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I have always prided myself on my ability to make delicious rojak - U of Wisconsin


KeonYe 6 / 17  
Jan 28, 2009   #1
The University values an educational environment that provides all members of the campus community with opportunities to grow and develop intellectually, personally, culturally and socially. In order to give us a more complete picture of you as an individual, please tell us about the particular life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests you will bring to our campus. In other words, how will your presence enrich our community?

The Rojak Theory

I have always prided myself on my ability to make delicious rojak. Rojak, meaning "mixture", is a salad dish commonly found in Malaysia. It is made from different foods such as pears, pineapples, and youtiao, along with a special spicy sauce. I find great satisfaction from making rojak. Not only blending different ingredients, but creating the chemistry between them is also required to make a delicious rojak. Come to think of it, I actually resemble a rojak ingredient.

As a Chinese Malaysian, I grew up in a multi-cultural environment. However, I still retained my own individuality as a person of Chinese descent. I went to Chinese elementary school, learned Chinese calligraphy, studied Daxue, and only mingled around with Chinese. Despite being in a diverse environment of Malaysia, I never understood other cultures around me. Until I entered a Malay high school, I finally learned to appreciate the cultural diversity among people. When I first stepped into the Malay high school, everything seemed so different to me. The language spoken was no longer the Chinese language I listened from young. The buildings seen were designed based on Malay style. Even the way a class was conducted was different and new for me. Not getting used to the new environment, I was like a rojak ingredient that could not mix well with others, always lonely and secluded.

However, I started to open myself when Zul, a Malay student, approached and befriended me. He taught me a lot about Malay culture so that I could make myself comfortable in school. He even introduced me to all his friends. He was the one who enlightened me with his "Rojak Theory", which stated that human even from different backgrounds can be blended together like distinctive rojak ingredients to create a new flavor, a new diverse environment. After knowing him, I have become more outgoing. I am no longer afraid of meeting new people or adapting to a different environment. Like a "rojak ingredient" that was blended with other ingredients, I started to mingle with not only Malay students but also Indian, White, and Portuguese students in my school. I tried to understand and embrace their cultures. In the same way of which the distinctive flavor of each ingredient contributes to the uniqueness of the rojak's flavor, I assimilate myself with other people from different cultures to create a diverse yet harmonious ambience.

If it were not for Zul, I would not be a "rojak ingredient" that always wants to contribute a different flavor in the lives of others. During my time at the University of Wisconsin, I would apply the "Rojak Theory" and partake in the diverse campus community. Besides achieving my goal of becoming an engineer, I being a "rojak" which combines different Asian cultures into one, want to bring new perspectives, cultures, and experiences from the East to the West. As a Chinese descent, I could share the values I learned from Daxue and teach calligraphy. As a Malaysian, I could bring Malaysian culture and teach making rojak. As a distinctive individual, I could contribute opinions from a different point of view. I would also like to learn about different cultures from my friends there. I will turn the university campus into a delicious rojak, with different beautiful cultures complementing each others. I will tolerate, understand, embrace and grow in diversity.

With tolerance and understanding, I will be a "rojak ingredient" that enriches the campus of the University of Wisconsin intellectually, personally, culturally and socially. Simultaneously, the University of Wisconsin will also be a place where I can achieve academic excellence and explore new perspectives. We will complete each other.

Please help with my grammar, essay flow, idea, and overall impression. Did I answer the essay prompt correctly? Deadline is approaching >< pls help me~~ Thank you.

And Im planning to reuse this essay for U of Texas Topic C as well..
the essay prompt is below:

There may be personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information. You might include exceptional hardships, challenges, or opportunities that have shaped or impacted your abilities or academic credentials, personal responsibilities, exceptional achievements or talents, educational goals, or ways in which you might contribute to an institution committed to creating a diverse learning environment.

Would u guys think it's suitable? In my opinion, it should be alright as it seems to be a free topic according to "There may be personal information that you want considered as part of your admissions application. Write an essay describing that information." Thanks again!

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jan 28, 2009   #2
You should consider leaving out the whole first paragraph, and add one line to the beginning of the second paragraph to start, for example, "I have always prided myself on my ability to make delicious rojak."

Not only blending different ingredients into one , but creating the chemistry between them is also required to make a delicious rojak.

As a Chinese Malaysian,...second paragraph should begin here.

Sharing my cultural perspectives and personal opinions, I am looking forward to contributing a different flavor into their journeys of life during my time at the University of Wisconsin.

With tolerance and understanding, I will be a "rojak ingredient" that enriches the campus of the University of Wisconsin intellectually, personally , culturally and socially.

I think you need something more focused or personal for the U of Texas essay. What are your educational goals, some great thing about you. You don't want your essay to seem generic or off topic, they might think you send the same one to all the schools!

:)
OP KeonYe 6 / 17  
Jan 29, 2009   #3
Thanks!

I think you need something more focused or personal for the U of Texas essay.

does that mean this essay is ok for U of Wisconsin?
anyway, tht seems to be a long process of rewriting.. i have to have a sleepless night ><
OP KeonYe 6 / 17  
Jan 29, 2009   #4
btw I don't see any way I could add my educational goal in this essay..
It doesn't has anything to do with education but instead diversity
sorry but could you please kindly give some suggestion?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jan 29, 2009   #5
Oh I think this essay is fine! I meant for the U of Texas essay you might send something different.

:)
OP KeonYe 6 / 17  
Jan 30, 2009   #6
i see.. anyway i have already rewritten it
would you please have a look?
please help me with this edited essay and also tell me which one you prefer?
previous one or the edited one?
Thanks!!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Jan 30, 2009   #7
This version is great! I like everything about it. You seem like an interesting, humble, well-spoken student with a good sense of humor. I choose this one... also, here is an idea:

Besides achieving my goal of becoming an engineer, I hope to develop as a "rojak" that combines different Asian cultures into one, and to bring new perspectives, cultures, and experiences from the East to the West.


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