This sample essay provide the writing class with a sample for the August 25 writing class.  The assignment is to write an essay about yourself, your life, and your goals.  The exact wording of the essay and the exact structure of the outline is up to you, but both should have an introduction, a body with three parts, and conclusions.  Students are require to submit an outline of their essay and a 500 word essay.  The deadline for submitting the essay is Friday, August 16.


Who Am I?

Introduction: life as an ecologist

I: Where I came from — growing up in a large family.

II: Who I am — life is a semi-retired ecologist.

III: Where I'm going — wrapping up my wonderful experiences.

Conclusion: Was it worth it?


Philip E. Hyatt —Botanist, Ecologist, Writer, Editor

            I've had an interesting life. Life can be that way, you know. It begins unexpectedly, unplanned, unannounced, and unknowing. We wake up one morning and discover we are alive. We find out we have a family and they send us off to school to learn how to deal with this thing we call life. Many people think they go to school and especially to college to gain an education. But the real purpose of going to school is to learn about life. Life brings us many things and mine has been very interesting.

            I had extraordinary childhood. My parents were married for more than 50 years which is saying a lot in today's world. I like to tease my Chinese friends and confuse them by saying I had two younger brothers, two older sisters, two older brothers, and two younger sisters. I came from a big family and during my childhood my parents chose to move many times from one state to another. We moved 18 times before I graduated from high school and three weeks after I started college they moved one more time to North Carolina and never moved again. I love our camping trips and visited Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and many other national, state, and local parks.

            I am, today, the result of my life and childhood. My choice, given to me by the United States Government, of being drafted against my will United States Army and shooting innocent villagers in Vietnam or going to college, change my life. Had I not gone to college I would not become an ecologist, taught school for six years, married Gail, my first wife, had two children with Gail and I have today, taken the path that led to divorce and remarriage to my wife, Sheila, who already had twin girls and a boy, and made me much of who I am today. Without going to college, I would not have returned to college to obtain a master's degree in botany, having decided I needed to know more about botany to be better ecologist. Without the master's degree I would not have worked for the United States Forest Service for 17 years, decided to teach myself Chinese in 2004, and retired early only to become a freelance writer and editor.

            So, where do we go from here? I college roommate died of bone cancer when he was 19. Gail's college roommate died of cancer at age 32 leaving behind two young children and her husband. Glenda, the first woman I fell in love with, had a brain tumor that confused her mind so we never married and she would later die young from pneumonia a week after brain surgery. Even Gail, herself, died at the young age of 42. That the age of 61 I feel like I need to live to be about 240 to make up for all those short lives.

            So, where do we go from here? It's hard to say, but I want to become fluent in Chinese, to finish writing several books, to write my autobiography in Chinese, to travel and see much of China, to visit the large national parks in the north central and northwestern United States, and to help as many people as I can. As you can see, I'm going to need at least another 179 years to do everything I have planned. That's life. I plan to keep living it.