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(Buddhist stories) Stanford Supp Essay---intellectual development"ancient arts"


ChihiroLavi 4 / 52  
Dec 25, 2011   #1
I took more than one day to think about what to write and this is what I got.This is my first draft. I'm not so sure whether I really answer the prompt. Can this experience and feeling called intellectual development? THX a lot!

Prompt: Stanford students reflect an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. 2000 characters

Along my way to Dunhuang were hundreds of miles of Gobi, a special name of cold desert in West China, which were covered by rocks rather than sands. Mogao Caves, containing some of the finest Buddhists art works throughout thousands of years, spans here along the ancient Silk Road. The caves seemed more mysterious and isolate when the sunset had already tinted the sky with yellowish brown

I've traveled to other famous ancient sites before, my experiences disappointed me: Tourist guides always pointed at some landscapes while telling some stories that are not necessarily true. For me, ancient arts mean beauty and long history, but bare deep meaning.

However, what I saw here shocked me. I felt myself falling in a dream which lasted for over a thousand years. In the dream, the cold color sculptures of Northern Wei demonstrated a fierce war; the large complete and detailed narrative" Pure Land" on the extensive murals on the caves showed brilliant scenes of Mahayana Buddhism, which reached its peak during Tang dynasty, also the apogee of Dunhuang arts; as we came to Yuan dynasty, the style of Buddhas became less lively as if they are telling the decadency.

No, the Mogao Caves is not died beauty; it is alive, for thousands of years. It was born with this culture, grew up during the tumult of wars, gained the most beauty as the best era came and aged with the time. Its life is built by countless artists, draftsman and workers, by their magnificent imaginations, sophisticated while skillful crafts, and persistence as well as determination under this harsh environment.

For me, it became more than about Buddhist stories, painting techniques, cultures or history; it is the soul inside of these ancient arts, the soul of generations of people who had lived on the same land as I do, the soul of the beauty detached from mortal life, the soul which has the supreme power to purify the world, to help the future generations feel their ancestors, to explore the deepest humanities.
palindromeman - / 7  
Dec 25, 2011   #2
I think it is a great essay! You have a few things that you could reword such as "For me, ancient arts mean beauty and long history, but bare deep meaning." I find that the last part of this sentence is very vague and does not go with the flow you were going with. also, in some places you switch tenses such as "became less lively as if they are telling..." should be "as if they were". You clearly show a deep connection with the art works but I would try to describe more of how the experience helps you as a person more than simply the cultural impact it had on China.

Make a few changes and I feel that this will become an amazing essay. All the best for Stanford!
jasononwenu 5 / 19  
Dec 25, 2011   #3
Your essay is very artful and mellifluous! I really liked it! I felt that you answered the prompt very dexterously. It was very vivid. However, you might want to work with some grammar issues, such as your tense changes and your sentence structures.
palindromeman - / 7  
Dec 25, 2011   #4
I think that those few changes make a great difference to the essay and adds that personal appeal that you are hoping to give to the AO. I think it is amazing now.

but you should still reread it to find any grammatical/ syntax errors
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 26, 2011   #5
It's a good essay, but seems to fall a bit short of answering the prompt. I suggest you cut some of the imagery out (which you have plenty plenty of) and say more how this experience connects with your own maturing in your intellect. For example, the caves made your ancestors seem like real people now, and so you connect better with your past and history, which makes you understand that you are also making history this very moment, as you live. Therefore, you now do everything with a higher purpose to do things that will carry on its benefit into the future. You apply yourself to your studies with more passion, and attend to your friends with greater loyalty/affection ....I dk, but ya, just connect it with intellectual development more

Good job:) This essay has potential to be great!
agronr 3 / 12  
Dec 26, 2011   #6
I have nothing to add after cupnoodle123's corrections. as she said, you could mention how the stories relate to your intellectual development.

great job.


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