<p>Hi. this is in response to an MIT prompt: describe a difficult situation youve had and how you reacted. I need to shorten my essayby about 50 words, and I think Ill be done. Any grammatical suggestions are appreciated as well. Thanks a lot to anyone who replies. Anyway, here it is:</p>
<p>_<strong><em>Tight corner ahead. I lean left and apply the brakes just enough to make the turn. My friends, beside me, pedal furiously in an attempt to reach the bottom first. I pedal harder, but suddenly, I find myself unable to move. I look down, expecting to see my bike. In its place, I find a green stretcher. My legs are covered in cuts and bruises; my head is caked in blood. “You’re really lucky to be alive,” a paramedic to my right informs me.
_</em></strong><strong><em>What happened? Did I crash? An hour later, I got my answer. I had received a severe concussion, which explained the sudden jump in my memory. Apparently, my friends and I decided to go rock climbing upon reaching the bottom of the mountain (I’m told I lost the race down). During the climb I slipped, leaving me to fall fifteen feet and roll thirty more down the side of the mountain. Fortunately, my plunge was broken when my body smashed into a stump. I’ve always been lucky like that. Unfortunately, the neurosurgeon told me, I would suffer memory loss for the next nine months.
_</em></strong><strong><em>My peers thought I was pretty lucky to get off with nothing more than a few cuts and a “bumped head,” but as a junior only a week into the school year, I felt anything but fortunate. I constantly forgot what class I was in. I couldn’t remember my teachers’ names. Even worse, I was horrified one night to learn that I didn’t even remember where the dinner plates were kept. I needed to regain control over my life. How? By turning the doctor’s prognosis into a challenge. I vowed to regain my memory not in nine months, but in a mere three.
_</em></strong><strong><em>Of course, how to achieve this was an entirely different matter. How does one recall one’s memory? A seemingly paradoxical question. So, like any self-respecting nerd in times of trouble, I turned to math. My solution: a hobby taken up by geeks since the Big Bang itself. I would memorize the digits of pi.
_</em></strong><strong><em>At first, the going was agonizingly slow. I spent hours attempting to remember a cluster of just ten digits. Three-point-one-four-one-five-nine-two…nothing. My mind went blank. I tried again. Still nothing. For the moment, it seemed as if the doctor would be right after all.
But my own doubt made me try even harder. Every second of my free time was devoted to pi, essentially isolating me from the outside world. I stayed up late into the night, slowly repeating the numbers that appeared on my electronic organizer. I’d wake up early the next morning, fearful that I had forgotten the previous night’s work. But in the end, the sleep deprivation was worth it. Within a few weeks’ time, I had improved dramatically. I could now memorize ten digits in single sitting, not phenomenal by any means, but a sure sign of progress. By the end of the first month, I reached the 100-digit mark. I could sense my memory slowly returning. In school, I was less hesitant to ask a question, fearful that it had already been answered. I could actually remember the names of all my teachers. But I wasn’t finished yet. 200 digits. 300. 400. My friends thought I was crazy, but I knew better. No longer did I have to mutter things to myself to remember them. More importantly, I actually remembered where the dinner plates were kept. I was on top of the world, and just in time. The three months were up.
_</em></strong>A few weeks later I stopped, having memorized 631 digits. But I know that memorizing pi has had a significant influence on my life, one that reaches beyond the regurgitation of a simple sequence of numbers. If nothing else, it has taught me that with enough time and effort, even a simple number can heal a battered brain.</p>