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Posts by Proran
Joined: Dec 11, 2012
Last Post: Dec 29, 2012
Threads: 4
Posts: 17  
Likes: 5
From: United States of America

Displayed posts: 21
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Dec 29, 2012
Undergraduate / Taking a // MIT essay // Attribute of Personality [3]

What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you'd like to tell us about. (*) (200-250 words)

I would be lying if I categorized myself as naturally hard working: I probably work the hardest at procrastinating. I'm not charismatic and certainly not witty. With these things considered I'm a lazy, awkward, unfunny guy. However, at the cost of my own dignity, I have perfected one branch of humor: self-deprecation.

From a young age, it seemed that everyone had come up with a nickname for me. My sisters called me "Markisa", my relatives "Markovka" (meaning carrot), and my friends "Marky Mark". Being a runt did not help my case. From first to ninth grade I was approximately three feet tall and constantly reminded of it. Even after creeping up to a somewhat normal height, I remained the butt of every joke. But eventually I came to accept and cherish my role in social circles.

The great advantage of humor at the expense of self is that it alienates nobody, with the notable exception of one's own ego. And whether it be funky dancing to Christmas music at a family reunion or confused babbling in reply to a simple question, it never fails to draw a few laughs.

Like the town fool of olden times, I give people someone to laugh at. And I don't mind. What's a light-hearted joke when it comes from a friend? A joke, and nothing more.
Dec 29, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT essay // Most significant challenge // Father's alcoholism [14]

try to connect your points a bit better.

This is my main issue. 250 words at a maximum doesn't leave much room for smooth transitioning, I think the admissions officers will understand.

Can't believe I spelled absence wrong, haha.
Dec 26, 2012
Undergraduate / "What they don't know won't hurt them"; Stanford Supp/ Intellectual Vitality [20]

Fas, this is a great essay. If you know it can be better it is up to you to make it that way. Once an essay is edited to a certain point it loses your voice, the most important part.

I was pretty captivated through the first half. The last half on the other hand, where you start talking about your dream to create a banking empire seems slightly self-centered. Maybe this is just me.

Either way, the essay is unique and telling of your financial knowledge.
Dec 26, 2012
Undergraduate / My uncle calls me "Theoretik"; MIT App // Cultural Background // Pragmatic fami [3]

Here is one of my essays for the MIT admissions process. It is within the word limit, so I don't need help there. I would like some feedback. Is it effective or not, etc... Thank you.

"Theoretik" is what my uncle calls me, it means dreamer. He comes from a world rooted in depressing reality, where the dreamers are suppressed by their circumstances. Despite his academic success, the Soviets denied his application to university for his Christianity and he resigned to become a mechanic. Opportunities for the religious in the USSR were minimal, and realizing this, my parents went to the states, where the girls would get married and I would find artisanal work. But our world is not our uncle's or our parent's. Dreams are realized here every day. I am a proud "theoretik".

This website is so cool.
Dec 21, 2012
Undergraduate / Maplestory has become a central part of my life; Significant Experience/ Common App [22]

These kills were both satisfying and addicting, and the desire for an ever greater kill lurked in my mind I would avoid using addicting . After five years, I emerged out of forty million players as one of the wealthiest players in Maplestory.

Excellent essay. Very unique, shows your real world experience, and your willingness to take risk. If you tweak it any more just try and make it your own rather than hitting the thesaurus.
Dec 20, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT essay // Most significant challenge // Father's alcoholism [14]

Thank you for the feedback. The problem with essays for MIT is that they have a word limit of 250. I am already edging that fine line.

By the way, I have five other essays that fill in some of the gaps in my story, but I'm hesitant to post them all for fear of being copied. This is the one I'm really unsure about for the reason you mentioned. I love my dad, but there's nobody else to blame for my family's situation, so it's pretty hard to paint him in a positive light.

If you don't mind, could you tell me how you interpreted the bike metaphor? I have a vision in my head, but I'm not exactly sure if it's coming across the right way. Thank you for your critical input!
Dec 20, 2012
Undergraduate / MIT essay // Most significant challenge // Father's alcoholism [14]

I was fourteen when I learned how to ride a bike. Seriously. For thirteen years I had no real world knowledge, neither social nor practical. I was quiet around teachers and students alike, barely capable of holding conversations and always eager to escape them. Though I loved everything about science, I knew nothing of day-to-day problems or how to handle them. Most boys my age learned these things from their fathers. I did not.

My father is an alcoholic. Cruel persecution in the Soviet Union and a stressful life drove him to drinking. He is like any other human with vices and virtues. But the all consuming urge to drink is one he has not conquered, and my family has suffered as a result. Together we have struggled through threats of foreclosure and brushes with death - but we are better for it.

It was when I was fourteen that my friends and I founded a robotics team. It at first appealed to a fleeting curiosity, "Building robots? Cool!" I would have never guessed how much it would change my life. In between talking with coaches and students, designing mechanisms, and competing, I grew immensely. The skills I learned follow me everywhere: school, home, the world.

So I climb up onto my bike and begin to ride. Past a troubled father, a robotics team, a loving family. Into the unknown and wonderful. And let me tell you: it's a lot more fun than walking.
Dec 12, 2012
Undergraduate / Laugh A Little (The study of cultures). UGA ESSAY. "The History of Horseracing" example [3]

To be honest: it's quite generic. People of all cultures getting together and holding hands? Never heard that one before. From the way this is written, I can tell your heart isn't in it. Write about something you believe, something you know, something you are PASSIONATE about. Not touchy-feely nonsense that you see on diversity posters.
Dec 12, 2012
Undergraduate / Common App - Extenuating Circumstances (Additional Info) [2]

Show, not tell. You make a sweeping statement that your GPA and SAT are inaccurate representations of your skill. I would advise removing it.

The admissions officers will notice that you have had several life impacting events and have preserved through them, reminding them of a failure is not the best way to go.

That said, good luck. You seem to have made the best of a sorry situation!
Dec 11, 2012
Undergraduate / Common app essay: Indicate a person who has had a significant influence. True Friend [8]

Pretty good essay. A couple suggestions.

1. You call him ugly in the first paragraph. I know you are trying to come across as unique and willing to take risks but I think the effect that it has marginally beneficial. Your call.

2. He's your perfect match? Just like you? Unremarkable? These seem to contradict your next couple of paragraphs. Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I have to say that cohesiveness is your friend when writing these essays.

Other than that, edit it as you deem fit every few days. Only person that can expand on your experience is you, never forget that.
Dec 11, 2012
Undergraduate / Experiences of a Russian American (WIP) // 3 short essays for MIT [5]

We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (*)(100 words or fewer)

Bff-tsk. Bff-tsk-bff-tsk. Bff-bff-tsk- bff-tsk. I like beat-boxing.
My ridiculous hobby stems from the Freudian desire of a young boy to annoy his older sisters, another pleasurable activity I won't go into today. Though they started as strings of incoherent screeching, my mouth noises soon became less like Jurassic Park sound effects and more like actual pieces of music, some almost pleasant to the ear. There is one person that enjoys my talent: my baby niece. Her face, unlike that of her mother's, lights up when I begin to beat-box. And what's the fun of performing without an audience?

Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (*) (100 words or fewer)

I'm a sucker for sci-fi. Practically anything unbelievable and especially the unachievable capture my interest like nothing else. I vividly recall begging my uncle for his Star Wars cassettes - watching every blaster shot and shift into hyperdrive with wide eyes. For me, the allure of the fantastical is that it is not quite impossible. Every year brings new advancements in technology: warmer superconductors, smaller nanotechnology, even teleportation for God's sake! All of the fantastical oddities I dreamed of as a child are achievable through science. I want to be the man behind those discoveries on the cutting edge of human endeavor. I want to be an engineer.

Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?(*) (200-250 words)

My life is a light switch. Daily, I drive to school accompanied only by rock and roll. I crack off-beat jokes with friends. I trudge through essays. But when I get home: I flip the switch. I greet my mother with "privet". I confusedly listen to a Russian skit with dad. I begrudgingly nod my head to conspiracy theories my uncle found at "truthfactory.ru". I live two separate lives, each with its own lessons.

From my immigrant family I learned crude efficiency. On cold elementary days I would go to school bundled in five layers at my mother's urging, looking quite stylish indeed. At home, standing on my tiptoes, I would try and make sense of the hoses and wires of our Civic while dad and Uncle Ivan duct-taped on our new headlights.

America taught me the fine art of image. A conflict in the robotics competition resulted in yelling and I was forced to man up and apologize to a friend I wouldn't want to lose for the world. I couldn't afford a tuxedo for my first high school dance, but a slick sweater vest made me tie my record for ladies wooed in a single night (read: none).

But the duality of my distinct lives gave me more than I could have asked for as either a Russian or American. It has shown me the stark contrasts between optimism and pessimism, materialism and frugality, genuine concern and false appearances. My parents took our family to America not for themselves. They came here so that one day I wouldn't have to don five cheap jackets just to stay warm, they came here so I could fix a car with something besides duct tape. To squander the opportunity I have been given is an offense worthy of a dull life.

So there it is! Thanks for reading and please tell me what you think.