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'the end of the world' - Stanford - Intellectual Vitality


magictimelord 1 / -  
Nov 1, 2012   #1
Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development. (at least 250 words, less than 2000 characters)

I thought it was the end of the world. That terrible blood red overlaid atop the page with a jumble of squares and triangles and other strange symbols underneath. A 35 out of 50 on my Geometry test. A 70 percent. My first C. Oh, the tragedy.

I remember holding back tears; the mixture of anger and frustration with myself pulsed through my body. My 14-year-old self felt the world crash down and I wallowed in misery for the rest of the day.

Then I stopped the moping. I stopped, went home, plopped myself at my desk, and figured out every problem that I got wrong. I cursed Euclid and Pythagoras and Homer, too (though he had no fault in the matter), and every other brilliant Greek mathematician who I now considered responsible for my unwanted date with my textbook.

I would never be the perfect math student. I accepted that a long time ago. And the grade itself did not really matter; after all what more was it than just another number? What I cared for, I realized, was the struggle. Racking my brain to the point of frustration, until something clicked and suddenly everything made sense - that is how I built deeper understanding. Fighting my way through this was the best that I could ask of myself. That is what I began to do then, and that is still what I do no.

A few days later, my English teacher asked if I would mind her Xeroxing my To Kill a Mockingbird essay to show to the class. Maybe the reason I did not do great with numbers was that I did so much better with words, whose delicate subtleties and carefully constructed messages spoke to me in a way that little else ever could. And that was okay too.

When the next math test came, I worried. But not as much as before. I had asked my questions, found the answers, and made amends with Euclid. Now it was all up to me. The 55-minute testing period flew by and, after that, all I could do was to wait.

My teacher handed our tests back the next day. This time, the red was not so terrible. I got 103 percent.

I appreciate any feedback! Please do not hesitate to be critical

Spencedawg 2 / 3  
Nov 5, 2012   #2
Great essay! It answers the prompt so perfectly. Content-wise, I think you're good to go. There are a few grammatical things you could fix up though.

"I remember holding back tears; the mixture of anger and frustration with myself pulsed through my body. " This could be worded differently. It works, but is a bit wordy.

"I stopped, went home, plopped myself at my desk, and figured out every problem that I got wrong." Stopped what?

"I got 103 percent." I'm not sure if this is grammatically correct or not. Either way, it should sound less awkward, especially considering it's your final sentence.

Otherwise... fantastic!
ysysysys 3 / 7 1  
Nov 10, 2012   #3
Its a good essay and I like your story about your grades, but you have to keep in mind that every body faces fluctuations in their grades at some point. try to spend more time writing about what your career or field interests are.

good luck


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