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UC prompt 1: "My past and my present are the key to my future."


kldini 12 / 62  
Nov 21, 2009   #1
Prompt: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

I do not know if my essay is good or not... Also, is it long? I am supposed to write two essays with only 1,000 words; and this one is about 740 words.

This is a rough draft so please look for any parts it may need to lose (or something it needs) and/or grammatical errors it has... Any feedback is helpful =P thank you.

My past has influenced my present; and it will decide my future. When I stare at those embarrassing photos of myself as a kid that my mother treasures like gold, I just see how that boy has become a man. I see how I have changed physically and mentally in a constant timeline with significant points of my existence-my life. Those old photos remind me of why I am here. I did not know how to feel about leaving my native country to look for a better future, about leaving a part of me in Mexico. Two years ago when my family and I moved to Dos Palos, CA, the only piece of my past that could console my nostalgic feelings was my acoustic guitar's sound of "Aires de Son" by Gerardo Tamez. I was now in the United States seeking the "American dream."

Subsequently, we moved to Fresno, CA. This was the moment when everything became clear for me. Although the economy was dreadful at the time, my family and I located there for better opportunities. I felt then that I was in the place I was destined to be; I felt like the last number in a Sudoku puzzle.

From being the son of an ex-judge, I am now a low-income student. However, I do reproach nothing to my parents, to the people I love the most, to the people I care the most, to the people that gave me the gift of life. On the contrary, I thank them for everything they have given to me. This feeling of gratitude toward my parents and my younger brother, my best friend, is what has made me grow to be the man that I am now. Beyond my dreams for the future, I know that in this new country of opportunities we will progress.

I am frequently asked what country I prefer; Mexico or United States, and I prefer not to give a specific answer to this question, because I love them both equally. To answer this question I even wrote a free verse poem.

My nation is wonderful, my nation is splendid,
Endless battles to protect it we fight.
Xanadu is its name,
It's the name we gave it.
Compared to the paradise
Obvious victory it has.

Although we love Mexico
Near of it we are not
Destiny calls us here, and here we will stay.

Upon all powers it is,
Satisfaction it gives us
And within it my new life and my love rests.


Mexico and the United States possess indisputable differences ...

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Nov 22, 2009   #2
My past has influenced my present; and it will decide my future. I scratched this out because of my opinion, which is often wrong, so keep it if you disagre with me. I think it states the obvious in a sense, anI also think it is wrong to suggest that the past will decide your future. It may have decided your present, buy you decide the future.

I think you could stary with this interesting sentence: When I stare at those embarrassing photos of myself as a kid, which my mother treasures like gold, I just see how that boy has become a man.

Notice above that the dependent clause is in between commas.

Use a comma and a colon:
To answer this question, I even wrote a free verse poem:
Above, the comma is not strictly necessary, but I like it.

At the end, can you say something more specific and less obvious than college? Name the college, or, better yet, name the degree program. Even better would be to name the degree program, the school, and include the name of the department head or one of the professors. That would be really cool.
OP kldini 12 / 62  
Nov 22, 2009   #3
Thank you Kevin...

I will change those parts.

Would you agree if I change the first sentence to something like:
My past has decided my present; and it will influence my future...

Also, can you read my other essay, please:
"Stanford: a sense of intellectual vitality "Don Quixote" -rough draft 15 min ago."
Chelsea 2 / 5  
Nov 22, 2009   #4
I would review the UC website, if I remember correctly they don't want quotes, poems, or prose. However it may be different since your poem is in part of your essay, instead of your entire essay. I would double check just in case!
jahnavi 1 / 2  
Nov 22, 2009   #5
Your essay is really good, and in ur first paragraph, you did a really good job of showing how your past relates to your future. In your second paragraph, the poem is a bit too lengthy and might take away from your overall purpose, because as I was reading it, I got the point in the first three lines of the poem. But you did a very good job with your wording. Good work
nkhattri 6 / 33  
Nov 22, 2009   #6
When I stare at those embarrassing photos of myself as a kid that my mother treasures like gold, I just see how that boy has become a man.

-- I feel like the simile, comparing the photos too gold is cliche. Try comparing the pictures to something else of value.

Those old photos remind me of why I am here.
--- How ?! Explain.

Two years ago when my family and I moved to Dos Palos, CA, the only piece of my past that could console my nostalgic feelings was my acoustic guitar's sound of "Aires de Son" by Gerardo Tamez. I was now in the United States seeking the "American dream."

-- Two years ago when my family and I moved to Dos Palos, CA, seeking the "American Dream", the only piece of my past that could console my nostalgic feelings was the sound of my acoustic guitar playing "Aires de Son" by Gerardo Tamez.

Subsequently, we moved to Fresno, CA. This was the moment when everything became clear for me. Although the economy was dreadful at the time, my family and I located there for better opportunities.

--- Subsequently, we moved to Fresno, CA where everything become clear for me.
I don't think the second sentence is needed to justify your move, take it out.

On the contrary, I thank them for everything they have given to me.
- Explain what they have given you with your move to the United States.

This feeling of gratitude toward my parents and my younger brother, my best friend, is what has made me grow to be the man that I am now

- Explain who you are now.
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Nov 23, 2009   #7
You mention a lot about your world, it's very vibrant, which is complemented by the poem. You don't, however, mention much about your dreams/aspirations. How has your world shaped your dreams? Only the first paragraph's last sentence of "American dream" and the last three sentences of the conclusion mention only a little more

At this point I feel accomplished for not renouncing to my dreams-as my mom says "great opportunities don't wait for doubters". At this moment I am not labeled as an EL student and I am taking the most rigorous classes possible at my school. With all my experiences and my family as my motivation I know in what direction I will seek my culmination; therefore I will advance to the next level-college.

This doesn't connect well with the rest of the essay. It sounds forced and different from the rest. Here and a bit earlier, maybe start leading into what that world has shaped in you and how you see it. maybe even comment on the American dream.
longyue 1 / 17  
Nov 23, 2009   #8
If i am not heading wrong, ur goal is to tell readers how America and Mexico both form u and ur

dreams and how you coordinate the two. If so, I think the first four paragraphs are good. But

honestly, i could not see how the poem colors ur essay. It again readress the above information.

And the last one, I guess u could portray a specific small point about ur transition from EL.

Primarily, this is a good one. You have address your personal stories and feelings.That's good.

These are just my personal opinions.

Take whatever u want.
colorfuloving 6 / 31  
Nov 23, 2009   #9
aww this essay made me smile (:

I think people above touched on most of the grammatical stuff already, and I'm another one of those readers that thinks the poem you wrote (although very nice) is a bit too burdensome for this essay. Remember, we don't have that many words total for UC!

Also, I think you may want a catchier first sentence. I'm a fan of this otherwise [:
JS2010 7 / 18  
Nov 24, 2009   #11
I really like this, I want to see the final draft. Sorry I can't critique more, I'm not the best editor (hence why I'm on this site lol) but the first two paragraphs were definitely my favorite. Essays with personality are always the best
OP kldini 12 / 62  
Nov 30, 2009   #12
UC p1 & p2: "my life" & "my passion for music"

This is my final drafts...so check and criticize everything...I need the most feedback I can get...TODAY is the DEADLINE so I need help please...

I am thinking about using the first essay in my common app also...so tell me if it is good for that too.

UC prompt 1: Describe the world you come from - for example, your family, community or school - and tell us how your world has shaped your dreams and aspirations.

Common App: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.

When I stare at those embarrassing photos of myself as a kid, which my mother treasures like gold, I just see how that boy has become a man. I see how I have changed physically and mentally in a constant timeline with significant points of my existence-my life. These old photos remind me of why I am here.

I did not know how to feel about leaving my native country to look for a better future, about leaving a part of me in Mexico. Two years ago when my family and I moved to Dos Palos, CA, the only piece of my past that could console my nostalgic feelings was my acoustic guitar's sound of "Aires de Son" by Gerardo Tamez. I was now in the United States seeking the "American dream." Subsequently, we moved to Fresno, CA. where everything became clear for me. Here in Fresno, I felt then that I was in the place I was destined to be; I felt like the last number in a Sudoku puzzle.

From being the son of an ex-judge, I am now a low-income student. However, I do reproach nothing to my parents, to the people I love the most, to the people I care the most, to the people that gave me the gift of life. On the contrary, I thank them for the love and support they have given to me. This feeling of gratitude toward my parents and my younger brother, my best friend, is what has made me become a(n) assertive, creative, charismatic...man.

I am frequently asked what country I prefer, Mexico or United States, and I prefer not to give a specific answer to this question, because I love them both equally. These possess indisputable differences in education, government and laws; the factors that are a constant vibrancy in my head. I reminisce that since my first years of life I believed that I was destined to study law abroad, even though law is different in every country it had a grip in my fantasies then and it still has it now. As a ninth grader, I earned some important recognitions from my teachers, which later helped me to enroll with a scholarship in one of the most prestigious private schools in Morelia and Mexico, Instituto Valladolid, where my parents wanted me to get my education, because President Calderon, the current Mexico's president, graduated from there. Although I was there just for a couple of months before I emigrated to the United States, I learned others aspects of life and of course additional knowledge. When enrolled in my classes in Dos Palos and Fresno, I felt labeled for being an EL (English Learner) student, because some teachers treated me unfairly for my inability to speak fluently. But not all teachers were identical; some of them would gain the respect and loyalty of every student including mine, for the help they provided to us. As an EL student, I tried to forget where I was from, to focus on what and where I wanted to be. I do not regret my inability to speak English fluently, because without that inability and I would never had developed other abilities, such as my independency and my commitment to my studies, my community, and my family. At this point I feel accomplished for not letting my dreams go away-as my mom says "great opportunities do not wait for doubters." At this moment I am not labeled as an EL student and I am taking the most rigorous classes possible at my school. In my seventeen years of life, I am new in this country, but old in the world; I will be new in my future community, but old in my current community. With all my experiences and my family as my motivation I know in what direction I will seek my culmination; therefore I will advance to the next level-[college]

This last part would be either...
college or
earning my B.A in political science from a University of California.

UC Prompt 2:Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

I am an ambitious student, an incredible friend, an intrepid athlete, and a musician. I knew my abilities and inabilities, my knowledge and ignorance, but I did not realize how a splendid musician I was.

In my school in Mexico -Conservatorio de las Rosas, which is academically recognized, but also the best music conservatory in Mexico, - I learned to play all types of instruments from not usually played instruments, such as the guiro and the timpani to well-known instruments such as the piano and the guitar. Even though I was a great musician, I was another student from the conservatory.

My long devotion to music has taught me the importance of effort. In five years, I have composed songs, mainly for guitar, in three genres: classical, rock, and reggae; I have participated as soloist in more than 20 concerts and in chamber music in 5 concerts. I have learned from it, but I am still new in this wonderful art.

Music is healing, inspiring, and passionate; music is part of my life. Music has taught me how to be dedicated trough constant practice; passionate about languages through music lyrics; and creative through my thoughts and actions. It has taught me how to express myself and how to enjoy life.

In music each note should be played correctly to perform an exceptional piece. In life you must continuously act in a positive way to receive benefits from it. In music the measure of the song indicates the number of beats each compass must have. In life every individual is part of a family, a group, or a community, in which he/she collaborates to its progress.

Music is alive and life is musical. "We all should hear and learn from music!"
I must be wise and not allow music to escape from me. Thus, I must be wise and continue to culture myself through music. It has contributed to my progress and it will continue to guide me to a bright future.

I am not sure about this last one...I wrote it rushing myself... so check it from top to bottom please...
=)
lissc6 2 / 8  
Nov 30, 2009   #13
Nice Job On the first prompt!!!

In your second prompt
I recommend to add an experience of playing an instrument so they get an idea of who you really are


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