Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease Essays

The baby needs to be fed and my toddler just smeared chocolate chips all over the couch. My daughters and their friends run through the house leaving a trail of clutter behind them. Loud music is blasting from my teenager’s room and he wants a ride to the golf course right now. My husband is out running errands, the phone is ringing off the hook, and I’m frantically working on my English essay. It’s a typical afternoon at my house – a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” kind of day – when I’m right on the verge of losing my mind.

When I made the decision to return to school, I knew being a student mom would not be without its share of sacrifices and difficulties. I fully anticipated the challenge of balancing my school work along with all the other demands of a busy household. Multi-tasking has never been my forte, yet I’m compelled to use this skill everyday whether I like it or not. Juggling while riding a unicycle seems effortless compared to the logistical nightmare of balancing the constantly competing and changing demands of an active family. Life in our home is a complex equation where the variables are always changing. The only constant part is the ongoing juggling and balancing.

Keeping everything on an even keel requires patience, a lot of give and take, and a little bit of creativity. For instance, I’ve discovered that a cookbook holder is good for propping textbooks open while I’m nursing. Time spent scrubbing toilets, cooking dinner, or running kids to dance class are good times to ruminate on my reading or what I want to include in my English essays. Since I don’t have the luxury of plopping down in a quiet library cubicle for hours and hours (though I wish I did), my only choice is to find a way to take advantage of those numerous ten to fifteen minute increments throughout the day. Though it’s hard to tune out game blips from the kids’ nearby computer, movies blaring on the home theatre, or a child yelling for me from some remote corner of the house, I continue to plow along in hope. Perseverance is the name of the game as a nontraditional student, and in spite of the inherent complexity of my life, it’s grand to be back in the academic world. Now where’s that box of Calgon?

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Essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration

Below are essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in November 2014.

Prompt 1

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Many thoughtful people have said that cooperation brings out the best in people and leads to success in almost all endeavors. There is a limit, however, to the value of cooperative behavior, since such behavior may suppress people’s willingness to be creative and to stand out from the crowd. Too often, cooperating means going along with the group even if that is not necessarily the best way.

Assignment: Does working with others lead to better results than acting as an individual? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt 2

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

We have been taught since childhood that it is wrong to quit. We learn that quitting is impulsive and easy and that we should always endeavor to keep trying, even if it is difficult. But aren’t there certain times when quitting is the right thing to do? In those instances, it takes great courage, maturity, and self-awareness to acknowledge that the plan we have chosen may need to be changed or that a new plan should be adopted.

Assignment: Is quitting ever a good idea? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt 3

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

Many people wish that there were fewer limits on their behavior. They believe that rules—such as those imposed by parents, teachers, coaches, employers, and governments—prevent them from being successful in the activities they undertake. Other people believe that rules assist them in becoming successful in their endeavors. They claim that rules provide guidance and help define what is expected. They even say that having too much freedom can be a burden.

Assignment: Do rules interfere with or aid in the pursuit of success? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

Prompt 4

Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.

There is an old saying, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Simply put, this means that people who make their needs or desires known by making noise—that is, by complaining—are the ones who get what they need or want. But nobody likes a squeaky wheel: the complainer may get what he or she wants, but only at the risk of being perceived unfavorably.

Assignment: Should we complain to get what we want? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.

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