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Posts by onimpulse
Joined: Oct 24, 2010
Last Post: Dec 29, 2010
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Dec 26, 2010
Undergraduate / "the stiffness in cutting the cheese" - u of chicago supplement [5]

My one problem with this essay is that the two "groups" are not identifiable until the last sentence. I think it should be clearer earlier on what two groups you are talking about.

Also, this sounds kind of funny:

We gathered around a round table...

Now, I know it makes sense, but to say "around a round" is sounds slightly awkward.
Dec 25, 2010
Undergraduate / "Studio Art with Mr. Fee" - a person who has had a significant influence on you [4]

My first impression is that it is rather short. Other than that, grammar!

Most people would say their parents, a family member or friend has had a significant influence on them. I'd say my art teacher, Brian Fee, has had a significant influence on me.Generally, I don't believe this is a great way to begin an essay.

Entering the High School for Arts & Business, I'd either had to take art or business for the duration of? my high school years. I've always been interested in art but at the time I was leaning more intotoward business and mathematics, so I chose business. My freshmenfreshman year I did not take an art class, but since it was required I knew I'd have to take itone eventually. Sophomore year arrivesarrived and Studio Art with Mr. Fee was on my program; most of my schoolmates loved Mr. Fee and agreed he was an amazing teacher. Eventually, I found out they were right.

Taking Studio Art made me realize how much I really do love art. I'veI had taken art classes before in middle school and elementary school but never have aI seen a teacher or person like Mr. Fee thatwho was truly passionate about it. Never once did he put down anyone's artwork or toldtell them to give up.H e made everything seem beautiful, even the mistakes in them . He saw everything as art. Throughout the school days I couldn't wait to attend my last period class and learn something new about art , draw something new, create something new, or imagine something new. By the end of the semester I loved art, I immediately switched from business to art. Almost every semester from then on I gotNot a particularly sophisticated word choice... Mr. Fee as my art teacher. He taught me the basics, from the complementary colors to different painting techniques, so as to let me create beautiful artwork?to create a beautiful painting. However, my most favorite class of his is the one I'm currently taking - ApAP Art History. Not only did Mr. Fee improve my art skills, but he taught me the reasons why certain artworksworks of art were created and the history behind them.

Now I see everything in a new perspective. I've become even more intrigued inby art, not only for designing purposes but for history and the way the world is. I walk down the street and I view everything as a picture or painting: the way the light hits a building or the different shades of blue the sky has. The types of architecture the houses around me use or the building in the city has. Each building and artwork created has a purpose and history to it. I want to be part of that. Mr. Fee taught me that art is everywhere and how I can create it. His love for art has influenced me into my future career, as an architect.inspired me to become an architect?
Dec 25, 2010
Undergraduate / the Petri Dish + NY City + M. Luther King from the past - NYU supplemental Essays [6]

^ It's fine up until this point: I choose to study pre-professional medicine at NYU because I hope using the knowledge of microbiology research and the experiences in the medical field of volunteering at Long Island Jewish Hospital to help save the lives of many people by becoming a doctor.

That, first of all, should not be one sentence.

I almost feel you don't need all that information in there... you can say "I wish to study pre-professional medicine at NYU because I hope to, one day, use this knowledge to..." or something else to that effect.
Dec 25, 2010
Undergraduate / Outstanding Science Dept/ I lost mom; Why Tufts/ Let your life speak [4]

Hmm, instead of putting a career option in there, perhaps something like this would work:

"Supportive and encouraging of my dreams and aspirations, my mothers' raised me to be the aspiring doctoridealistic person? hardworking person? that I am today.

Yeah, perhaps you should put something in there that describes who you are as a person. If not, I'd leave this sentence out.
Dec 25, 2010
Undergraduate / "Death Valley" - Harvard + Yale supplement essay [5]

I kinda have another problem. Though I've already submitted to Harvard, I'm not sure if this fits the prompt for Yale, exactly.

The Yale prompt is: "You have already told us about yourself in the Common Application, with its list of activities, Short Answer, and Personal Essay. In this required second essay, tell us something that you would like us to know about you that we might not get from the rest of your application - or something that you would like a chance to say more about. Please limit your essay to fewer than 500 words."

Er, I'm not sure this essay speaks about something I'd like the adcom to know about me. If not, perhaps the other essay is a better option...
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / "devoted to my goals, and confident" -personal or creative essay that describes YOU. [14]

Should I keep the format of the first paragraph and use it almost as a conclusion?

That might work. Something like, "So, on that night when I was lying in my bed, unable to sleep, I was not worried, scared or intimidated, because such and such an experience taught me this"

Obviously that's a bit direct, but you get what I'm saying.
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / Outstanding Science Dept/ I lost mom; Why Tufts/ Let your life speak [4]

Your second essay flows nicely. One grammatical suggestion: When I was cryingcried because of my scraped knee, I would run across the street to Katy where she would give me band-aids, cookies, and milk.

Also, the reference about you as an "aspiring doctor" kind of comes out of nowhere in the last sentence...

As to your first paragraph, there's nothing necessarily wrong with it. But I myself have never liked essays that sound like lists, and this one kind of does. I'd focus on one particular aspect of the school, like the science department or the new environment you'd experience.
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / "Buddhist interested in Jesuit Catholic education" supplement [3]

I think you need to focus on one of two things.

1. The fact that a Jesuit education appeals to you, a Buddhist.

2. The quality of the pharmacy prerequisite programs.

In this paragraph, you sort of do half-and-half. Just choose one, and expand on it.
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / "Death Valley" - Harvard + Yale supplement essay [5]

So I've changed it up slightly

I'm iffy about whether or not I'm using grammar properly here (especially punctuation). Instinct tells me I'm using a long dash or a semicolon wrong somewhere in this essay.
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / (How I Learned to Learn) - Princeton Supplement - Option Four [2]

A few suggestions:

My math teacher for my freshman year always asked the question, "When are people going to stop doing homework just to get it done?" Since I was in kindergarten, I have always loved school,I've enjoyed school since I was in Kindergarten, but my freshman year was the first year I found challenging. I loved having honors classes that pushed me further, but I was lost. I learned very quickly that I could not rely on natural brainpower to get me through this time. I needed to study, but I had no idea how. My geometry teacher's question helped me realize that learning is about much more than doing homework.

Good, but I stumbled when you said "geometry teacher" instead of "math teacher." I mean, I get that geometry is math, but it makes more sense in an essay to refer to them by the same thing.

Now, I could try to suggest fixes for rather minor things in the following two paragraphs, but instead I suggest this: Instead of saying "As soon as I saw homework as an opportunity to learn more, it became more enjoyable. I trained my mind to make connections that cemented information and further understanding," focus on a singular event, and describe that event in detail for the next two paragraphs. Then, modify your current third paragraph to serve as a conclusion.

I don't feel that the "Why would I want to go to Princeton?" paragraph makes very much sense in this essay. It seems to stick out like a sore thumb, because really, the rest of the essay is not about Princeton.
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / "Death Valley" - Harvard + Yale supplement essay [5]

This is the second thing I'm considering submitting as a Harvard/Yale supplemental essay. The other essay I'm thinking about sending in is this: https://essayforum.com/undergraduate/quelques-arpents-neige-harvard-yale-23823/

Again, I'd appreciate any suggestions! And if you could, could you opine on which of these two essays I should submit?


My family likes to gamble. Don't ask my why; they're just crazy. And seeing as most of them live in L. A. county, it's only natural that they go to Las Vegas whenever they're blessed with a long weekend or a special occasion that makes it okay to ditch work. So when I visit every summer, I'm usually given a break from basking in the lazy, Southern Californian sun, and my family and I head up to Vegas. We always take the same route, a hopelessly winding affair that takes us to places like Palmdale and Little Rock, California. And we always pass by a peculiar place called Death Valley. I never used to like the place; one time we were there, I was desperate to get to a rest stop and use the bathroom, but the minute I stepped out of the car and felt the sun on my back I was like, "Forget this!" Death Valley is, of course, the hottest location in North America and one of the hottest in the world. One of my other memories-and this must have been from years ago-involves my uncle's van breaking down in the valley, which forced me to sit down on the side of the road while being assaulted by the sweltering heat. Death Valley is not a friendly place for human beings, clearly. But my dislike for it changed rather unexpectedly one night in 2008. I was heading to Vegas, again, but this time at night. That never usually happens, but this time I was going with a family friend who was, unlike most of my relatives, not intent on leaving early in the morning so he could gamble all day. So I'm sitting in the passenger's seat, listening to my iPod, and staring at the dark desert outside. I'm looking out into nothingness-I can't see anything except for resilient desert shrubs, barely noticeable. And I somehow realize that this emptiness is amazing, and so looking out at Death Valley at night, I say to myself, "Heck, this place is beautiful."
Dec 23, 2010
Undergraduate / "We all want it. What is Education?" - Common App [3]

I have to say that this essay is rather difficult to follow.

I think that, instead of using this format, beginning each paragraph with "I once believed that education led to this or that" and using that phrase to lead into an anecdote, you should use one powerful anecdote to frame the whole essay.

Perhaps this essay is also too philosophical. Adcoms don't need to ponder the question, "What is success?" Rather, they want to see you in a more personal way than is displayed here.
Dec 22, 2010
Undergraduate / "Quelques arpents de neige" - Harvard + Yale supplement essay [8]

I wrote this originally to be my Common App essay, but decided to go with something else instead. But i've reworked (and shortened) it to serve as my supplement essay for Harvard and Yale.

I'd appreciate any suggestions! Thank you so much!


In my decade of living in "the true north strong and free," I have not seen much of it, but for Vancouver. This, I believe, is a product of my former indifference to the country Voltaire's Candide lambasts as "quelques arpents de neige"-"a few acres of snow." Far be it for me to agree with the Enlightenment philosophe, but I did once share his sentiment about my adopted home. If God cannot bring himself...

after edits:

Voltaire's Candide lambasts Canada as "quelques arpents de neige"-"a few acres of snow." Now, far be it for me to agree with the philosophe, but I did once share his sentiment about my adopted home. If God cannot even bring himself to shine the sun on Canada, a land perpetually damned with rain and cloudburst, then what good can possibly come out of it?

Leaving California was a wretched ordeal, not least because it was motivated by what I thought was a stupid reason: My parents were illegal immigrants, though I as an "anchor baby" was not. In an attempt to remedy their legal status while affording their children comfortable lives, my parents opted to bring the family to Vancouver, instead of having us return to the Philippines. So on a sober March dawn in 1999, we began the northward trek to Canada along the I-5, and though I'm told children usually adapt to new surroundings with no loss of enthusiasm, something rather curious happened to me: My being American came to define my identity. My parents continually reminded me that I was American, and it made me feel rather good about myself to flaunt this to my distinctly Canadian classmates. By the time I was in the Seventh Grade, I had the list of the Presidents memorized cold. I repeated it over and over to my peers, until at the umpteenth mention of Warren Gamaliel Harding-and I emphasize the "Gamaliel"-they couldn't take very much more of it and simply just told me to shut up.

I would say that I was almost completely uninterested in being Canadian and even in the very "idea of Canada"-That is, of a nation founded on "Peace, Order and Good Government," as opposed to defiant individualism as was the United States. But that changed for me over the course of the Winter Olympics. For the first time in my life I was witness to an incredible outpouring of Canadian spirit, which is something that I thought Canada was incapable of. After coming home with a Canadian flag draped on my back, my brother sneered, "Patrick, you've sold out to the Olympic hype." On the surface it might have seemed that way, but in reality, no, I actually did fall in love with Canada. After the closing ceremony, I wrote in my journal: "We became a part of something transcendent, something we knew reached beyond ourselves and into the realm of hopes and dreams and lofty ideals. 'I've never seen a city embrace a Games like Vancouver,' Jacques Rogge, the President of the IOC, proclaimed. Way to go, Canada. We showed the world what we were made of."

I believe I have now adopted a meaningful identity as a Canadian-American. Yes, I was once averse to identifying as Canadian, but the fact I do now shows that, if nothing else, I have dispelled a little of my former ignorance.
Dec 18, 2010
Undergraduate / "My main concern was lunch." --Columbia Supplement [6]

The word "accepts" in this sentence feels a bit weird to me:

"Moreover, invitations of controversial speakers, such as Iranian President Ahmadinejad and Ethiopian Prime Minister Zenawi, show that Columbia accepts people of different views and allows passionate debates."

In light of the fact that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was mentioned, I don't think it's proper to use the word "accepts." I would think that putting "welcomes" in its place would be better.
Dec 18, 2010
Undergraduate / "But why, Dad.." - Common App: Forgiveness [5]

I think this is brilliant.

If admissions essay is supposed to tell adcoms about you, and what makes you who you are, then I think writing about a sensitive topic such as this is perhaps one of the best ways to go.

By the way, in the first paragraph where you say, "Cindy, Mom, and I," I'm pretty sure grammar dictates it should be "Cindy, Mom and Me."