a Latin-derived word meaning “joined perceptions.” It causes stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway to lead to automatic, involuntary experiences in another, such as a sound leading to a perceived taste, or a word leading to a perceived personality.

For me, colors and shapes saturate not only my name, but all the symbols I see. The letter A is dark blue to me, while B is brick-red, C pale yellow, and D orange. One is ivory white, two faded reddish-pink, and so on. When I hear – speech, song, anything – shapes and colors cavort across my line of sight. Music glides elegantly across my vision, motion meshing together gracefully to create a stunning display of sound and color. Likewise, words become not only marks on paper but full-color animations passing before my eyes as I read, so strikingly realistic that I am almost shocked when I look up to find myself alone with only a book in my hands. The experience is truly amazing.

My parents, however, do not have synesthesia. For them, there is no splash of color when a phone rings, no bright flash with pain. Music is only heard; it will never be seen or felt or tasted. Their world is specialized, divided by sense. They see no cinematic play of colors and sounds in their daily lives, as I do. From my perspective, the scenery of their lives must be so boring, so dull, so monochrome, but I can’t imagine what it’s like not to have synesthesia. The light gold strands weaving through the warm brown of a singer’s voice, the deep greenish-blue of a word like “aggregate”, even the silver flash of a shock are so inherent in my world that if they all suddenly disappeared, my world would seem boring.

Synesthesia has taught me that a person’s colors – what is inside them – are much more important, and much more beautiful, than their outward appearance. It has enriched my daily interactions, from the most mundane conversation to the most thrilling action film, and taught me to marvel at my surroundings. It has made my outlook and image of the world vivid and diverse. My colors sketch a picture of my universe that is uniquely and utterly beautiful.

As the song goes, “Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?” Silver, blue, purple, green…I can.

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Essay #1: AP Lang Definition Essay:

Definition

In late 1996, on a rainy night, a car drove through the suburbs of [my hometown]. In the back of the car was a child carrier, cradling a tiny baby, not yet one year old. Lightning cracked through the sky. The little child thought for a time, and asked her mother a simple question: “Can lightning happen during the day?” The mother was surprised, and answered, but the details of the answer are lost to memory. Only that first question lingers in the child’s mind, because it was the first time she was distinguished as different.

That little child was – and is – me.

Many words have been attached to me, ever since childhood, by those who endeavored to define me within the constraints of the English language. I am, as they say, intelligent. I am odd. I am talented. I am young. I am ambitious. I am irascible. I am witty. I am bitter. I am offbeat. I am sardonic.

Hello, my name is [name], and I am different.

From the day I entered school, I have been classified as different.  My difference was quantified using a battery of inane tests in preschool, which yielded a number that was fastened to me as surely as my name was. The machinations of this devilish number resulted in my being pushed ahead in academics, at several points landing in classes with students as much as five years older than me.

This difference was beneficial, at first. But as I participated in classes far beyond those of my age, other students classified me as different as well. For years, I went by “freak”, “loser”, “dork”, and the eloquent and ubiquitous “getawayfrommeyounerd.” I deserved it – after all, I had the nerve to be smart.  

I made friends with more teachers than students, discovered an inverse relationship between academic focus and number of friends, and subscribed to NASA, NYTimes, and Merriam-Webster.  I ran and climbed and even liked the color red, although normal girls did nothing of the sort.

I hated it.

As I reached high school I forced myself to blend in. I was finally sufficiently intellectually challenged to cultivate a love of school to go along with the love of learning I had never before associated with the institution. I discovered passions in diverse subjects – astrophysics, linguistics, cognitive science, political science, music, teaching. I gained friends and lost GPA points by massive amounts. I learned too late that the difference embedded so deeply in my DNA, although it caused packs of bullies to hunt me in middle school, would have gotten me quite far in life – had I only stayed true to it.

And yet although it is harder to discern, the difference remains. At the moment lightning struck so many years ago from that lonely [hometown] sky, I became different, and I am still so today, all of fifteen years old and over two thousand miles away.

Hello, my name is [name], and I am different.

And that’s it, for now! When I manage to put together another good essay, I’ll post it. For now, enjoy, and feel free to post criticism and suggestions in the comments. Keep in mind, writing isn’t my “thing”, so these may be rather bad. Then again, I’m not sure what my “thing” is, but I’m beginning to like writing.

Comments»

1. Radiance - October 16, 2011

Holy… Hmph. Some people can write. -Isabelle A

2. vdnmnd - January 28, 2012

dude your writing is awesomely epic!!!

Bianca - January 28, 2012

[removed]

3. days past - postopialucy - December 23, 2014

I remember I read them a couple years ago, and today as i was going through a million old bookmarks, I found this page. My worst subject is grammer / writing, but I half-love to read. Most essays I find uninteresting, but your essays = I have no words.. the best description I can conjure up into words -> Your essays. gets my imagination whirling with colors.

Coskit - December 24, 2014

Oh hey! I think I vaguely recognize your username. Nice to hear from you, and thanks for the kind words! How’s life?


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