As I sat in Mr. Granville’’s half-lit Honors Biology classroom on my first day of high school, an
indescribable familiarity tingled through my body. The freshly-washed chalkboards juxtaposed
with heaps of disorganized papers cluttering his already disheveled desk somehow evoked the
image of an erudite college professor in my mind. Rising from his shaded corner, Mr. Granville
stood to address the class. Hearing him speak, I immediately paired those audio idiosyncrasies
with my childhood recollection. Although his voice did not match the exact harmonic depth or
linguistic enunciation, there was definitively something in the educated mannerisms and easy
manipulation of empathy that struck a chord in the hidden chambers of my mind, housing my
eclectic memories. This uncanny feeling of presque vu prevailed until long after I finished the
preliminary science and had begun my exploration into deeper levels of the biological studies at
the AP level and beyond.
The day my academic career was brought forth from the primitive dark of B.S. (before
saganism) to the enlightenment of Saganism coincided with the long-awaited revelation of Mr.
Granville’’s true identity. Having just learned about the complex molecular organization of key
macromolecules in life, our classroom discussion eventually digressed to the fascinating theory
of cosmological fractalization (the premise that every atom in itself is another universe, making
up another atom in another universe ad infinitum). Mr. Granville disproved this theory in no time
with a logical argument based in quantum physics. Although it was truly remarkable how he was
able to synthesize independently to point out a fallacy in the argument, what impressed me even
more was how Mr. Granville was able to explain such multifaceted theories in a way that a class
of high school students was able to comprehend.
At that instant, realization of who Mr. Granville reminded me of struck me with such force
that I was only capable of standing, jaw hanging, for several seconds. Carl Sagan, astronomer,
cosmologist, popularizer of natural sciences, and personal hero of mine, seemed to be Mr.
Granville’’s identical twin, both sharing uncanny physical and intellectual similarities. Having
watched Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (the thirteen-episode television series Carl Sagan hosted)
on the science channel in my childhood, I was introduced to the concepts of life at an early
age. Sagan’’s voice, unique in brevity as he conserved language to the maximum, was both
soothing when presenting a logical argument and forever imprinted on my impressionable mind.
Never straying from a calm tone, Sagan casually explained all types of natural phenomena with
such knowledge and enthusiasm that he enjoyed a cult-like following. Mr. Granville not only
shared Sagan’’s ability to convey complicated explanations with ease but also identified with
his fondness for biology. Moreover, Mr. Granville always preached the avocation of skepticism,
convinced that since science’’s humble beginnings were firmly rooted in doubt, it should stay
there. Sagan employed similar skepticism when addressing religious topics. This ““saganism””
played an imperative role in my high school academia as it encouraged me to seek knowledge
and feed my voracious appetite for discovery especially in the field of biological sciences as I
challenged what was taught.
Saganism, the most important aspect of my academic background, has grown to form the basis
of my rational thought. Encouraging me to delve deeper into the mysteries of life science, this
philosophy has interested me in a medical profession where a concrete understanding based on
a definitive, empirical foundation is supremely helpful. Conforming not to the established norm
of accepting what is taught as undeniable, I hope to incorporate this in my pursuit of higher
education. Influential in not only renewing my passion for biological sciences but also focusing
the methodology of my studies, Mr. Granville and Carl Sagan both serve as monumental figures
in my high school years.
Colleges Sent ToEdit
Georgia Tech Accepted
SAT: 2250 (1500 M+R/ 750W)