University of Southern California
Short Essay Prompt: Tell us about a time you were exposed to a new idea or when your beliefs were challenged by another point of view.
As a child, I did not engage in painstaking searches for perfectly symmetric four-leaf clovers in the garden. I watched pepper shakers topple over with seething delight and I chased black cats into forests eerily illumined by incandescent shades. I pooh-poohed the merits of superstition, despite the fact that my very existence was a product of it.
I was born on the twelfth day of the twelfth month in a balmy Irish ward. My mother had shuffled into the hospital the previous day, 'lightly' pregnant, for what she assumed would be a routine antenatal check-up. She was told instead that I was dying and she would die too if deliberate measures were not effected immediately. It was the eleventh of December. My mother disliked odd-numbered days, so she postponed the procedures until the following day.
Seventeen years later, I peered into the earnest face of my friend, Gabby, unable to mask my skepticism as she attempted to teach me the relevance of astronomy and the zodiac signs. My mind, craving concrete, empirical proofs, would not be swayed. "A typical Sagittarius". Gabby declared with a knowing nod. Sagittarius? My insatiable curiosity got the better of me and I leaned into Gabby's further assertions about my behavioral traits.
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