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Posts by miss_anthropic
Joined: Dec 12, 2010
Last Post: Dec 30, 2010
Threads: 4
Posts: 6  

From: United States of America

Displayed posts: 10
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Dec 30, 2010

What was the prompt, exactly?

I don't think it needs a title--at least I hope none of them need titles, because I'm not giving titles to any of mine.

The prompt doesn't need to be in the document, I think Brown will know its own prompt.

"I, the Pakistani boy, the "quiet smart kid", stood center stage for everyone to see ." There's your two (actually four) words.

"To me, rap is a birthmark, a scar, a scintillating banner of individuality I hold above society." While I'm a fan of the word "scintillating," I'm not sure if I've ever seen a scintillating banner. It's not that big of a deal though.

Other than that, this is absolutely fantastic.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / "Debate; people fear public speaking" - Common App Short Answer [3]

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences in the space below (150 words or fewer, 1000 character maximum).

Many people fear public speaking more than death. In seventh grade, I was no exception; shy and non-confrontational, I was a good writer but froze when it came to articulation. Sensing how detrimental this quality was, I set out to change it by joining the debate team.

At first, it was mortifying. When I got up to speak in my first round, I forgot all of my arguments and sat back down on the verge of tears. That round was, unfortunately, a microcosm of my entire first year; nevertheless, I stayed with it.

My continued efforts were eventually rewarded with skills I never thought I could possess: the ability to think quickly under pressure, communicate those thoughts effectively to an audience, and even be convincing in the process. The lasting value of these skills, along with my newfound proficiency at research, far outweighs my initial struggles with debate.

I feel like the last sentence sucks. But I don't just want to end it without having something akin to a conclusion.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / free afternoon + physics teacher compliment + the bing bang + questions - Yale [12]

I would spend most of it getting through a book from my list of Things I Haven't Yet Had Time to Read . [I capitalized it to make it look like an actual list you had made--I don't know if you have or not.] The rest I would spend outside, either running or playing soccer.

My physics teacher once called me a "freak"-- a distinction earned by only a select few. This made me realize I didn't just enjoy physics, but have a chance to be good at it. [I don't know if this sentence is necessary.]

Not sure this counts as history, but I would want to witness the moments just before and after the big bang because I want to understand how and why things are. [I'd definitely count it as history, I think this is a great answer.]

That's all I've got for you.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / a number of "engineering ideas" - Cornell Engineering Supplement [3]

Prompt: Engineers turn ideas (technical, scientific, mathematical) into reality. Tell us about an engineering idea you have or your interest in engineering. Explain how Cornell Engineering can help you further explore this idea or interest. Maximum of 500 words.

This one needs some help :/

I have had a number of "engineering ideas" through the years, many of them attempts to find a solution for the clean energy problem. While mowing the lawn one day when I was thirteen, I had what I thought was a brilliant idea: why not use grass cuttings as fuel? By the time I finished mowing the front yard, I had fashioned in my mind an elaborate scheme in which everyone had their lawn mowed by an alternative energy firm-so that people with bigger lawns could not claim it as the fruits of their labor and demand compensation-which then converted the clippings into biofuel and sold it back to the community as an affordable alternative to fossil fuels. As soon as I was back in the house, I did a Google search for "grass cuttings as fuel" to see if it had already been thought of. To my dismay, I found that it had been thought of, tried, and dismissed as uneconomical. A similar thing happened to all my other energy-related ideas (landfill gas, exercise equipment that could capture and store the energy you expended, solar power collected in space, etc.): either they had been abandoned as inefficient or they were already being implemented.

Looking back, I recognize the major flaw in my approach: I was trying to find a new solution to a long-standing problem without first educating myself. I didn't know which ideas had already failed and why; I didn't even know any of the basic physics behind energy conversion. I didn't want to. I stubbornly harbored the notion that this would be "cheating"-the notion that knowledge would only stifle originality, like an artist's individual style is slowly watered down by the influence of other art he observes. Now, I realize that engineering works in precisely the opposite way. Ideas continually build off one another, as evidenced by the lightning-paced advancement of modern technology; and today, real innovation requires in-depth knowledge of the subject in addition to the ability to creatively apply that knowledge.

This is where Cornell's College of Engineering comes in. I plan to major in mechanical engineering because it is "the Swiss Army knife of engineering disciplines," as my cousin put it, making it conducive to my extremely broad range of interests. While I don't know exactly what I want to do yet, I do plan to further my interest in energy by taking advantage of Cornell's new Sustainable Energy Systems minor. To augment this, I plan to participate in Cornell University Sustainable Design, which would give me hands-on experience and the opportunity to collaborate with peers. Cornell's generous research opportunities in nanotechnology also make it extremely appealing to me, as I am fascinated with the countless possibilities of nanotechnology-many of which are still undiscovered. Cornell is the perfect place to explore energy, nanotechnology, and all my other interests. I can supply the creativity; Cornell's world-class engineering program can supply the knowledge and skill I need for it to produce results.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / Deciting to go to India (intellectual vitality) + Roomate foods - Stanford [4]

First one looks good.

The second one is kind of all over the place. But I understand if that's what you were going for, since the prompt does say "note."

Here are some things I would change.

"I just don't think it's productive to get depressed...that being said, I'm all about productive."
You don't think it's productive to get depressed, which is in agreement with you being "all about productive," so you don't need to use the "that being said."

"(I lived in India last year, it was the best experience I've ever had )"

"This doesn't mean I don't respect the beliefs of others though; in fact, I think that the only way I can be steadfast in my beliefs is if I'm open to having them challenged with contradictory views ."

"I was raised in the South, so I use a lot of weird Southern expressions ."

Take it with a grain of salt, and help me with my essays if you're so inclined.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / Taekwondo; an assistant instructor - Michigan Short Answer [2]

Prompt: Everyone belongs to many different communities and/or groups defined by (among other things) shared geography, religion, ethnicity, income, cuisine, interest, race, ideology, or intellectual heritage. Choose one of the communities to which you belong, and describe that community and your place within it. (Approximately 250 words)

"Stephanie, if you're just going to practice kicks over there, why don't you join class?" I froze mid-roundhouse. I had been watching my older sisters' Taekwondo class, imitating their movements to pass the time, when Master Jon Engum addressed me as such. Hesitantly, I stepped onto the mat. Little did I know I was entering a community that would shape the rest of my life.

I am now one of the highest-ranking black belts at Engum's Academy, a far cry from the shy and weedy six year old I was on that first day. I am part of the Sparring Team, a select group of students who train extra hours to fight at tournaments. We are a supportive, tight-knit group because we have been through so much together. I have cheered for and coached many a young gold medalist, and I have seen those same talented athletes crying and vomiting during an intense training session; they have all witnessed me go through the same triumphs and defeats. We travel all over the country (and sometimes to Canada) for tournaments, strengthening our bond by sharing the experience of being somewhere new. I met my best friend, David, and many of my other close friends through the Sparring Team.

I am also an assistant instructor, taking charge of teaching when Master Jon is away. As a teen, and a girl at that, establishing myself as an authority figure to the rambunctious multitude of students was quite the adventure-but watching them all advance through the ranks with my help has been extremely rewarding.

It's 263 words. Do I need a concluding sentence to tie it together?
Also, I feel like some of the phrasing is awkward. Help would be appreciated.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / "the cross-country team" - extracurricular activities [3]

Here is what I would do, take it with a grain of salt.

I joined the cross-country team freshman year as a way to "stay in good shape". I originally thought it would come naturally to me because running, seemed so simple . My wake up call came during my first practice, when my 60-something year old coach beat me in a race. I was stunned. Never having finished last at anything before, I decided I would quit . My father, however, insisted that I stick with it to see if things would get better. My coa ch must have noticed my frustration, because he told me that I would "get out of it as much as I put into it". After that, I began running just a little bit harder during practices and a few more times each week. Since then I have improved greatly, even qualifying for two state meets . This experience has taught me not only how important hard work and self discipline are, but also not to give up.

The last sentence is really standard, but I don't know what to replace it with--sorry.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / Engineering program: CMU- Why your major and why Carnegie Mellon [2]

Prompt: Please submit a one-page, single-spaced essay that explains why you have chosen Carnegie Mellon and your particular major(s), department(s) or program(s). This essay should include the reasons why you've chosen the major(s), any goals or relevant work plans and any other information you would like us to know. If you are applying to more than one college or program, please mention each college or program you are applying to. Because our admission committees review applicants by college and programs, your essay can impact our final decision. Please do not exceed one page for this essay.

I'm a little worried about the first paragraph. I want to be specific about my interests and how they led me to want to pursue engineering, but I feel like some of the transitions are awkward. And I'm aware that it's long, but it does fit on one page (font size 10). Do you think the length will be a detriment?

My decision to apply to the mechanical engineering program at the Carnegie Institute of Technology stems from the fact that engineering unites all of my major interests. My enthusiasm for science was evident at an early age; by the time I was seven, I had the entire Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds nearly memorized. These same scientific inclinations have recently led me to begin collaborating with a local research lab specializing in imaging technology on a project to evaluate effects of the BP oil spill on zooplankton. I am also attracted to art, particularly photography, drawing, and music. In 10th grade, I initiated what has since become a fairly successful venture in the field of portrait photography. Art and science came to me far more naturally than math; but in middle school, after years of professing my dislike for the subject, I realized that math was essential to understanding all the things I did like. In high school I have come to appreciate the fact that everything, from the position of a projectile to the reason behind our intuitive aesthetic preferences, can be expressed as an equation. If all things can be reduced to numbers, then the ability to manipulate those numbers translates into the power to shape the world as one sees fit. Engineering lies at the junction of all these things-of science, artistic creativity, math, and their application-which is why I have concluded it to be the logical "next step" in my education. I specifically selected mechanical engineering because it emphasizes energy and design. After joining the FIRST Robotics program at my high school I discovered my affinity for the transfer and transformation of energy within a system, and I want to explore it further. The design aspect, meanwhile, appeals to my artistic inclinations. Additionally, I have always been primarily idea-oriented; a major in mechanical engineering will enhance my proficiency with regard to detail, logistics and execution, enabling me to successfully convert ideas into realities.

My primary interests lie in using my abilities as an engineer to mitigate the negative impacts of human activity on the environment, which is why I plan to pursue a designated minor in environmental engineering. Efficient, sustainable energy is the area of study I am most drawn to (and have been drawn to since I was old enough to understand that fossil fuels are non-renewable). These interests have been deeply influenced by my father, who was CEO of Building Knowledge, Inc., the company chosen by the U.S. Green Building Council to develop the national LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes program. When I first expressed interest in his work, he began bringing me to his construction sites and explaining the underlying mechanics of energy-efficient design. I was fascinated. It was my father, also, who first introduced to me the effectively limitless possibilities yielded by nanotechnology. I have believed for years that nanotechnology will be a substantial and (literally) integral part of the future of every scientific field. However, due to my overarching concern with the environmental issues currently facing mankind, I recognize the importance of understanding the potential ecological impacts of any new technology. The Center for the Environmental Implications of NanoTechnology at CMU is therefore of great relevance to me as it represents the confluence (as well as the conflict) of two of my most prominent areas of interest, and if accepted I plan to apply for one of its Research Experiences for Undergraduates.

Carnegie Mellon University itself appeals to me in nearly every manner imaginable. My interest was piqued when I noticed Carnegie Mellon appearing with astonishing frequency in Science Daily's research news. It was the name Carnegie that initially caught my eye; I have always admired Andrew Carnegie as one of the only truly self-made men in history. A more in-depth investigation (which included a campus tour last spring) revealed CMU to be ideal. Not only are the academics and research opportunities consistently ranked among the top in the United States, but the class sizes are small, the facilities (most memorably the Gates-Hillman building) are state-of-the-art, and the campus is beautiful. Most importantly, I sincerely believe I would be happy at CMU. To be surrounded by the ambitious, wildly intelligent group of people that comprises CMU's student body in a city like Pittsburgh would be a more than welcome departure from the stifling influences of my "small-town" upbringing. At the same time, I would be living in a climate reminiscent of (but still more tolerable than) Minnesota's, continuing my practice of martial arts with the CMU Sport Taekwondo Club, and exploring my Scottish heritage. All things considered, Carnegie Mellon is my first choice.
Dec 30, 2010
Undergraduate / "Women and Gender Roles in Horror Media" -Notre Dame short essay answer [5]

I think this is awesome. It is very original and reveals a lot about what you're like. I don't know what your parents are worried about, gender roles are a huge social issue. The fact that you're discussing them in the rather informal context of horror movies doesn't diminish their importance, plus it's appealing to college kids.

The last sentence seems a little long, but it's not a huge deal because the "flow" is still there. But I tend toward long sentences as well... So yeah, it might not kill you to chop it up into two, because there's a lot to keep track of.