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Olin College

At Olin College we seek students who are not only intellectually gifted, but who also have "passions" - interests to which they are highly committed and which give their lives balance. What is your passion and how does it balance your life?

     I have been cursed with multiple passions, though it may be a blessing Ñ my passions balance themselves. They each get a few months of obsession and focus while the others take the back burner until itÕs their turn. Forced to pick only one, IÕm going with writing.
     Though until recently my writing hasnÕt been much more than some cryptic freeverse here and there, this summer I began writing down thoughts, events, and arguments I didnÕt have the heart to fight with people I knew. WhatÕs great about journals is the fact that IÕm not writing for other people, so I donÕt have to worry about offending anyone or taking myself too seriously. Writing gives me a chance to write things I couldnÕt bring myself to create otherwise: the kind of bad poetry that rhymes "butterfly" with "flutter by," treatises on the importance of the moon to my bedroom carpet, or descriptions of what starlight tastes like. Writing is best when the rest of the world fades away and I no longer notice my fingers hitting the keys or the dull glowing contrast of the text on my computer screen. ItÕs like reading a good book, written so fluently the words on the page disappear, leaving a motion picture playing in my head as the pages fly past one after another Ñ but in reverse. As the pictures and thoughts in my head begin to transfer themselves directly to the page, the keyboard disappears and the sentences fly by.
     Many people I know are pressured to do well. Thankfully, writing for myself lets me ignore worries about how conventional or graceful my writing may be, offering a much-appreciated release from everyday pressures. Without this passion to balance my life, it might become too easy to forget to relax every so often.

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Copyright 2001 Katie Rivard <> Web Services available, email for info.