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"I entered China as a typical spoiled American teenager" -UC Prompt 2


nunya415 6 / 11  
Nov 28, 2008   #1
Prompt: Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

Can you please proofread my essay? The italic are phrases that I think can be rewritten into fancier, more educated phrases...but i can't think of it ><

Can you please help me with that? Also if you spot any grammatical errors, please point them out.
I also fear that my essay may not fully address the prompt, can you tell me if I did?
Finally if you see any unrelated or unneeded sentences or phrases, please tell me if i should delete them (this essay is too long).
Thank You Very Much.

The door burst open; dust whirled in miniature twisters about the classroom. A dozen high school students stormed into my classroom; it was a sneak attack. They quickly lined in two sloppy rows of six, hands clasped in front trying to not to laugh. Shortly after, their teacher, my roommate, a Chinese-American two years my junior walked in and bellowed a challenge to be resolved on the basketball courts.

We were among a group of thirty-three Americans who volunteered to travel deep into the rural parts of China to teach English to underprivileged tribal children. We entered the village of Yuan-Yang after a seven hour bus ride from Kunming, China. Having come from the epitome of suburban America I was shocked to see the living conditions that we encountered. I come from a world where everything is neatly trimmed, parents place CAUTION: CHILDREN PLAYING signs on roads to discourage maniacs from running over their children and SUVs rule the well built roads. In China, we came across houses made of mud and oxen feces, pigs giving birth just outside front doors, but worst of all, we encountered a society that was completely against the concept of institutionalized education. In their society, education is viewed with scorn and seen as a waste of time without a guaranteed income. Those who choose to pursue education beyond the mandatory six years are regarded as social stigmas. Single mothers who send their grown sons to school instead of the fields to work are often targets of rape and harassment by neighbors.

I was assigned to a class of students about to enter their first year of junior high. In the beginning it was awkward and no one talked or volunteered. In fact I later learned my students had initially believed that I was a Mexican due to my dark skin tone and were shocked when I was able to pronounce Chinese fluently. Despite this rocky start, we became closer through our time spent together, to the point that some of my students felt comfortable enough to bequest their life stories with me. They each had their own story, one was an orphan, another watched his mother fall to her death; however, despite their harsh lives they each shared an intense passion to learn.

As cliché as it sounds, I learned more from my students than they will ever know. My students' determination to excel without regard to how their community will treat them awakened something within me. It occurred to me that I had taken far too much in my life for granted; the food, the shelter, my parent's income, the fact that my neighbors will accept me. I doubt no one else from this trip gained as much as I did. I have become more independent now and more susceptible to the world and people around me. I entered China as a typical spoiled American teenager, and was able to leave as a more mature adult, who achieved a clearer view of the world she lives in.

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Nov 28, 2008   #2
We were among a group of thirty-three Americans who volunteered to travel deep into the rural parts of China and teach English to underprivileged tribal children.

I was assigned to a class of students about to enter their first year of junior high school . In the beginning it was awkward and no one talked or volunteered. In fact I later learned my students had initially believed that I was Mexican due to my dark skin tone and were shocked when I was able to pronounce Chinese fluently.

As cliché as it sounds, I learned more from my students than they will ever know. My students' determination to excel without regard for how their community has treated them awakened something within me. ... I entered China as a typical spoiled American teenager, and was able to leave as a mature adult , who achieved a clearer view of the world she lives in.

Now, you will have to choose some sentences to take out. If it exceeds the word count, you need to delete some. This always makes essays more powerful, anyway. You can delete the part about CAUTION signs on the street... and choose a few other superfluous sentences as well.

I did not find any explanation of what was being resolved on the basketball court. Perhaps you can delete that first paragraph, and start with:

I was one of thirty-three Americans who volunteered to travel deep into the rural parts of China to teach English to underprivileged tribal children. We entered the village of Yuan-Yang after a seven hour bus ride from Kunming, China.
OP nunya415 6 / 11  
May 13, 2009   #3
I just want to say thanks for all the help!


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