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A Dyslexic Home School Boy Conquers Public School - Common App prompt 5

philipsurdy 1 / -  
Aug 29, 2014   #1
Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

The transition from my comfortable warm desk I knew as my bed; to a cold, hard, squeaky workstation at middle school was tough for me. But it was a necessary change after five years of home education. In this world there are two types of people, night owls and early birds. Being an early bird myself, homeschooling was perfect for me. Aside from the superficial comfort of sleeping in, homeschooling allotted me an appropriate amount of time to get the schoolwork I needed to finish for the day done at my own pace. The pace at which I was able to accomplish schoolwork was much slower than all of my peers. When I was in kindergarten, a teacher recommended I get tested for dyslexia. I was having a lot of trouble pronouncing even the easiest words such as "there"," were" and even "the." This became very frustrating to me; I just didn't understand why all of my friends were at such a high reading level. One month later I was sitting in a cubical one on one with my personal tutor for dyslexia. It was here that I learned simple sight words and how to read them phonetically. I hated it, but I knew that going to these sessions three days a week for 2 hours would be beneficial for my future education so I didn't complain. At the end of it, all I could do was thank my tutor and my parents because I was finally able to read a book all the way through to the end. Every decision in life has trade-offs and in this case, I traded in five years of elementary school. In elementary school, some of the strongest, longest lasting relationships are made, and I had missed out on this. This made it very difficult going into middle school.

When I received the prestigious Northern Burlington Gala award at the end of my seventh grade year, I felt like I belonged in public school. This award marked my transition into the scary environment I once knew as middle school. Mrs. Terrano, my seventh grade reading teacher, nominated me for this award because of my outstanding character and transformation throughout the year. At the beginning of the year she said I was "walking on egg shells," and she explained how at the end of the year I transformed into an amazing all around student and found my own place in public school. This award meant a lot to me because as I entered middle school, I never really thought it was meant for me. As much as I hated the idea, my family and I talked about switching schools or returning to homeschooling. I wanted to avoid this at all costs because I knew I would be missing out on the very important social aspect of school. Ultimately, receiving the Greyhound Gala Award erased all contemplations and doubts that I had about Northern Burlington Middle School. This award was one of the main reasons I decided to continue my education following the standardized, structured, yet important curriculum of public school. As I stood up to receive my award, I took a quick glance back and saw a young boy staring at me and realized the amazing transformation I have made.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Aug 29, 2014   #2
Okay, first the bad news. Transitioning from home schooling to public school does not count as a transition from childhood to adulthood. Anything that occurred in your life under the age of 18, which is the age of majority, or adulthood in the United States, does not count as a transitioning event. So you are definitely way off the prompt topic wise. I would suggest that you choose something from your recent life experiences that relates to taking on more responsibility either for yourself or other people in order to properly answer the prompt. Something that showed how you started out with an innocent point of view and then left you with a more mature outlook would also suffice.

Now the good news, you have a talent for writing essays. It is creative and interesting to read your work. You just need to learn to analyze what the prompt is asking for before you start to write. That way you are sure to answer the prompt and not write something that is off tangent :-)

I hope my constructive criticism can help you rewrite this paper closer to what the essay prompt is asking for. You can concentrate on receiving the Greyhound Gala Award instead. Bring that up to the first paragraph and then relate the homeschooling portion of your life and your entry into public school. That way you can use a retrospective point of view to point out your transition from childhood to adulthood :-) Sometimes editing skills come in handy when revising an essay as well. In your case, editing and repositioning some paragraphs and sentences will do the trick :-)

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