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'it made me eager to read and interpret literature' -Stanford (Intellectual Vitality)


TheallMaster 1 / 6  
Oct 25, 2011   #1
Hi, I'm at 1740 out of 2000 characters and need a critique on content and grammar. I was thinking about adding a specific work and how we analyzed it as well as mentioning how even though I do not not plan on majoring in English it was still a stimulating course. Ill definitely review anyone's essay who reviews mine and give input. I plan to put up my other two essays on Thursday.

Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development.

What had started out as one of the most frightening experiences of my life, gradually evolved into a stimulating class that actually helped me appreciate literature as something that deserves to be studied closely. Mr. Binkowski is the most intimidating teacher I have ever met and challenged what I thought an English course should be. The nightly reading and analysis was brutal, but the worst part of the class was trying not to do anything that Mr. Binkowski would consider disrespectful lest he would angrily call me out on it.

As time passed though, my perception his intellect morphed from an oppressive force that kept students in line into an enrapturing web of scholarly discussion. For the first time, an English course seemed to have more substance than the regurgitation of facts and encouraged me to understand the experience being conveyed and what they suggested. In order to create an environment that promoted equal discourse, the seating was in the form of a semicircle around him. The lion's share of each class was dedicated to reading passages aloud and interpreting them. Throughout the year, we covered a plethora of texts, but Mr. Binkowski helped keep them fresh by relating the experiences and symbols of each work to a previous one.

The best quality and the longest lasting effect of the class was that it made me eager to read and interpret literature. Mr. Binkowski's class single handedly changed my perspective on reading by allowing me to recognize that studying a text for a deeper meaning is just as pleasurable, if not more, than just glancing at the basic plot elements. Now every time I crack open a book, I am excited to reread it again so that I can understand the insights it offers in life.

beccalevesque - / 45  
Oct 25, 2011   #2
Mr. Binkowski is the most intimidating teacher I have ever met and he challenged what I thought an English course should be.

For the first time, an English course seemed to have more substance than the regurgitation of facts. andThis encouraged me to understand the experiences being conveyed in the literature and what they suggested.

good!! :)
daniel44992 13 / 29  
Oct 25, 2011   #3
Thanks for editing my theoretical physics one! So I can't help much with grammar, I'm horrible with that. But I can help with the ideas a bit. So first, I would advise starting with more of a hook. The first paragraph just sounds generic, like anyone could write it. You want YOU to shine through.

And, "as time passed though, my perception of his..."

Also, I would definitely suggest including a sentence about what you really want to do and if it is science/math based try to relate how this english class can help in your field. Also, maybe mention when this class was because I have no idea if this was your freshman year or your senior year.

Hope this helps!
OP TheallMaster 1 / 6  
Oct 31, 2011   #4
I wrote out rough drafts for my other two Stanford essays but just need some help with the ideas and grammar.
Write a Note to your future roommate that reveals something about you or that will help your roommate - or us - know you better

Im not exactly sure how to end this letter. Do I need to do a small paragraph on my personality?

Hey, I just want to let you know in advance that if you see me at the computer before you go to sleep and I am still there in the morning, I'm not in a coma. Pulling all nighters with my friends in video games is actually a regular occurrence on our weekends and has been since my sophomore year in high school. We generally play an online game religiously for a few months, obsessing until we master it. Sometimes I take this desire for perfection too far and can be a little competitive, but for the most part I keep myself in check and enjoy what I do.

One thing that you will come to learn about me is that I don't put much value on sleep. This has been true since I was young and is due to the fact that I want to experience as much as I can with my time. I would rather be awake interacting with people on campus, exploring the grounds, or talking to my old friends. Hopefully I won't upset you too much with my weird sleeping pattern, and I promise to be as quiet as possible late at night

You might not expect this from someone who was born and raised in New Jersey, but I am fascinated by Japanese culture. I frequently watch Japanese animation (anime) and read manga. In addition, I have also had an interest in the martial arts and plan to join the JKA Shotokan Karate club. Finally, I intend to take courses in both the Japanese language and culture so that I can learn as much as possible.

What matters to you, and why?

It is funny how a person can have a war raging on inside of them and hardly recognize what is going on. This internal conflict goes quietly unnoticed until some stimulus, some event, or some realization takes hold of them and screams "wake up!". For me, this realization came from the utterance and explanation of a single word, postmodernist. Postmodernists are characterized by emotional numbness, having no hope or formal expectations, and parody of the outside world. Although it is a recent discovery (coming just at the beginning of this year), my exposure to the word has revealed what I have been struggling with since I was a freshman. There are two conflicting sides in me: one has the desire to help and care for others, while the other holds me back.

For me, this struggle has mainly been concerned with how I interact with people and what I plan to do in the future. Originally as a freshman, I resembled a stone wall. Nothing that happened around me, in the country, or even the world had any marked effect on me. But over time as I have developed, I began to think that I should care. I should try to do something. I still admittedly struggle at times to care, but I have developed a sense of concern and compassion for people. Now I try and help the people I see struggling rather than think "it's their problem" or "why should I care."

This struggle has also affected what I plan to do with my life. I used to think that what I did would not matter; I thought I could not have any effect on people. However, as I began to feel more compassion for others I decided I want to try and help. I am still not sure that I will make a difference, but I feel as though I have to try. Because it showed me the conflict I was going through, the word postmodernism has helped me go further from my postmodernist tendencies and more towards helping others. This struggle, although not unique, has influenced how I acted and what decisions I made.
cstephanie41 3 / 11  
Oct 31, 2011   #5
This essay is well written. If anything I would just add more of how the class impacted you as a whole. You still have about 200 characters to play with so make them count. Another couple sentences about the impact of the class on the person you are now would definitely add more to the essay.
OP TheallMaster 1 / 6  
Oct 31, 2011   #6
Thanks, the essay i need the most feedback on right now is my roommate one. Not to sure what I'm supposed to do.
iabas 2 / 2  
Oct 31, 2011   #7
I'm struggling with the roommate essay, too, but here're just some of my thoughts:

I'm not too sure if it'd be a good idea to admit that you trade sleep for video games. Also, I think the last paragraph could definitely use more sentence variation. In general, you could tie in one or two qualities that you have, and then use your activities and interests to talk about them. Seems like it'd be easier to end that way, too.

I really like the content of the second paragraph, but it's a bit short. I suggest expanding the ideas in it, like about how you're social and don't like to waste time. I think those are admirable qualities that admissions officers would seek.

And thanks for commenting on my essay!


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