March 09, 2007

The Middle is the Goal

Lots of news in the past couple days. Our 0-g flights appear to be a go. I took part in my friend's sleep study (and got less than 2 hours of sleep the whole friggin night). And probably other stuff. But today I've decided to share with you the long ago promised college entrance essay which I wrote some 7 years ago. Oh, and it's about cinnamon rolls. (Make fun of me all you want... I got in didn't I?)

Question: How do you plan to adapt to the challenge of college life?

There are rules when eating a cinnamon roll. These rules may or may not be obvious to someone depending on whether or not he has ever pondered the technique involved in savoring this pastry. The most important rule to eating a cinnamon roll properly is always to work from the outside of the roll to the center. When I remind people of this order, I am often met with looks as if I’ve just told them the world is round. “Of course that’s how you eat a cinnamon roll! How else would anyone eat it?” they say. Believe it or not, some choose to break this vital, unwritten law.

Perhaps the method of eating a cinnamon roll seems unimportant. Unbeknownst to most, however, is that this method can be applied to everyday life. The center of the roll is undoubtedly the favorite part to those who enjoy cinnamon rolls. Therefore, it should be looked upon as the goal of its consumer. Truly, without first eating the outer rings of the roll, a person can not fully appreciate the center of his pastry. Basically, the cinnamon roll rule is this: take time with everything to enjoy fully the benefits of success.

If the engineers of the space shuttle Challenger had spent more time inspecting the hydrogen tanks, perhaps someone could have discovered the o-ring defect responsible for the deaths of eight Americans. If the navigators aboard the Titanic had paid more attention to their course, perhaps someone could have spotted the iceberg in time to steer the ship clear of danger. Similarly, when a student makes the decision not to study for a test he has the next morning and later receives a D, he has only himself to blame. The theory obtained from the cinnamon roll clearly applies. When a task is important, whether it is inspecting a shuttle, charting a ship route, or studying for a test, it will always prove worthwhile to spend the extra time required to get the job done correctly. The center of your cinnamon roll will taste much better because of it.

Eating a cinnamon roll from the outside to the middle is not only the best way to eat breakfast, although I enjoy cinnamon rolls during any part of the day, but also the best way to live life. Still, some people choose a different path. One of those paths is to eat only the middle of the cinnamon roll. As in the examples of the Challenger and the Titanic, following this path can lead to disaster. Someone who eats his cinnamon roll in this manner is a person who rushes into things and pays no attention to detail. Just as the child who, when his mother tells him to clean his room, stuffs his dirty clothes underneath his bed, he merely does the bare minimum amount of work.

Another variance of an incorrect way to eat a cinnamon roll is to leave the middle. This too has its consequences. Leaving the middle of the roll means a person has done all the work of eating the outside of the roll for nothing. Like turning a movie off just before its climactic ending, eating in this fashion leaves things incomplete. I, however, have always been one for completing any job I begin. Whether it be studying for a test, practicing for a theater or musical audition, eating a cinnamon roll, or choosing a college, time and experience have taught me to give my all and do my best in everything I hope to achieve. After all, I’ve always been told that anything worth doing is worth doing right. I can only assume that that includes eating cinnamon rolls.

I have no idea what awaits me during and following college. I do, however, know I will encounter my share of hurdles to jump and bridges to cross. In situations such as these, a person has to draw knowledge and perseverance from everything he has ever been taught about life. The abilities of being flexible, adaptable, and versatile in any situation are important in a person’s character. Sometimes the outside layers of a cinnamon roll are too hard or have been baked too long. When faced with this adversity, I do not despair; I know the solution. Dip those layers in milk or coffee or even use a microwave to heat them to softness. In other words, make the best of what may not appear to be an ideal situation. No matter what, keep working around the rings of the cinnamon roll.

I suspect college is like a cinnamon roll. A student has four and sometimes five years of grueling studying and learning. The goal and center of this cinnamon roll is receiving a degree as a reward for years of hard work, using that degree to get a job, and thus beginning life as an adult. As I have already demonstrated, patience and dedication are excellent virtues for this endeavor. College may be hard work, but it has infinite benefits to those who apply themselves and eat their “cinnamon rolls” properly.


Hal said...

That's . . . um . . . wow.

The NU admission folks must huge Cinnabons customers.

Scott said...

Reading this essay made me go buy cinnamon rolls. No wonder you got in.