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"An education isn't how much you have committed to memory" - Brown supplement

jfvolleygirl27 1 / 2  
Oct 13, 2010   #1
French novelist Anatole France wrote: "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." What don't you know?"

October is my favorite month of the year. And no, it's not because my birthday is on the 20th, or Halloween on the 31st, nor because it's the month Lost first premiered on television in 2004 (although this comes as a close second). When I hear "October," I am thrown back to the days of my childhood. I am seven years old as the cool fall breeze sweeps gently through my hair as I walk back from school. I do not understand why the days are becoming shorter, why the rain falls more frequently, why the leaves fall from the trees, nor why the terrible midwest humidity has come to an abrupt halt. But, I push these tricky questions from my mind. There are more important matters to attend to. Leaves of different shapes and colors scatter across the pavement as a gust of wind rustles through the trees. Subconsciously, I do my best to step on all the dry, crunchy-looking leaves that cut across my path, sometimes even walking slightly out of my way to reach a leaf that appears particularly crunchy.

This was my favorite game in October. Stepping on a crispy leaf and hearing the "crunch!" ignited an odd joy in me that made my walk home from school slightly more entertaining. Anticipating an upcoming leaf, I would lengthen or shorten my steps, or extend my leg awkwardly to the side to reach a leaf. But such joy does not come without occasional disappointment. I was always running the risk of going slightly out of my way just to be fooled by a squishy leaf that I had initially presumed to be crunchy. Even if the leaf is not crunchy, however, the disappointment is short-lived as I turn my attention to another. The joy after hearing that satisfying "crunch!" always outweighs the devastation of going out of my way just to step on a soft leaf.

Now, I understand why the seasons change, but I am no closer to understanding a simple habit I have had since my childhood. It wasn't until recently that I even payed attention to how odd this was as I walked home from the metro, thinking up long lists of all the material that I do not know. Why is the simple action of stepping on leaves entertaining? This is an example of one of the small things people may do in everyday life that we normally give no conscious thought or consideration to, but are no less curious than the larger, more complex things that we do not know. While a lengthy book could be made, comprised of the things I do not know or understand, I realized that something so simple as understanding why I derive joy from stepping on crunchy leaves is something I have done since my childhood that I am no closer to knowing the answer to.
fjfjfjf - / 13  
Oct 14, 2010   #2
I enjoyed your essay. I think you have a great narrative style that will likely grab the attention of anyone reviewing your package. Nevertheless, if it were me, I'd consider revising (or simply deleting) the references to popular culture for two reasons:

1) It seemed out of place considering the construction of your childhood memory.
2) It seems a bit kitsch for a serious educational institution such as Brown - but that's just my opinion.

Good luck to you.
OP jfvolleygirl27 1 / 2  
Oct 14, 2010   #3
Thanks for your feedback - I appreciate it. You mean the reference to the show "Lost?" The reason I thought to put that in there is to add a bit of humor to my essay. Hmm....I will try and get some more opinions on that - your reasons do make sense though. Thanks!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 16, 2010   #4
sometimes even walking slightly out of my way to reach a leaf that appears particularly crunchy.

This theme is great, but you can do better. If you speculate about what the significance of it might be, you'll raise questions about more things you do not know. You write beautifully, so use your talent:

Compound the Theme
Extend this by adding 3 more paragraphs of self-analysis to see what this habit reflects about human nature or you particularly, and then condense the whole essay back down to size.

Just an idea... it is already great the way it is, but I wanted to make sure you know you're allowed to compound the theme.
OP jfvolleygirl27 1 / 2  
Oct 16, 2010   #5
Thanks for the advice! I will work on that...I think that is a great idea.

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