2003-11-29 12:40:37 ET|
here is my 600 word for uc's
Focus: Potential to Contribute
Rationale: UC welcomes the contributions each student brings to the campus learning community. This question seeks to determine an applicant's academic or creative interests, and potential to contribute to the vitality of the University
Question: Tell us about a talent, experience, contribution or personal quality you will bring to the University of California.
In my A.P. English class we were asked to put together a sort of personal portfolio. I threw together all of the important aspects of my life; diving (both springboard and scuba), school, friends, family, experiences, art, music and historic figures that I admire. I managed to collect all of this and put it in a green binder for my professor to review.
When I got the binder back (and more importantly my photographs, artwork, poetry, magazine clippings, etc.) there was a pale yellow sticky note on the inside cover that simply said “eclectic”. I thought to myself 'how profound' and immediately grabbed a dictionary to figure out what the heck that meant. I found this definition from the lovely people at Webster- eclectic: (adj.) \e’-klek-tik\ 1. Selecting what appears to be best in various doctrines, methods, or styles. 2. Composed of elements drawn from various sources.
Eclectic, the word now had a sort of romance. It felt like home to me. I said it aloud again and again. Eclectic sprung of my tongue and bounded towards my ears. It helped me feel at peace with my new definition. Other words I had used it the past fit more like a size 10 feet in size 9 shoes, almost but not quite. I no longer had to sit for hours wondering if I was eccentric, punk, hard-core, freak, geek, nerd, enthusiastic, happy, depressed, vegan, artistic, photographer, grand-daughter, daughter, that crazy chick, colorful, writer, poet, bisexual, activist, feminist, Marxist who is not quite yet a woman. All of these words fit me like a wool sweater that I washed in the hot cycle.
The real problem with these words is that they are too specific. I am a person with broad interests not easily pigeon holed. I am punk, but I like rockabilly, jazz and even classical. I am depressed, but so are most teens and I am happier than most people I know. I am bisexual, but not in a way most would assume or even understand. There is no word for me to describe all of this, or so I thought. I met eclectic and fell in love.
Eclectic not only helped me explain myself better, but it was almost like I had found my place in society. I was no longer trying to explain myself at any chance I got. I could just say, “I am eclectic” and let the poor baffled person I said it to figure out what I meant by it. Many of the words I had used in the past, which almost fit, had a negative connotation leaving me with a bitter taste about my description. Eclectic has no connotation, which is part of the reason that I love it so much. It can’t give people the wrong idea, because it is so darn broad. They can’t think 'oh she’s just saying that,' because what am I really saying. Nothing and everything all at once. In fact it is so broad that it leaves anyone who hears me say it, yearning for more. If they want to know me so bad, they will just have to talk to me, and ask me questions that are better than “How do you identify?”
This was a new word to me but it described me perfectly. I had often struggled with trying to define myself always coming up unsatisfied with the results. It made me feel special, but not original. I was unique in the sense that I, personally, was a living collection of everything and everyone that had touched my life. I have to offer exactly what they have to: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
long...I know...but oh so worth it..