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"my never-give-up attitude" - Villanova: Lesson you have learned in your life

jolapham 2 / 11  
Jan 6, 2010   #1
Please, help me. My old essay so..."unimprovable" that I wrote a new one from scratch. I will have to send it in a few hours, so I am quite despaired. ANY comment/criticism/suggestion will help.

There are probably problems with:
- grammar
- "the"/"a"
- flow

Thank you all in advance!

Question: One of the core values of Villanova, as an Augustinian university founded on the teachings of St. Augustine, is that students and faculty learn from each other. As you imagine yourself as a member of the Villanova community, what is one lesson that you have learned in your life that you will want to share with others?

My essay:

The teacher entered the classroom and told us to sit down. Silence immediately filled the room as the teacher turned towards the blackboard. Words "Tu Ay - one of the most inspiring Vietnamese poems of our times" appeared in front of my eyes.

"Please, spare me." - I groaned before switching to my "snooze off" mode.

It was one of those boring-to-death Literature lessons, and I was trying with all my might not to fall asleep. The teacher in the front of me started interpreting the poem. Five minutes did not pass when the tears were threatening to spill from my tired-looking eyes; I was doing my best to suppress yet another yawn.

Taking notes and trying to stay awake, I pondered over a question. How can a subject possibly be so uninteresting? On every lesson, the teacher would go on forever about how ingenious the poet's use of verbs was, and how wonderfully he or she described the situation while using only a few words. She also never seemed to miss an opportunity to praise the author's brilliance while creating the characters. "How could it be possible for a literary work to be flawless?" - I asked myself waiting for my classmates' reaction; however, nobody seemed to dare to oppose the teacher's viewpoint. I decided to become the "pioneer".

My chance came when we were learning about "The Miserable Ones" by Victor Hugo. My teacher immediately divided the characters into two separate compartments labeled "good" and "bad". I could not comprehend the teacher's notion that Javert, one of the characters, was a complete essence of evil and malevolence. She did not even consider any of his admirable traits such as his devotion to work or self-discipline. I personally considered him misguided rather than evil, but when I shared my view with the teacher, I was ignored. Days passed, and after numerous criticized and even ridiculed attempts to speak up my mind, my lack of interest in the subject transformed into strong dislike. I became allergic to Literature.

Nevertheless, I knew I could not possibly continue learning by hating a subject. I was aware that the writing skills that the Literature was supposed to equip me with were vital, especially if I wanted to pursue a career in business. Moreover, my competitive nature could not let an "A" slip from my hands just because I found the lessons soporific and hateful! I had to find a way to overcome my antipathy.

Everybody knows that if someone is passionate about a subject, he or she will easily excel at it. I, however, realized that this worked on me the other way too; if I earned some good grades from a subject, I would unconsciously grow liking towards it. Therefore, to conquer my "Literature allergy" I started working on my grades. Every day, I would challenge myself with some writing tasks. I planned to write essays based on the lectures and tried to subtly inject some of my own thoughts in them. Nevertheless, I found it extremely hard to defeat my dislike towards the subject; I could only bear 45 minutes of the training daily. Weeks passed and there was not any progress. Every time I sat down with the Literature textbook in my hand, I would sit there looking at it, trying to learn the poems by heart and then write a short essay about them. However, it was always after 45 minutes that I gave up. I would eagerly do anything but study Literature. The next day was the same, and the next day, and the day after that... When I was nearly hopeless, a miracle happened; I studied the subject for more than an hour without even noticing. It motivated me. If that day I could study an hour, the next day I would do it for 10 minutes longer. Paragraph by paragraph, the essays were created, and my grades improved noticeably. I was getting used to studying Literature every day, and after some time, my allergy to it vanished.

I cannot say that I love that subject now, and that I am extremely fond of my teacher's lectures, but there is a lesson I learned from this experience. I learned that by doing something I detest, I measure and challenge my limits. I realized that what seems impossible can be achieved if I try hard enough. Since then, I have never give up on a goal even if I had to sacrifice some "blood, sweat, tears", and time to attain it.

If I have a chance to become a part of Villanova community, I will share this lesson not only by recalling my story, but also by proving it with my never-give-up attitude while facing the challenges lurking on my way to success.
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jan 6, 2010   #2
it starts off fine.

^After that paragraph, including the one that i have just quoted, your essay becomes boring. The personal narrative shifts to just a more general overtone.

Everybody knows [..]

^i found all of this boring. Perhaps because it is a bit cliched in my opinion.
i was expecting an interesting altercation between yourself and the teacher, and how this taught you a a lesson that is worth sharing with others.

What you have provided, in my opinion, is just too general and not interesting. This is just my opinion however.
i guess the 'overcoming a challenge' concept is good, however i disagree with the way you chose to discuss it in some of the last paragraphs.
OP jolapham 2 / 11  
Jan 6, 2010   #3
WOW! Thank you so much for such a quick reply. :)

OK, so from the beginning to

I became allergic to Literature.

is fine, right? Is there anything I should change there?

About the rest of the essay. I guess, I will have to think it over. Oh, and what kind of "interesting altercation" were you thinking of? Your idea might inspire me. :D It would really help.

It's 5:40am here, and I haven't slept yet, so I will check back in a few hours (hopefully with some new ideas).

Thank you again! I really appreciate it.

Anyone else who could help me? :)
Liebe 1 / 542 2  
Jan 6, 2010   #4
WOW! Thank you so much for such a quick reply. :)

^Well, it so happened that i was online around the same time that you decided to post the thread and that it was an unanswered one that to. You lucky person you! Lol

About the rest of the essay. I guess, I will have to think it over

^You dont have to. its just what i thought about your essay. if you are comfortable with your essay, you neednt change it.

Oh, and what kind of "interesting altercation" were you thinking of? Your idea might inspire me. :D It would really help.

^Well, i thought that you were building up to a moment where you perhaps, just EXPLODED at the teacher for ignoring your views and considering them invalid. i thought that your essay was going to be a discussion on how insights should not be discredited and that parochial views just cause resentment and dislike, and how this has taught you about open-mindedness.

i thought that was the direction your essay was heading in, but clearly, it did not end up there.

Anyways, good luck with your app.
OP jolapham 2 / 11  
Jan 6, 2010   #5
I don't feel comfortable with this essay. I am working on it. It certainly did not satisfy me since this really is my first draft.

Can Anyone help me with grammar and punctuation (especially commas)? Thank you in advance! :) Any comments greatly appreciated!
rockonfreak22 2 / 4  
Jan 6, 2010   #6
isn't the deadline due by the end of today? the seventh?

I have to agree with Liebe, I found your paper boring. Your writing style shows you have promise, but either the delivery was poor or you need a new, more capturing subject. Or just come up with a better story that goes along with your "overcoming a challenge".

I'm also applying to Villanova, so if you could help me with my paper, that would be amazing. Best of luck to you! I hope that you will be satisfied with your paper in the end.
OP jolapham 2 / 11  
Jan 7, 2010   #7
I've just submitted the modified essay about 1.5h ago. :P Was it 5 minutes before the deadline? :P

I agree with both of you - it was boring. Thus, I deleted everything from "Nevertheless, I knew I could not possibly continue learning by hating a subject" to the end and rewrote it. I kind of went with Liebe's idea. However, the quarrel I had with the teacher was mild, "Asian style" you can say. :)

I am not fully satisfied with the essay. But well, I wanted it to be perfect so not complaining. :D

Thank you both for the comments, and I will be more than glad to read your paper,
rockonfreak22. Could you please paste the link to the Villanova essay here since I could only find the one for Boston U?

Thanks again!
rockonfreak22 2 / 4  
Jan 7, 2010   #8
i'm assuming you're fine, otherwise i'm screwed. the deadline should end at the end of today, the seventh. anyways, you're welcome and thanks for offering to read mine! be honest with your feedback.

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