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'Homeschool' - Personal Statement for Common App


audacity 1 / -  
Dec 31, 2006   #1
When I attended school, I learned mostly from teachers which did not invite question. The correct answer was to be memorized and repeated, and an "A" would be received. Similarly, in social situations, I was eager to agree, and never wished to report something that was "wrong". I had become an expert of the method, with favorable marks and great friends.

At the end of fifth grade, I heard the word "Homeschool" and felt a sinking feeling in my chest. What could this daunting unknown be? For some people, it presented a freedom to explore the world with few restrictions. Good for them. For me, that lack of restriction was exactly what I feared. My mom encouraged me to learn on my own by teaching myself. If I didn't know what I was learning, and no one existed to affirm what I thought was right, it seemed foolish to trust my instincts. In addition being around fewer teachers, I was around fewer friends. No longer did I every day learn what was cool. In social situations, I became quiet and awkward, not wishing to say anything that would be disagreed with.

The long period in which I was unable to appropriate others' ideas and personalities compelled me to begin forming and declaring thoughts of my own. This creation began with trivial things, and quickly developed to be the basis of everything I did. I was no longer absorbing from outside, instead I was inventing from within. If I had comfortably remained in school, I most likely would have continued as an inactive sponge. I was instead subjected to an irritating catalyst, reforming me into a hard-headed iconoclastic.

I transformed into the absolute negative of what had been. People who never build and utilize new thought will rarely see progress. Even worse, though, are beings which agree with only themselves and never learn from others; the consequences of such a situation usually oppose any positive mutual progress. Now I am a mean between the two: I am obstinately open-minded, and my underpinnings are open to rational persuasion.

The last paragraph, particulary the last sentence, seems fairly...bad. The piece as a whole sortof came out being analytically emotional; I was going for something more exuberant and glorious sounding.

What do you think?

Thanks!

EF_Team2 1 / 1,708  
Jan 1, 2007   #2
Greetings!

I think you have a very good start here. With just a little tinkering here and there, it should be grand. Let me start first with a few technical mechanics, before we address the content.

"teachers which did not invite question." - if you mean that the teachers did not invite question, say "teachers who did not invite question."

"wrong". - In American English, the period goes inside the quotation mark (logical or not).

"I was no longer absorbing from outside, instead I was inventing from within. " - use a semicolon instead of a comma.

"iconoclastic" - is an adjective; when referring to yourself, say "iconoclast."

Now, as for making it less analytical and more exuberant ... I think the tone of the last paragraph is colored by some of your word choices. For example, "the absolute negative" sounds, well, negative. What about "polar opposite" or "antithesis"? And in this sentence: "Even worse, though, are beings which agree with only themselves and never learn from others;" again you are talking about people, so you'd say "beings who agree with only themselves." However, I find this sentence rather out of place. It sounds contradictory to what you were saying about how you learned from yourself, "inventing from within." And, again, using "Even worse" gives a negative tone to it that does not sound exuberant or glorious. Perhaps, since the bulk of what came before is only about you, introducing other "People who never build" or "beings who never learn" is too much of a detour. I'd suggest sticking with just talking about your own evolution.

I hope this gives you some ideas. I'd be happy to provide more input if you do a re-write of the last paragraph. Overall, I think it is a well-written, interesting essay!

Thanks,

Sarah, EssayForum.com


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