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"My grandma" (world I come from) + "Mind games" (personal quality/talent)

hifemaleseanfen 1 / 1  
Nov 20, 2010   #1

Essay About My GrandMa

I pull up to my grandma's driveway. "Ding Dong!" As the door opens, the smell of roasted pork, charred nice and thick, surrounds me. "'Laelae' (my nickname), you're here!" my grandma shouts from the kitchen, where she has been cooking since I was 2. Every month, she prepares a grand feast for the family with the same devotion as if we had not seen each other in years.

Attempting to show the same dedication my grandmother has, I wake up at 6:30 AM every Sunday to volunteer at Pomona Valley Hospital. Although my work is tedious at times, I know that I am gaining valuable experience interacting with doctors, patients, and nurses.

My grandma's roast pork is her masterpiece of cooking. She carefully cuts thin slices of pork 2 centimeters in width for the pickled cabbage and pork while checking the stove for everything else. I try to apply the same ambition in my activities that my grandma does for her roasted pork dish.

I work hard every Sunday at the hospital in hopes that I will get a chance to see a surgery. One Sunday several months into the volunteering program, a nurse asks me, "You should really take a break from running around so much. Would you like to watch a C-section?" Jumping at the opportunity, I put on my surgical mask, and proceed into the operating room. The doctor makes the first incision. Soon, I see the baby take its first breath, turning from blue to red. Although, it took several months to earn my way into the operating room, I was finally able to achieve my goal. Having seen how my grandma's hard work paid off, I have tried to apply the same work ethic in my own activities.

After three hours of cooking, my grandma finally takes a break while I set the table. At the dinner table, I notice that my grandma smiles and watches me take the first bite of her pickled cabbage. Her hours of preparation and passion for cooking leave me to savor every bite. My grandma's love for cooking is a template I use in my life everyday.

One time, I did not follow my grandmother's example. I remember in my sophomore year of high school, I thought joining orchestra would make me more competitive. My first year in orchestra, I enjoyed the experience, but by the second year, I hardly practiced before concerts and begrudged waking up early everyday for rehearsal. After my junior year, I finally realized that I could not dedicate myself to something I do not love doing. My senior year, I dropped orchestra. I have since been able to excel in activities, such as tennis and volunteering, not for status or esteem, but because I am passionate about them. Grandma had the right idea.

I finish washing the dishes for my grandma as she plays with her dogs. She is happy that I enjoyed the dinner and after, I hug my grandparents goodbye and walk out the door. I drive away wondering what my grandma is going to cook next month, and thankful for the lessons her cooking has taught me.

UC Prompt #2 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?

Mind Games - Tennis in School

I have always considered tennis to be more of a mental game than a physical one. Preparing for a match and executing a strategy have been the keys to my success. My most memorable match occurred last year. The setting: high school league tennis match finals, held at Walnut High School, with the winning school moving on to CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) state championships. The characters: me (Sean Feng), my opponent (Estephania), and my fellow teammates; and the situation - my opponent is one of the most intimidating players of our league. Her size and power have wiped away any confidence I had going into the match. This game was going to be a tough one but then again, anything worth doing is hard.

I remember a similar situation when I was challenging my teammate, Michelle, for a starting spot on the tennis team. The first time we played, her physical skill overpowered mine; she outplayed me and I lost 1-6. Dejected, I went home and thought about our match. Planning to challenge her again in two weeks, I realized that if we were to play our own respective styles of games, the results would not change. The only way to beat her would be in a head-to-head match. In other words, I would have to play smarter than her. I replayed each point of our match and I realized that she had a tendency to hit the ball to a specific spot whenever she tried to hit a winner. With this knowledge, I practiced everyday for two weeks with my coach in anticipation of this match. I won our rematch 6-0.

As I carry my oversized tennis bag onto the court, I glance over at Estephania, who at 5'8", 140lbs, is half a foot taller and 30 lbs heavier than me. She towers over my petite 5'2", 110 lbs frame like Venus Williams over Justine Henin. My strategy was to make her move around constantly to keep her off balance and reduce her power advantage. When I saw an opening, I would pounce. We rally for a bit, I serve, and the match begins. Before I know it, I am trailing 0-3. For those first few points, my strategy goes out the window. Her ground strokes pound on me like cannon balls onto sand and her first serves whiz by like bullets. My teammates are praying that I make a comeback, and I can feel the pressure building on my shoulders. I need to get back into the game, but I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong. All I can think about is how hard she hits.

Then, a familiar thought creeps into my head. As my opponent turns to serve the ball, I hear the following phrase in my mind, "anything worth doing is hard", and I think to myself, "what is my strategy"? Remembering the need to keep her off balance, I return her serve with a slice, and she unexpectedly stumbles a bit before returning the ball into the net. All of a sudden, I realize that while she moves great from side to side, she has problems moving towards and away from the net. Like a tactician on a battlefield, I set about devising a strategy to catch up to Estephania. First, I push her past the base line with deep ground strokes, then I change the pace by hitting a drop shot. Soon, the tide of the match turns and I am facing a 6-6 tiebreaker for match point. She hits the ball hard and down the middle, and instead of returning with pace, I hit a drop shot that she does not predict. I win the match 7-6, and a loud roar erupts from my teammates in the stands.

Ever since that match, the phrase "anything worth doing is hard" has stuck with me in all my other endeavors. My successes have all come from hard work, whether in classes, while volunteering at a hospital, or participating in clubs. Every obstacle is a chance for me to use my determination and effort to will my way to victory. Whether I face an overmatched tennis opponent or an indecipherable academic problem, I know that I have what it takes to rise above my obstacles.
iceui2 - / 70  
Nov 20, 2010   #2
Your UC1 is pretty good. However, your UC2 is too much story and very little "you". It also falls under the "Big Game" topic, which is so common that anything resembling it becomes hackneyed. Yours was not really an exception, so I seriously encourage you to write a new essay or put a different spin on it. As a reader, when I first began reading the essay, I thought: "Let me guess... she is losing the game, then an epiphany occured, and she won the game. Thus, she learned a lot about herself." And guess what? That's exactly what happened. It's not a very good essay if I can predict what will happen the moment I read your first sentence.

Anyways, best of luck.
dyudesveet44 - / 2  
Nov 26, 2010   #3
in your UC essay 2 I think you need to go back and answer
What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?
because you say it, but I think you're essay needs evolve around more what you are proud about rather than just the story.

You need to state why you are proud and how it makes you proud

Home / Undergraduate / "My grandma" (world I come from) + "Mind games" (personal quality/talent)
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