I ran across this quote, a favorite of mine, while cleaning out my desk and files over the weekend. I used it on my application for a journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan a cool decade ago and it did its job very nicely.

She took it as a regrettable accident, to be borne patiently for a while, that she happened to be imprisoned among people who were dull. She had caught a glimpse of another world and she knew that it existed somewhere, the world that had created trains, bridges, telegraph wires and signal lights winking in the night. She had to wait, she thought, and grow up to that world.
— from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand