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Spaceships, fireboats, castles, trucks, and pirate ships are just a handful of the countless projects I have constructed throughout my childhood. No, I was not some child prodigy enveloped in the world of construction. I just had an undying passion for a tiny piece of molded plastic. I went through many toy phases as I progressed from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, but the toys that I have always come back to are the ones that can become something different every time I use them: the Lego building blocks.
My original exposure to the world of Lego was at the age of five. I remember fondly the younger brother of the Lego, the Duplo. Duplo blocks were generally much larger and simpler than Lego blocks. An entire car could be made from five or six Duplo blocks. After graduating out of Duplos, I entered the amazing world of Legos. From that point on I accumulated quite a collection of Legos, enough to fill four massive crates.
My pride and joy was a lunar base I designed that covered nearly four square feet of my room. I played with it constantly and I continued to add to it until one dark day when my good friend Andy fell on the base during a vicious pillow fight, completely destroying the whole thing. Andy and I are still good friends, but I will never forgive him for demolishing my prized possession.
Legos have had an immeasurable effect on my life. They shaped my childhood, and as a result, they have also shaped me into the person I am today. My development is strangely parallel to that of the development of any Lego project. Every Lego project begins with an assortment of pieces, all different shapes and colors. Some pieces I find to be essential to the project, while others can be discarded. I always start with a basic foundation. From that point, I build up and out until it is no longer a set of random blocks. It has taken shape and has become something that now has its own identity. My life began with exposure to a variety of experiences, and throughout my childhood, I learned to develop my values based on all these different experiences. Eventually, a form began to emerge that distinguished me from everyone else.
Legos may not have changed the world the way the airplane and the computer have, but for one little boy, they accomplished what no incredible piece of technology could do. They released an unstoppable flow of imagination and curiosity that has shaped the boy into a creative, energetic, and confident young man.