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Practice College Essay 1

To my new friend, the excited reader:

Imagine you are asleep. On second thought, donít do that. I donít want you to slip into unconsciousness, as you would no longer be an excited reader, and therefore no longer my friend. I value my friends too much (no matter how undeveloped our relationship may be) to voluntarily lose one to an involuntary, suggested, possibly even hypnotic state. Iíd much prefer that we all sat down to a nice turkey-and-stuffing dinner and got to know one another before you turn into an imaginary sleep zombie. So, instead, imagine you are Ďinconveniently predisposedí - for example, youíre chained to the wall of a murky dungeon at the bottom of a Medieval cathedral in which the ceiling is decorated with a delightful English Gothic fan arch design, but the lighting is too poor to fully appreciate it. To make things worse, this particular English Gothic dungeon is in France, and you donít speak any French.

So here you are, with your arms and legs bound to the wall of the darkest and most obscure room available (the first chapel on the left is booked for an interfaith ping-pong tournament) in this architectural masterpiece that now cowers in the shadow of its ancient glory, wondering why on earth an undergraduate applicant would possibly want to conjure these images into your head, when all of a sudden, this ferocious run-on sentence sneaks up and bites me in the rear end.

All of a sudden, you come to your senses and resign from the admissions committee because of all those inane essay submissions. Just kidding - youíre still here! Right? Hello? ...Anyway, since this is my essay and Iím the one who has been putting the paragraphs on the paper and the pictures in your mind, itís only fair that I offer you a decent, if not particularly profound, explanation for my overenthusiastic mental scene construction.

After all, Iím not describing my own aspirations for the future (although I would like to be fluent in French someday); Iím not describing my favorite subject of study (although I am fascinated by classic architecture); Iím not describing my worst fear (but intentional run-on sentences really can be a figurative pain in the butt). I havenít even mentioned the unexplainable, contradictory phenomena of pragmatic perfectionism, complex immaturity, or occasionally pessimistic idealism that help to define my personality. All I really wanted in having you imagine the despondent scene a few paragraphs earlier was sympathy for my situation.

What situation, you ask? Well, several weeks ago, I set out to write an essay for my college applications. The problem is that my essay is due tomorrow, and I have yet to settle on a topic. I really have no idea what to write about. Perhaps a summary of my mission in life, or an adjective-filled description of myself, or a discussion on the beautifully dynamic motion of strawberry Jell-O...

(c) Jeff Kessler 2001-2002