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BU essay- open-minded, diligent, and curious


angie127 12 / 49  
Dec 24, 2009   #1
This is my first rough draft. Is this a good approach to answering the prompt? Thank you in advance for commenting =)

In an essay of 500 words or less, select 3 words that describe who you are and how those traits/characteristics can contribute to the BU community.

I could feel my heart pounding with excitement as I disembarked the crowded bus near an old firehouse in Parita, Panama. The driver handed me my over-packed orange suitcase from the top of the bus overflowing with other baggage as two adults and a young girl with bright blue curlers in her hair approached me with warm smiles and arms extended for handshakes - my familia for the next five weeks. As a diligent, curious and open-minded teenager, I looked forward to spending my summer in a foreign country.

At first I struggled to communicate with my new neighbors and family as a result of my limited Spanish. This impediment hindered me from satisfying my curiosity about my host family- I wanted to learn about their traditions and family history and understand the jokes they shared with each other. I decided to take action to improve my Spanish; while watching novelas with my family, strumming Spanish songs on a host cousin's guitar, or reading the newspaper, I asked for the meaning of words I did not know or looked them up in my pocket dictionary. With my host family's support, my "No entiendo" as responses was replaced by structured sentences that expressed my ideas.

By being diligent in the steps to improving my Spanish and curious about my community, I not only augmented my vocabulary, but also discovered interesting facts about my host family and Panama that I probably would not have learned from a textbook or country guide- when conversing with a neighbor one evening, I listened to her stories about working in the hospital, discussed the imbalance of the quality of teaching English in public school versus private schools, and learned that Governor Schwarzenegger has land in Panama.

In Parita, I was exposed to a lifestyle more laid-back and open from my own way of life. Community members often organized parties and fundraisers down at the plaza, during which the pariteĊ„os united to watch masked dancers perform and a community leader crown a reina, and dance and drink afterwards. As I strolled down the streets with my American counterparts, older men hissed and called out "gringa", the slang term for white foreigner. Even though I felt uncomfortable about some traditions and behaviors, I did not criticize my community; I reminded myself my study abroad guide's advice, "It's not right, it's not wrong: it's different.", and attended the fiestas with my family to learn more about Parita's traditions.

These traits that helped me in Panama will allow me to succeed in the BU community: my curiosity will drive me to participate in research and internships to learn more about my major in the field; my diligence will allow me to work hard in and outside the classroom and approach professors with questions on new material; my open-mindedness will allow me to interact and accept my peers from the diverse student body. I hope to combine these traits to learn more about our diverse world alongside BU students next year.

dizzydaydreams 5 / 26  
Dec 24, 2009   #2
i liked your essay...i thought you chose good words to describe yourself and i liked how you showed these characteristics through an experience rather than just listing them and why.
OP angie127 12 / 49  
Dec 25, 2009   #3
can you comment on improvements i can make?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Dec 27, 2009   #4
This long sentence is tough to manage:
The driver handed me my over-packed orange suitcase from the top of the bus, which was overflowing with other baggage. Tw o adults and a young girl with bright blue curlers in her hair approached me with warm smiles and arms extended for handshakes. These people would be my familia for the next five weeks.

Now this last sentence of the first para... this is the sentence that will linger in the reader's mind. Is this sentence meaningful enough? ---> As a diligent, curious and open-minded teenager, I looked forward to spending my summer in a foreign country.---> you say you were open-minded and diligent and curious, so... are these part of the theme of the essay? At the end of the first para, you should hint at the theme of the essay.

Oh! I see that these words are the theme of the essay! My bad. Okay, well I still think that thesis statement could be stronger. You can make this essay a little more complex; did you learn about diligence from the example of people in Panama, or did you gain insight into what you want to do in your future? Did curiosity drive diligence, or was there sme other relationship among the qualities? You can complexify this! :-)
OP angie127 12 / 49  
Dec 29, 2009   #5
In the second and third paragraph I tried to connect diligence and curiosity. I was curious about my community, and the only way to find out more was to be diligent in my effort to learn more Spanish.

By the way, do I use "diligent" correctly? It means persevering right?

Thanks for the comments :)


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