I've already applied to schools with my CommonApp response and had it looked over by my English teacher, but something still doesn't feel right about the flow of the last paragraph; any feedback about this (or the entire essay) is greatly appreciated. It also worries me that it's only 493 words (quality over quantity, but I definitely need some more descriptions somewhere)..
This is responding to the central background/story prompt:
"Aiyaaaa!" is the first exclamation that pops out of my mother's mouth as soon as she comes home from a three week trip to Taiwan, a journey she takes every other month to visit her ailing parents. Even before she actually sees it, my mother already imagines the presumed entropy of our home, and she's rarely disappointed-the house is a mess, there are unpaid bills strewn on the kitchen counter, laundry is piled waist high, and seemingly worst of all, the refrigerator is empty
. My brother and I try our best to hold down the fort when she's out of town, but besides worrying about whether I'll finish my homework in time and get to sleep before 2am, my mind is occupied with a to-do list of errands to complete: grocery shopping, cleaning the fish tank, and vacuuming the house, among others. Eating my way through the prepared food my mother leaves us before it perishes is the least of my concerns, which explains the vacant fridge and sheepish look on my face when I fruitlessly attempt to console my mother by saying, "At least the house hasn't burnt down."
Food is an important presence in my family. We eat special moon cakes in early September to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, sticky rice bundled up in banana leaves while watching Dragon Boat Festivals, and glutinous tangyuan
in sweet broth during the winter solstice. When I'm up late nights doing homework or studying for a test the next day, my mother offers me small bits of food and sweets, her method for keeping me alert through the night and a small "sorry" for not being able to help me, since she never attended college. The pre-packaged meals she assembles before she embarks on her bimonthly journeys are her contribution to my sanity as I attempt to juggle my social, academic, and personal lives. It certainly helps to have a bite to eat when I'm figuring out derivatives for math homework or correcting my mother's "drafts of certification" and "case information statements," trying to fathom what exactly caused my parents to grow apart. Those papers build the divorce case against my father, and though my parents' marriage deteriorated over five years ago, my mother decided only last March to end her relationship with my father.
Of all the nicknames that I have, "Pearl Jam" seems to me the most appropriate. A good jam must be "uniform throughout-not too stiff, not runny, not gummy or syrupy." In essence, it has the right viscosity. Although I am spread thin, each of my activities, whether it's dribbling up the court on a fast break or conducting a tempo on the field during a competition, has my full commitment. My mother leaves me on my own every other month not only because she has to, but because she knows I'll do everything in my power to keep our home (and myself) intact.Here is also a look at two of my MIT short responses (still working on the other three). Evaluate them harshly please!
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)
On Saturday mornings, I like to bake. When I am in the kitchen, bathed in the aroma of white chocolate macadamia cookies or double fudge brownies, my worries of the week melt away. Mixing batter by hand is soothing, and I am mesmerized with the way the bright yellow yolks fuse with granules of flour and sugar, unleashing a sort of aromatic alchemy between molecules of proteins, lipids, and carbs. Baking perfectly spongey cupcakes with shiny domes ready for frosting is success in and of itself; the smiles that appear on my friends' and family's faces when they see confections headed their way are merely an added bonus.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)
My brother has ankylosing spondylitis (AS), long-term arthritis that affects his spine. On some days when his joints are especially inflamed, he cannot sit down or turn his head. My interest in biomedical technologies, coupled with summer program experiences in STEM, has given me the desire to become a bioengineer so that I may develop healthcare solutions to help those, like my brother, with chronic autoimmune disorders. The Department of Bioengineering, with its wide array of undergraduate research opportunities and world-renowned faculty, is the perfect place for me to harness my intellectual curiosity and use it to make a permanent difference in medical science.