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How my father shaped my life with compost

Madeline Cline is an avid swimmer, participating on the high school water polo and swim teams, as well as club teams. Madeline will be attending the University of California Berkeley this fall, pursuing a major in English. She will also be rowing crew as a Bear.

This essay was written for Madeline’s application to the University of California, in response to the following prompt: “Describe the world you come from – for example, your family, community or school – and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.”

By Madeline Cline

For me, the true Sonoman is someone who not only embodies the joie de vivre of the Wine Country lifestyle, but who carries within something of the independent, radical spirit of the town and its history – someone who is willing to stand out a little, to do things differently, someone like my father.

When I first tell people I’m from Sonoma, a typical response is “Sonoma is so beautiful.” While this is true, Sonoma is much more than meets the weekend wine-taster’s eye. Despite the town’s rise to national fame after “The Bachelor,” Sonoma has its own storied past. And even with the rolling hills and oak woodlands, the pastoral beauty of vineyards and sweeping views that extend to the San Francisco skyline on a clear day, I think the people of Sonoma are what truly define my hometown.


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