The Valpo Core Reader


Kimberly Neisch

Document Type

Definition Essay

Publication Date



Each summer, as the sun beats down through the heavy Michigan humidity, Rick, John, Karen, Mike, Alex and I spend nearly every free minute swimming in the crystal-clear water of Rick's pool. One fateful day, Rick's dad invited their rather staid pastor and his family, so we all shared the pool. We kids were noisily splashing and dunking each other with our usual rowdy enthusiasm when it happened. Through my extremely near-sighted eyes everyone in the pool became a faceless blur above the water's surface, but I was sure the blob to my left was Alex. I swam silently behind him and gleefully shoved him under the water. The rush of triumph I felt was immediately squelched, however, when the pastor surfaced, choking for gasps of air. This painfully embarrassing situation is one of many I have experienced as a lifelong nearsighted person. Thus I have good reason to feel that Webster's impersonal definition of nearsightedness, "having better vision for near objects than for distant ones," lacks an understanding of what nearsighted people experience.