Hello everyone! The deadline for this is very soon (a few hours, most), so if you stumble across this please take a read. I know that this is not my best writing- I lack a thesis, for one, and my main points are less than clear. Please take a read through, though, and critique this. Also, do you think I need a thesis? Is it really necessary in an essay like this? Where should I neaten it up? I would like to keep the light mood that is has. Oh, and if you post a quality critique, feel free to post a link to one of your threads along with it- I'll be happy to correct.
Okay, here goes!
DESCRIBE AN EVENT OR PERSON THAT HAS SHAPED YOUR LIFE OR INFLUENCED YOU TO BE THE PERSON YOU ARE
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
Fortunately for me, the frilly dresses my sister coerced me into wearing in my early childhood haven't affected my rugged manliness too much. My sister herself, though, has very much shaped the person I am. No, I don't mean that she's a rugged manly sister- my point is that when I examine who I am today, what I do, and where I want to go with my life, I see traces of Nelia everywhere.
The funny thing is, we don't have much in common today. I'm studying in Germany, enjoy playing my trombone and playing sports with friends, and am preparing for an internship with a naval technologies firm. Nelia is studying theatre in California, is an avid singer, and works in a store that produces costumes. I like numbers, facts, and proofs; Nelia likes emotions, ideas, and descriptions. I plan on becoming an engineer; Nelia plans on becoming an actress. Despite our differences, though, I can attribute most of my interests in some way to Nelia's influence.
Actually, in the beginning it wasn't so much "influencing" as it was "oppressively dominating". Or, to be more accurate, a turbulent mixture of "oppressive domination" and "younger sibling adulation". In any case, I usually liked what liked what Nelia liked (and when I didn't, she made me like it), did what she did, and listened to what she told me to do. Her favorite color was green, therefore, my favorite color was green. She told me to collect snails, therefore, I collected snails. She insisted I played dress-up in frilly dresses, and I played dress-up. In many ways, Nelia was my quality tester- if she liked something, I knew it had to be good. She was, after all, my big sister.
And no matter how old I got, Nelia was somehow always one year older, one year smarter, and one year ahead. And so I followed her: into band, into chorus, into theatre- wherever she went, I went too. Eventually, Nelia's values began to rub off on me- her tenacious work ethic, her dedication, her friendliness: Nelia was always eager to put in the extra hour of rehearsal, to buckle down and learn her lines, and to help out a friend.
Ironically, though, the most important thing I learned from Nelia was independence. In eighth grade, Nelia moved up to the high school, leaving me alone at the middle school. Suddenly, I was quite alone- there wasn't a big sis to hang on to. Nonetheless, I continued to do exactly what I knew best- doing what Nelia would have done. That meant adopting a fierce independence- after all, Nelia had always been self-capable, independent, and a leader.
Throughout eighth grade and into high school I carved out my own path. While I started with the foundations that I had had picked up from Nelia, I slowly began to turn in other directions. I added band to chorus, then dropped chorus for band exclusively, and then added jazz to the bunch. I began to interest myself in technical theatre, and eventually switched over from actor to stage manager to set designer. I picked up sports, including wrestling and track and field. Regardless of what I was doing, though, I always gave it my all- the work ethic and dedication that Nelia unwittingly installed in me are things I'll never lose.
Last year, Nelia and I still ran in similar circles. We had each taken on leadership roles of our own, though, and had our own areas of expertise. Nelia was the vice-president of the chorus, I was the section leader in band. She played on the varsity volleyball team and made it to the quarter-finals, I pole-vaulted at the state meet. She received award after award for acting, I led my stage crew to recognition for technical excellence. We still aren't quite on the same track, though: Nelia is still one step ahead and she always will be. Today, I attribute the musicality, dedication, and leadership that have led me to my own successes to her, and I look forward to what she'll teach me tomorrow.