A Pebble on the Beach

Tell us about a talent, experience, contribution or personal quality you will bring to the University of California.

To finish off the junior year, our English instructor told us to compose one last piece concerning our personal beliefs, and I worried about the consequences of reading my controversial paper on homosexuality in front of the class. To do so would risk my reputation and, because it was the end of the year, my final grade as well. I have always held passionate beliefs on the subject but have never been outspoken. However, this time I felt duty-bound to tell the class that at least one person disagreed with popular opinion. If I lost respect from my classmates in stating my views, I gained respect for myself.

My sword clashing did not start with the current class project. My ideas on homosexuality began during my sophomore year when our class held a symposium on the subject of tolerance. I formed a team with my good friends Elizabeth and David, and we could choose any topic to present, as long as it related to tolerance. I remember insisting that our team cover the subject of homosexuality. Thus, after hours of work researching our subject, we were thrilled to debate our beliefs against the lively opposition, even though we limited some of our arguments according to directions from the school administration.

Writing my "I...

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