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Experiences of a Russian American (WIP) // 3 short essays for MIT


Proran 4 / 17 5  
Dec 11, 2012   #1
We know you lead a busy life, full of activities, many of which are required of you. Tell us about something you do for the pleasure of it. (*)(100 words or fewer)

Bff-tsk. Bff-tsk-bff-tsk. Bff-bff-tsk- bff-tsk. I like beat-boxing.
My ridiculous hobby stems from the Freudian desire of a young boy to annoy his older sisters, another pleasurable activity I won't go into today. Though they started as strings of incoherent screeching, my mouth noises soon became less like Jurassic Park sound effects and more like actual pieces of music, some almost pleasant to the ear. There is one person that enjoys my talent: my baby niece. Her face, unlike that of her mother's, lights up when I begin to beat-box. And what's the fun of performing without an audience?

Although you may not yet know what you want to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? (*) (100 words or fewer)

I'm a sucker for sci-fi. Practically anything unbelievable and especially the unachievable capture my interest like nothing else. I vividly recall begging my uncle for his Star Wars cassettes - watching every blaster shot and shift into hyperdrive with wide eyes. For me, the allure of the fantastical is that it is not quite impossible. Every year brings new advancements in technology: warmer superconductors, smaller nanotechnology, even teleportation for God's sake! All of the fantastical oddities I dreamed of as a child are achievable through science. I want to be the man behind those discoveries on the cutting edge of human endeavor. I want to be an engineer.

Describe the world you come from; for example, your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?(*) (200-250 words)

My life is a light switch. Daily, I drive to school accompanied only by rock and roll. I crack off-beat jokes with friends. I trudge through essays. But when I get home: I flip the switch. I greet my mother with "privet". I confusedly listen to a Russian skit with dad. I begrudgingly nod my head to conspiracy theories my uncle found at "truthfactory.ru". I live two separate lives, each with its own lessons.

From my immigrant family I learned crude efficiency. On cold elementary days I would go to school bundled in five layers at my mother's urging, looking quite stylish indeed. At home, standing on my tiptoes, I would try and make sense of the hoses and wires of our Civic while dad and Uncle Ivan duct-taped on our new headlights.

America taught me the fine art of image. A conflict in the robotics competition resulted in yelling and I was forced to man up and apologize to a friend I wouldn't want to lose for the world. I couldn't afford a tuxedo for my first high school dance, but a slick sweater vest made me tie my record for ladies wooed in a single night (read: none).

But the duality of my distinct lives gave me more than I could have asked for as either a Russian or American. It has shown me the stark contrasts between optimism and pessimism, materialism and frugality, genuine concern and false appearances. My parents took our family to America not for themselves. They came here so that one day I wouldn't have to don five cheap jackets just to stay warm, they came here so I could fix a car with something besides duct tape. To squander the opportunity I have been given is an offense worthy of a dull life.

So there it is! Thanks for reading and please tell me what you think.

linting2012 10 / 78 18  
Dec 12, 2012   #2
Though they started as strings of incoherent screeching

Who are "they". I think you are trying to use it as a pronoun for "beat boxing's beat" but it should be better if you clarify it

I like the last one a lot, its very humorous. Though its quite risky sometimes to use sarcasm.

Good Luck for MIT. (I am applying too)
OP Proran 4 / 17 5  
Dec 12, 2012   #3
"they" is referring to mouth noises, something I bring up later in the sentence. You think I should edit it.
Didgeridoo - / 306 191  
Dec 12, 2012   #4
Love them! Full of personality and very eloquently written! Good luck.
OP Proran 4 / 17 5  
Dec 12, 2012   #5
Thanks! I have been working on some new essays and am ready to post, but I need to cut these down to something near the word limit. Could use some help there.


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