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'Mexican culture' - Yale/ Harvard supplement


luvicemocha 2 / 20  
Dec 29, 2011   #1
Promp: Write about something you haven't already in your applicataion

On a warm, sunny morning, at six AM to be exact, I found myself in dark clothing at a funeral home. I had not slept for twenty four hours and I felt all cried out. Of course, this assumption was proven wrong just minutes later. I felt trapped in a nightmare that would not end. Only twenty two hours earlier, I was on my way out to plan my last homecoming dance. Just before I left, the phone rang and everything changed. I picked up and heard one hysteric aunt screaming, "Do you know what happened to my dad?" over and over again. I tried to calm her down to find out what she meant but my mind jumped to the worst conclusion. In spite of this, I tried to stay positive until she said, "He died, my dad is death". I started calling my mom and told her; she could not believe she refused to believe it. I could not understand why she denied it; at that moment it just seemed like a fact. Yet later, when I found myself in front of the corpse, I couldn't believe it either. My cousins and I discussed how none of it seemed real. Everything was happening too fast, and it seem impossible to us, that the source of so many childhood memories, the person responsible for many happy times. The person took us to the movies, the beach, the arcade was gone. Just like that, without a warning just gone. Even though he got drunk all the time, even if he only wanted things his way, and even if he continually showed his disappointment on how Americanized my siblings and I were becoming, I still loved him.

My grandpa's, or how we used to call him "Tata", death was a tragic, yet it allowed me to discover a lot about myself. I discovered that one's identity can change in just mere seconds, one second I was a girl with four grandparents and the next I was a girl with only three. At the beginning of the summer, I assumed I was the oldest daughter of both of my parents but then I discover I was never the oldest. I found out that my dad had had a daughter before he married my mom whom I had have not yet met. I realize that my identity is defined by many things out of my control. Who I am can change in just seconds from new information I gather or from an unexpected event. Although there are things which are out of my control, there are still some which I can control. For example my ethnicity, a few years ago I was Mexican but know I am Mexican American. Although, I cannot control where I was born or where I live, I can control which parts of each culture define me. I can take the self discipline and dreams from the America culture, and combine this with the family focus from the Mexican culture. This task is not always easy and many times I find myself being more like one culture than the other depending on the situation. Like the days I'm so wrapped up in homework and do not even say hi to my parent. Yet, through the years I have come to master this better. I am very proud of what my culture has help me become.

dasadhikarik 5 / 10  
Dec 30, 2011   #2
On a warm, sunny morning, at six AM to be exact, I found myself in dark clothing at a funeral home.

This would be a good start if you were to elaborate on the funeral, but you don't. I think starting off with the shock of the phone call, or something along those lines, would be better.

I had not slept for twenty four hours and I felt all cried out

Using "I" twice in a sentence always looks awkward.

Of course, this assumption was proven wrong just minutes later.

I don't quite follow. What was proven wrong just minutes later? Sorry, it feels like I'm nitpicking at every sentence, but I promise it's mostly the beginning that needs massive reworking.

"He died, my dad is death".

"He died; my dad is dead ".

I started calling my mom and told her; she could not believe she refused to believe it.

Redundancy of "believe"; why are you saying the same thing twice?

The person took us to the movies, the beach, the arcade was gone.

The person who took us to the movies..."

My grandpa's, or how we used to call him "Tata", death was a tragic

The death of my grandpa, or "Tata", as we used to call him, was tragic
... or something along those lines. It's one of the occasions where you have to weigh style against meaning.

At the beginning of the summer, I assumed I was the oldest daughter of both of my parents but then I discover I was never the oldest. I found out that my dad had had a daughter before he married my mom whom I had have not yet met.

Wow, wow, wow! We were talking about your grandpa, and now we're on to something this different. A bit abrupt, don't you think?

It's a good idea, but needs to be reworked to read better. To me, it looks like you wrote this in a real rush.
birdcages 2 / 11  
Jan 1, 2012   #3
Thank you for your help on my essay!

I've always loved the quote you're using, by the way, haha. Anyway - I think you put a lot of sentences/phrases in that are unnecessary and distract from the point you're trying to make. For example, you certainly don't need to talk about your uncle getting drunk, and the bit with your aunt on the phone seems to serve no purpose other than heartstring-plucking. Also, while your last sentence is a good message / speaks a lot about you, it's not the main point of the essay. You can certainly keep it in there, but I'd write more about how your grandfather's death "helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world" - it would help your essay answer the prompt more, I think.
calvinwang 3 / 32  
Jan 1, 2012   #4
I always struggled to really know how a person could just change from day to night

i really dont like that phrase. Are you using it as saying they changed in a short period of time or that they changed into a completely opposite person. From what i could tell i think your comparing it to time. if you are make it "I always struggled to know how a person could change so suddenly,"

she could not believe it, she refused to

the one responsible of bringing the family together,

Even though he got drunk all the time, even if he only wanted things his way, and even if he continually showed his disappointment on how Americanized my siblings and I were becoming, I still loved him.

overall i think its a great essay. And yes it fits the prompt perfectly.

Id rly appreciated if you read my essay. thx :D
ekreal 6 / 35  
Jan 1, 2012   #5
Think it's really great and cute! Good luck!
jadore_lamode68 6 / 37  
Jan 1, 2012   #6
I think that your essay is really good. (I prefer the first one) It just runs the risk of being conventional a bit because of the way you talk about it.

I don't see the connection really between the quote and the rest of your essay. You talk about having two cultures as if it's a bad thing- if it is elaborate why.

I think you have something very precious here if you develop it.

All the best luck!
nthnschgr 1 / 9  
Jan 1, 2012   #7
I started calling my mom and told her; she could not believe she refused to. I could not understand why she denied it; at that moment it just seemed like a fact. <---- the "she"'s here get ambiguous in my opinion.

The changes I have experience in life have been climax to this point of my life were my self-identity seems clear, yet I know there will be many more times when this certainty will be challenge, but I know that the changes within me will always bring out a better understanding of myself which will help me find my place in the world. <---- this last sentence has awkward and incorrect tenses
OP luvicemocha 2 / 20  
Jan 1, 2012   #8
wait so which one should I use the paragraph with the climax or the one I just posted??
22kcox 5 / 22  
Jan 1, 2012   #9
I think you should focus less on your aunt and your moms reactions and more on your own. the university wants to know about only you. and limit the description on your grandpa, focus more on how this event one:relates to the quote and two: shows how it has made a better person. How has this tragic event made you different than every other applicant. trying combing sentences. Delete Even though he only he continually showed his disappointment on how Americanized my siblings and I were becoming, I still loved him. doesn't reallyadd much to your topic. decide what your topic is and stick to it so that youre directly addressing the prompt.

hope that helped!

And Thanks for the help Carmen and Nathanael there will be an edited version soon so keep your eyes out for it!
PrspectivStudnt 2 / 4  
Jan 1, 2012   #10
I reread your essay twice and i couldn't find much errors with it other than minute ones. "My identity was clouded up by the two different cultures." It might sound better if it read like this "My identity was clouded by these two different cultures." Also, I think you can fix this sentence up a tad bit "The changes I have experience in life have been climax to this point of my life where my self-identity seems clear." But you did a fine job at answering this prompt which seems quite difficult. Good luck and thanks for the help.
OP luvicemocha 2 / 20  
Jan 1, 2012   #11
Thanks everyone!!!!if I didn't get to your essay just let me know and I will do it right now
steph22222 2 / 3  
Jan 1, 2012   #12
i think its really great essay :)

good luck!
OP luvicemocha 2 / 20  
Jan 1, 2012   #13
Yes I did!! Thanks everyone for the comments. I was really worried when my dad said he didn't like it..but everyone else seems to like it so I hope admissions does too
ekreal 6 / 35  
Jan 2, 2012   #14
Yep let's all be confident from now on, and it's a good essay :)
AbsoluteBliss 5 / 13  
Jan 2, 2012   #15
Your first paragraph is pretty great, but this: "I recognized that one's identity can change in just mere seconds, one second I was a girl with four grandparents and the next I was a girl with only three" is not quite an identity change.

Other than that, just work on a few grammar issues (e.g. she could not believe, she refused to). Best of luck!


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