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Posts by monjinho
Joined: Jan 16, 2012
Last Post: Jan 29, 2012
Threads: 2
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Jan 29, 2012
Undergraduate / 'enjoyed studying the human mind' - Help with Common App Essay [2]

This is the essay for the Common app personal essay.
I don't like it very much because I had to write it really quickly.
I would definitely appreciate some help, especially on the grammar and transitions.
Here it is:

Since I was young, I enjoyed studying the human mind and finding common trends that make us similar from each other. One of the things I have discovered from my observations is that most of us seem to unconsciously categorize a person in to a certain group quite easily. For example, we might suspect that a pianist's son is naturally talented in music or a doctor's daughter is smarter than others. What fascinated me more than the fact that we naturally make these speculations is actually the response of the victim after a long period of the repeated misconception. I have noticed that as his or her peers continue to misinterpret the person's personality or interests, the person slowly morphs into that character, shaping themselves into the person everyone expects. While this response might not apply to every single person who fell to misconception, I've noticed one person in particular that it impacted: me.

I am a missionary kid. That means that my parents are missionaries and that I belong in the 'missionary family.' Growing up, I've noticed a number of different perspectives on how missionaries are perceived. People who do not understand our beliefs would stare at us with disturbed eyes, probably wondering on how much someone has to be brainwashed by religion to waste their life in a country no one cares about. Others, who have actually seen what we do or share our beliefs, might say that we are good people; someone willing to do what nobody else wanted to. Growing up around people who respected our family seemed to make the second response the more common one.

The common misconception that came from people who appreciated our family was that I had an exceptionally caring mind. It was as if I was carrying a rare potential, a bright torch of love and hope that might end war and bring peace around the globe. As a child, I would simply deny the expectations and explain that what I do is just a natural part of my life. However, as I began maturing, I started to notice that I was changing. The activities that I called a natural part of my life were becoming involuntary. I was unconsciously fixing a mask for myself, a display that would satisfy my peers' expectations and sustain me in the position as the 'nice' kid. I could no longer find joy in doing what I called a natural part of my life. I soon realized that the only way I could return to my original motivations in my volunteered acts was to reevaluate my true intentions on why I was doing what I was doing.

This unusual experience has taught me something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I have learned that although we humans are similar in the ways we think, we all need to have our own purposes and goals in life. We are easily influenced by society to act or think in a certain way, but we need to realize that what we do needs to come out of our own motivations and intentions. I believe that this is what separates us from each other, creating a society where we can find true creativity and uniqueness.

Well, that's it.
Thanks in advance!!
Jan 28, 2012
Student Talk / How to enhance my English? [52]

You need to understand the basic grammar and composition part of English if you want to enhance your 'grammar skills'.
If you are more concerned about sounding natural, speaking like a native, one of the options is actually living in an English speaking community and learning how fluent English speakers speak.

Tons of resources are available on google if you are looking for ways on improving your vocabulary.
For vocabs, if you are in the intermediate level, I suggest you read the SAT word book. Even though they are made for a different purpose, they can improve your vocabs impressively.

Reading books, any books, is also a good way to improve your vocabs.
Good luck!
Jan 16, 2012
Undergraduate / 'A dozen gleaming faces' - Common app short answer [2]

I'm new to this forum but I was wondering if anyone would like to read my essay and tell me how it can be better.

This is the Common app short answer essay in which I am told to elaborate on one of my most meaningful extracurricular activity.
Here it is:

I can still remember the time when I walked into that small musty room with my parents. A dozen gleaming faces were staring at me with curiosity as I shyly introduced myself and hid behind my mom. Strangely, I was soon screaming out silly phrases and bursting out in giggles as I played their games and sang their songs. When the visit was over, however, I could not understand how these kids could be so happy when they know that their parents have abandoned them. 9 years have passed since then and now I feel like I have found the answer. It wasn't naivety or carelessness that kept the smile on their face, but it was the positive mindset they had learned from each other that gave them the courage to face their tragedy. Perhaps that is why I, even as a high school student, find myself visiting orphanages in my free time. Laughing along with the kids not only remind me of the time I had as a child, but it also teaches me the lesson of courage that continues to inspire the person I am today.

Some parts sound unnatural to me because i tried to fit in a lot of stuff in 1000 characters- this essay is exactly 1000 characters, including spaces.

I would greatly appreciate any help.
Thank you in advance