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Posts by getitlow
Joined: Dec 9, 2008
Last Post: Oct 26, 2010
Threads: 7
Posts: 17  

From: Viet Nam

Displayed posts: 24
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Oct 26, 2010
Writing Feedback / What is the best way to pursue happiness? In class essay assignment [4]

If I were you, I would come up with these ideas:
1. To pursue happiness, do what you really enjoy doing and do it with passion. Yet life is full of trade-offs but it doesn't matter when you put aside things to pursue what you really love doing. You're living a meaningful life.

2. Live positively with a warm and caring hearts. Live a life so that not only you love yourself but also people love you with their hearts.

3. Happiness is a very broad term and vary from people to people. People may gain happiness from little simple things. People also gain happiness from money and other trivial and material things. It depends. But it all boils down to a specific goal. So I say, you set a goal for yourself and after many struggle, difficulties, and efforts you accomplish that goal, then you're happy. You can elaborate on this with examples.

There're many other ways to construct this essay but how concrete and evident your examples are will decides it's a good essay or not. I think your ideas are a little bit abstract and too general in some ways so your teacher was not satisfied with them. You should give some specific ideas that are supported with concrete examples to make this persuasive. My 2 cents !
Oct 26, 2010
Undergraduate / "I'm curious and friendly - My personality" - College short answer [6]

Hello ! I skimmed through your essays and here are several points I want to make so that you can improve the writing yourself:
1. You need to practice how to write correctly first. Pay extra attention to your grammar .Like I notice in your post, the use of "a","an","the" is not yet proper (just for example) and a lot of sentences are fragmented. You need to fix all of those.

2. Your use of words doesn't make the essay flow well. A lot of sentences seem awkward and are clumsily written.
3. Based on the essay prompts, I guess these questions may be for admission purpose. Then you should limit the use of words like "really","actually", etc

4. Word of wisdom: practice writing correctly first before writing well ! Because it's impossible to edit everything you posted, I just can give general advices so you can see them for yourself. Hope this helps!
Apr 6, 2010
Book Reports / Ernest Hemingway Paper-Role of fishing in Now I Lay Me and Big Two-hearted River [2]

Prompt: Fishing, both imaginary and real, has a prominent role in both "Now I lay me" and "Big two-hearted river". Are these roles similar or different ? Why ?

Note: Honestly, I'm pretty out of idea so I didn't know how to write a good conclusion for this essay and I don't know if the rest of the essay is ok.I really appreciate your helping me with feedback !


Ernest Hemingway was one of the most outstanding American writers in the 20th century literature with a lot of his works featuring a variety of themes: war, masculinity, fishing, etc. Ever since he was young, Hemingway had a special interest in fishing. For long fishing had been an indispensable part of his life. Hemingway once talked about his hobby in a serious manner " Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl". Therefore fishing played significant roles in his life as well as in his stories. "Nick Adam stories" is a story telling the life journey of a boy named Nick whose life still remains controversial whether they reflect Hemingway's life in reality. However, it's undeniable that Nick Adam and Hemingway share a lot of similarities in traits and interests and fishing is one among them. "Now I lay me" and "Big two-hearted river" are two short stories from "The Nick Adam stories" that tells the story of Nick at two different stages of his Journey. In these two stories, fishing played similarly prominent roles in reinforcing the major themes of "escape" and "control" and masculinity, which can be seen through a variety of Ernest Hemingway stories.

In both "Now I lay me" and " Big two-hearted river", "escape" is a recurring theme that dominates the stories and fishing plays a prominent role in describing that theme. "Now I lay me" is a story of Nick of struggling not to sleep in the middle of the night in an army tent during World War I. He used to suffer from a head injury during a night bomb raid and therefore he experienced shell shock later on. He kept thinking that if he closed his eyes, he would never be able to open it again because his soul would go out of his body as he said during the course of the story "I myself did not want to sleep because I had been living a long time with the knowledge that if I ever shut my eyes in the dark and let myself go, my soul would go out of my body (144)". With that in mind, he tried to find a way to occupy himself so that he could avoid sleeping and fishing emerged as the very first thing to keep him awake despite being mere imagination and flashback of the past. As mentioned, Nick had a keen interest in fishing and fishing had been closely associated with his life since his boyhood. Fishing therefore had a great level of significances in his life. During this wartime period, Nick was forcing himself not to sleep simply because of his fear toward the war due to his bad experience after being "blown up at night and felt it go out of me and go off and then come back (144)". So fishing served as the best way to help him escape from thinking and reflecting back upon these bad experiences. The fun of fishing, however being just his imagination, helped him much to avoid thinking and sleeping. He immersed in his own world of imagination where he could enjoy himself fishing and living in beautiful memories of the past as the very beginning scenes in his mind go " I would think of a trout stream I had fished along when I was a boy and fish its whole length very carefully in my mind, fishing very carefully under all the logs, all the turns of the bank..." . Obviously, these imaginary scenes made him forget about the painful reality he was suffering. With those, he wouldn't have to confront the fear toward sleeping. He wouldn't have to force himself to sleep for the whole night because whenever he thought of fishing he felt overwhelmed with excitement and satisfaction. These feelings occupied his mind and therefore helped him to succeed in escaping from thinking.

In " Big two-hearted river", the role of fishing remains similar to that in "Now I lay me". Fishing now enabled Nick to escape from thinking of the atrocious war he had returned from. As a veteran bearing along many obsessions and bad memories of the war, Nick had to suffer from post-traumatic syndrome. "Big two-hearted river" marks the beginning of the healing process in Nick's life, in which he returned to his old-time hobby and decided to go to the river to fish. A victim of post-traumatic syndrome, Nick couldn't help being obsessed about the atrocity and pain of the war. Again, fishing emerged as a very effective way of enabling him to put aside his war-torn spirit and memories. He recalled a sense of comfort and satisfaction that he had not been feeling for so long when he firstly faced up the current as mentioned in the story "Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling (178)" and " it was a long time since Nick had looked into a stream and seen trout. They were very satisfactory (178)". So fishing played a very important role in affecting and controlling Nick's feelings. It helps Nick to forget about the war and feel happy. It's an enjoyable hobby that can bring Nick joys and happiness so that he doesn't have to think of the past however challenging fishing was. Hemingway described Nick's feeling in the story " His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs". Nick was absolutely committed to fishing and his mind right now was filled with the satisfaction and happiness that fishing brought to him.

Fishing indeed played a very similarly significant role in both " Now I lay me" and " Big two-hearted river. It enables Nick to escape from the painful reality he was living in the case of "Now I lay me" and the war-torn memories of the past.
Apr 6, 2010
Undergraduate / "My Mother" - she will always be by my side. [9]

I definitely think that you should rephrase the first sentence of your essay or try to open it with a more original, creative way since I think your opening is a bit cliche'. About the rest of your essay, you didn't recall any special moments or any specific memories with your mom that significantly impact the "you" today. I mean from what I read, your mom is a pretty "typical mom" and so what you wrote doesn't distinguish you from the others ! Just my 2 cents !
Apr 6, 2010
Undergraduate / Writing about my passion for computer science [5]

you wrote a very nice, mind-boggling personal statement that I believe it will strengthen your application much ! I love how you described in details about your passion not just plain enumeration of what you do ! Nice job !
Jan 30, 2009
Undergraduate / Gettysburg Supplemental essay; Most Impressive Performance award [4]

Prompt : Gettysburg Supplemental essay: Gettysburg College students are engaged learners and "make a difference both on and off campus through their academic and extracurricular activities. Describe a situation in which you have made a difference in your school or community and what you learned from that experience.

I stand behind the stage, desperately trying to ignore the clamorous roar of the crowd. The performance preceding mine is good. When the applause reaches my ears, I can tell it's quite a success. I am excited yet filled with anxiety, because after the minute introduction the next performance is mine. It's the annual AIDS Talent Show Fund-raising concert, and there is one thing I cannot avoid: my group is next on stage.

Nervousness penetrates my body. My feet grow heavy and stick to the floor. My hand holding the microphone is half-frozen. My partner stares at me with worry. I fall short of returning a reassuring glance. This time, after two months of rehearsals, I can't let her down just because of my nervous temperament. I once aspired for a chance to showcase my ability. But now something is blocking me, hampering me from going ahead. There are two sides of me fighting. One side pulls me back, indignantly screaming, trying to convince me that I'll be the object of ridicule. The other side is encouraging, pushes me forward toward the stage. I don't want to look foolish in front of the crowd. I have an epiphany: I don't take risks.

When we enter the stage, my feelings are a mixture of reluctance and a desire for exposure. My heart is going to jump out of my chest as I inhale the cold air of the winter night. The dazzling rays from the floodlight above make my face wrinkle. I'm simultaneously dizzied by the music from a speaker only a few feet away. It is awkward seeing my partner remember exactly every step, and move on skillfully as we have always practiced. I timidly sing, "There is a place in your heart. And I know that it is love. And this place could be much brighter than tomorrow. And if you really try, you will find that there is no need to cry." All of a sudden my voice cracks on a high note. My concentration breaks. I forget the lyrics to the song. The stage is now engulfed with silence. Then I see people frowning at me. Realizing that I ruin the performance, I find myself on the horns of a dilemma.

Then it hits me. I'm not doing this show for me. I'm doing this for a cause I champion. Giving up here isn't going to affect only me. I signed up to give people a show and help raise money. I spent months preparing for it. I won't waste this chance. I know the moves. I know the lyrics. To break through the crowd's mumbling, I walk frontwards and scream for attention. With their eyes on me, I raise the microphone and begin singing. I struggle a bit with the steps, but I can control my voice. People begin to focus on the stage. I continue singing, "Heal the world, for a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race" The rhyme and lyric harmonize, accented by the beautiful dance between us. The audiences are screaming, dancing and waiving their hands enthusiastically under the reign of music. This feeling is so unforgettable, in a sense, it's magical. Never have I thought that I would reverse the situation but, this is reality. This is true. I have done it and I have accomplished.

That night I won the award for Most Impressive Performance and the show received the largest donation ever and full supports from people who really care for patients suffering from AIDS. The pride that you can change a situation, you can turn "bad" to "good", you can do "the impossible" and the feeling that the stage and the audiences are yours count more. I realize that I can't be afraid to take risks. There's always something more at stake - whether it's something I believe in or learning to pick myself up when I fall down.

Please help me with feedback. I have to submit this to common application soon. My friends tell that there are some choppy sentences. Please suggest me ways to improve the conclusion as I'm not yet satisfied with it. Thank you so much for your help in advance !
Jan 29, 2009
Undergraduate / I'm independent, persevering, enthusiastic and abiding goals type of person [4]

hey you missed the latter part of your prompt ;) you shouldn't put it too long in the headline..rewrite the prompt and so those who give comments can stick close to it and help you make improvements on your essay ;)

"I Picture that if somebody asks the people who know me best they will describe me as an independent, persevering, enthusiastic and abiding goals type of person. In other words distinctive or unique "

this opening is a little bit awkward for me..you can try to rewrite another one better...

"In other words distinctive or unique " : this sentence is fragmented.

"I don't believe in giving up, but I do believe on in getting up and overcoming all obstacles and reaching my goals and dreams realizing my dreams. This is why I believe that my person will contribute or cooperate with UCF in a positive way. I love to be team leader and to show others how far you can go. I will contribute to UCF by fighting against negativism and by helping the student body of the UCF community to build and maintain a healthy, safe and beautiful community. For example, volunteering to help other students, clubs or even any department that seeks for my help "

you should diversify your sentence structure..while reading this paragraph, I'm flooded with sentences starting with " I will" or " I believe"..this makes your essay not really strong...

just my 2 cents :D
good luck ;)
Jan 29, 2009
Undergraduate / My commonapplication "The Picture" [7]

thank you so much kevin and fantasy ! I'm now relieved to hear from you that there's no serious problem with my essay..my friends tell me that I'm not wise in choosing this topic : family...because admission officers may become bored with this topic...this is the only thing that makes me worried about my essay..do you find that this piece causes soporific effect while you're reading ?
Jan 28, 2009
Undergraduate / My commonapplication "The Picture" [7]

Essay Prompt: Topic of your choice :

The Picture
Humidity, dust, long shadows and patches of light filtering in-the old closet, with its high, square-shaped windows and sleek wooden floorboards, is a sort of time capsule. Holding family possessions from years gone by, everything from childhood toys to my parents' wedding presents, this tiny room is proof of our past. Every time I step into it, marveling at how much closer the ceiling is to the top of my head, the march of ages that my family has traversed seems more palpable to me, distant though it may be.

While each object that the cramped little space holds has some sort of meaning, I am mostly likely to be transported into the past by the sight of a photograph, sepia-tinted and dog-eared, that invokes a family tradition or a moment that has long since faded from my mind. Perhaps it is easy for me to be drawn into a whirlwind of memories captured on paper because, while I don't think of these legacies constantly, I remain close to them by honoring what my family has taught me every day-by being the man they hoped I'd be

An image of my grandfather's wizened face, for example, will immediately conjure up childhood memories of exciting stories and lessons learned. When I was small, my parents were often gone on business; making ends meet, with a child to provide for, meant leaving my grandparents to school me in the things they wished they could teach me themselves. I was always with my grandpa during those times, following his every move. At that young age, I had the sense that without him, I would be like a fish out of water-and he, in turn, loved and cared for me with all his might. Though I was constantly asking questions, he never tired of answering them, and so taught me that an inquisitive mind is a blessing rather than a curse. Regaling me with tales of his life in the army, he talked not just of bravery but also of gentleness and kindness, and of the necessity of personal sacrifice and perseverance-his experience in Vietnam was not about politics but about life and death. A seven-year-old child, I was perhaps young to be initiated into so complex and serious a world, but I came away from our talks with unshakeable values about humanity and never giving up.

Seeing a portrait of my parents and myself, taken as we shared in the joy of the holidays, I think about how they have managed to shape my worldview even while they haven't always been present to guide me. They don't have to explain what it means to care about others and take responsibility for their well-being; every time they are absent from the crowd I am performing in front of, I realize how much they would love to share in this moment and what a sacrifice they are making for me in their absence. And when we find ourselves face to face, we are so close that I can tell them literally anything. My father never hesitates to challenge me-to treat my loved ones with tenderness and respect, to practice forgiveness, to never surrender in the face of a challenge, to take risks and to take control of my destiny. This prescription, essential my parents' definition of manhood, is not just about my own individual fate, though they have literally done everything in their power to keep me on the track toward pursuing my dreams. Equally important is the experience of all those around me, which one can enrich if one works hard. And indeed, they are living proof of that.

Of course, not too long into my reverie, I will inevitably be called away from the box of photographs in the old, tiny closet. Usually it is my mother who wants me, hoping I can lend a hand with some chore. And inevitably I run to her, just as happy to be with my wonderful family in the present as I am to daydream about the past. In general, this is how I live: ever-engaged in the moment, reaching into the promise of the present, but resting solid on the foundation that is my family and my heritage.

Note : I'd really appreciate your giving me specific comments on strengths as well as weaknesses of my essay ! Thanks much in advance
Jan 26, 2009
Undergraduate / What domestic or international travel destination best defines you and why? [7]

I think you can simply fill in the box " please refer to my attached answer to this question" and submit your response in paper along with your application package...I have done so for some colleges that I applied to..Don't know if it's applicable or not :D
Jan 26, 2009
Undergraduate / Photography- spontaneity - supplement essay [4]

Prompt: Describe one of your interests and its importance to you

Photography- spontaneity :

I love observing phenomena that are spontaneous and unexpected; I enjoy observing the movements of everything around us and exploring their deepest natural beauty when human beings and objects harmoniously interact with one another. I am transfixed by the desire to capture these fleeting moments in a frame-though it might be small, it still reflects the truth of my surroundings and instills it with added meaning. Armed with a black-cover camera equipped with suitable lenses, and with my backpack stored with extra-rolls of camera reel, I am prepared to set off on my self-designed citywide tour in search of the best natural shots as I pursue my most long-standing interest: photography.

I often take time to travel to different places in order to experience a variety of changing perspectives. Every photographed moment has its own hidden meaning simply waiting for me to convey it to an audience. I love the natural beauty of photographs when I take candid shots, capturing the truth in people's expressions when they do not realize they are being filmed. For me, spontaneity provides purity and truth to photographs. Thus, I practice shooting people from afar, no matter where or who they are, exulting in the unexpected and coincidental; I particularly enjoy taking pictures of street-vendors, who are typical in the streets of Hanoi. I capture their warm smiles and record in my black reel their small and beautiful actions that few care to notice in the chaotic realm of daily life. To maintain the balance of light and produce a well-proportioned picture, I gently change the direction of the lens or lower and lift the focus as I rearrange the shooting angle. Doing so, I engage in a delicate dance with my subjects whose crescendo is an unforgettable image captured forever on film.
Dec 12, 2008
Undergraduate / 'Why' Essay - Go For Wabash ! Go Wally! To Become A Gentleman [3]

My dream college is a place where I can get a truly high-quality education, a place where I come to develop my abilities and make the most of my learning experience, a place where I can expand my worldview and experience amazing things, a place for me to live to the fullest both responsibly and independently. It's also a place for me to enjoy intimate interaction between students and professors in a close-knit community where honesty and intellectuality are valued. Being a "Wally" will definitely make that dream a reality.

When a Wabash student once told me with great sincerity "We're proud of being Wabash men", I was struck with a strongly positive impression of the school, driving away all my preconceived ideas of an all-male college.

" Go For Wabash ! Go Wally! To Become A Gentleman "

The Wabash gentlemen's rule has captivated me since I first read about it. On reading, it conjured in my mind a strong sense of faith, honesty and responsibility. It's appreciated that in a community where learning is the top priority, morality is not de-emphasized. The rule matches well with my long-standing desire for a community of responsibility and accountability. I always try to guide myself by the principle: "You do it and you accept the consequences ". Studying at Wabash, would benefit my growth as a real man, a responsible citizen and a committed contributor to our society, and that's why Wabash always remains my top choice.

Could I avoid mentioning Wabash's rigorous academic curricula? No, for that is the crucial reason why I want to go here. I have done extensive research on many schools' academic curricula, but only in Wabash can I clearly sense a lust for learning, the strength of which sets Wabash apart from all other colleges. From talking to Wabash students, I learned that Wabash produces a high percent of alumni who go on to earn Ph.Ds, and the number of students entering graduate school every year is admirable. I am compelled to believe that the college's focus on writing, the committed and top-notch professors, the accessible and caring faculty, the invaluable off-campus learning opportunities and the diligent and hard-working students all combine to make a Wabash education a truly rigorous and meaningful one. I want to be part of that unforgettable learning experience. Wabash's challenging courses will enable me to thrive in my future career, and with a degree in Economics from Wabash, I will step confidently into the future.

Moreover, the student's pride in their school is so pervasive that I sense it everywhere.The pride reflects in its being called " Little Giants" for Wabash varsity football team is unbeatable. I want to attend the Monon Bell football game, immerse myself in the intense spirit of competition and proudly support my team. It's also the solidarity and fraternity between Wallys that really make Wabash stand out in my mind. At Wabash, I will be respected as an individual and will be given the freedom to organize my life. And I'd be filled with pride to be called "Wally" for this is the place where I truly belong.

Is it hard to be a real good and responsible man, who thrives both socially and academically ?
No. That might be the case somewhere else but at Wabash, nothing is impossible. My affection for Wabash is growing stronger and stronger every single day. The unique education and the strong sense of community that I'll be offered at Wabash are what I have always been craving for. It's Wabash College that will enable me to embark upon a new stage of my life and it's also Wabash that offers me the best of the best opportunities I can't find elsewhere

Note: Please help me with a better conclusion !!! Thks so much in advance !
Dec 11, 2008
Undergraduate / 'Better cooking' - Lafayette Supplement [4]

I wholeheartedly agree with EF_Sean :) you 'd better choose something more interesting..this isn't powerful enough to make you stand out in tons of application..By coincidence, I know that my friend writes about cooking too but on second thoughts he rejected that essay for too many people use this idea...
Dec 9, 2008
Writing Feedback / FAMILY: "Sunshine essay" - Sunshine danced colorfully on the doorsteps [5]

Prompt: Topic of your choice


Sunshine danced colorfully on the doorsteps. Rays of light crept through the window into the old, airtight closet. The whole room smelled of humidity and dust. It was more than a year since I last been in the room with my parents to clean and store unused belongings. Every time I stood before the old-fashioned wooden floor, I found out that I had grown. For me, the work there in the closet with my family was always a joy. It was the pleasure to rediscover my favorite red toy truck, or just a small photo of my mother standing next to me, with her radiant, smiling face, on our holiday 7 years ago, now blurred with time. It was an ineffable feeling that things were at once familiar but also distant. In the corner of the room sat an unused table which was a gift from my grandparents on my parent's wedding day. We hadn't used it for a long time but my father wanted to keep it, saying it was the most memorable gift in his life.

It seemed as if I couldn't resist the curiosity that overwhelmed my body " What's inside that table after so many years?", I wondered. As I opened the drawer and came across some dusty, sepia pictures of my family, I was plunged into the whirlwind of memories, and my deep-hidden notion was awaken. That was of how I know that my families had grown me into the man I am today, and for it I would forever be proud of.

The stories told by my grandfather are one of the most memorable parts of my childhood. When I was small, my parents had to work constantly to make both ends meet. Therefore, I was always with my grandpa, following him all the time, sticking to him like a fish sticks to water. He took loving care of me; he taught me about life, answered to me every question, even the silliest of them to satisfy my childish inquisition. In my eyes, Grandpa was always a gentle, brave man who readily open his arm to protect anyone, and tried his best to make everyone happy. He nurtured me with his wartime stories, which were entrancing to a seven-year-old kid. My grandpa served in the Army and had fought many fierce battles which for him was not about political sides, but about death and life, of tribulation and willingness to sacrifice. Most importantly, through him I know that one can always survive if he believes he can. He was always the lighthouse guiding me through the ocean of life.

Although I didn't spend much time with my parents, I was never without their motivation. , Even when they weren't around, I always understood that they were doing the best things possible for me. Every time I confronting a challenge on my own, I envision their smiling faces encouraging me. I even found them on me when I consulted them with my teenage feelings, which are meant to be told to no one but them. My father once told me when I was angry: "A man should learn to do the best for their beloved ones. A man should never surrender, but stand up for what he loves and desires ,and tries his best to obtain his goal. A man should be high-minded to be willing to forgive other's mistakes. And a man should be responsible for his own makings and dare to take risks. You're a man and have you ever really tried to do so? "Ever since then, I was no longer surly with anyone for no reason. I learned a precious lessons of treating people fairly and controlling my temperament. Above all, parents keep me believing in my true potential and motivate me to stick with my dreams.

" Hey, Anh, what are you doing over there ? Come here and lend me a hand ! " spoke up from a corner my mother.

" Well, just nothing mum. Alright ! I'm coming " I replied promptly

I put away the pictures, and smile contentedly. I know that my family makes limitless effort on my behalf; they are a steadfast "fulcrum" to propel me towards my goals. With their support, I believe nothing out there is beyond my reach and I'm confidently ready to accept every forthcoming challenge.

Note: I wrote this essay quite hurriedly and I don't even have time to rewrite. How do do ou think of it ? please give me any suggestions and comments to improve it ^^ thanks so much in advance !
Dec 9, 2008
Poetry / 'green leaves fall down on the street' - My Poem on a rainy day! [2]

green leaves fall down on the street
a voice drops : slight and gentle
the wind stirred up a scintilla of dust scent
gray clouds and hurried bird filled the sky
people, with frowns in their face, wrinkled
rushed through the crowded street
then came the rain
tears of sky patter down the plain road
Hanoi rain, intense and lonesome
teardrops sang a gloomy melody
noone to welcome, noone to hear but little ones
touched and smelled the eschewed rain
streets are the only homes
little boys and girls, soaking wet
dance the blissful melodies
in the rain

I have just come up with this poem in a rainy day and I want to convey my emotion through it ! How do you think of it ? and would you mind giving me some additional changes if necessary to it ? thanks so much in advance !