Stanford University Application Essay on Hobby or Interest

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Stanford University Admission Essay on Hobby or Interest

Essay by Marc Masbou

Jot a note to your future roommate relating a personal experience that reveals something about you.

The rusted ball rests in my hand. My sandals shift in the gravel. My right arm lies loosely at my side, swinging gently. I'm crouched near the ground, concentrating on a little wooden ball ten yards away. I pull my arm back, then swing it forward as my body rises. The heavy ball flies away in a gentle parabola, and scatters pebbles when it lands with a thud…right next to the wooden ball. "Oui!" I exclaim as I do a little jig.

What am I doing? I'm playing the classic French game of Pétanque. The goal is to get as many of your balls as close to the wooden ball ("cochonnet") as you can. I play Pétanque every summer, when I visit my family in France. Simple as it may seem, Pétanque is actually quite complex. Over time, it has taught me about myself and others. There are two shots in Pétanque. The first is a "pointé," where the player tries to place his ball near the cochonnet. The second is a "tir," where the goal is to displace an opponent's ball. Some people, like my brother, win by using a "tir." I have always been a "pointé" shooter. I'd much rather quietly place my ball in a prime location than push others out of the way. A "tir" is all power and little accuracy, while a "pointé" is the exact opposite. However, both shooters are needed for a great team. If you're a "pointé" person, then we've already got something in common. If you're not, let's play Pétanque!

Marc Masbou attends Stanford University.

Essay Review

pétanque, anyone?

After reading countless essays about soccer and basketball, imagine how refreshing it would be to see one about Pétanque. Don't know what that is? Join the club—or read the following essay by Marc Masbou. His description is superb, as when he describes the arc of the ball as a "gentle parabola," thereby showing that he knows as much about math as about writing. Says Marc, "Getting different perspectives helped me vastly improve my essay. However, don't be afraid to disagree with advice other people give you. Take it all in, and then make an honest decision as to what you think is best."

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