Essay One: Childhood Memory
The Road Not Taken
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Our life is largely an unknown. Events, even small events, affect us in ways we can see only many years down the road. In this essay, I’d like you to write about one such small event—to look back in your life (say age 14 or earlier) to a time were you took a new path and it led you to unexpected places—somehow made you who you are today. Do not write about being saved, graduation, family deaths, car accidents, or other “big deals.” I’m not looking for Big events, but small moments which led to big changes.
Note: I do not want to know how this event affected you. Instead, tell me what happened that day/hour/moment using lots of description, dialogue and narration (in story form).
Mechanics and other stuff (see Grading Criteria for more):
1. Essay adheres to assigned topic (you follow directions)
2. Correct punctuation and spelling
3. Essay written in present tense
4. No grammar problems (esp. run-ons or sentence fragments)
5. Use of active voice (in this paper I want ALL of your sentences to be written in the active voice)
6. Creative use of description (using all five senses), dialogue and narration
7. Overall unity of essay (how well does it fit together)
Good luck and have fun!