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I want to push the submit button tonight (Stanford)

ekfoong 10 / 46  
Oct 31, 2009   #1
I'm applying to Stanford and tonight i think i'm going to press submit. Each of these paragraphs are within the 1800 character length. So... Thanks a lot for reading! :)

#1 Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

The sight of a bird carcass on the side of pavement intercepted my soothing stroll. The rotten stench settled in my nose and the sun soaked putrid flesh was palpable in the air. Most people would avert their head in disgust; however, the scene possessed a profound gravity that I couldn't ignore. Beneath the ugliness, my eyes connected with perfectly patterned feather and exquisitely constructed hollow bones. Exposure to such naturally engineered brilliance stimulated an ethereal experience. My mind began to generate inquiries: Why do hollow bones allow birds to fly? What is the density of the bone? Is there a correlation between bone density and maximum flight speed? My thoughts consumed time, and the adrenaline of studying such a magnificent natural phenomenon numbed my squatting legs from the burning pain. All the while, my pen reconstructed the flesh upon the skeleton and restored life to its remains. Through my art, this imagined bird can forever dwell within my journal; perhaps someday I will resurrect the sparrow so it may take flight once again.

I am content when I release myself to the embrace of nature. The simplest of notions, observations, and intuitions can spark my mind to run rampant amongst my organic surroundings. My fascination stems from my appreciation of art and science. There is something beautiful about the way gravity functions, or the mannerisms of simple harmonic motion, or the way cells are structured that genuinely fascinates me.

Although, I want to extend beyond the Darwinian model of observation and theorization, because I want to create beauty. Perhaps biomedical engineering is my destined path. I can express the factual innovation of science while maintaining the spontaneous creativity of the fine arts.

#2Virtually all of Stanford's undergraduates live on campus. What would you want your future roommate to know about you? Tell us something about you that will help your future roommate -- and us -- know you better.

I am a pack rat of paper. I'm less like a messy hoarder, and more like a treasure collector. To cross to the other side of my room, one would pass through a jungle of intricately folded paper animalia. I guess you can say I'm an origami aficionado, and paper cranes are my specialty.

I have been folding paper cranes since I was 8. I can still remember the hot and humid Malaysian climate and the hospital room where my grandfather first taught me the ways of origami. Baba was bed ridden with pancreatic cancer. I would stay by his side while the silent animations of my relatives' distressing arguments played out like a television program through the clear glass window. Despite the dim hospital atmosphere, we restored vivacity by folding origami. Baba's nimble fingers quivered as he creased the paper in a methodical manner. From time to time, his smokers' cough broke the tranquility. But moments later he would weakly shoot me a smile silently reassuring me everything was okay. I labored away for two weeks in order to fold the perfect crane that would win his approval. My 139th crane was the one. The white paper exuded a brilliance beyond any of its other predecessors. I presented my bit of magic to him, he smiled and said in a hushed Chinese dialect, "I guess my work is done here." That night he passed away. There is a legend that if one folds one thousand paper cranes, the soul can achieve eternal peace. With his warm scent of cigar smoke and his fond memories remaining, I knew I had to finish his journey. In two days, I folded the remaining 867 cranes.

To me, paper cranes symbolize the capacity for humans to share, teach, and learn. Perhaps one day we can stay up late with some food or a movie, and I can share the magic of origami. with you.

#3Tell us what makes Stanford a good place for you.

My feet tapped against the white tiled floor. I sat next to the window nervously awaiting for the secretary's confirmation to join the Discover Stanford tour. Stanford's prowess exuded from the photographs of football victories and picturesque architecture mounted on the wall. I sat on the bench, soaking it all in. So this was it, Montag hall, the office of admissions.

I heard a smirk from my right. I looked over to find a friendly stranger. He smiled and said, "Amazing, isn't it?" I realized my mouth was open in awe and I snapped it shut. He continued, "Hey, they name is Aamir I'm a senior here." From there, the conversation flowed, minutes flew by as he shared his experiences with me. He told me about his midnight ludicrous expedition to find supplies to make the perfect native American headdress for the Stanford powwow. He reenacted his "pro" dance moves from the dance marathon. His hands flailed about as he talked about his bioengineering project. The whole time, I couldn't help but notice his excitement radiating with every syllable he spoke.

It was then that I knew, I want to proudly wear the Stanford cardinal red. Amongst all of my other visits, Stanford was the only place where I sensed passion. The students possessed a lust of life, and learning that I can connect with. Beyond the prestige, academics, and athletics, Stanford is at the paramount of my list because students and faculty like Aamir demonstrate that Stanford can make me a better person.

The secretary at the desk called my name and nodded her head and told me I was all set to go. Aamir nodded his head and said, "As soon as you get accepted don't think twice, and be sure to stay in touch." I smiled and proceeded through the doors, ready to embark on my Stanford discovery.
pennhopefull 5 / 18  
Oct 31, 2009   #2
wow. these essays are amazing. each one stands out...I particularly am in awe with your essay regarding your "future roommate". Good luck!
OP ekfoong 10 / 46  
Oct 31, 2009   #3
Thank you so much! your validation instills so much confidence within my writing.

I'll be sure to take a look at your threads/essays!
**finding right now** ;)
pennhopefull 5 / 18  
Oct 31, 2009   #4
thank you! btw, i couldnt help notice...for your second essay, 139 cranes + 867 cranes = 1006 cranes...when you say "i folded the remaining 867..." that makes me think that you would stop at a thousand cranes...do you get a drift of what im saying?
OP ekfoong 10 / 46  
Oct 31, 2009   #5
haha. good catch. thank you!
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Oct 31, 2009   #6
didnt look at all the essays, but just something I noted about the second one. about the letter to a roommate, thats a lot about origami. are u sure that's the best way to answer the question?

sure it shows that you enjoy it, but you allude that your grandfather died? iono if u want to include that in this essay.

on essay 3, "the name is..."

very good essays indeed. read it over once more for typos/grammar
Vulpix - / 71  
Oct 31, 2009   #7
Nice work! Here are a couple of small fixes for your third essay:

"I heard a smirk from my right."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but a smirk usually connotates a smug smile, which is something that you see instead of hear. Perhaps you could use "chucke" or "giggle" or "laugh" or "snicker" instead?

"He continued, "Hey, they name is Aamir I'm a senior here.""
"They" should be changed to either "the" or "my".

"From there, the conversation flowed, minutes flew by as he shared his experiences with me."
I think "flew" would work better as "flying". Otherwise, you have two independent clauses ("the conversation flowed" and "minutes flew") that need to be connected with something other than a comma.

"The students possessed a lust of life"
Check your conjunctions- people usually say "lust for life" instead of "lust of life".

"Stanford is at the paramount of my list because students and faculty like Aamir demonstrate that Stanford can make me a better person."

The use of "paramount" sounds really forced and contrived- change it to something like "the top of my list", which sounds more natural.

Good luck!
OP ekfoong 10 / 46  
Oct 31, 2009   #8
I just finished my Common App Essays too. so I've decided to post them up too so y'all can look at those too. Feel free to scrutinize and criticize and rip them to shreds :).

common app - In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer). ((Exactly 150 words! YAY!))

Cleats spray clouds of rubber pellets. Breaths are heavy. Eyes are alert. I cradle the ball down-field and yell, "Viking!" My teammates follow my command. Like automated humans we sprint towards the goal with raised sticks and fierce yells.

Hard work, sweat, and perseverance all climaxed to that point. My school considered Girls' Lacrosse to be a joke. As a junior, I was selected to be varsity captain, and I was determined to make a name for our team. I researched Northwestern University tactics, and led self-devised drills and activities. Every practice, I could see our improvement.

We were never expected to have a winning season. But, when we made it to play-offs, we proved everyone wrong. Confidence was restored in my teammates and within myself. Leadership cannot be taught. Leadership cannot be inherited. Leadership can be enhanced from within. After our season, I realized... I am a capable leader.

common app - Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you. ((eek... 980 words - help?))

My opponent and I shed our robes as we sized each other up. He stood at the opposite corner. His toothpick-like limbs miraculously held his body up. His arms appeared Neanderthal-like. Gravity acted upon the weight of his boxing gloves which seemed to elongate his arms until his knuckles dragged on the carpeted platform.

The air horn sounded. We circled the edge of the ring. Neither one of us wanted to throw the first punch. I think thirty seconds went by, I heard them chanting his name, "Sam. Sam. Sam." I could not bear the monosyllable repetition, so I aimed and fired my jab-punch combo right towards his face. My entire body lunged forward with so much force; I just might have punched the Y chromosomes right out of him.

I certainly do not fit the boxer image. I am a "pocket-sized" Asian female with an infatuation for tree hugging and peace protesting. My stature alone leads people to believe that there is no way I could inflict damage or even bruise an opponent. At first I never told anybody about boxing for fear of what they would say or think. Eventually, I came around to telling them. Unfortunately, now they always ask me, "Hey, why the heck do you box?" Sometimes I ponder the same question, but when my mind drifts back to that memory on June 25th, I instantly know the answer.

I can still remember the first time I punched a guy. It was a "money shot."I had been preparing years for that strike. I still remember the indescribable streak of red as my fist jolted forward and recoiled back. Only one word is needed to express what I felt at that moment: liberating.

Kickboxing is considered a boys' sport, which is definitely not true.
At class and practice, I always found myself acting as the one woman counter weight to compensate for the exceedingly lopsided female to male ratio. As a senior in high school, I am one of the only girl boxers in Chicago's northwest suburbs. As a ten year old I was the only girl playing boys' full-contact lacrosse. As a prospective student, I want to be an engineer despite the predominant male nature of my intended major.

Practically all of my potential opponents were of opposite gender, no one was willing to spar me. I frequented the water-girl position. Not one boy wanted to compromise his manhood to fight a girl. I understand why they forfeited. However, I don't think they understand how I felt. I sweat and fought my way to exhaustion, but that all went to waste with every spar rejection. My lust for competition died slowly. Never before had I accepted that boys were physically superior to girls. By the tenth forfeit and fifth tournament, sadly, I began to believe it's truth. I didn't feel competent, in any aspect. If I could not prove myself in the gymnasium, what other facets of my personality could be questioned. Did my word mean nothing anymore? Was my activism and protesting invalidated. Could I still pride myself on my emotional strength? My entire being fell under assault by my own stinging judgments.

On June 25th, I had full intention of pouring water into Dixie cups for my mates. My coach Ronnie, like every other invitational meet, recited to me, "I'll try my best to find you a fight." In the back of my mind, lingered the knowledge that I wasn't going to have my time in the ring. My best friend Dylan kept me company, he and the intermediate fighters had two hours until their first match. We joked around naming our jab(left) and punch(right) biceps. He named mine "cha" and "ching", respectively, because of my infamous jab-punch combination "money shot" on the hanging bags during open gym practices. I saw Ronnie approaching from my peripheral vision. His stern guise did not forebode well.

I found out I wasn't in trouble, because the next thing I knew, I was preparing for my first feather-weight match. For the first time, my glossy red gloves would be put to work. Dylan massaged my shoulders. Mark put on my headgear. David gave me a pep talk. All I could remember, were my empty eyes staring back at me through the mirror: this was it.

And so, there I was with my fists up, blood pumping, and eyes focused. At the split second after I threw the punch, realization hit me. We were equals since the moment we cast off our garb. Shedding the customary robe was symbolic. I always thought the fancy silk robes acted as frivolous props to boost the theatrical nature of a boxing match. But, when we took off our robes, it was as if both of us cast away all of our initial notions and inhibitions. It was as if we were both... naked. He and I were fighters, and that's all we were. For once, age didn't matter, race didn't matter, and gender didn't matter. The only things that counted at that moment were skill, strength, hard work, and determination.

I did end up losing the match, and I did end up with more respect from my male counterparts. However, most importantly, I did end up stronger and more self-confident. That moment liberated me. I felt free from the shackles of social norms and customary expectations. At that moment, all of my actions, thoughts, and emotions were validated; I could be whoever I want to be. Before, there was too much pressure to be a societal carbon copy, so I felt compelled to conceal a part of me. Nevertheless, I no longer have to hide my boxing skills. In fact, I appreciate boxing and everything it has done for me. The day of my self-actualization is my most valuable experience. Jab-punch. "cha-ching". June 25th, was the day of my "money shot."
OP ekfoong 10 / 46  
Oct 31, 2009   #9
I'll be staying up till 1:30 tonight, so I'll be able to see your comments. THANKS AGAIN YOU GUYS!

p.s. vulpix I love your username - POKEMON!
meisj0n 8 / 272 2  
Oct 31, 2009   #10
really interesting essays,
just some things i thought were interesting: automated humans, peripheral vision

We were never expected to have a winning season, but when...

you really dont look like a boxer, fb'd you. is ronnie in the pic too?
hope123 2 / 15  
Oct 31, 2009   #11
WOWOWOWOWOWOW. Okay I'm going to be perfectly honest with you. No joke. When I first scrolled down the page, I was overwhelmed by the length of the essay (sorry I only read your Main one). But I decided to give it a try, and oh my. I was immersed into the story by the first sentence. And every sentence after flowed. I really don't think length here is an issue, because for one, if you want to push the submit button tonight, then you won't be able to trim anything down, and for two, every sentence is, as I said, coherent with the entire essay.

What I like particularly in your essay is your ingenious phrases.

"I just might have punched the Y chromosomes right out of him."

And finally, your conclusion just blew me away because it is sooo darn strong. I was half-shivering after reading your essay, thinking how on earth do you do it?

There are some typos in the essay (I think), and a simple skim with reveal them. You're really giving others a hard time critiquing on the essay.

If you want, please read my esssay, which is so much worse than yours. Sigh
teresagvl 1 / 4  
Oct 31, 2009   #12
I read the first three you posted, and though I'm no essay expert, I'm pretty sure these are outstanding in all standards. Very entertaining, engaging, and just overall great.

I found no errors that have yet to be mentioned.
I wish you the best of luck in all your goals.

OP ekfoong 10 / 46  
Oct 31, 2009   #13
thanks so much guys. and I'll be returning the favor! to all of you.

I had to step out and clear my head. So, I chose to watch a movie.
- DO NOT WATCH THE vampire's assistant movie.
bad acting
bad storyline
just bad in general.

Thanks to all! I'm on cloud nine right now heehee.

I'm going to get started on a lot of reading...
of course after I push the submit button :)

here i go!

P.S. that's not ronnie, that's my best friend will - check out his band (my favorite highway)

go ahead add me on facebook! a lot of people really like me to read their essay because apparently i'm a very harsh but helpful grader? I don't really know how valid their opinions are, but i'm just a writing enthusiast with a sharp tipped pen (or in this case keyboard).
bubba303 1 / 11  
Nov 23, 2009   #14
wow, your essays are really amazing. i love how you do a very good job at showing the reader, rather than telling. stanford is a great school and i hope you get in!
july723 2 / 6  
Nov 25, 2009   #15
woww, you are such a good writer!
I hope you get in stanford!

do you mind if you look at my essay and give me your opionion and suggestion please?
chinchilla 1 / 6  
Nov 25, 2009   #16
haha, i think after reading your essays, everyone wants you to read theirs in hope for some eye opening suggestions and sudden waves of creativity!

wow but your Standford essays are really amazing, you should consider writing to all ivy schools!!
Go Homegirl!!
MonsieurWise 2 / 21  
Nov 25, 2009   #17
Haha, I have to agree with hope123:
"I just might have punched the Y chromosomes right out of him."
I just think you can concise your first one-third of your essay to make it stronger. In my opinion, its main strength is being spread a bit.

However, I really enjoy reading it, every sentence flow. Tell me, how did you learn such good writting???
pablito3 4 / 12  
Nov 25, 2009   #18
WOW! This is amazing. I wish i could write as well as you.
twizzlestraw 12 / 95  
Nov 25, 2009   #19

however, nitpicking:
My Hard work, sweat, and perseverance all climaxed to that point.
- this sentence is a bit awkward do you mean "all came to a climax at that point"?

It was a "money shot."I had been preparing years for that strike.
- You're missing a space. Just in case you didn't catch it.

I did end up losing the match, and I did end up with more respect from my male counterparts. However, most importantly, I did end up stronger and more self-confident.

This totally personal. I don't really like the repetition of "did end up"
I would write: I did end up losing the match, but I ended up with more respect from my male counterparts. However, most importantly, I did ended up stronger and more self-confident.

- either way I definantly think you should consider the conjunction change from and to but.

Overall GREAT JOB! =)
I was reading this essay and I was just woah this chick is awesome! haha

Would you mind reading mine?

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