ryanclare 2 / 7 Dec 16, 2009 #1I used this essay for another application and i am wondering what you think and if it answers this new prompt...thanks! enjoy.Prompt: Tell us a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it."Needles and pins, needles and pins, sew me a sail to catch me the wind . . ." The words spilled out shaky and unsure as I recited this Shel Silverstein poen at the opening of the school's library. I was only in first grade, yet this great task had been set upon me: dedicate something to the library. I knew that a library was a sacred place because of all the times my father had preached the value of reading. I would reply, "I know Daddy, I know." To which he would respond, "No, you don't." So, the preparation for my poem recitation was intense; i wanted to get it perfect. On judgment day I stood miniscule compared to the teachers and parents, fighting back nerves while remaining composed. That is a lot for a seven year old to handle. But, I did it.Looking back, I had no reason for picking that particular poem, but as I reminisce today, I am reminded of my journey through literature. I would come home from school and find books or articles on my desk expecting to be read. My Dad and I would venture to the library to scour through the shelves. And, as I got older I was forced to submit to lengthy recitation of poetry or speeches. As much as I felt suffocated by my father's insistence, I now see the power he was trying to instill in me. Just like the freedom I had been given to choose a poem to recite, my education was my own.As my infatuation with words developed, I found myself immersed in a new world. Often times I found my inquisitive hand reach into the chilled night air. I would open the drawer and endless books of crossword puzzles would spill out. I flipped through the dog-eared, worn pages to find a fresh puzzle. 23 Down. Praise. I searched through all the words spinning through my brain, on a quest for that one that would fit in the five little boxes. Like a fly, I grabbed the word out of the air. Laude. It was a quiet winter night and everyone else was asleep, yet I remained under my covers in the company of a puzzle.A nerd at heart, I dwell in the beauty of words. The endless possibilities I found with only twenty six letters became overwhelming, yet I found the simplest joy in discovering an alternate world; I knew that my love of words always comfort me.Last night, my dad and I spent hours reading poetry to each other, just relishing the purity of the moment. The verses flowed over us, like the calm after a storm. How perfect to forget all worries and find solace in the warm embrace of language.Today, I see the power that language has given me. Literature has allowed me to recognize how influential religion and culture are in the world. Through reading, I have experienced hardships, but I have found the strength to overcome adversity. I wish to be the voice of the people, that for so long have only been characters in novels. With the experience that ten years has given me, I see the appropriateness of Silverstein's words. "Captain and crew, captain and crew, take me, oh take me to anywhere new." Language has given me the confidence to face all issues head on; I have the power to do whatever it is I set out to do.