How I Got Accepted – By Charlie Espy

My desk is old and worn. Scratches and holes from accidentally writing off of a piece of paper, or poking at it in my boredom cover the top. I got my desk for Christmas when I was seven or eight; I needed more room to do my steadily increasing homework load. The kitchen table just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I came down in the morning and saw an enormous present with my name on it. I’ve only recently thought about how long my parents must have spent assembling it the night before. I am horrible at talking about myself, but when I take a look at my desk, I see a reflection of all of the things that are me.
There are three drawers on the right side of my desk which store all of the nonessential things that I like to keep close by when I work. In my bottom drawer I keep loose-leaf paper, in case I run out, topped with my spare calculator and various extra cords. ‘the model drawer is more eclectic, holding spare headphones, flashlights from my days in Boy Scouts, a small collection of rocks collected on my favorite family vacations. A small back bag that once held the ashes of a beloved family dog sits on top of the rocks, the ashes now residing under the dogwood tree in the back yard. My top drawer is crisply organized; holding spare charging cords, flash drives, and pencils.
I arranged the top of my desk to maximize its surface area, and therefore my efficiency while I work. My primary headphones sit coiled in the corner for when I have time to relax and turn on some Beatles, Scottish bagpipes, or anything in-between. In the opposite corner, my Vaseline and hand lotion sit ready for my wintry-dry hands and cracked lips. A 7/16 wrench sits next to the Vaseline, waiting for regatta season when I hastily carry it to and from boats while cracking jokes with my teammates.
Behind my headphones sit all of my favorite pens and pencils in a maze cube that once held $20 as a birthday present from my god parents. A stack of blank flashcards sits waiting with a small mastiff figurine perched on top, surveying my desk.
On the wall next to my desk, a puppy-themed 2016 calendar hangs next to two pictures of my team at the end of last year’s spring season. The bottom picture depicts me and my teammates at a casual get-together at the end of the season as a sending of for our beloved seniors with whom we had been competing all year long. The top picture shows the whole team at the end of the Midwest Scholastic Regatta, standing on the muddy hillside of Dillon Lake, smiling like fools in the chilly wind.
Of all of the things on my desk, two stand out as my favorites. My plastic mastiff exemplifies the type of dog I love: massive, gorgeous, and well-trained. When I volunteer at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, I immediately gravitate towards the dogs that I would love to adopt. I’ve played with adorable pit bulls, a stately cane corso, silent huskies, and obedient shepherds.
The pictures of the Shaker Heights High School crew remind me of how much I have grown physically and mentally of the past four years. The people depicted in those two pictures are the best friends I have ever had. In the middle of the bottom picture stand my two greatest role models. Xavier Aniton taught me to work harder than I thought possible, pushing myself at practice to be the best I could possibly be. Ian Morrison inspired me to learn every ounce of information I could get my hands on. I think of them as I look at my desk and see my personality reflected back at me. 

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