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<I'm a birdbrain> - Stanford intellectual vitality essay


Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Sep 16, 2012   #1
Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

I'm a birdbrain. But I definitely don't have the brain the size of a bird's brain. I have been extremely fascinated by birds, specifically those in the parrot family, ever since third grade. I own two beautiful birds that I have spent hours observing, watching them eat, drink, sleep, preen and I have grown to love and appreciate them. So it definitely was not a huge surprise that I was heartbroken when a bird hit our window.

A light brown bird lay crumpled on our deck in front of the large windows. My heart sunk, and I felt like crying. I approached it carefully with my fingers crossed and was relieved when I saw its eyes were open and its back rose and fell quickly. The bird was about a foot long with black stripes crossing its back, spotted feathers all over its chest and a beak about an inch long. I dared myself to touch it, so I stuck a finger out and began to pet its back causing him to perk up.

After a few minutes, he tried to stand up. He stood evenly on his legs and held his wings close to his body, like a healthy bird should. I took a picture of him with my phone so I could look up the species later. Eventually, he took off into our backyard. I went inside, washed my hand several times and ran upstairs. I found my Birds of Ohio field guide and tried to find the picture of the bird.

What I found excited me; this wasn't just an average songbird, it was a woodpecker! A Northern Flicker to be exact. After exhausting the pocketbook, I turned to my laptop. I probably spent a good hour researching the Northern Flicker by watching videos on Youtube and reading the profile on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website.

I was so fascinated by wild birds that I began to research other birds I had seen around my home. I absorbed the knowledge so fast I craved more. The excitement kept building up as I found a new door into the world of birds, a world that had sparked my desire to learn nine years ago.

I try to spend as much as my spare time as I can observing wild birds. Every move they make and song they sing is done for a very specific reason. Our job is to uncover that reason and open ourselves up to the little things of nature. I absolutely love watching robins run on their skinny legs and then stop only to stand straight and proud. I wake up to the harsh caw of the blue jay every summer morning, and while it can become rather annoying, I still love it.

There's a whole world of birds out there that I am just waiting to discover. Every region and state in the United States alone has a diverse bird population. Just thinking about all of those feathers and songs excites me.

I know the ending isn't the best...I just put it together really fast. I have a limit of 2000 characters, but I managed to shorten the original to 2616. I need help shortening this essay while still maintaining my voice, experience and showing how I really love birds and how they've really sparked my learning interests. thank you!

sgrabie 1 / 2  
Sep 17, 2012   #2
I think that your essay has really good potential. It was a good move to highlight your outside interests on a topic that is often overlooked. Some pointers though: After reading the essay, I learned that you like birds and are committed to learning everything about something that you are interested in, but I really did not get to know who you are as a unique individual. Your fascination in birds is obviously interesting and unique, but I feel that it just skims the surface right now. Why are you interested in birds? Does it relate back to your childhood? Maybe you used to birdwatch with you father and learned the importance of patience, etc.

These are just ideas and I feel like you definitely are in a good place with the essay right now, but also feel that it would greatly benefit you to delve deeper and expose part of yourself to make the admissions officer feel like they know you.
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Sep 20, 2012   #3
thank you guys a lot! :) You're really helping me! do you happen to have any tips on what I should maybe cut out? I plan on going deeper...but I feel that unless I cut stuff out, I can't do that hehe
OP Birdiee 6 / 35 1  
Oct 7, 2012   #4
Yea I'm a bit stuck in the beginning...I originally talked about how delicate birds were at the beginning then moved it to the end. That transition is bothering me. How about something like:

Their tenacious and affectionate nature is what gives birds a special [or should I use 'sentimental' instead?] place in my heart. So you can imagine how I felt when a bird crashed into my window.
SpicyCurryMan 2 / 9  
Oct 7, 2012   #5
I suggest making the conclusion more emphatic. I was captivated by the first sentence, but then my interest in the essay diminished. Try ending in a clever/humorous way.


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