Choose an issue of importance to you—the issue could be personal, school related, local, political, or international in scope—and write an essay in which you explain the significance of that issue to yourself, your family, your community, or your generation.

It’s been a while since I curled up in my closet and carefully pried open the lid of my Blue Box: 5 X-Acto knives with 10 interchangeable blades and an array of 5 different handles. A cutter’s dream. Mom would always warn me when I borrowed that Box, for an art project or some school presentation or for cutting out magazine pictures to paste on my bedroom wall – “Be careful, they’re sharp.” A wry smile comes to mind. Proceed to art project/ school presentation/ magazine cut-outs, sitting cross-legged on carpeted bedroom floor and complete art project/ school presentation/ magazine cutouts. Then retreat to closet for some acquaintance time with blade of choice, a continuation of personal art project. You know it goes: the sharp tip my pencil; my forearms the canvas; my heavy, thudding heartbeat the studio music.

This issue of self-harm, or self-mutilation as others call it (which brings to my mind gruesome situations like deliberate amputation of a limb, or someone actually taking the initiative to visit the dentist) seems so touchy and uncomfortable in general public discussion (probably because it is). But escape to that almighty, all-knowing haven of infinite knowledge and the like-minded anonymous, the World Wide Web. There...

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