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"to light the way for my students" - Take a look at my "Why Northwestern?"


gynn92 3 / 30  
Dec 23, 2009   #1
Hello friends :)

Here is my draft of Why Northwestern. Please be harsh. Hurt my feelings! Haha. I know, I need to work on my word choices... Suggestions are welcome! Thank you for your help

Date: September, 2030
As I ran my fingers across an old faded photograph of myself standing in Ryan Field, I reminisced about my years in college. I could vividly remember myself heading towards Annenberg Hall to attend a lecture. Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a bell, attracting the students to enter my classroom.

"Ms.Lee, is that you?" one of the students asked, glancing at the picture.
"Yes, it was during my college years." I smiled.
"Tell us about your college experience!" Soon, there was a crowd gathered around my desk.
"Yeah, tell us why you became a teacher!" The questions came endlessly.
"Oh, alright." I gave in and began my story...

"Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to teach. During high school, I volunteered as a peer tutor, camp counselor, and assistant teacher. These indispensable activities shaped my passion for teaching. Just like the quote, "A teacher is like a candle; it consumes itself to light the way for others," it was remarkable how I was able to guide the students to reach their educational goals. Whether they needed help solving a simple math problem or analyzing a book's theme, it was as if I held the key to the next step. No other activity was as fulfilling and satisfying to me as working with the students. So it was only natural that my affection for teaching led me to Northwestern University."

"Why? Does Northwestern have a good teaching program?" One of the students courageously asked the big question.
"For me, the question was 'Why not Northwestern?' Northwestern was my home for developing my interests and talents. My rationale for attending Northwestern had to do with the School of Education & Social Policy. From the beginning, I knew it was the perfect match for me. And I was right. SESP not only prepared me with the best secondary teacher program, but also in human development and psychological services, where my other passion lies. It was truly amazing as I learned the social impacts on human growth.

"Anyways, SESP is known for its close community. The small classes fostered strong relationship between the professors and the students. It was my ideal learning environment, because I believe engaging in discussions broaden and expands the students' reflection. Also, I always had someone to converse with, whether it was for academic or personal purposes. I still keep in touch with advisors and professors that I became close to during those years.

"Yes, Alex," I called upon a student whose arm was raised.
"I have a sister who goes to Northwestern and she told me about the practicum in School of Education. What did you do?" Alex asked.

"Out of an abundance of opportunities SESP offered, the most valuable adventure was the summer field studies. I was given a chance to explore my potential career at the Department of Education in Washington D.C. As my courses were concentrated specifically towards social policy and human services, I utilized my knowledge in designing education curriculums. I was in the right place as I helped to outline modules that taught students to think creatively and openly for themselves. The feeling of leaving my footprints on a student's life was ineffable and I believe no other university would have provided such an opportunity like Northwestern did.

"Let's get back to class. We're going to be discussing childhood development and adolescence," I concluded. As I stepped toward the podium, I inwardly thanked Northwestern University for opening the doors for me. As Northwestern was a candle to my education, I will continue to light the way for my students, with knowledge.
Tictac8 4 / 18  
Dec 23, 2009   #2
Hmm, I think the anecdote is taking up way too much room. Instead of having more than half of the essay be an anecdote, try to expand on the reasons why Northwestern appeals to you. Besides your academics, what's your take on the community? Answer things like that also.

Hope that helps =)
pbhat 5 / 16  
Dec 24, 2009   #3
Good job! I also hope to teach one day and I believe this essay takes a pretty personal standpoint (not to mention unique) with regards to the answer.

That said, I think there are a few problems:

Like the post above, the anecdote takes too much space in the essay. The crux of this essay is answering why you went to Northwestern. While I love the train of thought, elaborate more on what in your life (experiences) directly attaches you the SESP program.

Right now, you simply say your extra curricular activities helped ignite your passion for teaching, but showing "how" will be more emphatic and aid the effectiveness of your essay.

Good luck and Happy Holidays
sportybluei 7 / 40  
Dec 24, 2009   #4
These extracurricular activities

Ahh.. maybe you could word it differently? I think 'extracurricular activities' is too formal.

reach their destinations

Possibly, give examples of what some students' "destination" or "education goals" were..

But at the same time,

Just like the quote, "A good teacher is like a candle; it consumes itself to light the way for others," it was remarkable how I was able to guide the students to reach their destinations.

You sound as if you are emphasizing that you are a "good teacher." Can you find a different quote?

I learned to design curriculums that taught students to think creatively and openly for themselves.

When did you learn and from where did you learn? Give more detail.

SESP not only provided me with the best secondary teacher preparation program, but I also was able to focus on my other passion - in human development and psychological services."

SESP not only provided me with the best secondary teacher preparation program, but also with programs in human development and psychological services, where my other passion lies. just a suggestion.

The essay is really creative and interesting. With some revision, I think this will definitely be the scoring essay :)

I would love it if you could take a look at my essay:
jwrc5 2 / 3  
Dec 24, 2009   #5
What do you want to study is what Northwestern asks. Yes,you answer the question, but what will distinguish you from other applicants is what has led you to that desire. I like anecdote idea, but I think that you could also explain to one of kids why you CHOSE to be a teacher. Just a thought.
whitepolarbear 7 / 31  
Dec 24, 2009   #6
I am kind of confused... Is this story supposed to be in the future? If it is, it is a unique idea but kind of strange... Maybe you could talk more about the school?
insomnia 2 / 4  
Dec 24, 2009   #7
I think your essay is well-written in terms of mechanics and has an inventive approach. However, I'm left feeling a little confused as to, really, why Northwestern. Plenty of schools boast easy access to teachers and strong academic curriculum, and it ends up sounding somewhat like a canned response. I would elaborate a lot more on what makes their education program in particular really good and so appealing to you. What kind of hands-on experience do they offer? How do the students fare after graduation?

On another note, I found the "No other activity was as fulfilling and satisfying to me as working with the students. It was my affection for teaching that led me to Northwestern University" to be kind of awkward and jumpy. I'd change it to: "No other activity was as fulfilling and satisfying to me as working with the students. So it was only natural that my affection for teaching led me to Northwestern University." Or something like that, at least; I think the sentence needs a transitional word or two to bridge the gap. Up to you.

Good luck :)
Juniper_Jumper 5 / 39  
Dec 24, 2009   #8
I'd question how much they would appreciate an essay so heavily revolving around dialogue.
Wanderer_x 5 / 88  
Dec 24, 2009   #9
Personally, I like your approach. Adcom at Northwestern must get bored of reading volumes of pretentious praises; your essay might provide them little air to breathe.

On the other side, try to make your dialouges more casual and quirky. Though your response is definitely above the ordinay ones, it still does not stand out. If you work on it, it will be good for sure.

If you'd like to help me further:
swuvvy 7 / 20  
Dec 24, 2009   #10
great essay! pretty original, like the flashback, nostalgic idea here.

Just this one little thing:

Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a bell, attracting, and the students to entered my classroom.
sadhvi010 3 / 18  
Dec 24, 2009   #11
hmmm Wow! Loved the idea...for the future scene...and everything...i guess i'm a little late to help...but I guess i can help with moral support! follow with the revisions above..but other than that submit it! ;)
Juniper_Jumper 5 / 39  
Dec 25, 2009   #12
I would cut down the conclusion though, it distracts from the overall idea. You can capitalize on the idea you have better by just ending with and I smiled and understood that much more, that being a teacher truly was like being a candle. Something like that.
OP gynn92 3 / 30  
Dec 30, 2009   #13
Hello! The deadline is approaching so quickly. See, I like my idea of writing from the future, but since it's a conversation between the teacher and the student, it is difficult to use nice vocab without sounding awkward. Also, I feel like I'm combining many questions into the story. Anyone have specific suggestions what I can do to make the story less awkward and more smoothly? I really appreciate your help. Thank you =)
jampamz 6 / 33  
Dec 30, 2009   #14
I like it! It's very creative. My only advice is to elaborate why you want to be a teacher. What motivates you to help children "reach their educational goals"? What's so special about that to you?
snorlaxative 4 / 17  
Dec 30, 2009   #15
I have to agree with the above posters that you have to elaborate why "No other activity was as fulfilling and satisfying to me as working with the students."

It is a creative and interesting idea, but some of the dialogue sounds a bit robotic, so it takes a little away from the anecdotal feeling. If you could somehow make the language a little more fluid, without sacrificing your reasoning for choosing Northwestern as the centerpiece.

Other than that, I think this is a solid essay. Good luck!
sakeloga 3 / 16  
Dec 30, 2009   #16
Overall, I agree with the comments above. I like your essay as well, and I am darnly sure it will stand out from those dull essays that directly explain their thoughts.

One thing to keep in mind though: when you are talking to children, your diction and tone will not be like that lol. I know you're trying to reduce word count but the way to talk to children like that sounds kinda awkward.

And I am being picky over here because your essay is already good.
This sentence: From the beginning, I knew it was the perfect match for me is definitely an important one. It represents how you feel RIGHT NOW. I will consider elaborate on this sentence and delete some redundant parts if I were you.

thank you for your advises by the way, and if you have time please also take a look at my nyu essays!

Go to post #3 and if you don't have much time to check, then please just focus on the Please tell us what led you to select your anticipated academic program and/or NYU school/college, and what interests you most about your intended discipline question. I'll be glad enough for that!
RHFJordan 2 / 5  
Dec 30, 2009   #17
I like your essay, but I think that you should focus a bit more on the Northwestern side of things. Talk about the community it has, what else you like, and maybe breifly what you can contribute.

could you take a look at my UPenn supplement?


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