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As a young student, I always struggled to finish simple class work activities on time, mostly because they involved coloring. I was nitpicky on which colors I selected because each choice would uniquely contribute to the overall picture. I knew how vital each color was in giving the impression of the picture. The 64-count Crayola box sets were personally torturous for me; they gave me too many color combinations and left me pondering at my desk for the entire class period.
I never realized that I was fastidious about colors, only that my classmates somehow managed to finish much earlier than I did. I assumed that I required more time because I was unusually inept at art, not because I was finicky in my color selection. My parents also found it odd how an elementary school student could have hours of homework.
Looking back, I see how my coloring habits resulted from my inclination to analyze everything, not strictly pictures. Because I analyze outfits, my friends know that I can easily recall the type of zipper on someone’s jacket, or the color of the seams on her jeans (and yes, the seams on denim do hold significance to the jeans’ overall impression). Additionally, junk mail, commercials, or billboards along the highway are fascinating to me not only to look at, but also to judge their effectiveness in selling their product.
My interest in analysis also extends to academics. In AP US History, because I instinctively scan both the obvious and subtle details in political cartoons, I naturally find the messages of the drawings strikingly clear. In addition to visual analysis, I also enjoy examining other media, such as poetry that utilizes vivid imagery. Walt Whitman, who is a master of using imagery to express his message, is consequently one of my favorite poets. My favorite Whitman poem to study, “As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life,” is an intricate and extensive metaphor that uses minute descriptions of the ocean to compare to his poetry career.
In the future, I want to study various subjects and how they relate to each other, similar to how colors relate to each other to create an entire picture. Ithaca College provides a myriad of opportunities to examine my immediate surroundings as well as society. The Contentious Knowledge Theme Project in the Institute of Social Sciences, for example, combines the social sciences with bio-ethics, economics and natural sciences in order to analyze how social protest affects authoritative policy. My interest in analyzing everything—whether it is crayons or Whitman—would grow and broaden with the interdisciplinary ideal of Ithaca College.
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