Tuesday, February 05, 2008

P1's Literature and English teacher has the high cohort practicing for college applications and admissions essays. Basically, each child picked three universities, got the admissions procedures, and filled out the application in its entirety. P1 picked Yale, Harvard, and Stanford (over achiever much?).

This was her admissions essay.
My Favorite Quote
College Admittance Essay

“Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than a whole one.” This was once said by the poet and writer of Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White. The quote implies that some people who may seem crazy, or “not quite right”, could be the source of brilliant ideas. It could also mean to imply that genius ideas are born of imperfection. This is my favorite quote because it makes the fantastical ideas worthy of consideration.
To me this quote tells me that keeping your mind open to ideas, however crazy they may be, might soon pay off later in life. It inspires me to think about what the results might be from a revolutionary or unusual approach to a problem. New discoveries could be made in unorthodox fashion. It also inspires me to take a closer look at people and listen to ideas that may come from all sources, rather than just the accepted ones.
A great example of the implications of this quote is Albert Einstein. This man, in my opinion, was unorthodox (many thought he was crazy), but he was a genius. He invented the Theory of Relativity, which was completely schismatic, yet he got expelled from school as a boy. He was completely unorganized and didn’t have a good memory. But, he was a genius and is thought to have been one of the smartest people in the world.
I think, if more people would apply the quote to their lives and minds, then we’d make scientific and cultural advances faster. People would realize that an idea might be crazy, but it just might work. We could have discovered things that we might not discover for another millennium. Humans, in particular, are comfortable with the way things are. Opening their minds to a new experience means letting in new thorns with the new rose. That potential is a little scary for some.
This quote inspires me and should inspire others. I think people should be more open-minded and tolerant of the unusual. We need to realize that we should all express ourselves freely and be less afraid of failure. Because, when we fail, we acquire knowledge which leads us to a later success. We’re all “cracked pots”. Therefore, each and every one of us carries the potential to be a genius.

I wish I had written that well as a 12 (soon to be 13) year old kid!! I wish I had been that critical of language and inference at 12. Hell, there are times when I wish I was that quick NOW. And, in other ways, this scares me. Are we making the right decision? We aren't doing boarding school. In the end, it wasn't something we felt good about. Yet,...now I'm left feeling like I'm not doing right by her. BAH! Anyway... just thought I'd share the essay.


keely said...

That is an excellent essay, but don't second guess yourself about the boarding school thing. If it wasn't the right fit, then that's it, it's done. There are a lot of other ways to provide an excellent education. Lots of books, lots of intelligent discussion, helping her find people with similar interests/mentors... with a mother like you, I'm sure she'll be just fine. If you really want her to have an experience like the boarding school where she is surrounded by kids as smart as her, there are always gifted programs that provide things like summer camp/classes. I did the John's Hopkin's CTY (center for talented youth) thing when I was younger, and I attended the camps twice. It was amazing.

aimee said...

Wow. I can only imagine what proud parents you guys are.

vamp said...

Can you believe our girls are almost 13? She rocks.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I am just waiting for the Fundi's to turn up?

Excellent essay by the way P1. At your age I was still playing with GI Joe's

wineymomma said...

Wow...That's all I got. Wow!

Joe said...

I'm with Sean. I was lighting my army men on fire with lighter fluid and playing baseball and football in the street. I used to be smart like that when I was in college in my 30's, I feel the brain cells dying each and every day.

Bill said...

Good job P1!

I agree with Keely: don't second guess yourself - putting her in boarding school could just as easily cause her to lose that creativity.

I'm a little obsessive (maybe a lot), so I'm going to critique the essay. Take the negative with a grain of salt: this is excellent for age 12.

"might soon pay off later in life": "later" is not "soon".

"which was completely schismatic": strong statement with no support. In fact, I disagree with the statement: his hypothesis was testable, and once it was tested, opposition melted. Or were you referring to a different kind of schism?

"People would realize that an idea might be crazy, but it just might work": too cliched - reword.

"We could have discovered things that we might not discover for another millennium": I think this would be better in the present tense, "we could discover things...", inspires more to action now.

"Because, when we fail, we acquire knowledge which leads us to a later success": I would qualify this - not everybody achieves success later - "...which can lead us...".

Generally: well thought out. Your theme was supported with logic and examples. A+

Poodles said...

Learning is learning, no matter where or when it happens. She is smart and she is learning, the school is not important.

Some of the greatest minds in history were not only crazy, but they never had formal education let alone boarding school.

Hugo said...

Great essay when looking from our perspective.
Forgive me for being a bit critical but I just came out of a long discussion with an aunt who's into The Secret and she used the same kind of arguments (Einstein included) to tell me that the LOA is real and scientists don't want to know it because they're not crazy enough.
Sometimes it's hard to be a skeptic ;)
Still very well written for a 12-13 year old.

Country Wife said...

Don't feel bad for not going with boarding school. It's always best to follow those 'Mom Instincts' and if something doesn't feel right, it usually isn't.

BTW, that essay is excellent. It's far above what most graduating high school seniors can accomplish, at least in our area. (One of the reasons we homeschool.)

Calladus said...

Possummomma and P1, have you thought of applying P1's essay skills to Camp Quest?

P1 could win a free trip to Camp Quest West this year for her essay. You can see the details at the Camp Quest Essay Contest site.

Thranil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thranil said...

"...to tell me that the LOA is real and scientists don't want to know it because they're not crazy enough..."

She knows about the League of Awesomeness?! Quick, we need to find out who told her!

Becca said...

A 12 year old wrote this? WOW! Can I send my son to you to raise him up right?

Stan said...

The old alt.folklore.urban FAQ has this:

F. Albert Einstein did poorly in school.