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"How could I crush our years of friendship" - Caltech - ethical dillema essay


hahoonh 4 / 12  
Dec 17, 2010   #1
prompt: Members of the Caltech community live, learn, and work within an Honor System with one simple guideline, 'No member shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.' While seemingly simple, questions of ethics, honesty, and integrity are sometimes challenging. Share an ethical dilemma that challenged you. What did you do? (350 words)

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When I became the top dog of my elementary school in 2004, everyone was enthused about the upcoming election for president and vice president. The rule said to nominate a person from each class as a candidate, so after a week of sizzling debate, Jo was opted as the candidate from my class. My classmates unanimously, if silently, planned to pour our votes on her, for the glory of our class. I have been taking a good part in this grand plan, until Pete, my best friend, was nominated from the other class.

The biggest bully in my class, trying to redeem his notoriety, had long been claiming: "Whoever disobeying the plan will taste how spicy my fist is!" Hence, I helplessly voted for Jo in the end (thinking back, the votes were counted anonymous, so I was just being silly after all). Despite all these tries, Pete won the election. I was incredibly happy, but uncomfortable at the same time.

Pete must have expected me to vote for him, since I was cordially invited to his celebration party. I, knowing how brutally I backstabbed his trust in me, was forced in a dilemma. How could I crush our years of friendship, by quailing at the bully's boneless threats? Even with my little conscience, I just could not casually join the party and praise his achievement. I have been mocking people who lost heart in many stories, and I let someone steal mine so effortlessly. After two hours of internal discussion, I decided not to go. Instead, I wrote him a sincere e-mail, in which I confessed my deed, told him that I had been a coward, and promised to no longer let the fear steal my heart away. He replied that night: "Don't worry, bud. I forgive you."

Lured by the fast-approaching danger, I relinquished what could have later been a blessing in the future, while causing a sin in the process. I learnt to stay forthright, and take the hits whenever necessary, because I know that I am not losing, but rather striding forward for the win.

I really think this essay needs a lot of refurbishment. I just want to know if the essay is answering the prompt, and if you can identify the awkward phrases or grammatical errors, I would be really appreciated...
dumi 1 / 6,927 1592  
Dec 17, 2010   #2
I feel your answer is very much in line with what the prompt expects. It's a simple story but you have given lot of life to it.

My classmates unanimously, ifand silently, planned to pour our votes on her, for the glory of our class.

I enjoyed reading it. Good luck wity your application!
neil 1 / 12  
Dec 20, 2010   #3
Hey, the story fits in great, although the writing could be better, IMHO.

1) What do you mean you became top dog? It doesn't seem very self-explanatory/relevant/humble.
2) Jo was opted(s)elected
3) "I have been" should be "I had been ". Actually the sentence may read better as "I was a co-conspirator in the plan until Pete, my best friend... "

4) The bully's 'plan' was slightly unclear to me. Maybe "Whoever doesn't vote for Jo ". Or get rid of the quotes completely and say it in third person "the bully threatened to rough up anyone who didn't vote for Jo "

5) Despite all these triesDespite all of my class' efforts
6) Pete must have thought I voted for him.
7) This sentence needs a lot of work: Lured by the fast-approaching danger, I relinquished what could have later been a blessing in the future, while causing a sin in the process.
OP hahoonh 4 / 12  
Dec 24, 2010   #4
thank you guys both. I feel that my essay has gotten stronger with your opinions!


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