Essays That Matter: Zobella Vinik
The Basis School
College of Liberal Arts
Supplemental Essay #2:
My neighborhood has been called "dirty," "poor," and "dangerous." I prefer to call it "lived in."
You are driving down a small barrio street and it is raining. The rain makes the neighborhood smell of creosote and draws out the pastel colors of the painted adobes. Movement catches your eye and you see four little girls jumping up and down. As you drive closer your realize that they are barely dressed and waving at you- as if to almost say, "Come on lady! Drive faster!"
Nothing was better than a good car splash in the middle of the Tucson monsoons.
I was the oldest of the girls, the 'pack-leader.' Some days we were duct-taping pillows to our bottoms and learning how to rollerblade, other days we were going on bicycle adventures and cat-saving expeditions. My home is not a single house, it is a neighborhood.
One Thanksgiving we all carried dishes and tables to the abandoned dirt lot at the end of our street. Sitting at the table, I could feel the unused, rusted railroad tracks under my feet. Looking around the table I saw my family- only two people of which I am related to by blood.
I live in El Hoyo- or 'the hole' of Barrio Viejo. I have learned to love the unconventional. My concept of what a home is, what a family is, has expanded to encompass all different types of people and places.
Supplemental Essay #3:
She kept touching her ear as if it were confirmation that she was real. He wore two left boots, one pragmatically and the other symbolically. They sat across from each other, making clear that there was far more between them than distance.
I observe people like an entomologist observes insects. I jot down fractions of subway conversations, colors of sweaters, texture of hair, idiosyncrasies in movement. I am completely enamored by people.
The lure of mystery and history draws me in. I pull out my Moleskine® and my ballpoint pen. I am the jaguar: ready to pounce. My eyes and ears are my tools of choice. Observation is instinct- I watch and listen. I study the patternless lines of her face just as an art historian studies the brush strokes of The Garden of Earthly Delights. I listen to the varied tones in his voice just as a musical connoisseur listens to the guttural singers of Mongolia. As the pen meets the parchment, I pounce. Through poetry and prose I am reunited with long lost friends.
Humans: they inspire and encourage my imagination. My fellow beings of the earth are the recipients of my passion. I write for them, creating worlds where they can be anything. I write for myself, embracing that which I do not know. I find refuge in the language of the people: poetry.