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Posts by crackhamster
Joined: Aug 24, 2011
Last Post: Dec 3, 2012
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From: United States of America

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Dec 3, 2012
Writing Feedback / Arranging My Thoughts on Marriage - ENG101 Essay [2]

Could you please critique my essay? I feel I am heading in the right directions but am not sure if I have reached an "A" paper yet. I don't believe there are too many grammatical errors, but additional proofreading would be appreciated!

Prompt: Do you think you understand the problem(s) experienced by those who are considered "different" in our society? Consider interviewing someone from another culture, generation, or someone who has experienced alienation and use your findings to write an expository essay advancing your view of the situation.

Love is an interesting thought; in itself it can cause such an impact, whether it is for better or for worse. The profound affection and passion accompanied by such an emotion should leave us very much certain in what we want, yet more often than not we are left mystified and ambiguous of our feelings; ranging between anything from agonizing remorse to pure, unadulterated joy. As a society we view love to be a very dominant and expressive aspect in our lives. Sentiments of being "the sunshine to her blossom" or "Juliet to my Romeo" are littered throughout our pop culture and are often ideal in what we hope to achieve, though we may fall short every once in a while. Nevertheless, we are persistent in these notions in that while we may fail time and again, in the end we hope to one day find that special someone. Western civilization has shaped many individuals views on love, including myself, to be this endeavor of trial and error, but throughout much of my life up until now I failed to reflect on successful relationships within my own family; one of which being my parent's. Growing up in India, they never had the "privilege" of going through the dating scene familiar to me as a result of their arranged marriage, and while I do not take well to the thought of having my own spouse chosen for me, the institution itself is not one I can honestly say I object to.

In general, there are two schools of thought when it comes to marriage. In Western culture, the choice of a spouse is up to the individual. Often called "love marriages", institutions like dating allow individuals to collect relative information in their preferences for a partner and ultimately lead to a more informed decision on what they view as their ideal spouse. Contrastingly, in traditional societies the rationale for having parents choose their children's spouse is to avoid immature or impulsive decisions. Though there are many variations, in most "arranged marriages" criteria for the prospective partner is composed of aspects such as religious affiliation, level of education, financial stability, and a clean family history. While love marriages consecrate a bond between two individuals, in non-western cultures one's foremost responsibility is to their own family and ancestry. This point in particular is important to note, because the high level of regard held towards one's ancestors and respect given to their parent's wisdom plays a large part in differentiating the views on arranged marriage between Western and traditional cultures.

Talking in the strictest sense, an arranged marriage means that the boy or girl marries whoever their parents choose for them, but in my mother's case she had the option of saying no to anyone she did not like. As she went through her years in grade school many boys took a liking to her, and while she could have chosen to marry any of them, that looming "duty to family" was always present in the back of her head. She did not mind having her parents pick a husband for her because she trusted that they would pick whoever was best for her, but many other parents at the time were focused on marrying for wealth. On my father's side however, his family was not your "traditional" Indian family. His parents fell in love 65 years prior, back when those same core values were more prevalent than ever, and ultimately got married. Likewise, they wished the same for their children and by chance my dad happened to be asked by my mother's parents to meet her. At a young age my father lost his hearing, and while initially it made it hard for them to converse, my mother grew fond of him for his character and thoughtfulness, ultimately said yes when he proposed to her. After moving to the United States, nearly twenty years later they still love each other with the same passion as the first day they met.

When you look at statistics regarding marriages in the US, nearly 40% of first marriages end in divorce, yet if you look at India's divorce rate, roughly 1% of marriages end in divorce (Divorce). While you could argue that their large population skews the proportion, or that the institution of marriage in the US is not as valued as it used to be; in reality this is attributed to a number of reasons. If you look at our society today, it is blatantly clear that there are a large number of impulsive marriages; the city of Las Vegas alone can justify this. Those kinds of couples end up divorcing after the realization that they do not work well with each other and end up moving on to new partners. But while many arranged marriages are healthy and successful such as my parents, this is not to say that they are all perfect. Often you will find that women are mistreated in relationships, from reasons such as subpar income to domestic violence, but will stick with it for the sake of their children or to not be shamed by their family. Several years ago my mother's sister was stuck in an abusive marriage. Without institutions like dating, she only had one or two weeks to really get to know her husband; and once he proposed, he seemed charming and genuinely kind, so she said yes. But after their second child he started drinking more often than usual. At first she only noticed it once in a while, but after a couple months it became a weekly occurrence in which he would come home in a drunken rage and yell at her and the children. For almost a year she did not want to cut things off with him in fear that it would be bad for her kids, but after strong encouragement from her friends and family she finally separated from him. While this can be seen in both love marriages and arranged marriages, more often than not those in arranged marriages stick through with it. In the end, what really matters is ones devotion to upholding their commitment, and how much each couple is willing to endure.

You can dispute that despite having such large retention rates, making couples feel trapped in their relationship is a huge pitfall in the practice of arranged marriage. And while I would agree with you, is that to say that they have no voice at all in their own relationships? Just look at the case with my aunt: when she knew that her relationship was only hurting her, she made the conscious decision to do what was best for her and her children and file for divorce. What it boils down to is whether or not the individual will actively shape their own life. You cannot legitimately blame someone or something else for problems that you could easily solve. If you know your relationship is unhealthy and you want to end it, end it. If you want to try and fix it, get marriage counseling; but do not just sit there and do nothing. This is the real world, you cannot walk up to the ocean and expect it to part; you either swim, or sit you sit on the beach and accept your decision. I will agree that arranged marriages can have their downsides, but with turnarounds on marriages in the US as short as couple days, the same could be said for love marriages. Being exposed to so many examples of successful relationships such as my parents and numerous other relatives, I cannot detest the concept of arranged marriage as a whole. It is a practice that has worked for many generations, and I am certain that it is not going to die out any time soon.
Sep 27, 2012
Writing Feedback / "Winning is..." ENGL101 Honors English 101 class Narrative Essay [3]

This is a narrative essay I wrote for my Honors English 101 class and I really like what I have so far a lot. Please critique this in any way you see fit and let me know if there is anything I could take out that detracts from the essay or anything that I could put in to embellish it. Thanks!

I have this condition. It is hard to explain what happens, but mainly that is because for the most part it is unexplainable. I am that guy who ties his tie perfectly on the first try. I am that guy who pulls up to his house right as his favorite song finishes playing on the radio. I am that guy who wakes up in the morning like P. Diddy, pisses excellence, washes his hands and banks the paper towel in to the trash can after shouting "Kobe!", all the while tri-winning and putting Charlie Sheen to shame. Plain and simple: I am a winner. Being a winner starts out with using cool lingo like "brah" and "yo", progresses with well-timed quips at high stress moments, and ends with an abundance of confidence that begets multiple allegations of "jackass" by admiring fans. While I am blessed to have this gift, I was not always amongst the top percentile of the world that is winners. There was a point in time where I was ïdo not judge meï a loser. Although I rejoice in every second that I am no longer a loser, I do not regret it. It is during this time that I gained the confidence and characteristics that make me much of who I am today.

Life was miserable, food was tasteless, and every moment spent breathing was pure agony; in short, I was in middle school. The onset of puberty left most of us awkwardly proportioned, and with no knowledge of the blessing that was stick deodorant, the majority of us smelled terribly. Apart from realizing that I myself was a loser, there was very little separating me from the kid who ate mulch on the playground.

Although by default everyone in middle school was a loser, I felt especially subordinate. While everyone else was that run of the mill dog crap you might step in on a walk around your neighborhood, I felt like the dried up bird feces that you find on your car every once in a while and scream "Why!? Why are you here?!" In other words: I was a loser that found a way to suck even more. I sucked so much, once a week a teammate on my soccer team would tell me I sucked, and the rest of the team, including the coach, would back him up. It was not just me being a failure at soccer or basketball; I consistently failed Spanish exams, awkwardly fumbled through conversations with girls in the hallway, and the only way to describe the sound my trumpet produced during rehearsal was that deep, throaty noise a dog makes right before throwing up: I was terrible at everything.

But then I met Mr. C, my 7th grade bio teacher. I am pretty sure the "C" in his name stood for "Cool", but I would not know otherwise because no one knew him as anything other than Mr. C; he was that awesome. He was the kind of guy that already had a perfectly tied tie waiting for him when he got dressed; the kind of guy that did not need deodorant because he constantly emanated pure swagger(but he still wore it anyway); the kind of guy who could balance the national debt and deliver a newborn baby, all while nailing every note of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and stealing your wife. He told me that he was a Biology major in college, but I am pretty sure that he double majored in Winning Life. Mr. C could say anything and you would hear all the girls in the room quietly giggle to themselves while all the guys would look around the room and high five each other with huge grins on their faces. Literally, he could have told us he just took a big number two and the same response would have ensued; this guy was legendary.

As far as I was concerned, Mr. C was a wizard; and I had to know his secret. One day after class, I just popped the question:

Me - "Mr. C, how do you do it, man?"
Mr. C ï "Do what?"
Me ï "IT, how do you do it?"
Mr. C ï "Ew, what?"
Me ï "Come on, just tell me! What is it? Steroids? Deodorant?! Why am I such a loser and you aren't!"
Mr. C ï "Sean, you only think you are a loser because you convince yourself you are one."

Then it clicked. He was right, all those times when teammates or classmates had called me a loser, I agreed with them; I actually believed them! When Mr. C taught a class he did not just teach them, he instructed them. When he played guitar he did not simply play his guitar, the man shredded. When he told our class he just took a big number two he did not just throw it out there, he made sure that we knew he took a DAMN big number two! Mr. C had confidence, which is exactly what I was missing, and once I made that change it was a world of difference. For one, people stopped asking if someone's dog was throwing up every time I played trumpet; I actually sounded good! The change between playing timidly and with confidence blew my mind, and as I continued to apply this to different areas of my life not only did I notice that I improved in those aspects, but others noticed as well! I was no longer that kid who people thought ate mulch on the playground, but rather that kid, Sean, who was surprisingly good at soccer practice today. For once in forever I genuinely felt like a winner, and only had Mr. C to thank for that change.

It was not that I lacked the ability to be a winner; it was that I lacked the conviction to believe that I was one, and that specifically is what I took away from all this. Even when I am uncertain of whether something is within my grasp, often my sheer tenacity will pull me through to the end. Some people go their whole lives being losers (I am looking at you, Charlie Sheen) when finding the answer is so simple! While being a winner all the time is not for the faint of heart, I leave you with this: "Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable", and always wear deodorant.
Jan 8, 2012
Undergraduate / GEORGIA TECH ESSAY: "My First True Love" [3]

PROMPT: Tell us about the neighborhood that you grew up in and how it helped shape you into the kind of person you are today.

I am in love. From the first time I respired her wafting aromas of cow manure, to hearing the grandeur sound of her local high school marching band, I was enamored. We have been together about sixteen years, and while she's had many lovers I like to think I am one of few who outwardly express my infatuation. How can I not; she has been with me through everything. My memorable years in adolescence, that awkward transition between child and teenager, cold winter nights spent reading by the fireplace, warm summer afternoons where I would long to stay outside; all were relished with her. Words are ill fit to express the level of esteem I hold her to and it is an understatement to say she has played a large part in shaping me through the years. Of course, when I say "she" I am referring to my first love and quaint hometown, Damascus, Maryland. Like any town there are certain divisions that separate us. Sometimes people don't see eye to eye and expectedly conflict will arise. But at the root of all this is a family-like bond that's shared throughout the community, and I feel that I know this better than anyone.

Damascus can be summed up in four words: farms, football, and Ford pick-ups. Though only minutes from the sprawling urban streets of Gaithersburg and roughly an hour's drive from the nation's capital, Damascus is about the farthest thing you can find from metropolitan in Maryland. "City folk" like to characterize our town as everything from uneducated hicks to incest rednecks. And while we do love our tractors, the latter is completely false. For those that never grew up in Damascus, it is hard to understand why such a town cannot be summed up so simply.

If there is one thing Damascus is good at, it is instilling a sense of pride in its community. There is a reason why we are revered as the most brutal place to play an away game at, and why the whole town is alive come homecoming week; the community itself is intertwined with one another. When someone has a baby, everyone knows about it; when the football team has a game that week, everyone knows about it; and when someone gets in an accident, everyone knows about it. On the face this can be perceived as nosy, and almost intrusive. But on a personal level it embeds a sense of cordiality, and willingness to be animate helping someone in need. Being part of this family imbues certain core values. You begin to model genuine compassion; comprehend accountability, and the need to embellish your community's reputation. You appreciate and exhibit benevolence, in hopes that same will be done upon you, and give respect when it is due. Together with my peers I flourished in my ambitions, and in turn helped them excel in theirs.

Entering Senior year, I am the secretary of my class SGA, lead trumpet in our jazz ensemble, and a youth leader in my Boy Scout troop. Much of my success I accredit to growing up in Damascus, and how can I not? Throughout the years I have developed traits that define who I am today, and earned a place in a community I am proud to be a part of. By no means am I done molding my character, and at the age of seventeen that is expected; but I know no matter who I am when I grow up, Damascus will have been a part of it every step of the way.

The application is due Tuesday, so I would appreciate any and all critique if you see this before then! Thanks!!
Jan 8, 2012
Undergraduate / 'goal scored by Kaka!' - Discuss the significance Georgetown [2]

When your writing an essay, try to envision what the message your trying to get across is. Right now it seems as if you're not sure what that is, or at least that's what I take from reading what you have so far. Maybe try starting broad about your association with soccer, and then narrow done to a specific event as to why it is so significant to you.
Oct 30, 2011
Undergraduate / Common App: My Trumpet Shirley [4]

i agree with comment on simply listing off my extracurriculars, but i think i covered the other 2 in my latest revision didnt i?
Oct 25, 2011
Undergraduate / Common App: My Trumpet Shirley [4]

I am at 600 words and the limit for common app is 500! The deadline is approaching fast (Nov. 1) and I was hoping someone could help me shorten down my essay! I have been told there are alot of tense errors throughout, but am awful at finding them in my own work... anyone corrections would be greatly appreciated!!!

I have this girl, who I am completely in love with. She is loud, outspoken, flamboyant; everything I am not. Or more accurately, everything I was not. Shirley, my trumpet, and I have been together since the 6th grade and she has made me all of who I am today. Anyone educated in the formalities of playing with a jazz ensemble knows that trumpet players are infamous for being ostentatious; whether it is taking a line unnecessarily up an octave, or holding out a note at the end of a song just because they can. In short, the quintessential lead trumpet player is an asshole. My first few years playing trumpet I was far from that; but as I began to understand Shirley, I developed stronger personality and character all of which I owe to her.

The absolute worst thing you can do with Shirley is be timid, and unfortunately I was the absolute best at that when I first picked her up. Approaching the 8th grade I was very shy, and rarely voiced my opinions in fear of being wrong. This was an obstacle for me because as an aspiring jazz musician the epitome of jazz is the ability to express your own thoughts or ideas through improvisation. One of the first lessons Shirley taught me is that whenever I play, I have to commit to what I am going to do. In general, those who play with mettle tend to be more adept at improvisation. When soloing over a set of chord changes there is a handful of notes that will sound fitting in context to what is being played, and those who dare to venture outside of these parameters are considered to have full mastery of a song. In reality more often than not those who venture outside these parameters stumble upon these notes on accident. But rather than attacking these notes half-hearted and making it sound like a mistake, they fully embrace every sound produced by their horn. I realized that if played with enough certainty, to your audience it would sound like you were doing it on purpose. And as I began to recognize these subtle aspects, more and more became apparent. I began to value the patience and time that goes into perfecting a piece; the small, playful interactions between a soloist and their rhythm section; the control and vigor that accompanies expressing your emotions when performing. These insights translated into the molding of my character during my years of adolescence. I began to speak with confidence, hold high my own convictions, and commit myself entirely no matter what I did. And as I continued with my learning, I came to the realization that Shirley herself was beautiful. Just like a sculptor transforms a block of marble into a work of art, Shirley gave me the tools to mold complete silence into an existence of creativity. She took me, a young, unassertive boy, and gave me a foundation to build myself upon. But more than anything, she gave me the backbone to do all the things I never would have had the courage to do.

I am now entering my senior year, become the secretary of my class SGA, lead trumpet in our jazz ensemble, and youth leader in my Boy Scout Troop. Much of my success I accredit to Shirley, and how can I not? Throughout these years I have gained self-confidence, motivation, perseverance, and reason to brag a little. I have not mastered Shirley yet, and at the age 17 that is expected. The two of us are still yet to run our course but no matter who I am at the end, I'll know that she will have been with me every step of the way.
Oct 2, 2011
Undergraduate / 'Moving to the United States' - GEORGIA TECH [4]

i think you have a good focused idea, but could edit some of the sentences to flow better such as "I was given this great opportunity at a young age, and am still working hard to take advantage of these circumstances to their full potential." In my opinion its too wordy and could be shortened down. From what I understand the short essay is suppose to be very direct, but impactful. But what do I know im only a senior in high school :P.
Aug 25, 2011
Undergraduate / "a place in the Indian community" - Extracurricular Activities/Work Experience [8]

Ever wonder how the 10:00 news was shot live on camera and projected to millions of television sets in just a matter of seconds? I did too and that's why I decided to go to TV Asia, a South-Asian broadcasting channel, to satisfy my curiosity. I ended up getting an internship there for the summer and they allotted me a half an hour news slot. This would mean that I had to edit, clip, and write the script for the 10:00 news. The anchor for that news show would then read my script to millions of viewers all across North America and I would sit there in the green room, amusingly watching how it was projected to these viewers. This small fascination of mine soon developed into an idea that would impact my community as a whole.

My plan was to introduce Hindi, my native language , as a foreign language class in my high school. I introduced my project to TV Asia and my idea allowed them to develop a new program for a television series which they would call, Hindi Now. This show would teach young Indian children the language and I am proud to be a part of the development of that show. I never envisioned this initial curiosity of mine to go this far but it landed me with an internship and a place in the Indian community.

I'm assuming your nationality is Indian, as is mine, but if not I would remove the "my native language" bit altogether. My revised response is 999 characters. Hope this helps!
Aug 24, 2011
Undergraduate / "unless a man has has courage.." - Common App: "Pick Me!" DRAFT [6]

Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Pick Me!

"A fireman!" As far back as I can remember kindergarten was the first time I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Like any docile toddler, I dreamt to become what every other young child had once dreamt of. But after seeing the 1999 Disney film Inspector Gadget, I realized it was time I set my sights on becoming an inventor. Later, I was somehow convinced that I was meant to become a professional basketball player, then soccer player, chef, programmer, musician, graphics designer, video producer, and the list goes on. My parents loved and supported me with every path I took, but never did I find a subject that clicked with me. I wanted to pursue a career that impacted individual's lives, all the while still retaining the allure I found in that of modern technology. After I met my cousin, then an aspiring medical student, I realized both could be found in the field of medicine.

From a young age I was fascinated with computers and robotics. But for a long time I saw it as just a hobby, and thought this field could never satisfy my ambitions. When I talked to my cousin, he introduced me to robotic surgery. The sheer concept of it enchanted me. Using telemanipulation one could wield innovating technologies to further enhance minimal invasive surgery. With robotics, surgeries could be executed with more precision, less blood loss, quicker healing time, and improved ergonomics. I finally found my calling.

At the time my first year of high school was approaching, and when I looked into it, my high school was one of few in my county that offered the Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) which set kids on IT paths ranging from programming to microcomputer technologies. I saw this as a perfect opportunity to lay a foundation for my future aspiration. But a few weeks before the end of my last term in 8th grade, my parents came to me and told me they wished for me to attend another high school. The high school that they looked at was part of a magnet program and would focus on literary humanities. As much as I wanted to attend my high school of choice, up to this point my parents had supported me no matter what. How could I say no to them?

A week later as I sat in the entrance examination room getting ready to finish up my test, I stopped to take a quick break. As I sat gazing around a room filled with soon to be classmates I thought to myself, "Is this really where I want to be the next 4 years?" Was I really about to dismiss my opportunity at getting into AOIT? Yes, it might have been a phase, as had been so many of my previous ambitions. But never before had I experienced such a passionate pull towards a discipline, and the way I saw it I had two choices. 1: I could turn in my exam, which I was most likely going to pass, and spend my next 4 years delving into sub-parts of humanities, or 2: I could throw the test.

It's now been 4 years later and I am approaching my senior year at Damascus High School and am anticipating graduating through AOIT later this year. Looking back, my decision was one of cowardice and egoism. I never wanted to disappoint my parents, but I didn't want to let this academic opportunity slip away. And I didn't want to study literature. What I learned about myself was even though I aimed to please my parents, when it came down to it I put my wants ahead of theirs. I don't regret my choice, with AOIT I have advanced farther in the field of technology then I would have ever at most other schools. But I wish to go into a career where I will help people on a daily basis, and I would like to think in the future I will put others needs ahead of my own. If nothing else, my decision has inspired me to look ahead and find ways to balance my values and what should be sacrificed for my vocation.