From Another Mother

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

I have two brothers. They’ve always been everything I’ve ever hoped to become. From the beginning of my life, they enchanted me. I was not only drawn to them because they bore a strong resemblance to me, but because everyone else was fascinated by them too. My parents hail them as brilliant and charismatic heralds of revolution. They tower above everyone else in my family, and they have booming voices and large mouths out of which only come perspective-altering insights and witty quips. They’re sources of comedic inspiration, and their laughs carry down city blocks and into our mouths, as we tend to laugh equally as hard. Their slapstick stylings doubled me over when I was 3 and still do. I fear that my efforts to do them justice in an essay like this would only inspire scrutiny and hysterical chortling on their part; for all their virtues, they probably haven’t ever conceived that I might compliment them in any shape or form. Nonetheless, they’ve had such an impact on the kind of person I strive to be that it would be unjust not to give credit where credit is due.

Their names are Eduardo and Eric.

Eddy arrived at the age of 12 from Mexico City. He spoke no English, had ADHD, and moved to a racially insensitive neighborhood. He loathed his school, and he loathed the country because he had to relocate. Ed trudged through his high school years with cynicism, getting odd jobs, partying incessantly, and paying no mind to academics. Despite this, he blossomed in his hardship and found a wonderful sense of humor. Ed’s reverence of his family has never faltered. I admire him all the more for maintaining his extraordinary character. Ed also grew larger than any Mexicanito I’ve ever seen, which I think speaks to his extraordinary resilience. He has the sense of fun that touches every age. He’s quietly optimistic, and I think he is a bit surprised by how happy he makes everyone around him, because his sense of humor is the driest. Ed currently lives in a suburb of Chicago, has a fulfilling line of work, and a wife.

Eric similarly hated his neighborhood. He was a vegetarian by the time he was 11 and he knew he was gay at 12. He was as liberal as they come in a community of some of the most outspoken conservatives around. Eric struggled with his sexuality throughout high school, and he celebrated his coming out by wearing women’s clothing to school for a week. He was the calm, collected, and brilliant middle child who resolved arguments between Ed and my sister. He worked hard in school, though he hated it just as much as Ed. While attending Kenyon University, he began his career as an LGBTQ advocate by starting a campus civil participation club called the “International Human Rights Advocates”. Most recently, I’ve heard of his protests of large businesses (namely Macy’s), holding signs that read “We’re Here, We’re Queer, & We Aren’t Going Shopping”. His passive-aggressive, deadpan humor keeps us laughing ceaselessly. Although he graduated with a sizable student debt, he and his partner are my motivators, the men who keep me going as I lock eyes with my post-secondary education. Eric is 35 and lives in Brooklyn with his partner, commuting to Dickinson University as an American studies professor.

What would Ed and Eric look like if they were melded into one superhuman? Whatever this freak would look like, I hope that one day I’ll vaguely resemble him. They’ve been so instrumental in my search for identity that I use them as my standards for success. I won’t ever experience some of the hardships and obstacles they faced, and because of that, they tell me every time we’re together that I’m fated to surpass them both. Then they make a snide Ted Cruz joke and guffaw about how clever they are.

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