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Michigan essays (issue of local concern)


varshabk 1 / 3  
Dec 16, 2008   #1
Hi,
im new to this forum but I m really touched by the way people on this forum give sugesstion to others, very honest and helpful. I hope all of you who read this will be able to help me improve my essays. ---- Varsha :)

1. Discuss an issue of local concern. Why is this issue important to you? How do you think it should be addressed? (500 words)

I was standing in amidst a place that depicted anything but health and hope. Not able to bear the pungent smell of medicines and cleaning liquids, I held a white handkerchief covering my nose and mouth looking around for an exit from the mess I was in. It wasn't a local government hospital in India; the mess was the sick room of a NGO for HIV positive children. It was filled with children who were lying pale on rusted steel beds. I could not stand the sight of children the age of my younger sister spewing blood into the grey bowls next to their beds.

I had come to visit the NGO as a part of an AIDS Awareness workshop that we were attending. Just as I left the door with a long trail of my classmates behind me, I spotted a huge group of children in rugged uniform starring at a child not older than them who was accompanied by a man. The child wore a muddy red and cream checks uniform. His knee and lips were bleeding and even the man had a few cuts on his arm; I guessed they must have got into a rough fight with someone. The boy was looking around with tears in his tiny brown eyes, wiping his nose with the back of his palm and licking his bleeding lips. The man accompanying him explained the local dialect, "He was thrown out of school. They were beating him for not telling them about him". The child's parents had hid the fact that he was HIV positive and when this was revealed in his school, the teachers and a few other parents threw him out. They felt that the blameless child was a potential threat to other kids in the school. His parents had abandoned him and the man who tried to guard him was also attacked by the school.

I was shocked at the tone in which he narrated the incident; it was as if it was a daily routine for them to encounter such incidents. This is the daily scenario even in a few of the world's most educated places. Today there are more than a million HIV positive children in India who are thrown out on the streets, denied education and even fundamental human rights. If every young mind in this world is educated about AIDS in the right way, such senseless discrimination against guiltless children might come to an end. After four years from that incident, today I realize the contribution I can make in dealing with such situations, education. That incident had such a huge impact on me that I have never stopped educating myself and others around me on HIV/AIDS. Discrimination against AIDS is not only of a national concern, everyday thousands of children all around the world are abandoned because they are HIV positive. Introduction of AIDS awareness early in schools and community service initiatives might help make this country a better place to live in. --- Varsha

2. "We know that diversity makes us better university- better for learning, for teaching, and for conducting research." (U-M President Mary Sue Coleman) Share an experience through which you have gained respect for intellectual, social, or cultural differences. Comment on how your personal experience and achievements would contribute to the diversity of the University of Michigan. (250 words)

After seeing my relative being hurt in the horrifying bomb attacks on Mumbai trains in 2006, images of men with white and red checks scarves around their neck, white cloth covering their head, thick layers of black khol outlining tiny eyes, in traditional long white costumes holding guns and training in the terrorist camps from videos shown on the news were stuck in my head. I saw many scholars during my Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington D C, in the attire of those terrorists. I might have almost started imagining all of them to being associated with those terrorist groups. One of them was in the small designated groups I was in and I hesitated speaking to him for the entire first session of the conference.

Slowly but cautiously, I began having small conversations on culture, economics and traditions with the white costumed boy, Ahmed, even then I was probably looking for traits of a terrorist in him. One day he began speaking about Islam and Muslims, "I'm a Musalman (Muslim) but don't worry I'm not a terrorist," he laughed. Ahmed spoke his mind on terrorism that day; he expressed his concern on the generalization of all the Muslims as terrorists. His father had served as a veteran during the wars in Iraq. That half an hour conversation we had changed my perception towards the white costume men. It mirrored the mistake I was making. It taught me to see beyond illusions and to be a true global citizen. This is exactly the diversity of thoughts and perceptions I would bring to the University of Michigan. --- Varsha
jme 1 / 6  
Dec 16, 2008   #2
"Slowly but cautiously" some of these phrasing, just as an example, is made to exagerate. The problem is because this is obviously an issue that you are passionate about, when using these colorful words and phrases, you may appear to lack sincerity. When you talk about serious issues, go to your passion. You have passion and that's just a little masked between some of the wording. Your relative was hurt in the Mumbai trains... but you don't sound hurt here. Try appealing to emotions, like You never know how precious life is until you give yours or nearly lose yours. This is my family....

Cut out the "This is exactly the diversity of thoughts and perceptions" If you have to tell them, then you aren't doing a good job of showing them with your essay.

Show them why by going to the emotional trouble you had and maybe talk about policies that you like and don't like. Politics are fair game for essays. Its okay to be political since that is also diversity of thought.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 16, 2008   #3
"Amidst" means "among," so don't use it there in the opening sentence.

I was standing in a place that depicted...

Put punctuation, like periods and commas, inside quotation marks:

The man accompanying him explained the local dialect, "He was thrown out of school. They were beating him for not telling them about him."

After seeing my relative being hurt in the horrifying bomb attacks on Mumbai trains in 2006, images were stuck in my head -- images of men with white and red checks scarves around their neck, white cloth covering their head, thick layers of black khol outlining tiny eyes, in traditional long white costumes holding guns, and the training in terrorist camps from videos shown on the news.

Good luck with this essay! Thanks for joining. Please use your excellent writing knowledge to help a few other members!

:)

Kevin
OP varshabk 1 / 3  
Dec 16, 2008   #4
thank you soooo much guys... I will defenitely incorporate all the suggesstions you have given... thank you once again!!!


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