When I was a senior in high school I got very frustrated with writing college application essays. It seemed to me that colleges wanted to only hear about very specific parts of me, and when I took myself apart to fit into applications, I didn’t feel that special anymore. Eventually I satirically wrote (and never submitted!) this college essay:
What makes me different? I know a girl who, like me, plays the piano, sings, and composes her own music. I know lots of people who push themselves with athletics. There are people who are scary-good at school and standardized tests, as I am, and there are people who want to learn everything about everything too. I know other idealists who want to change the world, the same as me, and I know people who would rather be reading, or who are constantly coaching or tutoring. I can find all of the qualities that define me in someone else I know. But even though it sometimes seems like there’s nothing unique about me, no one has the same combination of these qualities as I do. No one else I know comes home and removes just one ski boot to work on the song she composed at training, and then finally takes the other boot off so she can go upstairs and work on her independent research project. Nothing in particular makes me different; it’s all of me together that’s different from everyone else.
I intend this to be a space where I can collect all of these different parts of myself. My plan is to do a good job categorizing them, so if you find yourself enjoying my thoughts on knitting, for example, you can search for that without having to scroll through my nerdy science rants.
I also intend this space as a place where I can practice articulating myself in written English language. I’ve been fascinated by stories since I was a child, and I’ve written a few. Writing is something that makes time vanish for me, and it’s an important method of saying something in a way that is more permanent than spoken words.
My hope is that this collection is useful or enjoyable to other people. Whether you are a young teacher trying to figure out how to be a teacher and a human outside the classroom, a person who is trying to reconcile different parts of yourself, or anyone else, I want everyone to know that you can be a lot of different things all at once. And that’s awesome!
And because I’m a teacher, I’ll always give you homework. (Just ask my students…) Have you ever felt like some parts of your personality were difficult to reconcile with other parts of yourself? How do you present yourself in different contexts, or around different people? Is there anything in you that’s always the same?
Thank you for joining me on my newest crazy adventure!