Sunday, January 12, 2014
I was an odd, crafty high schooler. Now I'm an odd, crafty grad student. Not much has changed, although my writing has gotten much worse. I was digging through old files (isn't digital archiving great?!), and found my main college essay that I sent with my application materials when applying to undergraduate universities. I forgot how darn weird this thing is.
As weird as it is to have an entire college application essay focused on modifying jeans (denim, not genes), the weirdest part is that this essay is probably the best writing I will ever do in my life. People write blog posts longer than this thing! My English teacher's only comment was, "You're either brilliant, or schizophrenic." So there's that, I guess.
And now, without further ado, 17 year old me writes a college entrance essay for an open-ended prompt:
Seam ripper in hand, I eyed the jeans suspiciously. There they were, lying on the floor, lazy, boring jeans, easy to attack and unrepentantly blue! Cautiously, I approached the pants, knowing that at any moment I could recover from my temporary insanity, and realize that I was stalking an inanimate piece of clothing. Seeing an opportunity to strike the unsuspecting prey, I thrust my scissors into the thigh, and quickly followed that hit with a slash of the seam ripper. My hands moved swiftly to attach patches of fake tiger fur, filling the holes made by my crude weapons. Grabbing the thread and needle from their position on my belt loop I sewed the denim and fur together, before either could escape from my reach. Standing back a moment, I inspected my sewing, slowly regaining my sanity. Bright orange and black fur peered out through the gaps in light blue denim, quite a rare specimen!
Mirrored closet doors opened with a light pull from the hand, and I placed the creature on the stack with the rest of my collection. Warily, I watched the new jeans’ reaction to the other pairs around it, wondering if it would be accepted into the pack. Thankfully, the tiger jeans quickly became one of the group, accepted by the unadorned, older leaders, yet surprisingly rejected by its fellow companion in alteration, the studded jeans.
In all my months of jeans renovation never had there been a more evil pair of pants than those studded ones. Sterling shapes of smileys, butterflies, and stars fluttering down the vertical seam of the side of the pants fool the hapless stranger, making her think she is safe with such whimsical little figures. I too was deceived by this façade, for a time. But quickly I learned about those delicate butterfly wings and their graceful slopes, ending in a dangerous spike. More than once the wingtips have attacked, leaving faded scars about my arms, revealing my past inexperience when I knew not of the dangers of brushing an idle limb against the fortified pant legs. Aiding the butterflies in their quest to prick the wearer were the tiny silver spokes that poke out from the back of the metallic studs. If straightened, the spines will not only loosen their hold on the fabric, causing the studs eventually to fall off, but they will also inflict unknown amounts of nagging pain on the wearer as the tiny little points migrate from fabric to skin. Many times I would pause, wondering why I had felt compelled to make these evil studded jeans, “Why? Why am I forced into choosing the plain, monotonous pair, and unable to choose the others? Why will the stores not sell decorated tall-sized jeans?” Sadly, my questions were never answered, and so I continued with my hobby, protecting myself from the malevolence of the studded pants. I promptly removed the few remaining rogue butterflies and all spokes on the backs of the studs were firmly redirected back into the denim and away from the wearer, thwarting their dastardly plans and making studded jeans safe for future generations!
Watching from a safe distance, I reflect upon my hobby, pondering new designs, while searching the room for an extra pair of jeans in need of adornment. A quick scan reveals the careless detritus of my life scattered about the floor. Finally, my eyes rest upon the sorry appearance of yet another bland pair of jeans, lazily grazing upon the stray threads dwelling in the rug. There, in its current boring state, lies infinite potential and my responsibility, nay, my mission, is to decide the personality of these pants, a vibrant image of the future already forming in my mind. I must start my work again.