If you haven’t yet, you need to check out this year’s optional submission prompt, the gist of which is this is our way of creatively telling you who we are, please find a creative way to tell us who you are. Lately, as I’ve been recruiting, I’ve gotten numerous questions about what makes for a good optional submission. One style of essay I enjoy is what I refer to as the stream-of-conscience-I-am essays. These essays are basically just a compilation of sentences all of which describe a factoid, quirk, or idiosyncrasy of the author. These essays, when well done, provide the committee with some keen insights into who you have been, who you are, and who you might become. They do not attempt to address an applicant’s entire life in 500 words. Nor do they often describe some pinnacle of an applicant’s existence. Instead they tell us a little bit about a lot of different sides of the applicant. I figured if I was going to give students the advice to write such an essay, and if I was going to blog about such an essay, I might as well attempt to write a short exposition in this style myself so here it goes. Enjoy!
I have been fat, skinny, and everything in between. I am sarcastic and I hope that people appreciate my humor. On Thursday nights I watch Grey’s Anatomy without interruption. I love that my husband loves that show…he’s even starting to tolerate Desperate Housewives. I get up at 5:30 every weekday morning to work out; it is the only time I truly have to myself. My on-line monikers included Wends37 (based on my parents’ nickname for me and my lucky number), Dawg Pound Dame and BrownsBabe (based on my love for the Cleveland Browns), and S.Muffin (my husband’s pet name for me). 37 is my lucky number because when I was young I thought my mom was 37 when she had me; she was 33. I believe that every car should have a name. Mine have include Renee the Protege, Roxy the Rav4, and Heidi the Hybrid. My dad has a Toyota Avalon which he named Frankie. My mom then named her Camry Annette. Apparently being cheesey is an inherited trait. Someone told me that tattoos are like potatoe chips…you can’t ever get just one. I thought I would be the exception, instead I proved the rule. In elementary gym class I could never run the mile. Last year I completed my first half marathon. I have never changed lanes in the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. The first show I got to stay up late to watch was L.A. Law; the second was Northern Exposure. I agree with Dr. Fleischman in that New York is a state of mind. If money were no object, I would live in NYC for one year having a Carrie Bradshaw-esque experience. Like Carrie I crave shoes. I have a complex about my height and only wear high heels (three inches or higher of course). I met my roommate of three years and my maid of honor in my freshman seminar. I met my husband at a fraternity party and instantly swore I’d never date him; we can’t all be right all of the time. I am allergic to gum. I love VH1 Celebreality TV; it’s not a guilty pleasure…it’s just a pleasure and I make no apologies for enjoying it. I always chuckle when my husband refers to something as “redonculus”. Until last year I never saw my beloved Browns win a game in person. In December 2007 I saw them defeat the Bills in a blizzard bowl; I have peripheral nerve damage and frostbite to prove it. It was more than worth it. I was never a cat person until I started dating my husband; now I cannot own enough. We have three, Maximus Pouncer, Cassie May, and Dixie Tumbles. I cannot wait to get another. My husband fears I will be that old lady you see on television whose house contains hundreds of cats…I would be okay with that (just kidding). Changing my name when I got married bothered me more than I thought. I went from being an Eastern European Jew (Begleiter) to a descendant of Scottish royalty (Livingston). While I am Jewish, I love celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah. I love to decorate our house with twinkle lights and our lawn with inflatable holiday characters (currently a Santa-hat-clad Tigger and Winnie the Pooh reside on our front lawn in December). My goal is to someday decorate so well that you can see our house from Space. In 2003 I vacationed in Jamaica and Curacao; I got engaged and won $6000. from a progressive jackpot of Caribbean Stud Poker. I think all future vacations are now doomed. When I was at W&M I lived in Monroe, a Cabell Apartment, and one of the seven lodges. My mom used to joke that in order to get better housing I’d have to reside in the Williamsburg Inn. I hope to someday have children (it may be the only thing that stops me from adopting more cats). My college experience at W&M taught me about self-confidence, failure, opportunity, and diversity. W&M took the person I was and made me a better, dare I say the best version of myself. As a result, I commute an hour each way to work every day. I pass five different universities on my way. I could work at any one of them; I choose to and am honored to work for the College.
– Wendy Livingston