essay

“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.” ? Oscar Wilde Upon retirement in 1571, Michel de Montaigne spent his time in the French countryside reading and writing, where he claimed to be merely “essaying” – which in French means trying – a kind of exploratory, unresolved thinking on the page. Montaigne suggested that in writing about himself, he was also “undertaking a study, the subject of which is man.” Essays traffic in ideas, asking questions, and explaining thinking in order to help the reader become equally enthralled. This paper is a true essay in the classical sense that the writer should discover, articulate and express personal insights as they intersect with and circle around a specific topic or moment experienced in RWS 305W or your SDSU life. Writing consultant Katherine Bomer in her publication “The Journey is Everything” states “The kind of writing I am arguing for in this book: prose pieces that are personal, lyrical, literary, descriptive, reflective, narrative, expository, philosophical, political, spiritual…all of the above.” Your goal? To craft an essay that has room for everything – essays linger, arouse, question, travel, contradict, reveal and expose the mind.Successful essays will:Be personal. Narrate you’re your own story/experience in first person, cultivate voiceSet up the text, context and approach in a way that allows you to enter the conversationUse at least one class idea/moment as a “touchstone” – a foundation for your inquiryExplore the larger contextual elements (moment in history, geography, age, situation…)Possess a controlling idea, but also be creative, organic, logical – not formulaicBe honest and accurate – identify and name your ideas, places, moments, setting Possess a thoughtful, creative conclusion – good essay have striking beginnings and endingsInclude quoted credible sources (writers, current voices, critics, peers…)Use an epigraph to creatively contextualize your contribution to the conversation (see Wilde quote)Length: 5-6 pages long, MLA format & works cited page minimum of three outside, quality sourcesAudience: Your intended audience is up to you; it could be other RWS305W students (current or incoming), yourprofessor or any demographic you envision would benefit from your content. Purpose: To grow through the act of writing, to pour yourself onto the page and write an essay you are proud of, to tell a story and play with words in a way that is engaging – to essay. Topic: The field is wide open! The foundation for your topic could be one dynamic idea from a journal writing experience, one beautiful line from a reading, one random insight from lecture, or the intersection of all of these in a drunken conversation with your roommate. You must follow your own curiosity and thinking while essaying; search your journal entries for inspired moments or use ideas from class content to jumpstart your inquiry. Consider how your observations and experiences in this class connect with your interests/field, challenge your values, or expand your understanding. You might go big (and reflect on your entire college experience) or go small (and analyze your growth in a mere 10 journal entries); the scope is up to you.1. Be confident in your topic2. Begin researching and deciding on what voices, sources to quote3. Explore your own thinking and personal relationship to your topic (use “I”)4. Plan how you will guide your target reader through your organized ideas to reveal your thinking and a way of understanding the greater meaning in context5. Craft an intentional, striking introduction6. Know if you need to talk to me about your topic or any unclear aspect of this project7. Check the prompt for all requirements including epigraph and MLA citingI attached the journals I wrote in class.
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1)
Analysis of Socrates ‘Man’s life is like a drop of dew on a leaf’
Unequivocally, Socrates can be deemed as the founding father of western ethics. His
character, through and way of life has had an insightful influence on modern and ancient
philosophy. Basing from his works of philosophy, he exhibits a character of great integrity,
argumentative skills, self-mastery, and insight. Amongst his great philosophies and in
satisfaction of this paper’s requirements, this paper insightfully analyzes his ‘Man’s life is like a
drop of dew on a leaf’ with a view of understanding his line of thought.
One of the greatly celebrated events by mankind is the bringing forth of life, birth. The
bearers, parents, are always filled with great expectations for their offspring. While still tender,
fuelled with eagerness, the parents are contemplative of their child’s bright future ahead. In equal
measure, the society is delightful for the carrying along of a generation has occurred.
Correspondingly, a great leader who will assure of a greater tomorrow has come to life. With
time, the newly born infant has suddenly grown and come of age to enroll in school. As
expected, the child doesn’t disappoint through the whole of junior school. However, cracks start
to emerge in senior school. Trouble spews both at school and back at home.
In a flicker, senior school is done and our child is now all grown and moves out of their
home. However, they have not yet gotten over the little habit that he learned from his peers back
at school. Within no time, their rent is overdue because they recently lost their park attendant
duty for showing up late and reeking of booze and hence ejected from their house. Our golden
child in utter desperation goes back to their sickly parent’s home. As well, their drug problem
has now spiraled off and become a nuisance. A number of times they have had a bad run with the
long arm of the law and found himself in a penitentiary. After serving their time, they find their
parents had long passed away. Horrified and in depression, they decide to end their life.
Socrates comparison of man’s life to dew atop a leaf perfectly relates to the analogy
provided in the two paragraphs above. At the beginning, in the morning, dew appears on a leaf
surface, in the same way, a child is born. Out of this, the leaf is replenished by the moisture from
the dew, in the same way, that the parents and the society of the newborn are filled with joy at
the forthcoming of the infant. However, as time goes by the sun starts to rise and the dew starts
to wilt from the sun’s heat, it is in the same compartment that the child’s morals start
disintegrating in senior school. As the sun’s heat mercilessly inflicts its heat on the leaf so does
the dew and the leaf alike, it is in the same manner that the child and the parents are equally
affected by the child’s unbecoming behavior. Finally, in no time the dew’s spun is finally done
and in so correspondence is the child’s death from anguish.
2)
A Friend to Remember
Whenever I sit down alone, I recall my childhood friend Mia. Although my family said
Mia was an imaginary friend, he was very real to me. We were more than best friend; Mia was
like a brother to me. When I was sad, he always knew what to say to make me smile. We spent
most of the time playing our favorite game, hide and seek. When I think about the most
fascinating moments of my childhood, my mind drifts back to the memorable moments I had
with Mia. Although Mia and I were inseparable, Mia never accepted to come to school with me.
He always said that other students would make fun of him like my family did. It made me sad
that I couldn’t spend my time at school with my best friend. Most of my time in school was
spend alone as I anticipated for the time to go to be with my best friend. At the time I didn’t have
so many friends, I wasn’t popular throughout my elementary school, maybe because people
thought my friend Mia made me in a way different and weird.
One day, after I came home from school, Mia was sad and wore a long face. It broke my
heart to see him like this. I had never seen Mia sad as he always wore a smile on his face and
always had a reason to smile. He always told me that I was a reason enough for him to smile.
After trying everything to make Mia smile in vain, I decided to use my savings to buy him the
toy car he admired from the local store. It was a cold chilly evening. From the season, it was
clear it was going to start snowing any minute. I wore my heavy coat and sneaked out of the
house when nobody was watching. The wind was howling fast and the trees were singing the
rhythm. I knew I had to hurry up and get back to the house before I got sick. I started running as
the heavy raindrops started to hit my coat. I became scared and for a moment the air was blurry. I
couldn’t clearly see where I was going. I thought of going back home and wait for the storm to
pass but the thought of Mia’s sad face nudged me to move forward.
The sound of thunderstorm scared me out of my skin. I ran directly ahead to take shelter
in the store that was opposite me. As I ran across the road, I heard car screens and the next
moment, I woke up in a hospital bed with my family by my bedside. I couldn’t remember how I
got there. I tried to locate Mia in the room but he was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, I had
not incurred any major injuries except for some bruises on my right hand. The doctors said that it
was a miracle I survived the accident unscathed. I waited for an eternity for the doctor to
complete the tests and allow me to go home to see Mia and tell him about the horrible accident.
But when I got there, Mia was nowhere to be found. I searched for him in the whole compound
and the entire house but I couldn’t find him. It crushed my heart when I lost him. Although this
happened over ten years ago, I still feel the pain of having lost Mia under such unexplainable
circumstances. Though I know it is a child’s fantasy, I still hope I will get to see him again and
tell him he was the best friend and the best brother anyone could ever ask for.
3)I remember the joyful day like it was yesterday. When my name was called, and I took the
stairs to approach the judges’ panel, my heart was racing so fast one could think I had just
completed a marathon. “Please ladies and gentlemen, give a round of applause for this year’s
spelling champion,” the chief judge announced as I approached the prize that he was stretching
out from his hand. The gift was a trophy that was shaped like a book. My name and institution
affiliation were inscribed at the base.
It had been a long journey that had taken three months. My English was not very good
but compared to my classmates; I was like a walking English dictionary. Our school was not a
high achiever. It was like a gazelle surrounded by a pride of lions at the watering hole since the
neighboring schools were all academic giants. My institution had always participated in the
annual competition since its founding five years before but had never won at any instance. After
application and elimination tests, I joined four other classmates to form a team that would
represent my school. I had to sacrifice my play time with my friends since I spent all of my
leisure time reading books, newspapers, magazines and the dictionary. Months went by and the
big day finally arrived.
The competition composed of three rounds. The first round was about oral spelling, the
second round involved writing dictated words correctly, and the third was filling crossword
puzzles. Every correct answer earned the participant five points, and the school represented got
ten points. At the end of the first round, our school was trailing, and no members of my team
were in the top five. We tremendously improved in the second league, and I had moved up to the
second position, while one of my team members came in third. Our school had moved up to the
second position. The third round was our strong point. At the end of the final round, we were top
in the rankings, and I had accumulated the most points. Two other members of my team were in
the top five. Our team received a trophy and a certificate of merit.
So there I was, smiling and receiving my prize for top student in the competition. A
feeling of pride filled me, and I knew that I had helped break a record and put an end to the
losing streak witnessed in the previous years. All my sacrifices and hard work had paid off. It
was the happiest day of my life.
4) “Every Doorway Has a Story”
“How could I?” I repeatedly soliloquized myself at the doorstep. Events running up to
this minute, where I find myself hurdled outside the dean’s doorstep were unreal. “You have
wasted your life”, the words still wore the sharp and painful excruciating pain that he exclaimed
to me as I closed his door. Slowly, I drifted to my golden freshman years: the yearning, the zeal,
and the determination weighed heavily upon me. I vividly recalled the day of admission, with
smiles plastered on their faces, my parents still congratulated my efforts in finally gaining
admission to my dream university; I had successfully secured admission into the prestigious
Harvard University to pursue law. Deep in my mind, I resonated on the great heights of academic
success I hoped to clinch and in the future make a great lawyer.
With a word of finality, I remember my father stressing on the need to abstain from
unproductive activities as he threw his hands firmly around my neck an indication of departure.
As I walked to my hall of residence, anticipation to this new life strode with me. Freshman year
was relatively easy and fun as I dove into the sea of wealth christened by the likes of William
Blackstone, and Martin Luther King Jr. High off peer-pressure, my academic work became
obsolete; this is where my life took a huge turn-around. Soon my life became characteristic of
purple drinks, lean, and ‘weed’, marijuana, all an influence of the ‘crew’, friends I started
hanging with. ‘Excuse me!” a voice from behind me startled me from my current position ebbing
out of my position, all along I had been standing in the way of the door leading to the dean’s
office. As I started out towards the doorway, I made a final glimpse at the expulsion letter and
with a resolve, I inched out towards a fresh start.
5)Career Fear after College
My love for construction and design in a natural or physically built environment nudged
me ahead to pursue civil engineering as my career choice. However, a certain lump of anxiety
jolts inside of me when I ponder at the thought of life after graduation. While life in university is
equally stressing, as well it is equally fun owing from the company of friends that we get to hang
around with. On the other hand, the creeping reality of completing school foresees a busy life
ahead to a point of losing out on friends.
As well, owing to the fact that my major is male dominated, I am not quite sure the
reaction I will receive in the job market. In most cases, women in career fields’ such as mine are
undermined on their levels of capability or equally harassed; a fact that does not etch well with
me and likewise frightening. In addition, with the rising competition levels in the job market, the
likelihood of gaining employment is almost equal to none. The current job market is dependent
on “who do you know” rather than skill; a factor that has left many graduates unemployable
despite bearing appropriate qualifications.
Also, there is a nagging feeling of panic emanating from a lingering question; is this
major the right one for you? Derived from observation, I have found a number of friends who
were ahead of me going back to university to start on a new degree program gathered from a new
found career path that seems more interesting from their initial one; all this coupled with the
steep fees needed. Furthermore, I’m drawn to the trepidation of finding satisfaction as I make out
of it in my mind while pursuing this career; this originates from the set relationship, income, and
career goals.
6)As a traveler I have lived within communities that have cultures, languages, religions, and
rituals different than mine. I became adaptive to the habit of exposing myself to new culture
contexts. I became interested in knowing more about people who carry values, and have a
distinct culture than mine, so I developed an interest in knowing more about cultures through
watching documentaries, reading books and engaging in school activities that expose the
students to outer cultures. It is a passion for me to know more about a person who has been
raised differently than how I was raised, and I did meet such people at community college who
were different than I was. Those people as friends taught me how different agreeting is and what
a certain body move relays as a message. As good friends we spent a lot of time doing other
activities other than attending classes. Those activities included going to their restaurants for a
traditional meal. They showed me how to use the silver wear to eat certain food, and what the
traditional meal etiquette is while eating. I was showed how and when certain food is eaten
whether its for a funeral, wedding, or friend’s day meal. I also like to learn different languages
that let me understand more of the world around me as I account languages as tools and heritage
for every country to have a unique distinct language of its own. Also as I learned the different
languages I know about those foreign cultures, I notice that I can adapt to the culture more when
I know the culture’s proper dialogue and how the word choice plays a major role in painting the
drawing I have in mind.

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