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Posts by Jeannie
Joined: Sep 13, 2009
Last Post: Jan 10, 2010
Threads: 10
Posts: 214  

From: USA

Displayed posts: 224 / page 3 of 6
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Jeannie   
Dec 9, 2009
Writing Feedback / Creativity has always played a big role in humans' development history. [5]

reativity has always played a big role in humans' development history.

Human creativity has played a large role in the development of the species. Without the capacity to imagine and create, we would have stalled and died out long before we ever evolved enough to heat our caves or cover our bodies to insulate against the cold.

Psst...I agree! :)
Jeannie   
Dec 9, 2009
Writing Feedback / Toefl essay, People with different interests and personalities cannot be friends [12]

The followings are my reasons. I wanted to point something out that I saw a lot of in your essay. You tend to put S's at the end of the wrong words in order to pluralize a sentence. In the example above, you have followings when following is being used as a verb for "what follows." I am not explaining this very well, haha! Just be carefu,l when adding an "s" to a word, that you want that word to express more than one.

That said, It is unnecessary to tell a reader what is going to follow. If you write it, they can't help but see what follows if they continue to read...

I disagree with the statement that people who (...) can not be friends <"people" is plural so "friends" should be plural . The followings are my reasons.

First of all, learning a lot of different experience, people can get more aspects to solve a diversity of difficulties.people learn from experience, and the more exposure they have to diverse backgrounds, the better equipped they are to deal with problems .

... it may help them and provide more manners forsolutions to problems.
... my roommate, John, ga ve me a lot of shared with me his experience interacting with other people; in addition, he invited me to join a lot of partiestogether. Therefore, he which helped me meet ...
Jeannie   
Dec 9, 2009
Graduate / 'May Fate reward your diligence' - do me a favor to check my diversity essy [7]

Hi, Wang!

I am sorry to say that this has nothing whatsoever to do with diversity...it barely touches on adversity...It would be more appropriate for a "why do you want to study a particular field" prompt. This won't work for diversity though.

Wish I could help more than simply answering your question, but there is your answer at least. :)

Blue Skies!
Jeannie
Jeannie   
Dec 9, 2009
Research Papers / Starting an Original Research Paper on Teen Pregnancy [8]

PS. I usually use a pen and paper for the free-writing and rough outline - one blank page per bullet (main topic I, II, III) and write the 1a,b,c,ect, as I find more info for that topic. Each page is a scribbly mess by the time I am ready to put finger to keyboard, but I have lots of ideas in my head by then! :)

"have been out of school for so long seem to have forgotten how to write a term paper also how do i put an outline for the essay"

...I feel your pain - I felt like I never knew it at all, which is highly possible considering I was far from a "good student" in HS...thirty year ago...) I've been going full time for over a year now, so far so good! Keep plugging along (glad you found this site...I wish I had earlier!)
Jeannie   
Dec 9, 2009
Research Papers / Starting an Original Research Paper on Teen Pregnancy [8]

Your thesis, if you used the ideas here, would be an assertion that the socioeconomic impact of teen pregnancy causes a never-ending cycle of ignorance and poverty, as well as perpetuating the lack of family and societal support structures that are necessary to build a productive life.

I just made that up as an example, but you get the drift...expand your first sentence, basically, but use it at the end of the first paragraph.

The first paragraph, or thesis paragraph, should hold all the "bullet points" of the essay in a very brief and general sense with the strong assertion of the purpose of your paper. The outline is literally your bullet points and sub-points. An outline is a very handy tool for organizing your thoughts. Once you have an informal outline (I often use free-writing to plan an initial outline), you can refer to it as you go along in the general research phase in order to keep your thoughts organized. With some research and a clear plan of action, you can make up your formal outline. This is the outline you will use for the paper, and it will be your guide throughout the writing and research process.

Hope this helps! If you need an example outline, I might be able to figure out how to link one of mine on here. (I am terrible at links for some strange reason...)
Jeannie   
Dec 9, 2009
Poetry / "On 'Virtue'" - a poem writing assignment for my Lit class [8]

Yet, if I don't try to make a poem rhyme from the onset, it just doesn't "feel" like a proper poem to me.

I discover this in my own poems! It is frustrating sometimes, but easily fixed - I just figure out what I want to say and switch the rhyming words out for something that fits better. >psst.. I even use the thesaurus from time to time, but don't tell anybody :)

Try it! That is why I shared the advise from pheelyks about the rhymes not taking over your whole message. You can always change words to rhyme, but it is impossible to build a message around rhyming words.

"ask yourself if you're truly happy with the meaning of each line and the poem as a whole"

Your message is worth the effort of revision, I think, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with! Even after you have to hand it in for the assignment deadline, I hope you will work it to its deserved perfection :)
Jeannie   
Dec 8, 2009
Writing Feedback / Personality: A Trait Interactionist Perspective [10]

(Hergenhahn, Olson, & Cramer, 2003)

The paper is interesting and flows nicely so far (I am only at the half-way mark), but there are some citation issues. For one, you mention Hergenhahn, Olson, & Cramer, 2003, a lot. If you are using APA, you only have to spell it all out the first time - after that, you can simply say "et al." Let me know what style you are using. Another thing, watch out for secondary sources; if someone is cited as a reference in another text, they will be a secondary source to you...

You make many assertions throughout the paper, but you have no thesis. Gather your assertions from the body, and use them to mold your primary thesis.

How long do you have before this is submitted? Editing time is commensurate with the length of the essay, of course, so this may take awhile. There are quite a few minor things that you can fix yourself with another sentence-by-sentence read-through.

I look forward to your reply.

Blue skies!
Jeannie   
Dec 8, 2009
Writing Feedback / Personality: A Trait Interactionist Perspective [10]

(1961, p. 72, as cited in Hergenhahn, Olson, & Cramer, 2003).
BTW, I don't know what format you are using, so I am not sure if this is correct. But if you are using APA, it is not correct.
Jeannie   
Dec 8, 2009
Writing Feedback / Personality: A Trait Interactionist Perspective [10]

who have been, and still continue to be today,

still, continue, and today are all saying essentially the same thing; pick one.

Throughout the essay I will be touching upon these important topics when appropriate

You need a thesis statement, and this isn't it...

According to Gordon Allport, personality is not an abstraction or a fictional phenomena
but rather an entity that exists within an individual and lies behind specific acts and behaviours.
Thus, Allport disagreed with B. F. Skinner's claim that personality was simply a collection of
learned environmental responses.

Need citation here. Also may want to consider adding in-text cite after According to Gordon Allport (2009) <something like that if appropriate..(you are referring to him, so he deserves proper citation...) I see that you have cited a little later in this paragraph, but by the time the reader gets to it, it is unclear to whom (of the many) you are referring.<I sounded like Miss Manners there a little bit :)

That each person confronts and
responds to an environmental experience differently is best captured by Allport's statement

"The idea that..." might work better with the word "captures,' otherwise there is nothing in the sentence to capture.
Jeannie   
Dec 7, 2009
Poetry / "On 'Virtue'" - a poem writing assignment for my Lit class [8]

I am quoting pheelyks from the "am I getting the metrics?" thread (I don't know how to cross threadlines to quote someone yet...). He said,

"One thing that should NEVER happen, however, is allowing the rhyme and/or meter to take over the poem. Read what you have out loud, and ask yourself if you're truly happy with the meaning of each line and the poem as a whole, or if the rhymes are reaching for it to the point that the poem is stretched beyond recognition.

Wise words.
Jeannie   
Dec 7, 2009
Poetry / "On 'Virtue'" - a poem writing assignment for my Lit class [8]

United they are, but with principles of sheep,

I would lose the but altogether if it were mine...

Their unruliness of procession

Is my sole confession,

For while they may shout and leap,

holding lofty principles of sheep, (??)

Righteous activism present only in the shepherd.

Kevin is right; it is a bit unruly. I like it, though. Hmmm. I even get the message (the bit up there reminded me about "activists" who proclaim themselves "grass-roots" when they are merely spouting, by rote, the rhetoric of influential others).

My assertion would be by you confirmed,

If you but asked the flock concerned.

I am not reading any assertion. Did you perhaps leave it out? If there never was one, then you need to make one, otherwise the last two verses don't make sense.

I think I understand the way Virtue ties in. Virtue is absent in those who blindly follow others along a path that may harbor certain grave consequences.

Blue skies! Jeannie
Jeannie   
Dec 7, 2009
Poetry / The Barber (a very short poem that I wrote). [8]

cuts &
(if rid of weather)- trims morsels of time

I love this except the part in parentheses...I don't understand that part if it is indeed a part of the poem (I put things in parentheses as a side note and grammar be damned!).

"cuts and trims morsels of time" <I really love this! Especially with the follow-up,
"birthdays assembled in a riddle on the foor
a chronology"
What a unique way of looking at a haircut :) clap!
This was a pleasure to read, Zhang!
Jeannie   
Dec 7, 2009
Grammar, Usage / Was vs. Were for some sentences [19]

If I were to ask you about that wrong sentence, I would be straying from my first question.
And if that were not bad enough, I would be wasting your time. :|

You never waste my time! I think you have much to offer, and your questions are thought provoking - I find myself having to go run away and learn stuff...I live for that.

I am not supposed to be up, but I don't have my laptop and I have things to do! ...had some minor surgical complications and my foot and leg keeps ballooning up quite impressively!

Long story...anyway, about that sentence...

I can't pinpoint it because I am having a brain cramp, but... something to do with the word "sometimes" putting you in the present tense. I dunno, just feels weird. Might very well be me at this point. I am soooo tired! Sorry.

("putting" <that looks wrong too! Puting, pudding? Must be the meds...8)
**dragged away by unseen forces**

**crawls back, kicking at the bony hand clasped tightly around her ankle**

I think we should have more of these threads! It is a great teaching/learning tool, and many of us can benefit by shared knowledge, experience, and research.

I would like to know, for instance, why every one says "that" when it should be "who." "I am the one who asked that question" vs. "I am the one that asked that question" see?

**bony fingers clamp painfully...Blue skiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies!
Jeannie   
Dec 6, 2009
Grammar, Usage / Was vs. Were for some sentences [19]

++

The majority (were/was) young students, but some were middle-aged citizens looking for menial employment."

Great question. The majority was. The people were. It is a matter of singular and plural. I see that others have explained as much already in this thread.

It does have every thing to do with singular or plural subjects, but tense must also be considered in order to understand when to use were vs. was (both past tense forms of be). So, if you break up your sentence, Jonathan, and identify the subject in the first part (students<plural), then we know we have to use the past tense plural of be which is were.

Did I explain that right? Hmmm. OK, think about it in first, second, or third person - (I, you, it -singular, or we, you, they - plural).

I was, you are, it is < all singular states of "being" in the present. (
I was, you were, it was < all singular states of "being" in the past.

Since your students were plural but are now singular, they were the majority but are now the minority. Now, a single student is leaving because she is tired...I wish she wasn't.

The most important clue will be the status of your subject, be careful about identifying it correctly.
:D

"Sometimes while filling out papers, I sat back and wondered about all these people.

Ok...now..."while filling, I sat." Is there something wrong here??

I know that wasn't your question, so I am stepping away from the keyboard! ;)
Jeannie   
Dec 5, 2009
Writing Feedback / Gun Shy - to communicate with my Cultural Diversity teacher [4]

Isn't the purpose of the class to understand cultural diversity (which means beyond your own??)

Yeah, that was my point as well. I hope he is cool with it. How can I write about my own ethnicity if I don't know what it is? DNA testing, anyone?? :) I went ahead and chose Irish just in case...jeesh, I had no idea how horribly the Irish were treated here back when (till they pretty much took over the police force and such, hehe).
Jeannie   
Dec 5, 2009
Undergraduate / "Stop playing video games! " - Commonapp Short Answer and Personal Essay. [6]

I guess there will be a lot of poeple writing about playing piano because it is really a wide hobby.

This is excellent advise, Xu! I will take it with me if you don't mind...(Jeannie trot's off into the sunrise with a suitcase full of great advise...)

Blue skies! I hope to be up and running at top speed soon! Ish! I feel like @#7&*(*$#@. <that means "yucky" in comic-book speak...

Jeannie

Just my 2 cents worth.

...Yep, try a bazillion $ worth! Well said, Isaac!

Gerald, please take this to heart; your passion is evident but one-sided. Reach for more dimension! I know you have it, I just don't know what it is. Pretend another aspect of "you" is a minor chord - that rich, dark, secret love, and tell a story about it with the same grace and vigor you use to describe the intimate workings of the piano pieces. It will all be good then.
Jeannie   
Dec 5, 2009
Grammar, Usage / whats the difference between somones and someone's ? [17]

My mom used to get so mad if any of us said "these ones" or "those ones." She would actually attack us with her fists.

~Always have a steady supply of bing cherries on hand for those "special moments.
Jeannie   
Dec 5, 2009
Writing Feedback / Gun Shy - to communicate with my Cultural Diversity teacher [4]

I need to communicate with my Cultural Diversity teacher, is this ok?? I am trying to be professional, but I am afraid of assuming I understand and then getting it wrong.I am seriously gun-shy at this point...

Hi, Professor,



It's ten minutes until I have to hand in this week's assignment. I am still only in the research phase, and I have to admit that it isn't going to happen; not tonight, I have no focus.

The problem is the fundamental question, "Who am I?" and that other one, "What am I?" All I know for sure is that I am light-skinned with blond hair. I have gray eyes, and I am tall, slender, and kinda goofy. There is no one to ask, you see, my family is dead and they didn't talk to me when they were alive, well, not about anything that didn't have to do with immediate concerns. Children were hopefully seldom seen, and they were never ever heard in my family, so if I had a question it went unanswered until my follies generated a stern lecture about decorum and a swift swat on my behind. I was too afraid to ask where we came from, and no one cared to offer that information to a girl-child.

My Other-Mom ( my great-grandmother on my Father's side) spoke with an accent that was hard to understand but I loved her best-of-all. She died when I was eight. My Mother's father also spoke with an accent, lilting and lovely to my little ears, and I remember him bouncing me quite jarringly on his knee...and then I guess he died too. My Father left and had children when I was four (step-siblings that I have never met; from the Philippines, no less), and died when I was twelve; I never knew him past bedtime stories. My mother was...complicated, and she did not want to talk about her family history. She died with so many unspoken explanations that I can't even express it to you.

The bottom line is that I have to make something up about my ethnicity. I have never pursued it, so I have to start from scratch. Maybe I am Irish? But now I have to learn all about the Irish history; maybe I am English, and my history is vastly different where the points and questions of the assignment are concerned. I am very good at research, and I have learned a lot about both ethnicities, but how do I say that is what I am if I have no clue? Why can't I just pick an ethnicity and pretend it is mine? Would the world stop turning if I learned about racism, prejudice, and our society's history of intolerance through the eyes of a darkie as my father's family would say? What if I did the assignment as someone from Turkey or India or Egypt or Italy? The point is that I gain an understanding about the societal values throughout history as relates to race and ethnicity.

Please permit me to make up my own ethnic background and I will have this assignment in to you tomorrow without submitting substandard work. I know much about many cultures, but I just don't really know if they are mine. I would rather get 10% off an A, than 30% off for lies even if I could get away with it. The syllabus says to choose my own ethnicity, and I need your permission to choose an ethnicity.

Thanks for your consideration and patience.
Jeannie   
Dec 3, 2009
Poetry / Am I getting the metrics?? [24]

Insomnia...

Cast clues and rope, my one true hope is caught
and in the reach my eye is pressed and wrought
to shades of thumping rhythm I go not
'cept in this realm where beg begins begot.


I hope there is medication for this sudden affliction. I'm talking about the metered poetry...:}

It goes on; these manic, insomniac, moments...

Alone

If I saw you in your naked soul
The one place where the winds don't blow
I would still feel the breeze outside
an island stands alone, alone
Atol, atol comfort me
stand against this cold
surround me in your winds of fancy
wave and sea and soul
bleed, Stars, freely!
Moon, send out your beam of light
to chase away this dark-cold comfort
and warm that which is right!
Or go, atol! Atol,
I need you now or cold
which is it to be tonight
a restless world or bold?
~Jeannie...g'night, no, really...
Jeannie   
Dec 3, 2009
Writing Feedback / I am many things, but as a seventeen-year old; Class Essay About Myself [9]

I am many things, but as a seventeen-year old, I am not solidified; my future yet to be determined. Always growing, always changing, always learning.

Simple switcheroo of punctuation here?

I am many things, but as a seventeen-year-old, I am not solidified <hmmm, not so sure I like this word My future is yet to be determined; always growing, always changing, always learning...

Ooops! I just saw all the excellent feedback you have already gotten! < jeannie hangs head in chagrin...

Yer good.
Jeannie   
Dec 3, 2009
Poetry / Am I getting the metrics?? [24]

when days are darkest
feet firmly planted in clouds
yields visible sun...

...And if I could be a thought or a tree,
a tree I would be by damn;
for if in my mind a thought were as fine,
tonight I would sleep like a lamb! :D

...I like mixin' it up :D These are separate poems, don't yell. The first is 5-7-5 Haiku, and that last part is a limerick but still has the workings of IP.

Off to "nighty-night"...my Zoo is slanting me looks...
Jeannie   
Dec 3, 2009
Undergraduate / "Stop playing video games! " - Commonapp Short Answer and Personal Essay. [6]

Psst< you out there, we need another opinion...

so can I use "Let get it started" ? or should i think of another sentence?

Well, Gerald, I was leaving that up to you and also hoping for another opinion (tap, tap, anybody there :)...I would leave it out and let the examiner have the last word; the whole essay is about the exam and how it affected your attitude toward difficult situations, yeah?

Sorry to neglect your other essay...I've been under the weather. I'll take a look tomorrow (well...tonight). My schedule is all messed up! Haha!

Blue skies!

Jeannie
Jeannie   
Dec 1, 2009
Poetry / Am I getting the metrics?? [24]

Hey Sean and Simone, I didn't mean to leave you out as my teachers of iambic pentameter! I just now realized that I started a new thread...so, did I finally get it right?

Blue skies!
Jeannie   
Dec 1, 2009
Graduate / PHD Organizational Behavior SOP [3]

Jeannie
I ran out of time...watch the contractions and trite phrasing. I am not so sure about the acronyms...

I hope to be back on tomorrow to help with the rest; from what little I read, it does need revision. It will be perfect, do not worry! You have done a good job so far!

Blue skies!
Jeannie
Jeannie   
Dec 1, 2009
Graduate / PHD Organizational Behavior SOP [3]

My desire to pursue a Ph.D. in Organizational Science came about in a rather serendipitous way. After graduating from the University of xxx in 2005, the only thing I was certain of in life was that I needed to find a job, quickly.

Although I've<contraction always had an interest in academia, I had never considered it to be a feasible career option. As the youngest of five boys, raised by a single mother who attended night school at the age of 35, I took her plight to mean that school was an obstacle to be overcome in the pursuit of a better life. I wouldn't<contraction find out until years later that my passion would be academia itself.

Throughout my undergraduate studies, I worked full-time and stayed focused on the end-game<trite phrasing... : a good career that paid well enough so that I wouldn't<contraction... have to struggle as my family had.ending the sentence with a prep...?? During my sophomore year, I became one of the youngest students to ever be accepted to the xxx Senate Internship program. While this position would seem to be right in line with my career aspirations, my ulterior motive was to spend an entire semester performing research with some of the greatest legal minds of our time.

Within months of graduating, I had found an ideal position for someone of my age. I landed into a subsidiary of Cerberus Capital Management and after just three months had taken over for our Director of Salaried Staffing, a 25-? year Human Resource veteran who had taken a leave of absence for medical reasons. Over the next year I would reduce departmental costs by $800,000, implement an applicant tracking system with an annual ROI<I don't know what this is, but if it is common language for the SOP, then I guess it is OK. of over $100,000 and become the company's SME<ditto for recruiting and interviewing.

This position would eventually lead to a consulting role with xxx and more importantly, a self-discovery. Although it would seem that my career was off to a great start, I felt there was something missing. Up to this point, I hadn't<contraction again, watch that... paused to reflect upon what I actually desired out of life outside of the financial security and social standing that comes from a successful career. I had defined success in general terms and for that reason I would never achieve my true potential.

The following year would served as a sort of introspection. I came to find that my definition of happiness didn't<here too necessarily include wealth or power. When I critically analyzed what truly made me happy, I found a simple answer: a career that would allow me to improve the lives of others and that fed my intellectual curiosity.

Although this epiphany may seem to be of little improvement to my previous definition, I didn't<< have to look far for something more substantial. During this time I had been working on my graduate thesis and became enthralled with research. One particular evening, I had been sitting in a small study room at xxx Library when something clicked. After months of research, I was finally able to establish a lucid relationship between growth and environmental impact at the industry level with firm specific benefits subsequent to green investment; the supposition being a firm' s<it is "a firm" so possession is shown with a comma before the "s" relative industry position will dictate its ability to increase revenue through green initiatives. I had found the model to my thesis and more importantly, reaffirmed my passion.

The question of what, in particular, to study was an easy one. It wasn't by accident that I had found myself working in Human Resources, I just hadn't been fully aware of my intentions yet. This field allowed me to draw upon my strengths of leadership, analytical abilities and interpersonal skills as well as a proclivity toward helping others.

My specific interests seem to align most closely with those of Dr. xxx, in that I'm intrigued by the role of individual differences in personality as they pertain to reactions to behaviorally based interview questions, likelihood of an offer and success within the position and organization. I also have an interest in the efficacy of interview styles (e.g. is a day long chronological in-depth structured interview more effective than a one hour behavioral and situational based interview?).

Furthermore, I feel that it would be especially pertinent in our economic condition to determine the effects of Topgrading and layoffs on the emotional well being of employees (potentially revealing a more accurate depiction of the true costs and benefits from such strategies). Similarly, a relationship between employee well being and firm type could be looked at by comparing cultural differences in private vs. publicly owned firms, possibly highlighting a disparity in organizational growth and development that may engender long term financial success or failure of that particular firm (proposing a distinct relationship between firm ownership and investment in employee development).

These interests combined with a passion for academia are what brought me to seek a career as a researcher and professor. However, it is this programs unique, xxx approach to organizational theory that I found to be perfectly aligned with my work history, educational background and specific research interests. While my intention is to obtain a full-time tenure track teaching position, my long term goal is to take this field to a new level through research and consulting.

Although it certainly would have been advantageous for me to discover my passion at an earlier age, the indirect path that I have taken to your program has made me a stronger and more qualified student. My passion for this field has been developed over the years and my enduring nature will ensure that I will be able to overcome any obstacle I encounter along the way.

I hope that you find my combination of personal strengths, education and work history to be in line with your ideal candidate.
Jeannie   
Dec 1, 2009
Poetry / Am I getting the metrics?? [24]

Writing a poem
is like running in a globe
It is never done.

blackest ink for pen
swallows narrow caves and swirls
nighttime garden grows

:)
Jeannie   
Nov 30, 2009
Poetry / Am I getting the metrics?? [24]

I think I really have it now, look! I cannot believe I forgot to post this here!

The sky marks true those times of flight unseen
to lose a breath at wonders begs to mean
we notice now a Truth so fair and bold
a lifetime in the clouds awaits the old.

And souls who would not see this fairest Truth
those wretched lives who lived in saddest days
spend ever in the wasted hands of proof
'till blueness harks and burns away the haze.


The "ten syllable" thing really helped a lot, pheelyks! Waddaya think?

I think I lost it again...

And so we stand upon this earth and age
Not flight of bird, nor cougar's death; unfazed
Vile water sinks into the dirt; we pay
A price to harm The Mother every day

hmmm, kinda sing-songy...
Jeannie   
Nov 29, 2009
Writing Feedback / Forward or first page - A Book I am Writing [18]

Much more to come; I appreciate this venue to at least get over my fear of never being good enough. I can be...all I need is help sometimes, and encouragement...and ideas and sincere critique.

Thanks for reading!

Jeannie.
Jeannie   
Nov 29, 2009
Writing Feedback / Forward or first page - A Book I am Writing [18]

It would be nice if the last sentence and first sentence of the first para referred to the same thing... either "the skydiver" or "I."

Do you know what I mean? Maybe that paragraph should be about either the skydiver or "I" but not both. I only suggest a small change. Don't mess with the soul of that good intro paragraph!

Yes, I do know what you mean, but the reason will become clearer as time passes, and I intend for the last chapter of the book to revisit the first paragraph...Here is the next little bit. Maybe that will shed some light on the direction of my thoughts - it is semi-autobiographical, so the memories are important to the whole...

Hooked on a fork of the tree's limbs was a magnificent nest of leaves and twine! I had to get closer! There I saw string, lint, bag-ties, plastic, all woven together to make this structure. I stayed a while to see if any adult squirrels came to scold me but none ever did, so I climbed up to the very limb it was sheltered on. I stretched my neck and body out to look inside the nest and remembered:

Someone left a rickety, wooden ladder here, the highest place around. The chicken coop. Three stories tall. I had raked the muck out of each one of those floors for dollars for the last three summers, and shoveled the offal of chickens, horses, cows, chinchillas and goats out the windows and onto the field in back of the coop. There was a nice, sunny patch of earthly compost drying on that side beneath the back windows, that's where the hot sun always shined from dawn till night; the thought entered my head that it would be soft and spongy to land in if I should misstep , and the idea of flight was born.

I began the climb up that rickety ladder, fearful of it's sway. Half-way up, in the very middle, it bowed inward so suddenly that I yelled out. I looked around, still as a robin caught fetching it's very first worm of the morning, and continued my climb. No one was even awake yet. And on that early-bird principle I gained my confidence. I climbed.

The gutter of the chicken coop roof was a black spot in my eye from the sun just-now-shining over it's edge, and I was worried that it's flat, sharp, edges would be difficult to climb over. I got to the top and my worst fears were realized. How do you climb Under and over when you are nearly vertical to begin with? That ladder was not going to help In fact I decided, then and there, that I wasn't going down that route, by God! The bottom ledge to the third story window was down and over from where I stood on the ladder, the top edge was just at knee level. I decided that was my place to swing to and brace my feet against if all went wrong, and I was prepared for that inevitability. I breathed, wedged the ball of my left foot against the upper corner of the window jam, and closed my eyes. I swung! I hitched my boney heal up and to the edge! I caught it with my will, I grabbed that rough, rusty, edge with my tiny, callused fingertips, and I hauled my worthless-little-girl body up and over in one long, desperate, heave.

I was on top. No one had ever been up here! No one else, just me. Well, OK, me and maybe the guys who made the tar and gravel rooftop, but from the look of things, they had to be long in their graves, maybe they were even the ones buried in that place right by the chestnut tree! Maybe they rode with my Grandfather and Paul Revere! I sat down Indian-style to catch my breath and look out over the unobstructed vista of my world. There was the dirt road leading from Penny Street, sloping down the little hill where I first tried out my junkyard skis two winters ago, past the chicken coop, and to the trail made by some long-ago train that I always rode my pony Squirt on. There was the garden! It looked so scrawny and pathetic from way up here, but the neat rows made me proud. There were the corn fields, mostly harvested, but with some hangers-on yet to be cropped. Soon it would be tilled, and the dry remnants of stalks poking their hopeful faces through the soil and tripping my clumsy, running feet, would be just a cold memory of last season.

I thought about were I came from, where I'd been these few years of my life. I thought about all the people I had run across. So much evil dressed in goodness. So much sickness and sadness. I thought about Jason, my baby boy who was gone one day when I came home from school. I thought about my sister Jill, eight months pregnant with her infected track marks, and I wondered how she could have given him away without even asking me. I thought about my mother, the co-conspirator, the most overwhelmed person on the planet, giving away the baby I spent the past nine months of nights, days, and weekends caring for, feeding, changing, bathing, loving, singing and reading story books to. He even peed straight in my eye once! I taught him his first word and it was "mommy"...the second one was "yane" which was close enough to "Jeannie" to count in my book. I thought about truth.

This place, this time, this very moment was True. I felt pain and studied, up close, the smooth pebbles, mixed with gravel, dirt, and mica, made sharp and unyielding beneath my hand. I studied the proof left in the indentations caused by this man-made mixture, and grew frustrated over a bigger truth that I could not articulate but knew in my heart was important to my survival. Some profound lesson was scratched and splintered into my palm.

With a mental shake, I left that thought for another day. I had a high place to survey, and, unlike a tree, I could walk it's boundaries. I stood with an ease that has left me now, no bones creaking or protesting the sudden movement. I breathed deeply of the high air and felt a giddy moment of omniscience. Twelve years old and already closer to God than the hypocrites who went to church every Sunday, ironically teaching me about hypocrites and probably sneaking peeks up my dress and planning to get me alone. I left that thought too, and proceeded with my inspection.

So many lumps of faded roof verses tar and gravel! I felt as though to take one step in the wrong place would be certain, plummeting death. I chose carefully and moved a tentative foot forward, testing the soundness. It held and I took one more, and so on until I reached the other side. All I could see was a vast, open field of tan. The kind of tan that you can taste. The dry wheat stalks. The pungent aroma of sweet, clean, earth. It made me a little dizzy so I plopped my fanny down again and decided I had better slither my way to the edge this time. I had never felt vertigo before, didn't even know there was such a thing, but there I was, on my belly and feeling woozy. Weird. Flat upon the roof, I inched forward, froglike, the insides of my armpits scraping the gravel, I moved forward inch by inch to the very edge and looked down.

"Total malfunctions, partial malfunctions, line twists, bag-lock, two canopies out, all kinds of things can go wrong...but do it anyway! Ready in? Ready out? One! Two! Three! Jump! Altitude awareness...check"

Just where I pretty much figured it would be, there it was. The cow-manure pile! What a lovely sight to see. Perfect in every way. Twenty feet across, twenty feet wide, with a bank up higher against the wall. Sun-bleached hay over the top of a spongy, dry, center four feet thick from the ground,

bleeding out for another six feet of cow-chips all around. I had a landing pad! All I had to do was drop straight down and roll. I was a really good roller! People used to say I was made of rubber, and that made me proud and fearless (I can tell them with some confidence, now, that I am pretty sure I am made of painfully-ever-healing bone). This was True!

With the confidence that only familiarity can bring, I stood. The vertigo was gone, and I realized with some consternation, that the vertigo was caused by fear. My fear caused a momentary lack of full control over my own body...hmmm. Filing that bit of news away, I looked around and down, not fully trusting now that I had discovered that I could involuntarily play tricks on myself. Sharp focus came to me in a swoosh! The pebble/gravel of the roof was so crystal clear! It was as solid as a rock in the ground. The real ground, so far below me a second ago, was just right there! I was whole again, but this time better. The omniscience I felt earlier was back, only this time so much more acute. I could actually see every single blade of hay on the top of the pile forty feet below. I wished someone could see me when I do this! It's me! Jeannie! I'm here, I am fearless, I am alive and happy and you can't bring me down!

A little spider decided to crawl onto the toe of my shoe at that moment. I gently scooped him up and brought him to my forehead. "If you want to ride, you better stay here and hold on tight", I said, as I shook him free from my hand and onto my hairline. Now I had a friend. Now someone would understand. This little creature was taking a front row seat to my biggest adventure yet, and I loved him. I think He was God.
Jeannie   
Nov 29, 2009
Undergraduate / "I learned to give myself to something" - personal essay- Question 1 [4]

BTW, Reina, I really appreciate your in-text questions. They not only made helping you much easier, they showed your own motivation - and that motivates me!

Blue skies! Jeannie

journey of attainment.

Oh quit gagging, I like it! It's good for you!:D
Jeannie   
Nov 29, 2009
Undergraduate / "I learned to give myself to something" - personal essay- Question 1 [4]

OK, I changed some things around...hope you like it! I get a little flowery with my language, so beware! :) I'll help with the ending in a bit. It seems really long, but I know that is the Task of Editing talking. It is a really good story!

We first tested out the highly critical "mobility factor" of the robotic car. After being successful, we built around the center point, taking care not to let overly weighty add-ons interfere with the car's direction. Several minutes later, my two teammates and I managed to construct an efficient and highly unique car. Although we only placed fifth, my team and I were proud of what we had accomplished.

Overall, I thought the experience was enjoyable and wonderfully creative. I never imagined that I could 'breathe life' into a random assemblage of parts, never mind put them together to serve a purpose. The challenge ??new word...experience has already been used... has given me the determination to stick to the task no matter how initially overwhelming the task may appear. I am no longer satisfied with "trying" to do things, because I have no intention of failing; instead, I clearly envision my goals and embark on a journey of attainment.

Psst< I just checked your word count and it is around 500 (542 counting your questions...). Does it need to be that long? I think I cut a bunch out, so check it again after you incorporate the changes. I would hate to help only to have your essay come up short on the word-count requirements! I would be aghast!<teehee
Jeannie   
Nov 28, 2009
Writing Feedback / Forward or first page - A Book I am Writing [18]

EF_Kevin

I fear I will never get the passive/active voice thing when I am writing. I do it a lot, and though I see it clearly when others point it out, I don't always recognize it while reading either...weird. I need an entire lesson on nothing but passive and active voice...and negative and positive number problems :) I think my brain is fried sometimes, or maybe I think in a different dimension. Some things just won't stick, ya know?
Jeannie   
Nov 28, 2009
Undergraduate / the greatest physical challenge of my life - Roommate. [10]

Perhaps my recent improvement is a testament that dancing may not be impossible for me.

"Perhaps my recent improvement is proof that even dancing is not impossible for me."

Yeah, That's the ticket. Skip the part about "according to this logic..." because the logic is now evident in the statement.

Blue skies today! 74 degrees...perfect day for a skydive!

See ya!
Jeannie   
Nov 27, 2009
Faq, Help / New Innovations in EF Intriguing? [12]

It was abominable! Oh, which reminds me, I still have to fix mine! But I'm kinda diggin' the "cartoon cuss-word" look.. :D

K, going away now...
Jeannie   
Nov 27, 2009
Undergraduate / the greatest physical challenge of my life - Roommate. [10]

Interweaving this philosophy into my daily adventures, I have found that life is too short to live without a little self-inflicted humor from time to time. It enhances our lives by eliminating anxiety and allowing growth, for we will always be our fiercest critics.

I really like this! It's just the ending you needed!

Still not so sure about the last sentence. Does it do any harm? Not really. Does it help with your conclusion? No, not really. Hmmm. Something about it is bugging me for some reason.

Oh, well, you decide. :) I look forward to reading more of your essays!

Blue skies! Jeannie

Oh, I forgot to ask if the title is true. Is DDR the most physically challenging experience you have ever had...really? No way. How about a more fitting title like "Lessons and Laughter: Trying Life on for Size"

OK, I know I'm corny, but you get the drift. teehee!
Jeannie   
Nov 27, 2009
Undergraduate / essay question for ST. Mary's University [4]

This story is a blast! I absolutely love your ending! There are about ten bazillion punctuation errors, though, so I am struggling with whether I should let you fix them yourself or whether I should take it over to Word and edit it for you, hmmm...what to do..

OK, do another read through and correct any errors in punctuation that you find (without changing the story yet!) and post your corrections. Then I will see if I can find any other errors and we can work on the details.

This is very good, Jestina! ...Except the part about Okra soup...blech!! 8{ :D
Jeannie   
Nov 27, 2009
Undergraduate / the greatest physical challenge of my life - Roommate. [10]

I have now learned that the proper time to step on each pad is when the arrow moves up to the top of the screen, rather than the bottom, which my friends were so kind in pointing out. I have also realized that returning to the center after each move can be disastrous to one's health, and it is best if avoided.

There is great potential to turn this part into metaphor for more serious life lessons. That is what I thought you were doing, but you were still talking about the game...

I may not be a DDR champion

If you are going to abbreviate something (which, unless it is used more than once, I wouldn't...) Write it out the first time, as you did in para 1, with the abbreviation in parentheses to signal to the reader that it will henceforth be called DDR.

"Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)..."

The ending?

I may not be a DDR champion, but I will always feel like one inside.

Take this out. It is unimportant to the essay and to your point.

Speaking of your point, you need to expand it. If you tie some real-life metaphor in with your DDR lessons like I said above, it will easily flow to a conclusion. Stear clear of any further reference to the game, though, because many people will not have a clue what in the world you're talking about (215 combo??)

:)
Oops, I just now saw your #2. But, my advise still stands...
I see you did attempt to use DDR as a metaphore, but...well...it still doesn't make sense to me. Why, for instance, is the center to be avoided in life? I always think of the center as a place of harmony and groundedness <is that a word??

Anyway, Better, but a little more - maybe one more paragraph somewhere in there to drive your message (assuming your message is that you keep your focus, commitment, and good humor in the face of adversity).
Jeannie   
Nov 27, 2009
Undergraduate / the greatest physical challenge of my life - Roommate. [10]

I liked this, and I "got it" (sorta) right up until the quoted part above...that isn't part of the essay is it? :) You sound like an easy-go-lucky kind of person; one whom I would like to have as a friend. Your intention hit the mark, I would say, but a tad bit of toning to more serious lessons is in order. Your last paragraph started to go there, but then it abruptly stopped. Expound on the lesson a little lest you seem...just silly. K? Try to imagine the somber person who is charged with the task of evaluating you and your essay-writing style. Making someone smile is great, but making someone feel they can count on you no matter what is better.

Blue skies!
Jeannie
Jeannie   
Nov 26, 2009
Writing Feedback / TOEFL ESSAY " Shools should ask students to evaluate their teachers" [13]

Very true, Kevin. I will also point out that sending your teacher's feedback back to them graded for grammar and punctuation errors is not a good idea...
Seriously, though, if I were a teacher who was not very comprehensive when giving feedback and no one ever told me, how would I endeavor to change? An instructor in my last block of classes kept taking points off my essay under the rubric prompt "sentences are clear and concise," but she refused to tell me why so I kept making the same mistake over and over (until I posted it here, thank you). If more students had spoken up, perhaps she might have changed her ways. Most teachers are responsive to respectful criticism, she was an exception.

Here is the feedback I got, I just wanted y'all to know...I wasn't exaggerating in the least.
"CheckPoint: Biomedical & Biopsychosocial Model 30.0 27.0
Comment: Jeannie, you answered all the questions; your sentences shared your opinions.
Some of your sentences were not clear and concise. You placed all of the xs in
the correct columns, but added two instead of one x. You posted your assignment as an attachment and one time, excellent job! Thanks"

Wasn't that helpful?