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Shivam Dharmendra Patel received an Honorable Mention for this essay.

For this year's contest, students were asked to respond to the following prompt: This year the shared intellectual theme at IWU is “Fact or Fiction.” In Educated, Westover writes: “Everything I had worked for, all my years of study, had been to purchase for myself this one privilege: to see and experience more truths than those given to me by my father, and to use those truths to construct my own mind. I had come to believe the ability to evaluate many ideas, many histories, many points of view, was at the heart of what it means to self-create.” How do you know something is true? What is something you once believed was true, that you later learned was not? Are you willing to take someone else’s (a parent, a teacher, a religious leader) words as truth? Why or why not? In your essay, please feel free to respond to any one (or more) of these questions.

Abstract

My personal point of view of how my father's alcoholism affected our family and my views of life growing up.

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