By AMIE SEIDMAN
Assistant Professor of English
About 60 area students competed in the 28th Annual Bainbridge State College Essay Competition for high school juniors and seniors on April 15 at the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center.
All the students were required to write a spontaneous essay of 600 to 700 words within a two-hour period. The students were asked to pick one of four topics to write about.
First-place winner Haley Farmer, a junior at Bainbridge High School, won a $300 scholarship to Bainbridge State.
Farmer chose to write about popular culture. She opened her essay by describing pop culture’s effects on people.
“There is a name of infamy controlling the county, a gaping black hole from which there is no escape,” she wrote. “It is a danger that does not pick and choose its victims – young or old, rich or poor. It affects us all the same. Yet this beast is not as uncontrolled as it seems. It is controlled by the minds of America. It is our popular culture.”
Second-place winner Nia Hicks, a junior at Early County High School, won a $200 Bainbridge State scholarship. Hicks chose to write about today’s educational system.
“Ignorance is bliss. Ignorance is vital,” Hicks wrote. “When man can admit to not knowing, then he can start to learn. Man can only truly grow through humility, and humility can only be achieved with self-acceptance of ignorance. In our educational system today, students are not able to admit to being ignorant due to its negative connotation and pressures of the outside world.”
Third-place winner Jalyn Mills, a senior at Bainbridge High School, won a $100 Bainbridge State scholarship. She too wrote about the educational system.
“The purpose of education is to instill knowledge in those who do not have it,” Mills wrote in her essay. “Today’s educational system promotes progress but not knowledge. Students are not asked to reveal what they do and do not know; rather, they are forced to follow the guidelines set forth by the state to prove only what they know.”