Andrew - Andover, Massachusetts
Entered on October 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I was down sixty four points, with no time left, and no time to give up. It was another typical Sunday afternoon, my sister, my brother, my mom and I were all in the family room watching the Patriots game. My sister was on her lab top, my mom was engaged in a Sudoku, and my brother and I were interlocked in what looked to be another easy win for my brother in a scrabble game.

I reached into the empty bag and pulled out the last of the letters. I held seven wooden squares in my sweaty hand, each held a number that led me closer to defeat once again. The letters were: an R, an A, an L, an I, a P, a V and an E. In other words, I had nothing, as the total values added up to only twelve. Even if I somehow found a seven letter word, that fifty point bonus still wouldn’t be enough to extinguish the bulky margin. Not only that, but the checkered board was nearly crammed to its capacity with letters.

I started to transform the game from letters to numbers, and looked at the letters as more of a math problem. I closed my eyes and visualized the letters, scrambling them in my head. I calculated the number of possible was to arrange the seven letters. There was over five thousand possible ways, five thousand-forty to be exact, and I could barely seek out three English words. I just gazed at the letters as they fell into place like lottery balls. The words that I actually recognized were; evil, pave, and rival. None of which were remotely close to the enormous diffident I needed to overcome. Time was ticking, and I was ready to throw in the towel. Once again I was flirting with defeat.

I rearranged the letters in my head for the last time. My heart stopped… Prevail! That was it, a seven letter word for a total of sixty two points. I just needed a place to deposit it. I knew it was too good to be true, the board was jam packed and there were no places to build on. It was like looking for a four leaf clover in a field. In this case, there happened to be one four-leaf clover on the board, and I found it. It was to the left of the word alpha, combining with the bottom A to produce the words pat and prevail. With a double word score bonus and a triple letter score bonus the word added up to a grand total of eighty three points, throwing me into the lead.

I finally won a game. The only reason I won was because I refused to give up. Anyone can give up, but if you do, no matter how outrageous the situation may be, you’ll never know the true outcome. Whether it is in a simple game like scrabble, or a soccer game, or even a math test, you can’t give up. This one game of scrabble was just one example of not surrendering. I defeated my brother with the word prevail, which means “to prove to be stronger and in the position of greater influence” (Webster dictionary). I believe in not giving up, and fighting until the end.