When I was about six years old, I used to read a new sports book every week. The protagonist was always a five to twelve-year-old boy who was slightly dorky and had a minor quirk. Maybe he counted the number of seams on a baseball every morning, had an imaginary pet goldfish, or only wore blue shoes. He was also imaginative and interested in sports, most often baseball, but sometimes soccer. The boy usually went through a series of trials -raising money by painting a fence, helping his grandparents move to a new house, or teaching his little sister to ride a bike -before he could be part of a team. The boy and the team would then face even greater challenges. The personalities and working styles of teammates - like Jimmy, the great hitter, slick dresser and poor loser, Jorge; who liked to pretend his glove sucked in baseballs when he played outfield and often fell asleep; and Keyshawn, the great, but shy runner and fielder, but poor batter - clash until the team would eventually learn to use their differences to forge a strong new group identity. This bond allowed the team members to achieve greater individual performances, thereby compelling the team to exceed all expectations and win a championship trophy. In these books, I related to the struggles the team had to endure throughout the season and learned this lesson: the greatest teams were those that did not ignore their diverse elements and instead recognized the importance of every individual and adapted the dynamics of the team to take advantage of these differences.
English Language and Literature
Pietrzak '05, Douglas, "if: Poems from the Unstandardized Perspective" (2005). Honors Projects. 4.