The summer vacation crowd in Chatham was almost exclusively white and wealthy. The one thing that unified them, at least in my mind, was that they were not willing to take on my job. When my classmates thought about applying for jobs, they were thinking about air-conditioned movie theaters and retail stores, not backbreaking manual labor. I know that no matter what path I choose, this experience will be part of how I end up there. Eden Prairie, Minn. She will attend Columbia University.
Pulling out the dollar bill I had found in my duct tape wallet, I paid the 20 percent of my fine that let me check out a book and left, gritting my teeth. Thanks to my mom, I practically had a library card from birth. I would go to my library not just to read books but to be immersed in them. I would get dropped off at the library while my mom worked, and I would follow my usual routine: sit, read, return, repeat, and if I was lucky, check out.
The purpose of my visit was usually the same: read books or play on the computer. But as I grew up, I realized that things had begun to change. My mom began coming to the library with us more often. While I would be reading or finishing homework, she would be right there, typing beside me. Our worlds coexisted, but for a reason. For three years, my mother was unemployed.
As a single mother, the struggle of not having a job, home or car was immense. I stopped my usual routine and was fine with it. With two tabs open, I continued on with my work. One-sentence paragraphs are catchy. Starting your essay with a one-sentence paragraph—a line of description, a scene, or a question, for example—is a great way to hook the reader.
Treborn does, or in your conclusion. The Familiar Can Be Fascinating. The most daring essay this year, a rant on the imbalances of power embedded in the service industry by Caitlin McCormick, delivers us into the world of a family bed and breakfast with its clinking silverware and cantankerous guests demanding twice-a-day room cleanings.
The essay is your megaphone — your view of the world and your ambitions. It needs to tell a story with passion, using personal, entertaining anecdotes that showcase your character, your interests, your values, your life experiences, your views of the world, your ambitions and even your sense of humor. It helps if the activity is related to the subject you want to study.
Often the first draft of an essay has sentences with one space after the periods, but the next draft changes to two. Or, an essay might start off with single spaces after periods, but by the end, suddenly the sentences have two spaces after periods.
Or, a final draft might include a wild mishmash of alternating spacing after periods: sometimes one, sometimes two. And in trying to make the essay polished enough to prove to an admissions officer that your student is ready for the responsibilities of college, you are showing that you are not so sure.
Henceforth, back off.
Sitting at the desk does not make me forget my past, it helps me embrace it. While I would be reading or finishing homework, she would be right there, typing beside me.
In looking through this lens, I have seen firsthand how low wages and, at times, regressive public policy can adversely impact the financially fragile, and how I can make a difference. At home, I grew up middle class, then became the privileged prep school girl. When we had nowhere to live, we would spend hours at the library, using what I thought to be the key to the world: library computers.
My dad taught me.
While I have not changed the tax system though someday I plan to , I have changed how my clients interact with it. The purpose of my visit was usually the same: read books or play on the computer. With my father incarcerated, the women in my family went to work.
In a society that places economic value at the forefront of worth, these assumptions might apply to other individuals, but not to my dad. Contradictions are the stuff of great literature.
These struggles—often rich, and full of tension—make for excellent essay topics.
Frugality is a game, or at least we made it into one. It impressed on me a sort of social capital that I knew could be used in America. In what ways do you feel like you are stuck between two worlds, or like you are an outsider? What will make you help everyone else have a more interesting experience? There are very few similarities that one could find between my classmates at High Tech High and my customers in Chatham.
He does not let me straddle the rift where the earth divides into repelling mounds of sand. I press my finger against the glass. But as I grew up, I realized that things had begun to change. Each of the highlighted essays mined contradictions: immigrant versus citizen; service worker versus client; insider versus outsider; urban versus rural; poverty versus wealth; acceptance versus rebellion; individual versus family.
For three years, my mother was unemployed.
I wonder if he, too, has washed far away. The collective hope is that through hard work and a miracle, one ends up figuring out how to make five dollars out of five cents. I envied their ability to wear the role of self-assured host like a second skin, capable of tolerating any type of cruelty with a smile. The thought scared the hell out of me. Originally, my kitchen table had five sturdy wooden seats.