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"my Japanese classes" - Why Swarthmore Essay


swuvvy 7 / 20  
Dec 23, 2009   #1
*I know I wrote this essay kind of differently from the norm...instead of a direct "why I'm coming", I made it more personal. Not sure if this is what they're looking for though...

Please write a brief statement telling us why you have decided to apply to Swarthmore in particular.

It's a chilly evening. I wish I'd brought a jacket with me as I walk past Parrish Hall. My plan is to grab a quick dinner at Sharples before going to tutor the elementary students in Chester. On the way there, I reflect on the Orchestra rehearsal I just came from, and begin humming the first few bars of a piece without realizing it. I think of the things we've planned for International Club's Faculty Dinner, and it only makes me hungrier. Should I submit something for the Daily Gazette? I'll think about that tomorrow. I'm almost at Sharples now - I can smell the food.

It's Wednesday afternoon, and I'm in my Chinese Civilization class with twelve other classmates. A discussion on perceptions of Asians comes up, and I think back to my high school English class when I read Salman Rushdie's East, West. A point was raised...wait - I didn't agree with that at all! A heated (but good-natured, of course) debate ensues, and I leave the class more insightful, informed, and slightly more defensive than I first went in. The class, eager to continue the debate, invites the professor to dinner and so I tag along. For some reason, the conversation turns to travel experiences, bungee jumping, and meditation, and it ends with the professor encouraging us to consider the Honors program.

It's three in the morning, and I'm working on a paper for my International Politics class. My roommate is playing music on maximum volume, and I can't concentrate because my favourite song is on. My parents called this morning, so I leave a message on their answering machine, reassuring them that college is great, the campus is gorgeous, the classes are stimulating, yes I'm eating my vegetables, and not to worry because I'll be going to bed soon. Of course, the last bit isn't entirely truthful. I muse aloud to my roommate about the idea of starting a curling club, before complaining about pulling an all-nighter for this paper.

It's the last day of finals! My friends and I celebrate on Parrish Beach, simply hanging out and playing Frisbee. We reminisce about the pterodactyl hunt and make plans to watch a Motherpuckers game next week. We brainstorm crazy things to do just for fun - sneaking into the Faculty's Lounge, spending a night in McCabe Library, crashing a dance party - and hours went by without us even realizing it. We stayed there until it's completely dark, watching the stars in silence and enjoying each other's company.

It's the day I will never forget. I'm at the airport, waiting for my flight to Kyoto where I will spend more than half a year abroad in Japan studying at Doshisha University. Excited and nervous, I hope my Japanese classes have prepared me well enough to converse with my host family. I stand before the great glass window, watching airplanes preparing to take off. Suddenly, I'm filled with a sense of fulfillment and exhilaration. I feel like I've got the world at the tip of my fingers. I feel prepared to come back home, a worldlier, more mature woman. I feel like a true Swattie, and I'm so proud of it.
sportybluei 7 / 40  
Dec 24, 2009   #2
Wow, this essay really amazes me with your creative approach. :) I love it, and hopefully the admissions will like it too.

I think back to my high school English class when I read Salman Rushdie's East, West

Hmm.. so what was it that made you think about that book? It is implied by the East vs West thing, but it would be better with an explanation.

A point was raised...wait - I didn't agree with that at all! A heated (but good-natured, of course) debate ensues, and I leave the class more insightful, informed, and slightly more defensive than I first went in.

Can you elaborate more on the "point" (I know you intentionally left that part out, but it would be better with a detail)? And I hope you explain more about the "defensive" part.

My roommate is playing music on maximum volume, and I can't concentrate because my favourite song is on

because she is playing my favorite song

the campus is gorgeous, the classes are stimulating, yes I'm eating my vegetables, and not to worry because I'll be going to bed soon

CUTE!

and hours went by without us even realizing it

hours go by (since everything else is in present tense)

This reminds me of my friend who went to Swarthmore.. :)

Would you do me another favor of looking at my essay? thanks.
OP swuvvy 7 / 20  
Dec 24, 2009   #4
And I hope you explain more about the "defensive" part.

Yeah I was thinking of leaving that word out, and maybe replace it with "overwhelmed" or something? because "defensive" makes me sound really narrow-minded, don't you think?
sportybluei 7 / 40  
Dec 24, 2009   #5
Yes, it does make you sound like that, unless you explain further on why you were feeling defensive (which would be hard).. overwhelmed would be much better.
OP swuvvy 7 / 20  
Dec 24, 2009   #6
Ok I replaced it with "dizzy"...haha
Is that an appropriate word choice here?
sportybluei 7 / 40  
Dec 24, 2009   #7
Hmm..

I leave the class more insightful, informed, and slightly more defensive than I first went in

I leave the class more insightful, informed, and slightly more dizzy than I first went in? Dizzy seems too "literal" to me, if you know what I mean.. and it might be also interpreted as "confused."

Now I think about it again, overwhelmed doesn't fit in the sentence either, really.. b/c how can you be more overwhelmed than you first went in?
OP swuvvy 7 / 20  
Dec 24, 2009   #8
I guess the word I'm trying to find is one that will describe a feeling of going to a class, learning tons of stuff, and coming out kind of light-headed because you were so into it...that kind of feeling. Wow is there a word for this? haha...


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