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Posts by helloimyellow
Joined: Sep 6, 2013
Last Post: Dec 30, 2013
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From: United States of America

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Dec 30, 2013
Undergraduate / Why Macalester? The website was what sparked the initial interest [5]

In the first paragraph, see if you can be a little more clear in your specification of the "two types of information", it kinda blends together... but maybe it's just me XD

Participating in Macalester's Fall Sampler Extended program in September gave me the chance to learn more about the students, community, and neighborhood, and city

I was able to sit in Intro to Linguistics where students were trying to define time with three different philosophies. And in First Year Seminar class: A Journey Into Latina/o Literature, they discussed The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao and afterwards I was inspired to read the book and loved it. This section is the tiniest bit awkward in phrasing. Maybe try to combine the two sentences (make the second part more concise if you can) so that you don't have to begin a sentence with "and". If that doesn't work, maybe try to add some introduction to the second sentence?

During the day students would be studying or relaxing. And during the night they played and de-stressed. Connect these two sentences with a semicolon so that it becomesDuring the day students would be studying or relaxing; during the night they played and de-stressed.

The ending was slightly abrupt as it seemed like a list of attributes and things you would do rather than a developed conclusion. If you are ok on the word limit, try to add a line or two to really close up the essay.

Be careful about starting sentences with "And...". I noticed it a few times throughout the essay and it would just seem a little more eloquent if you could introduce the line or tie it in with a previous line. Just a suggestion!

Overall you do a good job of answering all parts of the prompt and portraying yourself as someone who is genuinely interested in this school :) I hope my comments helped even the tiniest bit, good luck!
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / ...seashells, Pokemon cards, and US quarters - UChicago Supplement - Yo soy yo y mi... [3]

In a famous quote by José Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher proclaims, \"Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia\" (1914). José Quintans, master of the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago, sees it another way: \"Yo soy yo y mi microbioma\" (2012). You are you and your..? -Maria Viteri, Class of 2016 The length requirement was 1-2pgs. Mine is Times New Roman size 12 and takes up exactly 1pg with the last two lines on the second. Should I add more or is it effective as it is? Also, this is submitted as a PDF so the strikethrough and italics will be there. Please comment, thanks for reading!

Yo soy yo y mi colección de palabras.

More often than not, within a minute of meeting someone I will have asked about their name, school (if applicable), favorite food, and favorite quote. With time I may forget the first three but will always remember the fourth... Arguably because I will have scribbled it down within the next minute.

The way I see it, words are a rare commodity in the sense that they reveal just as much about the listener as they do the speaker. Over the years, I have abandoned collections of seashells, Pokémon cards, and US quarters in favor of quietly amassing a modest library of quote diaries. Ranging in size and content, some are philosophical ("Do or do not... there is no try." -Yoda), others are witty ("College has given me the confidence I need to fail." -Jarod Kintz), and still others are just plain ludicrous ("Semicolons are transvestite hermaphrodites." -Kurt Vonnegut). Nonetheless, I value these minute slips of insight because they force me to think. Every quote in existence is a small piece of history with a unique background, cause, and effect. It is this aspect of quote collection that piques my interest, as piecing together the story behind every individual snippet forms an enigmatic sort of puzzle. As such, I consider it a genuine source of entertainment to uncover the stories behind each quote.

With each new string of words comes a journey filled with obstacles and triumphs. Travelling through time and setting, each quote invites us on a scavenger hunt boasting of impressive cerebral athleticism. While historical framework plays a major role in the synthesis of a quote, most of the intrigue faithfully resides elsewhere. Along with its location in time and place is a quote's location in space- by which I mean the speaker's mind. A quote's ability to activate my inner psychic mind-reader is unfailing; for example, how can one resist speculation of the mental milieu in which Albert Einstein proclaimed, "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"?

To me, my collection of quotes has amounted to more than an interesting pastime or evidence of a lacking social life. Though I may or may not have become known as "That-One-Girl-That-Hounds-You-For-Your-Favorite-Quote-With-A-Not ebook-In-Hand" and may or may not be slightly neurotic with regards to the prim upkeep of my quote diaries, my collection has inevitably become a window to my eccentricity individuality. It has borne witness to my dedication and testified for my enduring fascination with things not quite understood. No matter how much time and effort I may spend investigating the Curious Case of an Anonymous Quote, there will always be questions left unanswered, puzzle pieces that only the imagination can fill.


It is my ardent belief that an active mind is the most treasured possession anyone could ask for and that vigilant maintenance of this liveliness is key. Only then does the mind allow for imagination and innovation, the agents of progress. However, at the core of creation must lay a stimulus. While others may wrestle with Rubik's Cubes or play Sudoku to actuate their minds, for me the finest mental workout exists in the archaeology of quotes. Although I do not have a single definite favorite, I live by the idea that "an opportunity becomes an experience when you seize it". I am myself and my collection of words.

Now as promised, before the minute ends, what is your favorite quote?

Think about it.
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / Licking tigers - UCHICAGO- favorites supplement-- Dr. Seuss and painting [4]

Thanks for the read! I will definitely work on clarifying a few things. Highlights...hmm, you might've seen it when you were little, it was pretty popular where I live at least XD Chidrens' magazine, I'll see how I can clear that one up :)

More comments appreciated!
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / Licking tigers - UCHICAGO- favorites supplement-- Dr. Seuss and painting [4]

Share with us a few of your favorite books, poems, authors, films, plays, pieces of music, musicians, performers, paintings, artists, blogs, magazines, or newspapers. Feel free to touch on one, some, or all of the categories listed, or add a category of your own. (500 words) Please help with grammar/ awkward phrasings/ general feedback! Thanks :)

"I licked thirty tigers today!" I announced in disjointed English. My parents exchanged a bewildered look and silently questioned the teachings of American schools. I had just returned from my first day of preschool where I had read my first English book. Even after moving to America, it wasn't until I entered preschool that I began hearing English on a daily basis. With preschool came Lunchables, naptime, and Dr. Seuss. Eventually, my parents realized that licking tigers was not, as they had feared, my objective in life, but rather the single English phrase I had rehearsed throughout that day. The Seuss masterpiece "I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today" marked my introduction to English literature and so, though my days in Seussville are far behind me, it remains to be my favorite book.

Summer of 2005 found me sprinting towards the closing doors of the neighborhood bookstore, clenching a ten dollar bill, sporting broken glasses, and bleeding from the forehead as I fended off a masked cult member with a broken tree branch. "Expelliarmus!" I shrieked at my attacker. Kevin arced through the air, losing his Death Eater mask in his pretend flight. "You can't always use that!" he protested. But of course I could. I was Harry Potter. At midnight, I ran home triumphant, whooping gleefully and swinging a brand new just-released copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince over my head.

The next day, I shouted "I give up!" and glared at a blank canvas. I fidgeted on my stool and looked sheepishly towards Grandpa Hong, my art teacher. He smiled patiently and gestured

towards the banner above me. I didn't have to look to know that it said "Persevere" in curling calligraphy. I stared at Grandpa Hong, silently begging to paint something else- a photograph, a model, anything else- anything, really. "A true artist doesn't only copy the paintings of others, he creates his own," Grandpa Hong recited, pointing at the canvas. "Create." I did.

Three years later, I sat in the waiting room of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital. My brother had sprained his arm and now waged a truly-impressive war against the restrictive sling. Desperate, I snatched a copy of National Geographic and tried to seize his attention with an environmental word search. He kicked the turkey-emblazoned November issue out of my hands and howled with renewed strength. I tried again, this time with Highlights Magazine. "Look, Aaron, you're supposed to find the pilgrim." I may have been an atheist but his instant captivation could have converted me. Since then, I have hoarded countless copies of Highlights, flipping to the Hidden Pictures page with my brother each time.

As much as Dr. Seuss had inspired me to be a reader, J.K. Rowling has inspired me to be a writer; Grandpa Hong had awakened a painter and Highlights had transformed me into a big sister. And so, even as I roll my suitcase off to college, you'll be sure to find the gang of favorites still intact.
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / Stanford roomate essay...vampire [9]

Love this! The list-style approach can definitely be a hit or miss but the randomness of your list makes it a definite hit and really fun read. And the ending is adorable. Aside from skipping #10, this was just about flawless. One thing I might suggest would be to capitalize but it really isn't a big deal :) Best of luck!
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / unlimited flexibility - WHY PENN ENGINEERING-- supplement [6]

Phew! I was hoping the second would be a lot better. I reread the first draft....rough. xD I took out the "and so" and just made it "and" instead, thanks for pointing it out. I didn't realize how awkward it actually sounded. Thanks a ton for the review :)
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / Stanford intellectual vitality...Turkey [4]

I step off my private helicopter onto Turkish soil, where a woman in a headscarf greets me with a warm smile and hands me a pink-lemonade. Soon, I am on the beach. The sand, like the sea, rolls up and down in waves; the stark contrast in color is all that differentiates sand from seait from the sea . The sand's current pulls me in, and I run with it, over the waves of sand, towards the sea...


My alarm clock pulled me out of the warm Mediterranean sea and plucked me back in my room. In class, Turkey fluttered in and out my head. My middle school brain only knew two things about the country: itsIts people were Muslims, and it was named after a bird. What on earth had inspired such a dream? I thought one thing: destinyDestiny . From that moment on, I acquired an insatiable interest in Turkey. I spent weeks reading about my favorite historical figure, Ataturk, and the separation of church and state in an almost homogeneously Muslim country;, months trying to convince my mom to buy that seaside apartment in Fethiye;, and two laborious years teaching myself Turkish.

My Turkey infatuation awoke my love for other languages and cultures and I decided I would devote the rest of my life to diplomacy. Currently occupied with Spanish and French, I can no longer devote my every second to Turkey, but it hasn't been forgotten.

Just recently, one of my teachers lectured that " Turkey would never enter the European Union as long as church and state remained entwined."

My hand shot in the airup . "Actually, Ataturk removed Islam as the state religion in 1928 and..."

Nobody bad-mouths Turkey while I'm around.

Not a bad essay! It gets your point across and shows your dedication towards cultural exploration. Not sure how I feel about the ending (when I see "mouth" and "Turkey" in the same line I can't help but think of the food turkey) but it's not a make-it-or-break-it sort of thing so keep it if you like it. Be careful with punctuation-- make sure all the words following a : are capitalized and that you don't overuse semicolons! As for the word count, see if you can take out a few little words here and there, ones that aren't essential to conveying your point since 250 is pretty tight and you'd like to appear focused.. (the red is what I thought you could take out, feel free to disagree).

Just some suggestions, hope I helped. Please take a look at my essays if you have time! :)
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / WHY UCHICAGO-- where I love coffee, microscopes, and people. [4]

How does the University of Chicago, as you know it now, satisfy your desire for a particular kind of learning, community, and future? Please address with some specificity your own wishes and how they relate to UChicago. (500 words max) Please help with grammar and overall feedback. Thanks! :]

There are few things I truly love in this world and among them, coffee, microscopes, and people. Suffice to say, the University of Chicago has all three. But does not every populated university with a science program and campus cafe offer the same?

Not quite.
My first love: Coffee. Ah, the sweet aroma of a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato. The buttery caramel drizzle, the dash of Espresso Roast, the thirty-two grams of sugar surging through my veins and faithfully increasing my odds of clinical illness. Coffee siphons me away from my midsized suburban home and into big cities where the spirit of adventure shimmers through the air. At UChicago, enchantment equates a forty minute bike ride along the coast of Lake Michigan. The city of Chicago is a bustling metropolis overflowing with cultural, intellectual, and social dynamism. Here lie countless outreach opportunities encouraging me to continue my passion for teaching, ambitious internships promising experience in the "real world", and even art museums to fuel my inner Picasso (not to mention ample coffee shops). It is in this atmosphere of inspirational vitality in which I hope to one day thrive. Coffee is symbolic of adventure and that is exactly what can be found at UChicago.

When not exploring the city, my time and efforts would be loyally devoted to my second love: Microscopes. Microscopes and their ability to make the unseen, well, seen, have always been a source of fascination for me. Led by an elite world-class faculty and encompassing more microscopes than I can dream of, UChicago's Bioengineering program will truly challenge my potential while refining the diagnostic mind of an engineer. I am eager to develop my skills in the Fermilab, surrounded by the latest technologies, and equally excited to use those skills to benefit others through programs such as the Urban Health Initiative. As community service has always been important to me, opportunities around South Side would fuse passion with academic pursuit, allowing me to contribute to meaningful developments while simultaneously bettering myself.

Lastly, I have not abandoned my third love: People. Specifically, weird people. Like myself. I consider meeting new people a hobby and the community at UChicago will positively satisfy this obsession daily. With hundreds of student organizations to choose from, I can freely pursue present passions in music, art, religion, and debate while also sparking countless new interests. UChicago is traditionally untraditional and proudly so. With shenanigans spanning a Scavenger Hunt and Midnight Breakfasts, UChicago guarantees four years without the threat of monotony.

So no, the opportunities found at UChicago are not quite like those of other schools; in fact, they are quite unparalleled. Rivals may advertise coffee shops but they cannot compare to the caffeinated vivacity of The Windy City. Other schools may boast of science programs but none with sight equivalent to that of UChicago. And finally, though every campus retains its fair share of novelty, no other student body can quite compare to the wacky community I hope to join at UChicago.
Dec 29, 2013
Undergraduate / I'm a hoarder - Yale Supplemental essay [6]

I love seeing my collection grow and capturecapturing moments in time where I have experienced something new. As life goes on, I want to be able to look at my past and see that I'veI havelivedled a memorable life.

Overall a great essay! It provides insight on your personality and it seems very genuine. If you are keeping the last line (They serve as an encouragement for new "firsts" like attending my first concert, going on my first cruise, and leaving home for the first time on my own.), I might suggest to rephrase the end a bit so that it says something about college rather than just "leaving home for the first time on my own". Just an idea, hope I helped :)
Dec 28, 2013
Undergraduate / Food/ Baking/ Bioengineering; MIT; Central to Identity/Pleasure activity/ Major [8]

For your Commonapp essay I would suggest trying to bridge the gap between the last paragraph and the paragraph before it. Both are very well-written but maybe try to transition or somehow link them (add another paragraph in between even if that would help) because right now the ending is the tiniest bit abrupt.

I really like your first supplement-- it does exactly what the prompt wants. Just by reading it, it's evident that you bake because you enjoy it and that you really truly sincerely do enjoy it. I'm being super picky here but really the only thing I have to say is to avoid using both "aroma" and "aromatic". Yup that's all :)

The second supplement is also very strong-- shows a personal connection to your interest, I wouldn't change anything about it.
Dec 28, 2013
Undergraduate / unlimited flexibility - WHY PENN ENGINEERING-- supplement [6]

The Admissions Committee would like to learn why you are a good fit for your undergraduate school choice (College of Arts and Sciences, School of Nursing, The Wharton School, or Penn Engineering). Please tell us about specific academic, service, and/or research opportunities at the University of Pennsylvania that resonate with your background, interests, and goals. (400-650 words)

**I am applying the Penn Engineering for Biomed. Any feedback would be appreciated, thanks in advance!

My earliest childhood memories are full of puzzles: Sudoku, Rubik's Cubes, tangrams- thinking puzzles. Time-consuming and mildly-addicting, they offered intensive mental workouts and so I grew up convinced that the greatest power given to mankind was that of problem solving. At the University of Pennsylvania I could harness this power. Penn Engineering is distinctly multidimensional as it stresses the importance of a hands-on approach and commitment towards global citizenship all the while encouraging interdisciplinary education throughout its diverse yet close-knit campus.

Perhaps the most distinguishing aspect of Penn Engineering, a unique focus on real-world application carefully sculpts puzzle-loving undergraduates into the future agents of scientific and technological progress. At Penn, not only are students well-learned in elaborate theories and all things hypothetical, they are constantly driven to the next level: Application. Here the curriculum is structured not around the classroom but around the world. Specifically, the real world. I am eager to tackle tasks such as the Senior Design Project which is precisely integrated into the Penn experience to encourage innovation, ingenuity, and the ambition to craft reality. Rather than a fortified focus on self, the University of Pennsylvania persistently produces active global citizens equipped to impact the world.

To me, community service has always been just as valuable as academics and I have struggled with structuring a balance between the two for my upcoming college years. How am I to continue my passion for service alongside a rigorous curriculum in engineering? Penn Engineering abolished those doubts. As a Penn Engineer, the prospects are boundless and auspiciously predesigned for hopelessly conflicted freshmen such as myself. Penn Engineering's awareness and contribution span the campus and stretch into the beautiful city of Philadelphia where science outreach programs for local schools would benefit both the community and myself as they would allow me to sustain my passion for teaching.

Furthermore, Penn's continued pursuit of ambitious projects such as Penn Connects 2.0 exposes an attitude of admirable positivity and determination. Through these endeavors, Penn's commitment to the true "application of knowledge for the greater good" has manifested itself throughout the community. However, Penn's involvement expands beyond even that and across the globe: Unique study abroad opportunities organized by the Global Biomedical Service Program as well as innovative and challenging expeditions undertaken by Engineers Without Borders would sate my desire for cultural exploration while likewise giving back. Whether it be improving the water system of a village in Cameroon, researching neuromusculoskeletal disorders in China, or holding science workshops at the local middle school, the impact of Penn students on a global scale is undeniably ubiquitous.

Aside from universal assimilation, Penn also provides the privilege of unlimited flexibility right on campus. With an engineering program that promotes interdisciplinary exploration, I could pursue interests in business and political science even while refining the problem-solving mind of an engineer. Penn clearly embraces the importance of versatility and it is this progressiveness that establishes Penn Engineering as not a follower but a pioneer of development.

Lastly, Penn's size and location are beyond ideal. Coming from a class of eight hundred students, I yearn for preservation of the vibrant student body I've known throughout high school yet also the intimate class sizes advertised by college. Here Penn strikes the ultimate balance. With thousands of undergraduate students and countless student-led activities, diversity flourishes at Penn. However, with a concise student to professor ratio and small engineering classes, the close relationships and deeper level learning I crave are guaranteed.

It is in the aspiring culture of the University of Pennsylvania in which I hope to one day thrive. Globally committed and concentrated on a practical approach, Penn Engineering would invite me to enter as an open-minded freshman and allow me to graduate with the diploma of universal citizenship. It is without a doubt that the puzzles in engineering are infinite but at Penn I could begin by solving one.
Dec 28, 2013
Undergraduate / I wanted to be an astronaut. Caltech's opportunities and resources, supplement essay [7]

[Moved from]: 'Astronaut' MIT - Describe world you come from - Dreams and aspirations

Hi there,
This is a pretty solid essay but I'm not quite sure about it being "appropriate" for the prompt. I think the prompt is really asking for some background, and how the WORLD YOU COME FROM has shaped your dreams and aspirations, not just what your dreams and aspirations are (which seems to be the focus of this essay). If you have more childhood stories of have joined science clubs at school, etc., that might be more fitting for this particular prompt. Just my two cents.

If you do decide to keep the essay, just make sure to double check the grammar (ex. capitalize all the I's and make sure everything is in the right tense).

I hope my input helped a little, good luck!
Dec 28, 2013
Undergraduate / [WATERLOO AIF] Engineering interests and goals [2]

Overall, this essay gets the point across. However it seems a little unfocused. Try to address all aspects of the prompt and really answering the "Why Waterloo?" question it is posing. I might suggest to take out the first two lines (My father is an engineer who is happy with his career. My dream is to become an engineer because I want to follow in my father's footsteps. ) because it really doesn't say a whole lot about YOU and 900 characters can be a tight squeeze. Instead, see if you can use those characters to really pinpoint your individual goals and how Waterloo can fulfill them. Just a suggestion!

I would also be careful with the line "However, my eleventh grade physics teacher told me one day that most engineers only fixed what was broken" . I am also applying for engineering and would disagree with the idea that engineering only involves fixing what is broken... If so, who are the ones creating new things? :)

I hope my input helped a tiny bit and good luck with all your college apps!
Dec 27, 2013
Undergraduate / STANFORD SUPP- intellectual vitality- CULTURE AND MORALITY [5]

Thanks, SilverKnight, I hadn't realized how ineffective my word choice had been. I think it has definitely misconstrued my intended point (Ex. I believe abortion is immoral but if the mother had been raped then I cannot oppose abortion with a clear conscience.. not trying to support unfaithful lovers or peer pressure:\ ). I will work on rewriting this (may just drop the cultural aspect and focus on morality alone-- 250 words is a squish) and likely post a newer version soon

Also-- I had interpreted "intellectual development" to be open to developments still in progress..Did i misinterpret the prompt? Should my "intellectual pursuit" be conclusive instead?
Dec 26, 2013
Undergraduate / WHY DUKE SUPP- Pratt School of Engineering- puzzles [4]

If you are applying to the Pratt School of Engineering as either a first year or transfer applicant, please discuss why you want to study engineering and why you would like to study at Duke. (Please limit your response to no more than 150 words.)

My earliest childhood memories all contain puzzles: Sudoku, Rubik's Cubes, tangrams- thinking puzzles. They were pleasantly time-consuming and offered the reward of a Lemonhead from my parents. I grew up with the belief that the greatest power given to mankind was that of problem solving.

I later joined Science Olympiad and discovered that searching for solutions was just as enjoyable as asking questions. Even so, I struggled to visualize myself as an engineer, deciding that creation should be reserved for those with bigger notions than my own. However, Duke's reassurance that engineering was an opportunity for anyone with an idea and the ambition to craft reality encouraged me. Furthermore, a unique focus on research would maximize the undergraduate experience. At Duke I could challenge myself and accomplish more than I can currently dream of. Engineering involves an infinite number of puzzles and at Duke I could begin by solving one.

Feedback appreciated!
Dec 26, 2013
Undergraduate / Why Northwestern? Social Policy Program [4]

Overall a very solid essay! I like how you were very specific and ended with a looking-forwards attitude. There are just a few awkward phrases or word choices that I might change..

There exists no college-level program better suited to enable me to achieve my goal of becoming a pioneer of stronger, more comprehensive social programs for underserved immigrant and refugee communities in the United States. This line is a bit confusing. I understood your point but only after reading it a second time.. but who knows, maybe it was just me

also "large-sized", "uniquely driven student body", "community-based work", and the very last sentence struck me as a tad bit awkward.. Maybe rephrase "I am confident that there is nowhere it will be unable to take me." to be "I am confident that it will open all doors for me" or something. Otherwise it sounds great
Dec 26, 2013
Undergraduate / Technology Clinic and passion - Why Lafayette? My attempt to be a little different. [11]

I'm not sure how I feel about this as it can be a bit of a hit or miss...but I don't think this is a miss. Just not quite sure it's a hit either. The list will definitely catch their eye and you show that you have clearly done your research but maybe try to group a few list items together to form a few small paragraphs and try to elaborate on a few specific things? I'm just afraid the choppy list may seem unfocused/looks to be copy/pasted from a brochure. As always, just an idea :)
Dec 25, 2013
Undergraduate / STANFORD SUPP- intellectual vitality- CULTURE AND MORALITY [5]

Thanks for the feedback! I will definitelywork with the questions and the illustration aspect :)
Overall do you think the topic of morality fits the prompt as far as "intellectual vitality" is concerned?
Dec 25, 2013
Undergraduate / STANFORD SUPP- intellectual vitality- CULTURE AND MORALITY [5]

Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (250 word limit.)
I am a self-proclaimed cultural fanatic. But even more so, a morality freak. Concepts of right and wrong never fail to engage me as does diversity. Having traveled a good deal in recent years, I have hybridized these two obsessions and a new fixation has arisen: The Cultural Basis of Relative Morality.

For years I was a staunch believer in absolute morality, a standpoint only fortified by my Christian upbringing. However, investigations of diversity formed observations and, from those observations, questions. Lots of them. For example, why was spitting on the ground "wrong" in America but routinely acceptable in China? The answer here was simple: Culture. But that raised yet another inquiry: Can there be moral variation within a uniform culture? It is this that piqued my interest. How can right and wrong vary based on the individual? How is it that "Thou shalt not kill" is preached daily and yet our pastor's son is a soldier?

The answer is context. Every action has a time and place that deems it moral or immoral in context, a concept otherwise known as relative morality. Initially this sounds like an excuse but it is undeniably practical. Absolutism is predictable and mankind has consistently proven itself to be anything but predictable. Perhaps it is ideal but relative morality is necessary as circumstantial variances form the basis of diversity. Nonetheless, absolutism unites us in humanity. Now a new issue has emerged: Which is more important, diversity or humanity? For what is humanity without diversity?

Does the essay make sense and is it even slightly convincing? Also- are there too many questions? They fit fine before but now it seems a little like a rhetoric overdose.. I had some trouble cutting an original essay down to meet the 250 word limit and am not quite sure that it flows/is cohesive anymore :\ Please help!
Dec 25, 2013
Undergraduate / Bryn Mawr Supplement - "I don't want to go to college." [6]

I second all of thenewdude's comments on flow/grammatical things and would like to comment on the style of the essay instead. Needless to say, the first line will probably catch the admissions office's attention and at first I was a little dubious but by the end of the first paragraph you had me convinced that you clearly knew what you were talking about. You come off the page as very knowledgeable and focused-- you seem to know what you want to do at this school and exactly how to do it.

One critique I would like to make would be to maybe reorder some parts of the essay. At the end of the first paragraph you touch on the importance of college to women but dive into your interests in the Classics with the second paragraph and later conclude the essay with growth and development as a woman. It may throw off a few readers (or maybe it was just me) but bringing a bit of the woman/development theme into the second paragraph might offer a little more consistency. Just an idea :)
Dec 25, 2013
Undergraduate / My love of puns: Middlebury optional supplement [10]

My gander says this is funny!
It is short, sweet, and somewhat silly but nonetheless entertaining and does a good job of answering the prompt. I also like how you provided a window into your daily life with the "most weekends..." segment.

I actually like the last sentence, what better way to end an essay about puns than with a pun? One comment might be to take out one of the puns in the beginning. One pun is sufficient in getting your point across (maybe keep whichever one you think is more "lowly"). Also maybe take out a few of the contractions? It might just be me but contractions always seemed the tiniest bit awkward in essay writing and you seem to be doing okay on the word count. Just a suggestion!

Overall I think it does a great job of portraying a bit of your personality that may not have been revealed otherwise, so good job and good luck!
Dec 25, 2013
Undergraduate / Science Olympiad / Teaching position in China - EXTRACURRICULAR ESSAY--Which one? [5]

These 150 word extracurricular essays seem to be everywhere on Commonapp but I can't decide which one to use... I do have a personal preference but I would like to get some more feedback from others :) Please read both (they're short!) and help me choose!

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular or work experiences (150 word limit)

Essay #1
Of my extracurriculars, Science Olympiad has become a mixed blessing. As a sophomore, joining "Scioly" proved to be one of the most testing endeavors of my high school career as I'd simultaneously joined Speech and Debate. This combo was disputed and the core Swarovski-clear: these two organizations refused coexistence. However, I spoke with the coaches, set my bones, and scribbled two registration forms. Though I was proud of my decision, my Scioly position was challenged. Members of "Towers" skipped meetings or dropped out, until I was building alone at night and living off coffee each morning; In short, Towers collapsed faster than its towers. Worn from frustration, I pursued bettering performance to regain the loyalty I'd lost, and eventually did. Initially I was accustomed to solitude, even preferred it when many Loctite-victimized fingers exhausted our superglue removal supply. But in the end, Scioly gave me limitless opportunities and relationships with the most incredible teammates, for which I could not be more thankful. **162 words right now and a very rough draft:\\

Essay #2
This summer I was offered a brief teaching position at a High School in China. I was excited though jittery while boarding the plane, having never taught students my own age even without a language barrier. Upon my arrival, the school was decrepit and unventilated with rats that gnawed at the electrical wires and yet the students seemed to glow with an inexpressible gratitude for simply attending. Seeing their joy made me guiltily conscious of my own lifestyle which reeked of thanklessness by comparison. We exchanged knowledge and they taught me the customs of my own culture and introduced me to the city, bringing me to their favorite street markets and eateries. Different as we were, the bonds we had freely established ran deep and we still stay in contact. In three weeks I had learned more about cultural adaptability and gratefulness than I had in the past seventeen years. **Exactly 150 words
Dec 25, 2013
Undergraduate / Running on our school's track every night; Rice short answer [7]

Hi there,
Overall this is a decent essay! The topic is a bit commonplace but it still manages to reveal the passion you have for running. Feel free to keep whatever you prefer but there are a few small things I would change:

Running on our school's track every night after the self-study period, I enjoy myself as a free spirit. ("While running our our school's track...") Nothing would interrupt me. (if you're going to start off in present tense, make sure you maintain it! AKA "Nothing interrupts me.") I am able to reflect [on] what I have done today and plan for the upcoming day, or I will just let my mind go blank, releasing all the pressure and refreshing myself with each out breath, or sometimes I simply want to feel the physical exhaustion which will give me a sense of existence. (This sentence can be a bit of a run on...see if you can segment it somewhere?)

I run no matter the weather. I run no matter the season. It is a way to let me ("it is a way for me to feel..") feel the change of the environment ("changes in the environment" ), such as temperature, humidity, wind, [and the] smell of the grass. Running enables me to detect the miniscule (spelling: "minuscule") details in life.

Every time when (take out "when") I am tired, I tell myself "One meter more." ("One more meter"?) , because I love pushing my limits and then realize there is ("are") no limits if I myself do not set them.

^Just a couple proofreading things. I would also suggest to split up the last line.. Maybe turn it into:
Every time I am tired, I tell myself, "One more meter". Then I remember that I love pushing my limits only to realize that there are no limits unless I set them myself.

Not sure if that's more eloquent or more awkward...just a suggestion. Good luck!
Dec 24, 2013
Undergraduate / Archeaology of quotes - STANFORD SUPPLEMENT - What matters to you [6]

What matters to you, and why? (250 word limit.)

More often than not, within a minute of meeting someone I will have asked about their name, school (if applicable), favorite food, and favorite quote. With time I may forget the first three but will always remember the fourth. To me, words reveal as much about the listener as they do the speaker.

Over the years, I have collected a small library of quote diaries: Some are philosophical, others are witty, and still others are just plain ludicrous. I value these slips of insight because they force me to think. Every quote I come across is a small piece of history with a unique context, cause, and effect. It is this aspect that fascinates me, as piecing together the stories behind a quote forms an enigmatic sort of puzzle; I make it a source of entertainment to uncover the story behind each snippet.

It is my belief that an active mind is the most treasured possession anyone could ask for and that vigilant maintenance of this liveliness is key. This allows for imagination and innovation, the agents of progress, but at the core must lay a stimulant. While others may solve Rubik's Cubes or play Sudoku to actuate their minds, for me the finest mental workout exists in the archaeology of quotes. Although I do not have a single definite favorite, I live by the idea that "an opportunity becomes an experience when you seize it". Now, as promised before the minute ends, what's your favorite quote? Think about it. (250/250 words)

Thanks in advance for any advice!!
Sep 13, 2013
Undergraduate / Meaningly Cultural Event/Publication/Book (Columbia): The Wire [3]

I quite liked your essay. It was interesting and related to the prompt while maintaining its originality (I'm sure there can't be too many other applicants writing about The Wire!). Having never watched The Wire myself, your essay made me want to search it up. With that said, however, make sure to avoid sounding too much like a TV critic-- see where you can tie this in with yourself and what specifically made it meaningful to you. Right now it's about 3/4 focus on the show itself and 1/4 focus on yourself..this makes the ending come a little abruptly. Also see if you can split up your last line into shorter sentences to avoid sounding rushed, the ending is where you have brought the focus back onto yourself.

*red=delete; green=added in; blue=awkward/rephrase/comments

Overall it was a pretty good read and I hope my comments helped! Best of luck :)

Streets littered with stains of blood and bullet shell s:. This is the story of drug dealers and the Baltimore Police Department:, a seemingly simple concept, yet one that portrayed themes (specify what themes are being portrayed?) with unparalleled potency. The Wire may appear to fall into the stereotyped detective-show category, revolving around the evident (not sure I would use "evident" here...) protagonist in pursuit of the (adjective?) drug dealers. Yet, the true star of the show is not the lead detective, nor is it even the antagonists ("nor even the antagonist"? check up on the grammar here) ; rather, it is the city itself: (, Baltimore) Baltimore.

(Transition?) Though most shows shy away from portraying flaws in our society, The Wire boldly depicts not only the rampant violence that came about with the drug market, but, further, (rephrase, punctuation here is a little awkward) delves into the institutional dysfunction, particularly in the government and police departments . Yet, the main reason the show was capable of delivering such potent messages of society was due to its lack of relying on (a little wordy here) any suspension of disbelief. Most forms of media, for the sake of interest, revolve the plot around an unquestionably fictional premise. The Wire, however, in both its characters and depiction, is fully realistic. In fact, throughout the show, all the recording was done in a 4:3 aspect ratio and without any special effects or music, lending the gritty feel the show epitomizes. Many of the characters, similarly, were not played by professional actors, but rather citizens of Baltimore who had experienced life in the city and could easily delineate it simply by being themselves. (This information is interesting but may be more effective if it were a bit more concise. Also see if you can tie it in a little more with this paragraph or the next)

Coupled with the thematic impact of the show, this show has had a great impact (try not to use "impact" twice in one sentence!) on me, for it portrays areas of the world that I have not had much direct contact with, namely where education is not the primary concern of families and must therefore resort to such lifestyles to survive, having made me appreciate my opportunities and community more. (A little wordy here, and this reads as a verrrry long sentence, see if you can split it up!)

Sep 7, 2013
Undergraduate / Surrounded by nutrition; Cornell CALS - experiences/interest in Nutrition [3]

I thought your essay flowed well and really liked how you embedded your entire health story in it. It makes it very personal and relatable. The beginning is the only part where the sentences might seem a little choppy..Aside from that I think it was great and really liked the ending as well. Good luck! :)
Sep 7, 2013
Undergraduate / work experience/ extracurricular activity : Princeton/Stanford [6]

I think this essay was overall great! It was very clear exactly what you did and how it impacted you. I would just check up on grammar in the last sentence (have/has?). Could you also take a look at my supp for Stanford?
Sep 6, 2013
Undergraduate / STANFORD SUPPLEMENT- letter to roommate "challenge accepted" [2]

Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. Write a note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate -- and us -- know you better. (250 word limit.)

Greetings, roommate!
For starters, you should know that I can be a bit high-energy. I often get overly excited about small things and am very enthusiastic about most endeavors ranging from trying new foods to debating the potential of superheroes to spontaneous walks along the beach which, coming from Ohio, will probably fascinate me endlessly. I am a chronic rambler, Batman fanatic, granola bar hoarder, and consider meeting people different from myself a hobby. I am an optimist and value a sense of humor. If I crack up uncontrollably without apparent cause, please humor me (punpunpun!)- It means I made a joke. I possess a very prominent inner dork and art junkie. I am also easily lost in the world of literature; I hope that you will either join me there or allow me to dedicate a corner of our room to a library. I am a thought-addict and believe that the only thing better than saying things that make others think is hearing things that make myself think. I apologize in advance in case I drift off mid-conversation, it usually means I've entered pondering-mode. And finally, beware: I am ridiculously arachnophobic but weak in the actual eight-legged-creepy-crawly-squashing field. I hope you are prepared to be a steadfast spider-slayer. I have heard many things about college, one being that after a year of imprisonment, you and your roommate will surely be arch enemies awaiting only the sweet liberation of graduation... But to this I say, challenge accepted.

Any advice/critique would be much appreciated! Thanks :)