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Environmental Science class, Johns Hopkins Supplement Essay

ZBurf 2 / 3  
Dec 21, 2009   #1

Active Classroom - Environmental Science

The first day of Environmental Science class, before we opened up any textbooks or got our notebooks ready for a lecture, our teacher, Mr. Wilson, took us outside. We brought shovels, manure, grass clippings, dead leaves, and kitchen scraps to an area behind the school where he started giving us instructions for building a compost pile. As a class, we mixed together the ingredients Mr. Wilson gave us to create our own biological factory. Proud of the work we had done, we went back inside sweaty and smiling. The next day we added more elements to the compost pile and started preparing a garden to make school-grown produce. Over the next few weeks, we started to see our plants sprout out of the earth and our compost pile radiate heat and smells. We accomplished all of this without ever having to open up a textbook!

For me, these active class days were more rewarding than most of the days I had spent in a classroom. I used to think that the only way I could make an impact on the world was by inventing a new remarkable contraption or developing a complicated cure for a disease, and I thought I would have to complete my education before this could happen. Mr. Wilson's class helped me realize that simple actions, like composting and natural gardening, can be just as beneficial, if we learn that it is just a matter of being active and making our ideas a reality. Because of this class, I have changed the way I consume, the way I eat, and the way I live. One year ago, My family lived in a house that used over $1000 in utilities every month. This year, we moved into an environmentally friendly home that uses less than $100 in utilities. I try to eat only local foods now, and I religiously abide by the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). As this year ends and I move on to college, I want to continue to develop my own ideas and see them come to life before my eyes, like the plants in our school garden, which is why I want to pursue biology and environmental studies at Johns Hopkins. From this one class, I have realized that everything I learn in the classroom has to be translated to reality in order for it to have any effect on our world.

3 questions: Does it answer the question well enough? Are the two paragraphs too long? Does it need a better conclusion?
beaming2 2 / 3  
Dec 21, 2009   #2
You well answered the question. However, the first para is quite long with unnessary details. Also, you should link to the Uni of your choice.

Good luck
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 23, 2009   #3
For me, these active class days were more rewarding than most of the days I had spent in a classroom.

Teachers often discuss the potential to motivate students by taking them out of the classroom and exposing them to nature, but from the student perspective, this sort of thing is always enjoyed as a break from ordinary classwork. I think maybe this concept is not a good one to use here, because you are trying to present yourself as a highly motivated student, and we all remember that the "rewarding" experiences outside the classroom were enjoyed as a break from the work.

I am afraid I did not explain that well. Do you know what I am trying to say? The experience of learning without having to open a text book is not the best thing to focus on as your motivation. Let intellectual curiosity be your motivation.

Also, I think the first paragraph should be cut. It is just too simple of an experiment... it does not do justice to your aspiration. I think you should cite a few articles and really talk about the field you are about to jump into.


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