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"Getting lost in a book" - University of Chicago 'Find X' Essay


jal1118 1 / -  
Oct 13, 2010   #1
This is the rough draft so feel free to rip this essay to shreds haha. I can handle tough criticism so go for it. I am not a very creative person and I am an introverted person so this is the best I can come up with:

"A safe but sometimes chilly way of recalling the past is to force open a crammed drawer. If you are searching for anything in particular you don't find it, but something falls out at the back that is often more interesting." James Matthew Barrie, a Scottish author best known as the creator of Peter Pan, more than adequately describes my X. I often find myself eternally searching for something I can never find, ...
simbamaxxed 5 / 59  
Oct 13, 2010   #2
Great take on this prompt,which I dutifully avoided when I was doing my Chicago essays! Look,this is a prompt that can be interpreted in a hundred different and equally valid ways.

Yours was a wonderful interpretation,although I suspect that a lot of people will go the same route in answering this question.You're clearly a very good writer,and this piece shows it.

My observation would be that because the prompt is quirky and unusual,a quirkier,slightly more outrageous style would do good to your already competent essay.My point is,tweak it slightly to give it a more edgy feel,in keeping with the prompt itself.

Otherwise,It's a great effort.Lot's of luck to you:)
auds 2 / 40  
Oct 13, 2010   #3
First of all, I would like to say that I love your beginning. When you said "I have spent my 18 years of life" I think you should take out life. I honestly read the entire thing and I have to say that I loved your first two sentences and the last paragraph. The middle is just a little too much questions without any real meaning behind them that makes me the reader actually see what your talking about. When you talk about the sky being blue and the girl telling you that its blue because it just is, I think that you should say that throughout childhood you never got those thrilling answers that explained every question you ever thought of. Like the people around you lived life just to live and followed others like drones with no real meaning or light. You as a person and being who you are wanted something more and embarked on many different identities, and that's where you should start talking about your middle school years of living a facade like a dream and not being happy with who you were.

I also think that you should use another transition than "Jumping a few years ahead." For some reason I don't like it. Otherwise great essay :)
crabball 5 / 22  
Oct 13, 2010   #4
The meaning of life is indeed a great choice of X. And I think you did a very good job on the transition from seeking popularity to seeking your true self. But I think you should make your questions shorter and fewer. They seem to detract readers from your story of getting close to finding who you are. But all in all, it is a great essay:)
MatWirth 3 / 4  
Nov 7, 2010   #5
A safe but sometimes chilly way of recalling the past is to force open a crammed drawer. If you are searching for anything in particular you don't find it, but something falls out at the back that is often more interesting." James Matthew Barrie, the Scottish author best known as the creator of Peter Pan, more than adequately describes my X. ] I have spent my eighteen years of life searching for anything that can explain who I am and why I am here. Yet I seem unable to find the meaning of life . As an inquisitive young toddler, I wondered why the sky was blue. Why was it not pink like I portrayed it in my drawings? I searched for the answer through the eyes of a curious little girl, only to get stumped by the same reply, "because it is supposed to be blue, Jessica." As a juvenile kindergartener I wondered why I was so short, and why I was not as cool as the most popular girl in school. I had the Malibu Barbie doll too, so what made me so different than her? Why did I actually want to play on the playground at recess instead of gossiping about boys? I spent the most of my adolescent days searching for the answers to my inquiries while eating my vegetables and doing what my parents told me. By the time I hit my preteen years, boyfriends were the thing to have instead of Barbie dolls, and if you were not in the popular crowd you were not worth noticing. So, I started hanging out with the popular group. I highlighted my hair to a color I hated; I got a boyfriend, though I would not consider my relationship in 6th grade an actual relationship. I wondered why I was still unhappy with my life, because I thought that all I wanted in life was to be popular. I searched for my place in junior high and failed. I did not know who I was or why I was placed in Akron, Ohio at the tender ages of twelve through fourteen.

Jumping a few years ahead to high school and I went in another direction. I dismissed the popularity that I cultivated in junior high and took a step into who I thought I really was. I became extremely introverted and retreated into myself. I helplessly searched for my reason for being. I lived my life through novels. I saw myself in the timeless character of Elizabeth Bennett; the stubborn, hardheaded girl who was perceived as foolish. I saw myself in Lizzie because I was a stubborn person who hardly let anyone beneath the surface. Yet again, when I believed I had found who I was, I felt misplaced and lost.

I kept searching for my X through the early years of my high school experience. Now in the present as I sit in front of my computer, I am still looking through the drawer of my past, searching for the meaning to my life. After eighteen years of searching, I believe that I am close to finding who I am and who I am meant to be. I am the girl who enjoys time with friends but relishes the time when she can open up a book and get lost in it, the girl who is passionate about animal rights, who spends as much time as she can outside with nature, the girl who is curious about the inner minds of others, and lives most of her life in her head and loves it that way. I am the person who has been built out of misplaced items that have fallen out of the back of my drawer, and I would not have it any other way.

This are only my personal suggestions on how to make you essay flow better, if they do not represent your voice you should disregard them.

As far as the idea goes, I thought it was very interesting, and your love of books does stand out. I would suggest you to expand your essay to connect kindergarten, junior high, and highschool without any breaks. Also, I believe the instructions suggested 1-2 pages for the essay.
tbvjaos555 7 / 11  
Nov 18, 2010   #6
seem to detract readers from your story of getting close to finding who you are. But all in all, it is a great essay:)


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