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"Mountain Vista Governor's School" significant experience and its impact on you: MVGS


RachelS 1 / 5  
Dec 4, 2010   #1
Prompt: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

Being a part of Mountain Vista Governor's School is like nothing else on the planet. Mountain Vista is a program in which juniors and seniors from different counties go to the local community college and take classes in the morning, and then come back to "base school," or the school system we are originally from, in the afternoon. It's a very small school, with maybe forty students in my graduating class, and we are able to get to know each other very well. As a result, there have been no serious discipline problems in the six years since the school has been formed.

Not only is Mountain Vista the school with the lowest need for discipline, it is the school where many of us realize who we are and what we can do. In a normal school system, we are taught for thirteen years to sit down, shut up, and stop being different - and then told to write an applications essay on how we are unique. ...

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nikamonster 9 / 38  
Dec 4, 2010   #2
I think you're very good at getting across the information you want to get across in this essay. However, your execution could be made better.

First, you should consider a more engaging intro. While explaining what MVGS is is important, you might not want to open up your essay with that. I would describe vividly an experience of building towers or catapults instead. Then I would begin to offer only the most necessary information about the school.

Second, your big body paragraph becomes redundant in the end. You constantly use the same sentence structure of listing things. I realize you have lots of examples to give, but your ultimate point is that you not only learn in a traditional style inside the classroom, but you are also given the chance to apply what you learne to real-world situations. If you clearly state that, and then give only a few of the best examples, you should be good. Also, I feel like a concluding sentence for this paragraph would make it better also.
OP RachelS 1 / 5  
Dec 4, 2010   #3
Is this any better?
It's seven o'clock in the morning when my dad stops driving. He drops me off right at the door to the trailer and helps me take down the 4x4x5.7-ft triangular wooden monstrosity sitting in the bed of the pick-up truck. He hops back into the cab and heads home while I lift it and set it on my shoulders to carry it to the testing field.

My Physics C: Mechanics class at the local community college had been given a deceptively simple-sounding project: Build an accurate catapult, trebuchet, slingshot, or other water-balloon-launching device. There was only one variable we could change, and my "group" (which was ostensibly myself and two others from my high school but basically consisted of me) had chosen to change the distance we pulled the elastics back, which was riskier than it sounded. We had no guarantee they would stretch the same from day to day.

We have a far more pressing problem than the elastics standing in our way of success: Not one of us knows how to tie a water balloon. We end up going to our physics teacher, who is (understandably) surprised and upset.

That is just one day of many at Mountain Vista Governor's School, a local magnet school that holds class at Lord Fairfax Community College. Mountain Vista takes students from four counties and the City of Winchester. We meet from 7:30 to 10:50 in the morning and take college-level math, science, humanities, and research courses. That comes out to 1,260 hours per year we are not sitting in a seat and staring at a teacher try to teach that an adverb is not the same thing as an adjective. That is 1,260 hours per day we build towers out of plastic straws that are somehow able to hold a tennis ball, marble runs (which I ended up using my catapult base for), and timekeeping devices and electric cars accurate to within one-tenth of a second. Those 1,260 hours are spent learning philosophy, physics, calculus, writing APA dissertations, and working on an eighteen-month research project that we enter into a competition at the end of senior year. Those 1,260 hours are spent learning instead of trying not to fall asleep while a teacher drones on about misconceptions of Marie Antoinette during what is supposedly biology class. Instead of fill-in-the-blank worksheets, we get assignments about math concepts that stretch our understanding of essays to the limit, write wedding vows according to Hobbesian philosophy, , and break codes through clues in buildings of Washington, DC, and spent time on a ropes course to see conservation of momentum and other physics concepts as they apply to the real world in an imperfect system.

Mountain Vista has changed me as a person and as a student. As a person, I am more comfortable with myself than I ever was at my base school. As a student, I have better study skills, a good work ethic, and am capable of managing my time wisely. If I had never applied to become one of the six students in my grade and school system who goes to Mountain Vista, I would never have learned how to study, ask for help,write an A-worthy essay in forty-five minutes, or deal with the effects of sleep deprivation.
melkorthefoul 13 / 31  
Dec 5, 2010   #4
ad chosen to change the distance we pulled the elastics back, which was trickier than it sounded

There isnt any risk in the fact that the rubber band might not stretch the same :D

We have a far more pressing problem than the elastics standing in our way of success: Not one of us knows how to tie a water balloon. We end up going to our physics teacher, who is (understandably) surprised and upset.

This sentence feels unnecessary.. it doesnt really add to the essay in my opinion.

That comes out to 1,260 hours per year not spent sitting in a seat and staring at a teacher try to teach that an adverb is not the same thing as an adjective.

write wedding vows according to Hobbesian philosophy,, and break codes through clues in buildings of Washington, DC
OP RachelS 1 / 5  
Dec 6, 2010   #5
It wasn't a rubber band I used, it was two of the giant elastic things at Home Depot that change their elasticity depending on the temperature.

As for the last one - yick. Part of it got deleted.


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