For your first writing sample, describe your most prized possession—whether you still have it or not—how you got it and why you value it so much and how it is part of your identity. It must be an inanimate object—I know you love your children, pets, parents and spouses/partners/girlfriends/boyfriends—but even a dog isn’t really a possession—if you’re like me, your dog(s) own you far more than you own them. And that’s not even the half of it with cats. But I digress.
This is an argumentative assignment—you must explain why this thing—whatever it might be—is (or was) so valuable to you. You will want to think about how Angell describes the baseball and how Didion uses language to get to the heart of what she observes and values, and that what she judges as foolish or worthless, about the Las Vegas wedding industry. Both Angell and Didion are masters of the key detail—learn from them to be succinct, but precise. The essay should be descriptive—it should be clear to the reader what the object is, why you cherish it, what it looks, smells, sounds, tastes, and feels like. Who made it, and does that matter? Was it mass-produced or is it unique to you? Did you receive it as a gift, save up for it yourself, make it yourself?