Along Came A Spider…

Tell Us about spiders.

Did you know that arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is one of the most common fears in the world? It affects approximately 10% of men and 50% of women worldwide, myself included. This past July, a man residing in West Seattle attempted to kill a spider in his home using a can of spray paint and a lighter, resulting in a fire and $60,000 worth of damage. Although this man ended up with many more issues than a simple spider on his laundry room wall, his bravery is commendable. When such situations arise involving these small 8-legged demons, I find myself yelling out for a family member to “come quick! It’s an emergency!”

I was once tanning outside in my driveway when quite possibly the largest spider in all of Radnor, Pennsylvania, crawled onto my stomach. If the track coach here at UR had seen the speed at which I sprinted out of my pool chair into my house, I would have been recruited on full scholarship no questions asked. Another day, I was relaxing in my bedroom when I happened to notice a terrifying jet- black spider in the corner of where two walls met. Unfortunately I was home alone, so I was forced to take matters into my own hands. I ran into the cleaning supplies room and grabbed the Swiffer sweeper (the extendable pole for those hard to reach places had never been so convenient). When I returned, however, the spider had magically disappeared! Needless to say I didn’t go back into my bedroom for the rest of the day, and upon my family’s return I requested a thorough search be done in hopes of finding the spider. I have enough stories about arachnids to fill a small book, but the point I’m trying to make here is not my negative past experiences with spiders, but my positive future experience as a spider.

As a Richmond spider I will not spread fear to those around me, but spread happiness with my open and friendly personality. As a spider I will not hide in corners waiting for a near bystander to notice me, but I will put myself out into the open and take risks, even if it means getting stepped on here and there. As a spider I will not spin my web in hopes of catching prey, but I will spin my web in hopes of establishing connections and friendships that last a lifetime. Most spiders tend to be solitary and aggressive even towards their own species, however some species such as Anelosimus eximius model a more communitive lifestyle, e.g., their sharing of webs and division of labor, and I believe that is the mentality of the spiders here at UR. The University of Richmond is a one of a kind establishment that I would be thrilled to call my new “nest” (okay, maybe that was one too many spider references). I look forward to what the future holds for me and I believe I would be a great, if arachnophobic, fit into the Richmond community.

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