Topic: Describe one intellectual experience that means the most to you
(1-2 pages, must not exceed 8000 characters in length)
Socrates once said that in order to understand the mysteries of the Universe, a man must first know himself. When I consider the intellectual events that have most affected me, I find most striking those that have let me to understand myself more deeply. One intellectual experience stood out to me the most --
Saturday, January 16, 2008, 3:07 A.M. It was late. Beyond late. Sitting on my bed and thinking about trigonometry was the last thing I wanted to do. Outside my window, I saw the rain as it poured heavily on the city streets. The wind sounded like whistles as it blew approximately forty-five miles per hour. Aware of all the distractions around me, I was yet immersed in all the trigonometric formulas that were scattered around my bed. I was determined on one sole task: my math extra credit problem. Extra credit that i certainly did not need; my teacher issued this assignment to aid the students who were failing and I certainly was not one of them. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it.
After spending three hours analyzing, attempting and then analyzing the question over, I had reason to believe to think otherwise. I was at a place where there was no sign of a breakthrough, nothing to move forward upon. I was frustrated at the fact that I could not unravel the mystery behind this quite difficult and rigorous problem. I began to doubt myself. Why was I not able to solve it? Was I not smart enough? I thought I was capable since I was generally good at math and had an interest in the subject. Math was a subject that I did not need to think too much about. This pessimistic attitude that boiled inside of me made me realize that I needed to make a fresh start. I washed my face and looked in the mirror. As I looked myself over, a look of resolution came over my face and I decided that I would not let this late-night study session go to waste. I would conquer this obstacle that made me doubt my capabilities. I went back to my room to delve myself into this problem. I cleared my head and said to myself repeatedly, if there is a will, there's a way, until I believed it. I started by going through the basics of the problem, attacking it step-by-step. The problem started to fall apart easily. Trigonometric formulas were the fundamental concepts that were needed in order to understand the intricacies of the problem. It is because of my dedication and patience that I was able to accomplish what I failed to do so previously.
This complex math extra credit problem has helped me realize that with dedication one can achieve anything. This experience means a lot to me because it was empowering to me that I was able to gather up the willpower to solve the problem. Solving the problem was not because I needed bonus points on my math grade but to have the satisfaction of accomplishing something that I believe was difficult to achieve. But, I did it!