My Pencil Grip

Essay Prompt

We are a community with quirks, both in language (we’ll welcome you to Grounds, not campus) and in traditions. Describe one of your quirks and why it is part of who you are. (250-300 words)

Sample Essay

My adorable little preschool self must have aced my elementary school interview, knowing every shape, color, and number they threw my way. I got into St. Paul's without a problem, but the admissions lady did tell my mom that I had to be sure and fix one thing before my first day of kindergarten. My pencil grip had to be changed to something "normal" or catastrophe was sure to follow.

I developed my signature (aka "abnormal") pencil grip on my own. As far back as I can remember, I've held my pencil the way I did in that elementary school interview. When I write, I put my pinky and ring finger below the pencil and my middle and index finger above it, leaving my thumb off of the pencil. I guess my parents would have done something about my unusual grip if they had noticed early on or if it had hampered me in preschool, but it wasn't until that admissions lady identified it as a "problem to be fixed" that they tried to get me to change it. Since the grip worked perfectly for me, I refused to change it. And as I hope my record attests, catastrophe did not follow.

You could call my refusal to change my pencil grip stubbornness, but I think it's just ruthless practicality. Why get a new pencil grip when the one I have works? My pencil grip might be "abnormal;" but my handwriting looks great. If it works, it works; there's no point in trying to change who I am and how I do things for some admissions lady. I'm pretty proud that preschool me was wise enough to know that.

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