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'foolish it was of myself to be afraid' - UC essay, thoughts?


CS7 1 / -  
Oct 25, 2011   #1
"Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?"

Looking back upon it now, I realize how foolish it was of myself to be afraid. My fear was uncalculating and impractical, a small gnat hovering ceaselessly, restlessly, all the time buzzing a dull drone in my ear. The roots of my fear spread its curling tendrils, smiling a devilish green and shaking in an earthy mirth, as its hold grew tighter, stronger, over my weak resolution. I admit, baking with yeast was, to me, a daunting task, and I was hesitant to attempt something so unfamiliar.

I had been yearning to try baking bread, but I was thoroughly intimidated by what seemed to be a complicated procedure. Bread making involves many things: procuring the right environment for the temperature-sensitive yeast, not over-kneading the developing gluten, and patience, a virtue I've never had much luck with. However, I am a sporadic cook; I cook and bake on impulse. A certain recipe may catch my eye and consume me for hours at a time, and, one day, a simple dinner roll enchanted me. I'm not certain why I chose a bread recipe, or this recipe at all for that matter; it was nothing extraordinary. At first glance, it was just a collection of humble ingredients. Only six elements came together to form the slightly crusted exterior and warm, fluffy inside of these bread rolls, yet the steps to marrying these ingredients were foreign. My doubts only grew with the introduction of yeast, however, undertaking this recipe, in perhaps an odd but profound way, led to me discovering much more than bread baking.

I was proud of accomplishing something so unfamiliar to me, but this experience was much more than a straightforward pride in a good day's work. I felt, while kneading the dough, a sudden closeness to my late Bestemor, or Grandma in Norwegian. Somewhere, in a mess of old photographs and tangled memories, I see her standing next to my young mother holding three exquisite loaves of bread. The picture was not taken with a sophisticated lens, the angle not great, nor the final product up to modern standards, yet the photo holds its own. My Bestemor passed away when I was very young, nevertheless, I can still feel her gentleness, benevolence, and kind-heartedness radiating through that one brief murmur of time. And, as I kneaded the dough, glancing down at my meandering fingers, I imagined them as her own, performing the same harmonious, repeating motions, and the world seemed at peace. To be making bread from scratch, constructing the batter with ingredients familiar to her was an overwhelming experience. It brought me closer to a person I never got the chance to know, changing who I am, and who I hope to be, in the most intimate of ways. I admire her traits, hearing about them from my parents, however, having the change to relate that old photograph, a brief glance at the women she was, to a task she often preformed, gave me the ability to understand who she was more than any story ever could.

My bestemor had a beautiful heart, and ever since that experience I have yearned to be like her. Though I have few conscious memories of her, she taught me the importance of life's often overlooked gifts of family and love. Her selflessness to those around her, compassion, and generosity, inspire me daily to become a better person. As I have grown and developed into the individual I am today, I have come to realize and appreciate the simple things in life. A caring embrace, a kind word, a meal made with love-These are all mementos within my memory that have carried more weight and joy than any tangible trinket or wealth could ever give me. And, as I look back upon that photograph now, my heart feels the same pang of love and understanding as I did the day I first undertook my endeavor. My bestmor gave me more than I could ever imagine, transforming and overseeing my constant maturity into a person that I can be proud of, and for that, I will always be grateful to her.
EF_Susan - / 2,364 12  
Oct 27, 2011   #2
Looking back upon it now, I realize how foolish it was of myself to be afraid.

My fear was uncalculating and impractical, a small gnat hovering ceaselessly, restlessly, all the time buzzing a dull drone in my ear.---This is great writing!

The roots of my fear spread their curling tendrils, smiling a devilish...

It brought me closer to a person I never got the chance to know, changing who I am, and who I hope to become , in the most intimate of ways.

I admire her traits, hearing about them from my parents, however, having the chance to relate that old photograph,...

Her selflessness to those around her, her compassion, and generosity, inspire me daily to become a better person.

Your essay is very well written and also a wonderful tribute to your grandmother!
Good luck with school and have fun!

:)


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