Wednesday, January 14, 2004

All of my life, I have loved anything and everything pertaining to the English language. When I was in elementary school, I perused the local library like my friends cruised clothing stores. I wrote stories and poems, spent my allowance exclusively at Waldenbooks, attended numerous “Young Authors” conferences, and even created my own weekly newsletter, which lasted about two months. However, in junior high and high school, I somehow acquired the strange notion that to be “successful,” I needed a scientific occupation. So I dived into the study of biology with eager abandon, following dreams of being an oceanographer, archaeologist, medical doctor, and later, a genetic engineer. Even though I soaked up every minute of my high school English classes like a Brawny paper towel, somehow my vision of majoring in biology and studying genetics lingered throughout my first year of college.

This mistaken goal gloriously fizzled out the spring semester of my freshman year, when I took the obligatory English 102. My calculus homework and fruit fly experiments could not stand up to the vigor and interest with which I pursued class discussions in my composition course. I stayed up long hours working on my research essay (resulting in my first college “all-nighter”) and poured over the reading assignments with an excitement I usually only reserved for Jane Austen novels. That sealed it – I would change my major to English. Jobwise, I was sure I'd be destined to ask the world, “Would you like fries with that?” with perfect articulation. Now, though, I’ve figured out how to use my degree for something other than collecting dust. I’m applying to graduate school to be a high school English teacher, and to get a fancy-schmancy certificate saying I can teach international students English as a Second Language. Fun, eh?

In order to do that, though, I have to write an application essay, which is what I've been attempting this afternoon. The preceding two paragraphs were one my first drafts, which got to be too much a "story-of-my-life" type essay instead of "career-goal oriented" essay. Oh well. It is becoming increasingly clear WHY I had so many all-nighters in college -- I procrastinate on an assignment, and then labor over it until I think it is "perfect." We'll see how long it takes me to finish this time...

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