Boston College Supplemental Essay

Annabelle Huffman, Writer

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PROMPT: Great art evokes a sense of wonder. It nourishes the mind and spirit. Is there a particular song, poem, speech, or novel from which you have drawn insight or inspiration?

You Can’t Do a Pull-Up

Whoever thought it possible to write a poem about McDonald’s? Ronald Wallace, that’s who. In his cleverly titled poem, “You Can’t Write A Poem About McDonald’s,” Wallace turns the impossible — or rather, the unheard of — into a brilliant work of poetry.

At this moment in time, I cannot do a full pull-up without getting a jumping start. As I am an athlete who uses her arms for both rowing and swimming, this is a tad embarrassing. I just recently discovered my weakness. This past summer I was on the playground at the camp where I worked, watching the younger campers disappear into the green tunnel slide, slip down the metal firefighter’s pole, and bound up the stairs of the play structure. As I was talking to a few of the older campers, I was hanging on the pull-up bar. At one point, I noticed a really athletic camper with a sly grin watching me hold on to the metal bar. At a quiet spot in the chatter, he looked at me with laughter in his eyes, “Hey Annabelle, do you want to do a pull-up contest?” Being very competitive, of course I said an enthusiastic, “HECK, YEAH.” I let him go first — 9 pull-ups. Oh yeah, that’s easy. I can totally beat 9, I thought. I reached up, my fingers curling around the bar, my forearms rippling with excitement as I tightened my grip, a single bead of sweat trickling from my hairline down to my brow and on to my upper lip, my heart booming in a rapid rhythm. I crossed my ankles and pulled…but went nowhere. An old lady grunt escaped my mouth as I struggled to lift my body. And still, I went nowhere. I readjusted my grip and still nothing. To my embarrassment, I could not even pull my nose above the bar. The younger campers who had stopped running to watch laughed at my obvious struggle, and the older campers teased and cackled over my inability to do even a single pull-up.

To me, doing a pull-up is not impossible. I believe that everything is possible as long as you have the willpower to do it. If Ronald Wallace can write a poem about McDonald’s, I can do a single pull-up by the end of senior year.

 

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