Please give any feedback you may have, negative or positive, about the essay! If you want for me to read over your essays, please, just let me know, and I will be on it. Thanks!Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (250 word limit.)
First shot...in! However, the next fourteen shots fly by, missing the target completely: hope seemed to drop lower. I looked back: where was the design flaw?
Having to develop a machine capable of shooting baskets for my second-year engineering course was a daunting task. After first conjuring up ideas of a golf-swing mechanism, my partners and I immediately went to building. After days of construction, it was time for a test run. Having scored only one shot, I was back to the drawing board: it was in the rubber-band mechanism, I thought. Second test: three shots in. Still not where I wanted it to be: how could I possibly improve this? Maybe...it was the material weight. Next test: still three shots. Forging ahead, I continued to make changes. Third design. Fourth. Fifth. However, nothing seemed to work.
At last, I abandoned the idea. My hope for success began to falter: relentlessly searching and asking about to find working solutions, we were unable to build any design to acceptable standards. The test day, which had seemed so far away only a short while ago, was approaching. This design is not going to work. Risking everything we had done thus far, I devised a new one, and we built the new machine. Finally, it was time for the real run. The result: seven shots in. Better, but not amazing. However, the true takeaway from that experience was not the design but something more: choice.
Making a decision was never easy for me. What if teachers think poorly of me? What if I cause us to lose the game by passing instead of shooting? My fear was that, if I made the "wrong" decision, I would have to live with the consequences. As I ventured into engineering, I soon realized that such a mentality could not carry me forward: I would have to expand beyond seeming limitations through risks. Life and intellectual endeavors are not results of single choices, but instead results of how I choose to reflect upon the consequences, for no choice is perfect. Success simply arises through a series of choices in an endeavor.
A year later, a student came and asked me, "Can you show me how you built your machine?"
"No...but" I smirked, "I can show you about a dozen ways how not to build one."