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Independence: The Importance Of Childhood Hobbies - With A Free Essay Review

Annie Dillard wrote an Essay called, “Given My Own Life”. This particular essay was about how as a child she was given her own life and how Dillard understood how everyone should have a passion that they can enjoy privately. Furthermore, Dillard implies that it is important for kids to find a hobby that they are passionate about individually. When Dillard was a young child she really wanted a microscope. One year her parents bought her a microscope kit. For the whole winter she played with it. She made slides out of such things as onion skins, corks, and cheek cells. Dillard really wanted to see an Amoeba. In the winter Pittsburgh gets really cold and Amoeba’s like warm ponds. One time, she gathered pond water from the park in the spring. In the basement she finally saw her first Amoeba! She really wanted her parents to see this Amoeba. They did not come down and see the Amoeba. Later on in life Dillard’s parents were proud of her drawings and poems. They gave her books and art supplies. They even gave her sports equipment. They did not get involved with her homework or detective work. Her parents wanted her to learn how to be independent and strong. I agree with Dillard’s argument on the importance of having a self-satisfying hobby. What Dillard was getting at with her argument that children need something that they develop all by themselves is exactly what I experienced with my mother and my fish hobby. She never got in the way of my fish hobby. I also experienced the same thing that Holyfield experienced when his mother let him be a boxer, it allowed him to grow and have something to do that made him happy.

Just as Dillard Stressed the importance of children developing their own interests, my first example of the advantages of independent hobbies for children is when I was a kid my uncle Tim kept fish. My uncle gave me a 60 gallon fish tank. I remember buying my first few fish. I didn’t know how to take care of fish. My first fish were a few Angel Fish and a Platy. All of the fish died that same night! I asked my uncle for help. He told me that the fish died because there was chlorine in the water. He gave me some water conditioner to remove the chlorine. Ever since then I have had fish all of my life. My mother never interfered with my fish keeping. She thought it was a good thing. A few years ago, I took a break for about a year without having fish. I noticed when I went to a few doctors’ appointments that I had borderline high blood pressure. I read somewhere that having fish aquariums as a hobby lowered blood pressure. I decided to get another fish tank. It was a twenty gallon fish tank. After having and enjoying my new African Cichlids for about a month I had a doctors’ appointment. Amazingly my blood pressure was back to normal again. I now have seven fish tanks and I breed and keep fish. My blood pressure is normal. An aquarium can keep me entertained for hours. I am so glad that I had an Uncle Tim. No one ever got in the way of my fish keeping. If someone would have stopped me from my hobby, than who knows I might have had a heart attack by now. If Dillard’s parents would have stopped her from her joyful hobbies, than she might have had a miserable life.

Just as Dillard stressed the importance of children developing their own interests, my second example of the advantages of independent hobbies for children is when Evander Holyfield was a child he loved to go to local boy’s gym club. This club was in Atlanta Georgia. He loved to play all of the sports. His mother loved the fact that he went to this place. Holyfield found one particular sport out of all of the rest that he liked the most. This sport was called boxing. He convinced a boxing coach there to train him. Holyfield was only nine years old. Carter Morgan was his coach’s name. One day Carter noticed that Holyfield had some real potential. So he told him,” you know something? You can be the Heavy Weight Champion of the World.” Holyfield field took this in stride. Holyfield went on to be a champion. Not only once but five times. He had broken Muhammad Ali’s record. Holyfield is the only person in the history of heavy weight boxing to do this! No one ever got in his way. He was allowed to have his own life. Holyfield respected his mother so much. If she would have told him not to box because she was afraid he would get hurt, than Holyfield would have listened and never became champion. Dillard and Holyfield were both able to enjoy their hobbies and be happy because their parents did not stop them.

It is important for children to have a hobby or something that they enjoy for themselves. If they find something that they love and it is a good thing, than nobody should get in their way. People need to have their own life. It is important for our self-happiness, health, and well-being. Holyfield did what he loved to do and became a very successful boxer. He made millions and millions of dollars. It made him happy and healthy. I still have fish and I care for them and see them every day. I am happy and healthy. I love my fish and I love my life. Dillard, Holyfield, and I have all experienced the same things with our parents and our passions. If it wasn’t for these people in our lives, who knows what bad might have come into our lives as a result of it. Or who knows where we might be now.



This essay has a good argument to make about the importance for children of developing "independent hobbies." The best way to improve the essay would be to clarify the general reasons why developing such hobbies is important. As it stands, your essay focuses on providing examples of people who did develop such hobbies. You tell, in effect, three stories about three people who had hobbies. In that way, you provide a lot of factual information, a lot of evidence, in support of the claim that Dillard, you yourself, and Holyfield, benefited in one way another from having hobbies. What you don't do is explain why having hobbies in general is a good thing. You benefited from keeping fish because it apparently helped you lower your blood pressure, and Holyfield benefitted from pursuing his childhood interest by becoming a successful boxer. This only tells me, however, that if I'm liable to suffer from high blood pressure, or if I'm endowed with the talent needed to become a successful boxer, then I should have kept fish or learned to box as a child. How does it tell one that, in general, having a hobby as a child would benefit that child? I'm betting you have an answer to that question, but the point is that your essay right now does not have such an answer. How do I know, for instance, that if you had kept snakes instead of fish, then the snakes ultimately would not have increased your blood pressure? Or how do I know that if Holyfield had pursued ballet as a child instead of boxing, then his life would not have been ruined by mocking friends or flat feet? So what you need, what your essay needs, are reasons for thinking pursuing hobbies is a good thing to do in itself. The examples can be used to support those reasons, but they cannot simply take the place of those reasons. You might start your revision by going back to the following sentence in your first paragraph: "I agree with Dillard's argument on the importance of having a self-satisfying hobby." You agree with that argument, but you don't actually identify it or fully explain why you agree with it. What exactly does Dillard think is the importance of having such a hobby? In other words, how would she (but ultimately you need to ask this question of yourself) complete the following sentence: "It is important to have a hobby as a child because ..." Obviously, the answer to that question cannot be "because it will help you overcome high blood pressure" or "because it will help you become a good boxer." Those are just examples, not reasons. What you want is an essay that has reasons that are supported by examples.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: joseph.reyes3

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