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INTOTHEBEST Scholarship 1 Winner

Congratulations to Ashley Marie Arneson from Cheyenne East High School
Ashley Arneson It was difficult selecting a winner. There were many strong essays.

Our winner is Ashley Arneson. She wrote with humor and a poignant example from her own life. She shows a great deal of maturity in her writing and handles the question quite well. Her points are insightful about the surface nature of "like."

Ashley's Essay:

Even as innocent eight-year-olds, we knew all the right buttons to push to slowly manipulate the minds of our authorities. We understood the intricate workings of the Playground Monitors, a skill allowing us to successfully complete many forbidden games of Boys Chase Girls without being caught. We mastered the ancient art of distraction to aid us in avoiding potentially hazardous math assignments involving fractions.

Our greatest achievement, however, was learning how to quickly distinguish the "newbie" substitutes from the older and more seasoned.

It was easy to spot the experienced ones. They would perch on the teacher's chair in front of the classroom like a hawk surveying its prey, commanding respect through a medium of good posture and a non-existent smile. Their name would be written in perfect cursive across the whiteboard when we arrived rosy-cheeked from recess.

From an entirely separate universe of substitute teaching came the newbies. They preferred to take the "Let's Be Friends!" route, arriving with candy and coloring sheets as cleverly disguised bribes for good behavior. In place of a name meticulously displayed on the whiteboard, he or she would introduce themselves with quick personal afterthoughts, inviting us to shorten last names to letters. These teachers were usually doomed to afternoons of paper airplane kamikazes constructed using math worksheets and fueled by pure rebellion.

These grade school experiences with substitutes illustrate the unique differences between respecting someone and simply liking them. Sure, my classmates and I weren't exactly jumping for joy when we knew our sub was one of the more experienced (read: stricter) variety, but we held a higher level of respect for them. They had every right to exercise control because they had an extensive knowledge of what they were doing and how to do it, and we respected them for this. The newer subs, on the other hand, were more like older versions of our friends; we liked them but never held much respect for them because we knew they were very lenient and easily manipulated. All candy and coloring sheets aside, we regarded the stricter, down-to-business substitutes most highly at the end of the day.

When it comes to the question of whether I personally would prefer to be liked or respected, I feel that respected is the only way to go. I see being liked as being a basic surface scan; people know you well enough to recognize traits that make them comfortable with you but usually don't attempt delve much further from this comfort zone. Respect, on the other hand, is a deeper feeling that comes from admiration of a person. When I think of people I respect, I recognize similar qualities existing in each of them: honesty, dependability, perseverance, and a sparkling personality that's highlighted with wit, a sense of humor, and millions of ideas tumbling around the core.

I find that respect is an emotion that develops over time; it becomes clearer to me the more I get to know a person whether or not they fall into this category or stay hovering in "like." The more qualities I discover about someone that I consider admirable, the more I grow to respect them; to me, respect is the only way you can feel about someone after devoting enough time to getting to know them to get past only liking them.

As one can see, respect is a quality I cherish very dearly. I'd rather that people respect me, to know me for who I am and what I do, than like me for something I may not be.

How IntotheBest's Essay Advice Helped Ashley

The writing suggestions sparked my decision to make the essay more "active." The section regarding voice made me realize that I wasn't coming through in my words as well as I'd like to, so I added in things that I would say in normal conversation or letters. I also noticed that some "pitfalls" listed in the suggestions were quietly destructing my essay, so I took the steps to remedy them.

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