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Posts by arsenal123
Joined: Nov 12, 2010
Last Post: Nov 26, 2010
Threads: 3
Posts: 5  

From: United States of America

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arsenal123   
Nov 26, 2010
Undergraduate / "Who would have thought television could be a good thing?" - UC prompt 1 [3]

Hello Kevin,
Thank you so much for your responses on my essays. All your comments are very helpful.
I know you are probably very busy, so if you don't have time to read my modified statement, no worries.

When I was trying to rewrite my personal statement with your comments in mind, I ended up changing it a lot, but still kept most of it the same. I think this version is a more honest depiction than the last. I really want to put snowboarding into my personal statement because it was such a big part of my life, but I cant find a direct way to relate it to my ultimate goal of wanting to be a physicist (probably because it is not directly related). So what I did was use it as part of a progression which ultimately lead to me discovering what my dreams actually are. If you have a chance to read it, let me know if this one is better than the last.

Again, I greatly appreciate all of your help

To my parents, especially my dad, doing well in school was not particularly important. Neither my mother nor my father have received a college education. In fact, my father does not even have a full high school education. When I was younger, I aspired to be a professional snowboarder, or maybe I should say my father aspired for me to be a professional snowboarder. My father has always loved winter sports, so maybe he was trying to live his life through me. Although I did really like snowboarding, I did not love it. What I really loved was learning about the world, and eventually my thirst for knowledge took over my life.

I was very good at snowboarding. I competed on the national level, and traveled many places to compete and train, including New Zealand, France, and Switzerland, which was in large part the reason why I was homeschooled for so long. Snowboarding has played a large role in my life, and I am lucky to have gained such amazing experiences from it. As I got older however, I realized that snowboarding, as with any sport, cannot be relied on to make a living. Both my parents work very hard and long, but still have trouble making ends meet. Seeing the financial troubles my parents had was what initially drove me to pursue academics. So in the 10th grade, I started to put a lot of effort into school, and stopped competing in snowboarding competitions to my father's disappointment. This moment marked the beginning of my journey into maturity. I did well in all aspects of school, so I was not really sure what I wanted to do, that is until I saw a television show called "The Universe." The show, as you might have guessed, was all about the universe, and that first episode that I watched was about quantum mechanics. The concepts puzzled me, but it only made me want to learn more. From that point on, I was hooked. Apart from continuing to watch the show, I got my hands on any books about quantum physics that I could. I began to love all aspects of science, but I knew physics was what I wanted to do. The primary reason for pursuing an academic life soon went from financial reasons, to just a pure love of learning.

I began to love science so much that I wanted to share my newfound knowledge and enthusiasm of the subject with people. I began a volunteer job teaching young people at the DaVinci science center in hopes that I could show kids just how amazing science can be. Through this job, and also tutoring science and mathematics at the community college to which I attend, I soon realized how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people.

The moment I watched that episode of "The Universe," I was placed in a desert with nothing to quench my thirst with but knowledge. Each year I get older, it gets harder to quench this thirst. It is almost as if I am progressively stuffing more and more saltine crackers into my mouth. There is now nothing I enjoy more than learning, and attempting to explain the complexities of science. My initial goal of pursuing academics for finical stability has been replaced with one of loftier nature. My ultimate goal is to obtain a PhD in a field of physics, and use that to contribute to society in some way whether it be by teaching, or innovation. However, getting a decent paying job would not hurt either
arsenal123   
Nov 16, 2010
Undergraduate / "Who would have thought television could be a good thing?" - UC prompt 1 [3]

Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations

Please read my essay and let me know what you think of it. ANY criticism/critique is welcomed.
It is a rough draft. Let me know if the first couple of sentences comes off arrogant. I think I'm going to need to change my ending as well.

Thanks in advance.

I was homeschooled until I basically became a full time college student when I was sixteen. When I was younger, I snowboarded competitively and traveled all around the world in order to compete. Neither of my parents has ever been to college. All of these things have helped shape my dreams and aspirations. However, none of these things has had as much of an influence on my dreams then that plastic box with a cathode ray inside it that is currently sitting in my living room.

It is rather ironic that television, which is often accused of inhibiting education, was the catalyst which first sparked my academic interest. As a young homeschooler, my mother always encouraged me to watch educational television. I never really had a preference as to which kind of educational program I liked best until I stumbled upon a show called "The Universe." The show, as you might have guessed was all about the universe, and that first episode that I watched was about light. During the episode, physicists attempted to explain all of the amazing properties of light, including its wave-particle duality nature. How could light be both a wave and a particle at the same time? It puzzled me, but it only made me want to learn more. From that point on, I was hooked. I kept following the show, and getting tired of waiting a week for each new one to come out, I forced my mother to pay for the science channel, which to my delight, had numerous other similar shows. I watched these programs constantly, learning more and more about science. I loved everything I watched, but nothing fascinated me more than quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics contains some of the most strange, profound, and difficult concepts to grasp, but that is exactly the reason why I love it so much. It makes me think, and I love to think.

Before I became so interested in science, specifically physics, all I cared about was snowboarding. It had always been my dream to one day become a professional snowboarder, but living in Pennsylvania, which is definitely not known for its winter resorts, I had to travel a lot both to compete and train, which was is in large part the reason why I was homeschooled. Academics at that point in my life were peripheral; Snowboarding came first, academics second. However, once I discovered how intriguing and interesting science was, I immersed myself in its greatness. Science to me became more exciting then traveling to New Zealand, France, or Switzerland, which are some of the places where snowboarding has taken me. I began to love science so much that I wanted to share my newfound knowledge and enthusiasm with people. I began a volunteer job teaching young people at the Davinci science center in hopes that I could show kids just how amazing science can be. Through this job, and also tutoring science and mathematics at the community college to which I attend, I have realized how much I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people.

The moment I watched that first episode of "The Universe," I was placed in a desert with nothing to quench my thirst with but knowledge. Each year I get older, it gets harder to quench this thirst. It is almost as if I am progressively stuffing more and more saltine crackers into my mouth. There is nothing I enjoy more than learning, and attempting to explain the complexities of science. Whether I want to be a teacher or not, I do not know, but what I do know is that I love physics. Saltine crackers are not that bad either.
arsenal123   
Nov 16, 2010
Undergraduate / "never a struggle", a UC Essay [5]

I know its sometimes hard to find something that has "shaped your life." I'm having the same problem. A good thing to do is look over your application, if you filled it out, and see what questions the readers might ask about it. See if you can answer those questions using your personal statement. Or just think of it as a way for the readers to get to know you a little better. That's the advice I keep reading everywhere at least. Also, it doesn't have to be something big like a traumatic childhood.

I really liked it though.
Hope I helped a little.
arsenal123   
Nov 13, 2010
Undergraduate / "My ravioli dilemma" - UC prompt, personal contribution, quality [8]

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

I started writing this as a joke because I have no idea what to write about, but I think it might have turned out decent. Its a rough draft. Let me know if this kind of writing is a bad idea. I'm going to have to change the first paragraph, but mainly I just want to know if this is a good start or if its just bad all around.

I will comment on yours if you comment on mine :)

I love ravioli. At this very moment, I am eating a bowl of delicious ravioli. How does ravioli relate to me? Are shinbones sophisticated devices meant for finding furniture in the dark? I do not know, but I would like to share with you a short story.

One afternoon, I was doing my homework when I got a sudden craving for ravioli. I went to my freezer to get a bag, and to my dismay, there was no ravioli left. At this point, many people would say "O well, I'll just eat spaghetti instead." This is now what I did however. I did not want spaghetti, I wanted ravioli! Before I continue, I will have you know that unless you consider being able to put toast in a toaster knowing how to cook, I am no chef. So I had a problem. No ravioli, but ravioli was what I wanted. That is when I decided to make it by hand. One might think, how hard can it be? Well the answer is it is hard as studying for a test as droll as the SAT. It took me over three hours to finish the ravioli. Many people would have stopped when they realized they couldn't even crack an egg properly, but not me. When I start something, I finish it.

The point is that when I am faced with a problem I don't cower in fear, and I don't take the easy way round. This is the attitude I take up not only when facing regular day to day problems, but also in my academic life. This self-motivation and work ethic that I have come to possess are what have made me successful in my academic career. Just as with my ravioli dilemma, I stick with problems until they are resolved, or until I find a more interesting problem.
arsenal123   
Nov 13, 2010
Undergraduate / "a social butterfly" - UC help I'm not sure if i'm headed in the right direction [5]

This is the first UC prompt right? I think that the main thing you are missing here is what your dreams and aspirations actually are. I know you said at the end "A higher level of education" but that is a little to general. It does not have to be super specific, but maybe a general idea of what your interested in. Remember, the essay readers want to know more about you. Be specific.

Hope this helps
arsenal123   
Nov 12, 2010
Undergraduate / "How being homeschooled has given me self-motivation" -UC prompt [4]

Thanks for the help lizziezhou.

Just a quick questions for everyone.

I keep reading places that it is bad to start an essay with a quote, but I don't see why. I feel like the quote I have adds to the essay. Will having a quote hurt my personal statement by default? Anyone have any input on my quotation or using quotations in general?
arsenal123   
Nov 12, 2010
Undergraduate / "How being homeschooled has given me self-motivation" -UC prompt [4]

Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution, or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud, and how does it relate to the person you are?

Here is a rough draft of my personal statement. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. Let me know if it is horrible and if I should scrap the whole thing.

Thanks

Albert Einstein said, "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." I feel Einstein and I have this common. I am not of course comparing my smarts to Einstein's genius, but only showing how important this trait can be. I can safely say that the reason for my success in my academic career is because of this quality that I possess. One of the main reasons I developed this type of attitude is because I was homeschooled.

I was homeschooled for all of my life up until the 11th grade when I started taking all my classes at my local community college. Before I started taking college classes, I thought that I wouldn't be as prepared as other students were because I had been in a totally different type of schooling environment throughout my life. However, as I soon found out, homeschooling couldn't have prepared me better for college classes, or any type of learning experience for that matter. This is because being homeschooling, in my case at least, required a great deal of self-motivation. My mother was my teacher up until 7th grade when she had to start working because of financial problems. Since my mother barely had time to help me anymore, I became my own teacher. Books were given to me, and I was expected to learn. In addition, since I was almost always alone at home, there was nobody to keep me from not doing my school work. Even though I enjoy school work, it took a lot of effort to restrain from watching TV or playing Xbox when it was sitting there, right behind me, beckoning my name with no one there to stop me. College is very similar to this. Professors expect you to do much of the work on your own, and there is no one there to baby you.

I firmly believe that no one is incapable of achieving or understanding something. This semester, I began tutoring at my community college. Whenever my tutees find out that I am still in high school, but tutoring college kids, they are surprised. They say that I am very smart, and that things must just come "naturally" to me. In addition, they say that math or chemistry, which are the subject I tutor, just are not their "thing," and that they will never be able to comprehend the material. I do have a knack for the math's and sciences, but a knack can only take you so far Things do not come completely naturally to anyone. Every genius is only a genius because he or she has worked hard, or took the time to think about a problem without asking questions whenever they got stuck. This is the kind of person I am. When I begin a problem, whether it is a math problem, or a regular everyday problem, I stick with it, and I do not give up easily.