Katherine Philips (nee Fowler) was one such woman. Married at 16 by her stepfather to a man some 38 years older than herself, she turned largely to women friends for emotional and intellectual outlet. They gave themselves fancy names: Katherine called herself Orinda; her friend Mary Aubrey became Rosania; and her friend Anne Owen became Lucasia. To us, in a rather different atmosphere, we might think the poems lesbian. This would be a misreading, made outside the historical context. It is more a case of intense friendship having to use love language to express itself, since there was no separate language for friendship, making it work for their relationship.
re: «Over these last several weeks of summer vacation, Nicole has been working, and working some more, on her common application essay. She’s gone back and forth between two ideas, trying to perfect both, hoping that the one she ultimately chooses will best reflect who she is.»
If Nicole can give herself “permission” to spot the deeper, unexpected, but always “there” connection between her two “separate” essays, she’ll see that she can meld them into one self-defining piece of writing of inestimable power and supremely serenity-eliciting satisfaction. You too, for that matter, with your own writing.
What are colleges looking for? People who don’t care what they’re looking for. That’s what the amazing process of writing a college essay is really all about.