Write a brief essay, either autobiographical or creative, which you feel best describes you.

I see it in the eyes of my friend Jill, the true Red Sox fan. Every game, she’s there with her eyes transfixed to the glow of the television. She doesn’t just want to believe it; she knows that this is the year her beloved team will win the World Series. I see it in the weary eyes of my father, who is constantly torn between compassion for his patients and a longing to be home with his family. Even if he has to sleep at the hospital or see patients on weekends, he will do whatever it takes to be there for his family. All three of his children have learned to watch the school door during a concert or a sports game – chances are he will sneak in, a little bit late, to cheer us on. I see it in the eyes of my music teacher, long past retirement age, who still teaches three classes a day and then supervises my a cappella group. After the last of the students have asked their questions and left the classroom, she goes over to her office and resumes her phone calls, working for donations. With the town’s budget cuts, she has taken it upon herself to make sure the music department stays alive in all the schools throughout town. All her work wearies her to the point of exhaustion, but she never so much as hesitates to do what she knows is required of her. Standing in the back of one of her fundraising concerts, she wears nothing less than a proud smile. These three people all have something truly remarkable in common – an undeniable passion for what is important to them. It may be a suffering patient, a suffering music program, or even a suffering baseball team. But their passion is something that gives them an extraordinary ability to carry on when no one else sees it as possible. This kind of passion is my driving force as well. My workload can get overwhelming, but I wouldn’t give up any of it. When I grow frustrated I think about things like the look on the 7th grader’s face when I explained to her one more time about exponents – and she finally understood. Or when my a cappella group sang at the nursing home last holiday season and one gentleman came up to me with tears in his eyes, explaining that he “finally remembered the words to Frosty the Snowman.” As is quite common, I am awake to hear the door open downstairs when my father finally comes home. I look at my clock. 2:30 AM. He should have been sleeping, but then again, so should I. He’s been operating late at night for days now. The refrigerator door sticks as it seals shut: he’s found dinner. My computer screen is still glowing, the cursor blinking in expectant hesitation. 750 words – my paper is only half finished. He sees my light and walks softly over to my room. As he gives me a kiss goodnight, we both share a mutual understanding: the lives we chose can be trying, but we wouldn’t trade them for anything. After all, accomplishment is one thing. But doing something you truly love, and knowing you are helping someone else – that feeling is worth all the sleep in the world. In On the Road, Jack Kerouac once wrote, “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles.” I’m afraid there is no cure for this “madness” of mine – it a fundamental aspect of my character. After all, a life without motivation or passion is really no life at all. Though I may be mad, I couldn’t imagine living my life any other way.

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