Failure and Success The Prompt The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? The Essay Intro The grass wads up between my fingers.
Twenty years ago the scientist, who died yesterday at the age of 60, had a life-threatening bout of cancer. Many readers will remember the way he wrote about that episode, not only for its personal candor but also for the fact that he found comfort in a statistical analysis of his chances of survival.
It was wholly in keeping with the tenor of Mr. Gould's character that he could turn an understanding of statistics into a toehold on life itself. It was also in keeping that he chose to write about it for a popular audience. The vast majority of the people who know Mr.
Gould's name know him as a scientific essayist, not as a paleontologist or evolutionary theorist, let alone an expert on Cerion land snails.
They know him as a man who had an opinion on nearly everything and a way to turn nearly every opinion he had into a tour de force of analogy and historical example. His scientific colleagues found him almost as brilliant as his popular audience did, but considerably more exasperating as well.
He was never a scientific bomb-thrower; he worked, after all, in the heart of the scientific establishment. But he delighted in small explosions, and he never hesitated to set them off when he thought it would do a discipline good. Gould had not reveled in the role of controversialist.
That was his evolutionary niche. A man with so many opinions is bound, pretty often, to be wrong, but Mr. Gould could be just as entertaining when he was wrong as when he was right.
That was another reason he exasperated his colleagues, that and the fact that he came to stand for science itself in the minds of many lay readers.
How his work will play in the years to come remains to be seen, of course. His scientific achievements are solid, and he has done everything possible to throw light on the subjects that mattered to him. And if some of that light, just on the off chance, fell on Mr. Gould himself, it is hard to begrudge him that now.
Stephen Jay Gould, Evolution Theorist, Dies at 60 By Carol Kaesuk Yoon Stephen Jay Gould, the evolutionary theorist at Harvard University whose research, lectures and prolific output of essays helped to reinvigorate the field of paleontology, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan.
The cause was cancer, said his wife, Rhonda Roland Shearer. One of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the 20th century and perhaps the best known since Charles Darwin, Dr. Gould touched off numerous debates, forcing scientists to rethink sometimes entrenched ideas about evolutionary patterns and processes.
One of his best known theories, developed with Niles Eldredge, argued that evolutionary change in the fossil record came in fits and starts rather than a steady process of slow change.
This theory, known as punctuated equilibrium, was part of Dr. Gould's work that brought a forsaken paleontological perspective to the evolutionary mainstream. Gould achieved a fame unprecedented among modern evolutionary biologists.
He was depicted in cartoon form on " The Simpsons ," and renovations of his SoHo loft in Manhattan were featured in a glowing article in Architectural Digest.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
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Whether you are writing about failure or one of the other essay options, keep in mind the primary purpose of the essay: the college wants to get to know you better. On .