Đề bài: Find X

Inspired by Benjamin Nuzzo, an admitted student from Eton College, UK


I was like Jack Sparrow, rolling the vintage piece of leather onto the table. The land gradually spread to its fullest, and though faded and wrinkled beneath a dark brown color, its beautiful rivers and mountains still captivated me with the utmost curiosity and desire to explore. I stabbed my knife at my present place on the map, somewhere near the west coast yet surrounded by mountains, and drew a straight line to the mysterious “X”.

At the corner of my precious map, it said:

To the far land thou shall go

Through mountains and rivers and sky

When struggles shall challenge thy wisdom

And thy strength and thy kindness

Thou shall arrive at the very point

North then east then middle, where the two figures meet

It must be where the X is found…”

My ship shattered through the sea, heading toward the north horizon. Standing on the head of the vessel, I observed the moon as closely and clearly with my bare eyes as did Galileo with his telescope. Then I put my interest and time into books, studying mathematics and physics, so that I could drive my ship in the precise direction of the destination.

Before I go on with the story of my adventure, I find the very need to talk about “X”. It is said that “X” is a gorgeous Gothic castle, or perhaps an academy, which has stood still for over 118 years in a crowded land. I often hear the tales about scholars and learners, who reside in “X” for intellectual pursuits; the 81 masters at the peak of human knowledge, and the tremendous dome where the splendid yellow light reflects thousands of texts. It must feel great to be immersed in such a realm of knowledge.

While my ship continued its long voyage, I trained myself with books, accumulatively not only in quantity but also in difficulty. The challenge soon came, when I had to face, with intelligence and stamina, a four-hour-long ordeal. It was then I started to notice more and more boats advancing toward the same target. I was in a race. Thus, I armed myself with determination and strengthened my endurance through training. I believed I would reach X.

A mixed smell of leaves, grass, stones and papers reached my nose as my ship approached the edge of the far land. For months did I journey that finally I found X. The phoenix was affixed on the gate of the academy where imprinted “Crescat scientia; vita excolatur”. Let knowledge grow from more to more; and so be human life enriched. In a moment, I opened the map and found what it meant by “where the two figures meet”. 

(41.79, -87.6) University of Chicago