I Break Things | Teen Ink

I Break Things

November 5, 2011
By Prometheus PLATINUM, East Aurora, New York
Prometheus PLATINUM, East Aurora, New York
29 articles 0 photos 106 comments

I break things. On purpose. Old toys, computers, motor scooters- anything that falls under my indiscriminate screwdriver quickly spreads out over my workbench. Inspired by the hidden anatomy of these devices, I spend hours disassembling, examining, tinkering, and sometimes repairing, other people’s technological trash. Driven by sheer curiosity, I have explored the fields of electronics, mechanics, and computer science. I break. I repair. And most of all, I feed my insatiable appetite for practical knowledge.

I am fascinated by everyday technology. For instance, a computer disc drive (the familiar plastic tray that slides out to receive CDs) entertains me with its possibilities. I press the button over and over again, merely because the clever design and the smooth motion amuse me. During my most recent button-pushing spree, however, I began to wish for more functionality from this dearly undervalued piece of hardware. Predictably, that night found me taking apart a dysfunctional computer; finally, I extracted the disc drive. During the following weeks, I began constructing a robot- built entirely around my salvaged disc drive. The robot, now nearing completion, rolls around on tank tracks and avoids obstacles and, my favorite feature of all, can pick up objects using a metal claw I built from an old Erector set. All of the electronics are housed inside the metal case of the disc drive- and the claw moves using the original mechanism. Another transformation complete, I will continue my exploration of modern technology- from the inside out.

I am uncertain as to when I first began breaking things, but I have never stopped. And my hands-on experience has paid dividends- these days, I fix almost as much as I break. I am ever more inventive and curious. My current pursuits satisfy my personal interests- but someday I may be a scientist, an engineer, or a designer. And although I have not yet decided how to bridge the gap between my present creative deconstruction and my future career, I know the bridge will be unique. Innovative. And, though I can only guess at its composition, made entirely by hand.

The author's comments:
College Application Essay

Similar Articles


This article has 6 comments.

pinkowl BRONZE said...
on Dec. 12 2011 at 7:25 pm
pinkowl BRONZE, Tyrone, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 109 comments

Favorite Quote:
Jeremiah 29:11

haha, this is cute! i feel like i know you a little bit after reading this! did you get into this school?  do you attend it?

on Dec. 8 2011 at 6:57 pm
ABCDE1029 BRONZE, New York, New York
2 articles 0 photos 1 comment
oki17-- i really like "I break things" I think it really shows a small part of your personality. "My Shoes are purple" is good also, but i feel that this tells your personality instead of showing

mbrown106 GOLD said...
on Nov. 30 2011 at 7:49 pm
mbrown106 GOLD, Warner Robins, Georgia
10 articles 2 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return."

Haha I loved this! It reminded me of the time I decided to take apart my CD player because I wanted to see how it worked. Excellent job!

on Nov. 29 2011 at 8:57 pm
thomakab14 SILVER, North Canton, Ohio
8 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
Whether you say you can or day you can't, you're right!

I love this! It's the whole breaking of things that make it so interesting. I can also say i have done a "button pushing spree" with the disk drive. XD

on Nov. 28 2011 at 7:45 pm
Akane-Ree BRONZE, New City, New York
1 article 0 photos 55 comments

Favorite Quote:
\"She\'s got it out for me BUT I WEAR THE BIGGEST SMILE"

It's certainly an interesting article... in my opinion mostly because those who destroy can alos build beautiful things, paradoxically. Good job!

on Nov. 22 2011 at 8:52 pm
Mike6546 SILVER, North Carolina, North Carolina
6 articles 0 photos 33 comments

Favorite Quote:
those who mind don\'t matter and those who matter don\'t mind

This has really good flow.  It's a little bit short but I think you say a lot in a small space.