Johns Hopkins University Essay Prompt: Submit an essay describing a person, thing or an incident that has encouraged you to follow your passion or something that you love the most.
The Gibberish Bestseller
“Who has not yet submitted the essay?” the shrilled voice of my teacher could be heard throughout the high school even though the announcement was meant only for my class. A backbencher with his tummy racing ahead of his body, specs greasing down his nose and curly hair reminding everyone of deep woods raised his hand and the same crammed the aura with laughter and mock.
“Joey, why you always make the submission of your essays past the deadline?” Ms. Monica, our history tutor, asked while going through his work meticulously. However, she lost her cool when she realized that the last assignment she was going through was brimming with typos and grammar crimes. Once she was done rebuking him and offering two full minutes of amusement to the class, she plonked in her blue armchair. She then mentioned something to Joey that made my belief in karma stronger. “You are now teaming with Peter for all your assignments and homework. I believe Peter, being the topper of the class, will help you improve your school’s tasks.”
By the time Ms. Monica could complete her sentence, and I could nod in acceptance or shake my head in decline, he was already there just beside me with the Cheshire Grin and without a sense of shame. “I don’t understand why the admission committee even considered his application,” I said to myself and reverted with an effortless smile.
Though Joey was made my partner for the History assignments, he would accompany in the biology lab, sports ground and even to the restroom. Even the shadow goes away as the sun dips in the horizon, but he would mark his presence at my place even in the evening.
“Do I need to speak in Hindi, Chinese, Italian or Japanese to tell you not to follow me everywhere?” I could not hold the fake smile for long and lost my cool once. My tone and the rhetorical question were insulting enough to which he replied that I was his subject. Demented and bewildered, I asked him what he meant by that. His answer made me scratch my head on how to react. Do I laugh, express my gratitude or appreciate his confidence were some of the mixed response hovering my head when Joey mentioned he was writing a book on me. I was involved in a deep thinking when he repeated the same thing again and broke my chain of thoughts.
“Yeah I heard that, but I was thinking of ways to mock you on what you just said?” I said and instantly regretted for the guy seemed disappointed on how I reacted. I apologized but backed my reaction with a logical rationale. I explained to him that his vision of writing a book and getting it published was a snowball chance in hell. I could sense that the demotivation had caged his free spirit, but I had to bring up the facts. Joey, without reacting or responding, fished out his smartphone and mailed me a document which made me looked puzzled. I opened the document and discovered that it was his half-jotted manuscript.
His observation was commendable. The way he wrote about me, my personal life, my break up with a girl that I loved the most, my academic life, etc. was mind-boggling. After going through few of the pages, I wondered he knew me more than I did. I could not believe my eyes when I went through his creative writing. It impressed me and at the same time piqued my curiosity to read it further, but it was only a half of it. He wrote it really well. His writing was polished, unlike his essays. “How such a big difference between this and your assignments?” I asked completely perplexed. He explained that his veins had less of blood and more of writing running through them. He was not there in the school for history or physics. He had no interest in them. The keywords of these disciplines, the technicalities and complexity had bothered him in his entire career of elementary school. That was the moment, my thoughts aligned with his. He had robbed me of speech that day. I, on the other hand, stood there like a wallflower wondering why I couldn’t leverage my excellent writing skills and use it smartly as Joey did. Why couldn’t I develop an exceptional observational skill as he did? Was it because of my extreme involvement in math and science? All these dilemmas wrapped me, and I could not find a way out.
Not just Joey impressed me, but he inspired me to explore my potential. I had already made my mind to help him by proofreading what he had written and furnished him with whatever detail he looked forward from me. Because he was now sure of his current interest, he had succeeded in convincing his parents that he wanted to take a year’s gap after his elementary school.
While I was busy jotting down my college essays, he was somewhere plunged into writing something that he loved the most. Though his tale was not cent percent accurate to my life, there were parts that were pure fiction just to connect the dots. While I was dancing around for I had bagged a seat in the top most undergraduate college of the city, Joey was somewhere down in dumps for being rejected after third time from the publishing community.
I now shared a true ally bond with him. The same made me worry for him and evaporated all my fun and merriment of admission. Every time there was less of constructive feedback from the publishers and more of sugar coated rejection. Some didn’t even bother to reply.
It sounds funny and bizarre at the same time that the success of the most mocked person of the class was now the concern of the topper of the campus. Was it because I was the protagonist of the book? Or was it because I had a genuine concern for Joey? Even being the genius, I could not figure out an answer.
After considering various factors and lending a helping hand to Joey in changing his pitching strategy and getting the things in motion, we ended up with three publishers who showed interest in ‘my story.’ They took their own time to read the entire manuscript. While one shook his head due to bandwidth issue and said no after seven long months, there was another who discarded the chances of Joey being a published author in eight months.
“Just like other college students, I should now write essays and concentrate on my academics” from Joey was heart rendering. It was hard to see passion dying in front of eyes. Just when his dream was about to shatter like pieces of glass, an email from the last publisher made his life. Joey was called to Seattle in next 10 days to sign the publishing agreement. While I felt euphoric, he was on cloud nine. I could not be any happier. For Joey, there was no more wrestling with the complications of physics or difficulties of math. He seemed close to turning his dream into reality.
Even if they live somewhere else, friends know that their bonding is here to stay forever. Same was the case with Joey and I. Most of the times; he would stay in Seattle. He had an amazing bond with his publisher and editor who were working on their manuscript and polishing it more.
“The cover image of my book is almost here. Only one thing is yet to be added – My Name.” He had once chirped on the phone. It had been more than 10 months that he was monitoring the editing and page setting of his book. His book was all set to launch in the upcoming month.
The elementary school for him was just a school, which he thought was necessary to brand him with the tag of an educated person. When it comes to me, the school was the stepping stone to achieve my vision of becoming a biomedical professor. Two completely different personalities with entirely different dreams and agenda met by chance and stayed together by choice.
One afternoon, the UPS delivery person handed me an envelope. The sender was Joey from Seattle. The pack had contained a two-way flight ticket to Seattle and a message that read “See you at the launch of my book titled – no, not now! I will reveal the title to you at the launch itself.” The gesture plastered a smile on my face and just like any other good lad; I called him up to express my sincere gratitude.
Once at the launch function in Seattle, I rested on an armchair and waited for the friend turned author to turn up on the stage. After a couple of minutes, Joey showed up on the stage with probably his publisher and other team members. In an initial introduction round, he revealed his inspiration behind my book. Damn! He even pointed at me while he talked about the same. He then turned towards his book which was under a red veil. With every footstep towards his book, he reminded me of the entire journey, the struggle he had to face and the rejections he overcame. It seemed like all his goof ups in the essays, and his weak academic background
It seemed like all his goof ups in the essays, and his weak academic background were conspiring that time to bring him here. He somewhere motivated me to always move on no matter what the world says about you. We laughed at him once and mocked him, but we could not break his spirit. He inspired me to be clear when it comes to the vision and never let obstacle distract me from my path.
He stopped just beside the stand which had his book on its top. One look at me and our connection grew stronger. He lifted the veil, and the cheering and applauding sound around me filled the aura. While many moved forward to congratulate him, I sat in the blue armchair with my eyes glued on the title of the book, which read “The Tale of My Peter Pal.”
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