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Columbia Supplement - "Why this Major" + "Meaningful Book"


DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 28, 2011   #1
Hey can you please read my essays and give me your feedback. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.

Please tell us what you found meaningful about one of the above mentioned books, publications or cultural events.

Through the power of some of my favorite books, I have travelled through time, lived in the wild, and saved the world. However, out of all the books I have immersed myself in, few stick out in my mind more so than Markus Zusak's The Book Thief. Since reading it cover to cover for the third time, it has remained on my desk. I have reopened it and read random passages to enjoy the plot, to think of the deeper story it tells, and to luxuriate in the richness of the language. I am haunted by this book.

What makes the book stimulating is not its feisty young heroine who has a Potterish appeal, nor its Vonnegut whimsy to the caustic turns of fate, but its oddly relatable narrator- Death. Zusak's portrayal of Death, is not the avenging angel who comes to rip Man away from his loved ones, but one who cares for the human soul; one who is heavy with the burdens of the job. As such his only respite is when he stops to notice the color of the sky, "In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them." he confides.

As young adults, we sometime feel like time is something that moves at a snail-like pace and at a rapid speed. If you make yourself aware of it, you can almost hear the clocks tick. If you choose to ignore it, you go from age eight to eighteen in the blink of an eye. This book has reminded me of the fundamental fact of enjoying the simple things in life, even in my most stressful times.


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For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what attracts you specifically to the field or fields of study that you noted in the Application Data section. If you are currently undecided, please write about any field or fields in which you may have interest at this time, but have not yet selected as a major interest.

I am something of a creature of two worlds, or at least of two great interests. I am at first glance, an aspiring physician. My passion to expand my understanding of the natural world, specifically the human body, has led me to Biochemistry. Through the versatility and broad applicability of Biochemistry in the field of medicine, I hope to sate this passion.

In all but this, I am an aspiring researcher. My zest to study medicine led to my interest in the Biochemistry, but that same ambition revealed to me a new world of neurons and synapses, a world I am fervently interested in exploring. The mystery of brain and the magnitude of its capabilities never cease to amaze me, such as human memory. How am I able to remember complex song lyrics and megabytes of basketball statistics while struggling to remember math formulas? These and many more questions I hope to have answered through studying Neuroscience.

I used to wonder which would be the greater mastery and how I could better serve the world: as a researcher or a physician? I have slowly come to realize that the best answer to that question is simply that the question is irrelevant as the two are so inextricably intertwined that neither exists meaningfully alone.


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banerjee_boy94 1 / 3  
Dec 28, 2011   #2
Since reading it cover to cover for the third time, it has remainedremains on my desk.

I'm confused by what you mean in the last sentence of the first paragraph.

As young adults, we sometime feel like time is something that moves at a snail-like pace and at a rapid speed .
^I would maybe change what is in read to irregular pace.
OP DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 28, 2011   #3
^I would maybe change what is in read to irregular pace.

I don't understand what you mean by this comment?

I'm still open to other suggestions. The more advise I can get the better.
singh955 7 / 36  
Dec 28, 2011   #4
your first essay was pretty good, but i loved your second essay. It was very detailed and the ending was very good.
OP DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 28, 2011   #5
lol really!! I went through numerous drafts for my first essay but I just wrote my second essay today, lol! but thank you so much for you input.
Eigenvector 4 / 11  
Dec 28, 2011   #6
I really love the first essay, it does a really good job of getting into why you picked that book.

In the second essay, maybe try to tie things off a bit more at the end, it seems a bit unfinished.

Good luck!
bll2012 1 / 3  
Dec 28, 2011   #7
"few stick out in my mind more so than Markus Zusak's The Book Thief."

I cannot tell whether you punctuated the books title correctly so I will just remind you to do so. Also I may be wrong, but is there supposed to be a comma after the author's name?

"I have reopened it and read random passages to enjoy the plot, to think of the deeper story it tells, and to luxuriate in the richness of the language. I am haunted by this book."

This sentence is kind of awkward go over it a bit.

"What makes the book stimulating is not its feisty young heroine who has a Potterish appeal, nor its Vonnegut whimsy to the caustic turns of fate, but its oddly relatable narrator- Death."

I do not like your intro to this sentence I think it could be better reworded. Just a thought. Also the word whimsy seems odd either in its current tense or in general idk I can not tell at this moment.

"Zusak's portrayal of Death, is not the avenging angel who comes to rip Man away from his loved ones, but one who cares for the human soul; one who is heavy with the burdens of the job. As such his only respite is when he stops to notice the color of the sky, "In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them." he confides. "

the seems weird. try not one of an avenging angel or something like that.

"In all but this , I am an aspiring researcher. "

Intro is kind of awkward. I would try rewording this.

"The mystery of (the) brain and the magnitude of its capabilities never cease to amaze me, such as (the) human memory."

"How am I able to remember complex song lyrics and megabytes of basketball statistics while struggling to remember math formulas?"

I am not a huge fan of this question because you seem to go from talking in one perspective to asking yourself a question. Maybe you can not say how am I and instead how is one.. or something like that. Also instead of while struggling you can say but yet forget common math formulas..:/ idk maybe.

"These and many more questions I hope to have answered through studying Neuroscience."

This sentence awkwardly worded. Try go over it again.

"I used to wonder which would be the greater mastery and (which one would allow me to better serve the world) how I could better serve the world: as a researcher or a physician? I have slowly come to realize that the best answer to that question is simply that the question is irrelevant as the two are so inextricably intertwined that neither exists meaningfully alone.

Your essays are wonderful! You are a good writer. I do, however, suggest thaqt you reread each essay as a whole and make sure you stay in one tense/perspective. Also make sure some of the sentences make sense to the reader. Other than that they are very unique and sophisticated.
OP DMA17 8 / 31  
Dec 28, 2011   #8
From your comments I've gathered that I'm a very awkward writer, lol! but thank so much for reviewing my essays, I'm working on the edits now.


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