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'the will to muster enough courage' - Experience that changed my values - Princeton


listix 4 / 11  
Nov 12, 2011   #1
I need some help with this essay. I am not sure if I am talking enough about myself and the experience or if I am talking too much about one. I don't mind harsh comments and if I have to rewrite the whole thing I can do that. Thank you in advance.

Option 3 - Using the following quotation from "The Moral Obligations of Living in a Democratic Society" as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world.

"Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it. In a way, empathy is predicated upon hope."

- Cornel West, Class of 1943 University Professor in the Center for African American Studies, Princeton University

"No, you cannot go visit him." My Physical education teacher told me since I had a cold and I could make my friend sick. We were discussing just before class about what happened to a friend of mine, he had a nasty accident on his bike and was hospitalized. I really wanted to go visit him but the teachers reason seemed enough to stop me from trying and also the fact that I was about 10 years old to get there.

Juan, my friend had this peculiar accident that even today I can't understand how it came to be. He was riding his bike going to the supermarket on a slight slope, nothing to great. Then in a moment, in his words, the front wheel detached itself from the bike. The rest of what happened is blurry in his mind but the effects were not, many lost teeth and a fracture in his skull. He was going to survive but he would have scars.

He was (and is) my friend and I wanted to visit him; my desire for him to get better became silent. Juan lived close to my house and so his and my mom talked often. "Gianni will help him avoid getting behind the class" my mother said to Juan's mother. I wasn't expecting that phrase, for a moment I thought that wishing him well was enough. But my mother later told me that I should help him now the most in this time of need. This moment would be in retrospect the one that changed my way of thinking and helping others in the future. If I couldn't go see him at least I would help him with school.

By this time I was quite good at school although I had a really annoying problem. My handwriting was barely legible at best. Since little I was taught to write in cursive, even my teachers called my handwriting Sanskrit. I couldn't give my friend photocopies of that, it would be like having nothing so I decided to improve my handwriting as much as possible. I can't say it was perfect but it was good enough to be read.

A couple of months later my friend was back in school, every wound were healed and he had artificial teeth. He was the same friend I had known and he was incredibly grateful to me. I felt incredibly well that I could make the difference to someone and help them pull through a hard time. This quote finally made sense. "Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it. In a way, empathy is predicated upon hope." Or in other words, empathy is not only walking in someone else shoes, its helping that someone feel better while walking with their own.

raphael0729 4 / 8  
Nov 12, 2011   #2
A great story, but some grammar mistakes and awkward sentence structures bring it down. Consider rewriting it. In the case that you really like it, I've basically fixed everything that is the least bit awkward. Hopefully it'll help get you into Princeton!

- Very first sentence: "'No, you cannot go visit him.' My Physical education teacher told me since I had a cold and I could make my friend sick." The way you use the second sentence is pretty awkward. Consider changing it to something like the following: "'No, you cannot go visit him,' my physical education teacher once told me. I was sick, and he did not want me to get my friend sick as well."

- "We werehad been discussing just before class about what happened to a friend of mine,how a friend of mine hadhe had a nasty accident on his bike and washad been hospitalized."

- "I really wanted to go visit him but the teacher' s reason seemedwas enough to stop me from trying.and also the fact that I was about 10 years old to get there. "

- "Juan, my friend,had had this peculiar accident that even today I can'tcannot understand.how it came to be. He was riding his bike going to the supermarket and then,on a slight slope, nothing to great.Then in a moment, in his words, the front wheel detached itself from the bike. The rest of what happened is blurry in his mind but the effects were not,--hemany lost teeth and sustained a fracture in his skull..."

- "...my desire for him to get better became silent." Not exactly sure what you mean by that. Maybe you could replace "silent" with a different, more descriptive adjective or phrase.

- "I wasn't expecting that phrase,;for a moment I had thought that wishing him well waswould be enough.
- "...I should help him now the most in thishis time of need.
- "In retrospect,t his moment would be in retrospect the one that changed my way of thinking andas well as my attitude towards helping others in the future. If I couldn'tcould not go see him I would at least I would help him with school.

- "...good at school, although I had a really annoying problem--m y handwriting was barely legible at best."
- "Since littleI was young, I was taught to write in cursive, and my handwriting had grown so illegible that even my teachers called my handwritingit Sanskrit."

- "I couldn'tcould not give my friend photocopies of that, as it would be like having nothing so I decided..."
- "I can'tcannot say it was..."
- "...my friend was back in school, every wound werewas healed and he had artificial teeth."
- "I felt incrediblyewell that I could make..."

No conjunctions! Good luck!
OP listix 4 / 11  
Nov 14, 2011   #3
I am incredibly grateful for your feedback. I believe I made those silly mistakes because I felt inspired and wrote it nonstop. I will probably change a couple of things and have it checked by friend before sending it. Again a thousand thank yous.


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