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"I'm not afraid of falling into my inkpot" --Princeton essay

xtremewishes 1 / 4  
Dec 26, 2009   #1
Hey everyone on here seems really helpful and nice, so I was wondering if anyone would be willing to revise the essay I'm writing for the Princeton significant experience prompt :P

Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a jumping off point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world. Please write the quotation at the beginning of your essay.

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"I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I'm not afraid of falling into my inkpot."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

As a young girl, I was always apprehensive of strangers. That's because I was taught in school and at home not to speak to strangers. Two summers ago, however, I discovered that strangers could be the people that you learn the most from, for they had taught me to step outside my boundaries and explore the infinite opportunities surrounding me. It all happened on the eight-mile bike trail.

I took the trail any day Mother Nature chose to be benevolent, days clear of any hint of sinister precipitation with promises of only absolute pulchritude. As soon as the wheels of my bicycle hit the bumpy rocks of the trail, a wave of placidity washed over me. I became lost in myself, mesmerized by the elegant trees falling against the backdrop of the horizon, usually the result of a setting sun but sometimes a rising one if I required a remedy for the occasional groggy morning. Oncoming joggers and bikers usually broke my reverie. Through my peripheral vision, I could sometimes spot a person attempting to catch my gaze, maybe to say hello to me. I remember my first few bike rides on the heavenly trail; whenever a person came from the opposite direction, I would quickly avert my eyes or look straight ahead, refusing to acknowledge their presence.

One day I spotted a deer from my spot on one of the many bridges located along the trail. I accelerated rapidly, frantically attempting to get a close-up view but the deer vanished behind a bush just when I was within striking distance from it. I hammered through my mind, trying to figure out why the frightened deer looked so familiar. It then daunted on me that the deer was no more than a mirror image of myself. I was just as timid as the deer, wanted nothing to do with strangers. I suddenly grew tired of myself, weary of my cowardice and inability to acquaint with those I did not know. As I resumed my bike ride on the trail, I encountered one woman whom I had seen many times. She always sported enormous sunglasses and a white baseball cap that concealed long, thick locks of dark hair. This time I met her eyes and greeted her. She smiled back and offered a wave as I passed by. Surprised with how jubilant I felt, I acknowledged the other runners and roller-skaters, and was pleased that they addressed me with just as much enthusiasm, if not more.

Today I am a risk-taker. I am no longer hesitant to try new things and meet new people. I have come to realize that if I restrict myself to my cozy world of security, then I will miss out on all the wonderful opportunities that await me. It is just a bike trail, but it has changed the way with which I approach humanity, society, and the world "because I'm not afraid of falling into my inkpot."
Doug512 - / 2  
Dec 26, 2009   #2
I feel you could maybe add some imagery to the introduction in order to catch the reader right off the bat, because the rest of your essay has lots of it. Maybe add a quote of what your mother would of told you, it may make it more personal.

Check out my essay if you get a chance
OP xtremewishes 1 / 4  
Dec 26, 2009   #3
thanks, doug, i'll do just that, adding a bit of imagery to the intro :]
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 30, 2009   #4
I don't think it is enough to just take a stab at the quote at the end. College will present many challenges, and here is one already... What did Emerson mean by this sentence? Can you go into it a little more?

Writing about something is an important part of a process of doing it, but the writing is all theory. Dive into the meaning of the quotation, and write about your plan for life. Emerson's quote needs to be discussed some more, in the intro and conclusion.


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