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I reluctantly stop people watching and proceed to class. It always nice to stop and imagine all the different cultures and backgrounds can be found at my small school of barely 2, people. Everyone, I have realized, has their own distinct way of life defined by various situations from trying to succeed as a first generation immigrant to working to help their family make ends meet each month.

There is nothing sheltered about Spring Woods High School. My parents have steady jobs. I live in a neighborhood zoned, if only barely, to a school called Memorial High School—the shiny, rich abundant school of the district.

From my early childhood my parents had planned on me attending this high school, as supposedly it provides one of the best public school educations in Houston. At the end of 8th grade, a pivotal moment presented itself: After much debate I finally settled on Spring Woods. Coming from a very small charter middle school, high school was rather shocking. On my first day I was astounded by the other kids. They all looked and acted alike.

Almost all had the same clothing, hair styles, necklaces, flip-flops and backpacks with their names monographed on them.

Nearly all of them also had iPods, this was almost four years ago when it was not so common to see iPods everywhere. I was amazed at how they treated their iPods so carelessly, when I have a friend who carefully saved her lunch money for months just to be able to buy one. Needless to say, she is very protective of it. Sitting in the cafeteria, I felt like I was back in fifth grade. Everyone brought nice neat little lunches, packet perfectly in expensive lunch boxes. Mothers stood at the lunch line selling cookies to raise money for various organizations, as stay at home moms they had nothing else to do with their time.

I lasted only a week at this place. I missed the teachers who taught about ideas instead of forcing us to merely memorize. I missed the general accepting feeling that comes from such a heterogeneous mixture of people.

I could now see that though. This I attribute to my time at Emandal, a family-run farm that has opened its gates each summer since to those seeking an alternative vacation. For the past 13 years my family has made the pilgrimage to Willits, California, to spend the second week of August at Emandal.

What inspires a family to spend their hard-earned cash picking vegetables or milking cows while residing in prehistoric cabins without indoor plumbing? Well, only at Emandal can I husk corn at 5 p. Nowhere else do year-old boys agree to square dance with their mothers or take the time to realize the solitude in knitting. At Emandal there are no social boundaries, no class distinctions. If fried chicken remains from dinner last night, you can count on it mysteriously resurfacing as Chicken Curry at lunch.

When my mother threatened to give away my baby clothes, I cut them up and made my sister a quilt for her birthday. But the best part of Emandal is the food. We exchange CDs with Joel the carrot guy and the Japanese greens lady saves us the last bag of cucumbers.

In my 13th year, when I had reached the stage where crucifixion was preferable to being seen with my parents, they asked whether I still wanted to go to Emandal. Thank goodness something inside of me was still smart enough to say yes. B to the back, b to the back.

They chop that l off, so b-eau-ti-ful. When everyone did realize what was going on and why it was that I got Cs in spelling, I was packed off to resource room i. Special Ed to learn how to write pretty. At first I liked it. Resource room gave me an excuse not to do well in spelling, and it let me spend class time doing silly spelling exercises.

It let me avoid my problem and at the same time pretend I was doing something to correct it, but in all honesty it was just a waste of time. It made things seem a bit better, but it did nothing to fix the problem. When I came to terms with this I convinced my mother to take me out of resource room and that I could take responsibility for my own problem, and that is exactly what I did, and have done ever since. Since then I have realized that I can never allow myself to live life in a metaphorical resource room.

I must take accountability and responsibility for myself, and not accept special treatment where there is anyway I can avoid it. This philosophy was tested last year when I was signing up for the SAT. My mother was handing over her credit card when she asked me if I thought extra time would be useful on the SAT. My mother offered no resistance to my stance and I typed in her AmEx number while I reflected on the implications of my denial. I have spent a lot of time agonizing over how to spell the simplest words, and I doubt anyone has quite attained my level of red underlines in a word document, but that just means checking the dictionary and an age spent poring over SpellCheck.

I have never taken extra time or other benefits on standardized tests and I never will, because that is not how I want to succeed. I want to sink or swim on my own and not use water wings to get through the world. Life is complex all the way down to the atomic level. Organ systems comprised of bits of tissue, formed by cells, made up of organelles, formed by carbon compounds.

Throughout high school, I have been fascinated by the complexity of life. The relationships between micro organism and macro organism, and how nature, by trial and error, has created structures that allow us to hear, feel, and see. My freshman biology teacher inspired me to think of the human body not simply as a single structure, but rather the mesh of different systems, working together to produce life.

The human body, I realized, is beautiful in its complexity and cohesiveness. An organism was no longer just an animal, it was a complex machine comprised of millions of parts. I saw vivid pictures of organ systems neatly packed into organisms to meet their function.

I pursued my passion for science outside of textbooks. I shadowed the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, standing next to him as he performed a triple bypass. The machine is infinitely larger than the actual organs, giving me a greater appreciation for how much each organ is expected to do.

During my first summer, a pathologist showed me a seemingly empty petri dish, swabbed it with a QTip and made a slide and put it under the microscope. The images I saw were amazing—thousands of microscopic organisms, moving together in large colonies. I realized that life could be as simple and small as a bacterium or as large and complex as a human being. The famous quote by Erza Cornell best describes the opportunities that Cornell provides. Cornell University has a long academic tradition of teaching the young and hopeful minds of a new generation the beauty of education.

Cornell graduates question, they analyze, they comprehend. Cornell for me is something more than just a university or an opportunity to further my understanding of Biology. Cornell is an opportunity to realize truths about the world, and about every field of learning. I see Cornell as a chance to expand the horizons of my thought, to think about the world as a bigger place, to think about its problems in a logical way, and see life as an opportunity to understand the world around us.

A Cornell education provides a basis in many things, the ability to draw conclusions from Locke, Kant, or Smith, and use these ideas in conjunction with an in depth knowledge of one topic to excel in a field. Cornell will provide me the opportunity to understand Biology in an uncommon way. Cornell is a place to discover a new way of thinking, and also a place to find passion for a study. I want to learn about Biology beyond a textbook.

I want to make those discoveries at Cornell. I breathed deeply and began again. When I was 6 years old, I had a slight speech impediment that made me far too shy to read aloud in front of my peers. Thanks for your observation. I agree that too many kids write boring essays and you have to grab the essay readers at the first line! Teenagers should write as if this was an English paper! Email will not be published required.

Transferring to Another College. Kimberly June 21, at 8: Thanks for sharing this your expertise! Hi Kimberly, Thanks for your observation. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply. Comment Name required Email will not be published required Website.

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Winning College Admission Essays By Lynn O'Shaughnessy on June 13, in Admissions, Applying Summer is a great time to write those dreaded college admission essays.

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