Don't be fooled by the grim-faced picture. It was the only unblinking one. For me, words are worth a thousand pictures. I'm looking forward to saying hi to all of you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Opportunity to publish

An editor is collecting FICTIONAL COLLEGE ESSAYS for a FUNNIEST COLLEGE ESSAY anthology. She has an agent at William & Morris so if she gets enough fine examples, she should be able to get it published--no promises. Your high school kids are welcome to submit as well.
Her name is Jean and her email is funniestcollegeessays@yahoo.com

She's including an essay from me, AKA JOSEPH BREADSTEIN. Here it is:

College Essay
By Justin Breadstein

From the time I was in the Odyssey Program for gifted students in the third grade I wore the Harvard baseball cap that my uncle, Kenneth Breadstein lll, himself a Harvard alumni and major endower to Harvard, bought me. Of course, being respectful, I never wore my Harvard cap in class, only in the schoolyard and everywhere else. If you look at my photo closely, you’ll see proof. I have permanent hat head—thin hair on top and on the sides that bunches out around my ears. In fourth grade I almost won the science fair for my study of the social systems of ants, but someone jiggled the table, and my jar of ants crashed to the ground, and the other kids stepped on them. I would have been a shoe-in for the Thespian award for my part as the wandering minstrel, NankiPoo, in the Micado if my wooden sandal hadn’t made me slip off the stage while I was wandering. The citizenship award also would have been mine if in my speech I hadn’t mixed up one word. Instead of thanking my dedicated teachers, I thanked my “defecated” teachers.

In Middle School my teacher in honors history (all my classes were honors classes) said I would have won the Historical Society award for the colonial newspaper that I wrote, but the glue I used to put the newspaper together made the pages bleed into each other. If it had done that immediately, I never would have handed it in that way. Unfortunately, it waited until I handed it in to bleed. But my Bar Mitzvah was a huge success. My uncle, Kenneth Breadorth lll, gave me a thousand dollars towards my future tuition to Harvard, and only a small percentage of what he’ll give to Harvard when I’m admitted. Also, I was president of the Volley Ball Club. Because my wrist didn’t heal well, I began playing soccer. In eighth grade I could have gone to Yugoslavia with my soccer team, but I didn’t want my straight A average to slide, so I went to summer school to get ahead on earth science.

Once I got to high school, I not only threw my energies to clubs and teams, I also studied for Confirmation classes. Each week my rabbi had a lively discussion about such issues as politics, sex, education, sex, and international affairs. My favorite book in High School was Catcher in the Rye. I identified with Holden Caulfield who was in therapy like me. But I would never go to a prostitute like he did. I was the president of the debating team, the Star Gazers, the photography club, and the drama club. All the while, my face was in the glass case in the front hall every month with others who got straight A’s. And I didn’t waste my high school summers. For example, the summer of my junior year I went to The Mitzvah Corps at Rutgers University. We had choices. We could work in a soup kitchen or be a counselor at an inner city camp or in a camp for adults with disabilities or with senior citizens. I chose to do all of them. They said it couldn’t be done, but my uncle, Kenneth Breadstein lll, hired me a limousine so I could show up in each place for an hour a day. That Fall I won the Rotary Club photography contest with my photos of the astonished faces of the inner city kids and the homeless people when I showed up in that limousine.

I hope that you will accept me into Harvard. Not only will I be forever grateful, but my uncle, the endower, Kenneth Breadstein lll, will be forever grateful, too.

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