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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Elderly Editorial

This was an editorial illustration used to show "I carry every mistake I ever made with me."  I felt this lady's hands showed her whole life, her loves, her widowhood, her children and all the work she ever did.  Notice the arthritis in the joints already bending the fingers, which have worked all her life.  To me this was her life written in her hands. Hands are very expressive.  After to a person's face, the hands hold the most expression and emotion.  There is something beautiful about this lady's hands that I have been intrigued with.  I'm not even sure why her hands fascinate me so.  Is it the way her ring slides to one side?  Is it the veins that look green through the paper-thin skin?  Is it the long nails signifying her lack of physical labor now in her latter years?  Maybe all these things together.  Maybe also it is that I knew her and know that one day some despicable teenager ran into her home and ran out with her purse before she could even scream.  The following week her grown children decided she couldn't live alone anymore and they put her in a home.  That cruel thief stole more than her purse that day.  He stole what was left of her freedom.

Scholarship Essays

One of the hard things about applying for scholarships is that many (most even) require you to write an essay.  They usually vary in length and are about some required subject or theme.  For the non-writer this is the element that causes most to bypass the scholarship.  However essays are usually not that difficult.  I have found that most of them are on a similar theme, namely "What do you plan to do with your education" or "Where do you see yourself in five years."  It basically is saying why should we give this money to you?  Who are you and where are you going and how will society benefit if you receive this scholarship.  I started writing these essays and saving them in MS Word.  After a very short time I found I had a data base of similar essays I could use again with a very few changes.

Step 1:  Write when you have the time.  When you can focus on the subject and you are not distracted.

Step 2:  Write on one of the subjects above 500 words and try to be funny, entertaining and grateful for the monies you hope to receive.

Step 3:  Save in a folder filled with only scholarship essays.  Be sure to note the number of words.  This will be vital when you are filling out an online form and only have a short time to find just the right essay to plug into it.

Step 4:  Update and edit your essays periodically.  I change mine twice a year during the school breaks.  This is the time to create new ones or tweek old ones.  I have found the best, and most successful essays, are personal with a dash of humor and humility.  Those people who have to read the essays appreciate a little humor in their day.

There are very few essays that require more than 500 words.  Most want 250 or even less.  It is much easier to add words than to edit them down.  I have them labeled by subject and number of words for easy access.  My essays are under specific subjects such as:  My most inspiring teacher;  where I see myself in the next five years; what I want for my epitaph;  my chosen profession/major and why I chose it; the importance of reading and education.  There are more, but those are the top subjects that get the most use.

It is now summer break and it is time to get to work on the next scholarship essays.  If I can do it anyone can.