Today was stressful. A good type of stress, but very stressful nonetheless. I had to participate in an art project with one of my good friends where we literally had to stop people in a very central area of campus and ask them to take pictures. I will describe this in depth tomorrow, as I do not currently have the pictures (they are on my friend’s camera).
I ALSO had to submit my application for the writing minor here at Michigan, something which definitely caused my heart to pitter patter. So, because why not, I’ve decided to share a bit of it on here (the parts which I think will lead to the most discussion… hopefully).
The question was -basically- why I want to participate in the writing minor. I began with this:
“I have two major passions: art and writing. Both help me see my world through different perspectives. With art, I have an outlet to express myself visually, impacting the world through my paintings. Through writing, I clarify my thinking.
I discovered the power of the written word in second grade. On the first real day of spring, Mrs. Byam assigned us an entire math worksheet for homework. I was infuriated. I wanted to go home and play soccer with my sisters, not sit at the kitchen table with a math worksheet. I took matters into my own hands and, during recess, wrote Mrs. Byam a polite letter explaining how I didn’t think we needed homework. We would work extra hard tomorrow, I explained. Today, we all really needed quality family time. Mrs. Byam read the letter and laughed, to my dismay, but then agreed the homework wasn’t necessary. Victory.”
I then moved on to talk about how great the minor is, etc., etc., and then included another anecdote:
“Last year, I was talking to one of my parents’ friends. He asked me many predictable questions: “What’s your major?” “What are you passionate about?” “What are you going to do with your major?” He succeeded at rattling me. Usually I am able to slide through these nightmarish conversations with an “I’m just not sure yet.” Mr. Silk, however, persisted. My final diversionary tactic was to ask what he would recommend. I was happily surprised when he confirmed what I already knew.
“Well, Larkin,” he said, “I think that you already are on a great path toward success through your choosing an unusual major. You’ll stand out. But honestly, what I most look for in the young people that I hire is whether or not they can write. You would be very surprised at how many people your age can barely form a sentence.”
He moved on to another conversation, leaving me to ponder and process his statement. I knew from my mother that he really did hire many people in his successful company. His affirmation of my belief in the power of the written word reignited my commitment to be the best writer I can be. I want to write not only to impress people in the job atmosphere like Steven Silk, but also because writing is how I best communicate with both others and with myself.”
I already have asked you all the question “what makes you write”, so today I’ll pose this one instead: “when did you first learn of the power of words,” or, “when did you first fall in love with the written word.”