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The reason I hate my elementary teacher? - Virginia Tech question


RyanVi16 12 / 91  
Nov 18, 2010   #1
Ok, the title is very misleading, but this is my response to Virginia Tech question: Which current teacher or previous teacher that influenced you and why? First draft and i didn't spend a lot of time on it so i expect to have a lot of grammatical errors. Please read over and tell me what you think, did i answer the prompt?

I hate the way her right hand moved so gracefully across the blackboard and her fingers tucked the silky strands of hair behind her ear. The sound of chalk tap in rhythm against the smooth surface tempted me to put my head down and forget about the reality, but I hated it when her soft voice would call me back from boredom and forced my interest into algebra. Has math always been this pleasant?

I hated it when I accidentally called my teacher "Mom". Her gentle hands always assured me that everything is alright when my own mother wasn't there to wipe away my tears. The way her almond eyes looked at me- explaining why the eye is the window of the soul, telling me that life is much more than one plus one- there was nothing I could despise more. I never understood the reason she expected someone like me to become perfect. No. Not me. I can never become perfect.

I forgot about the time when she shared her food when Dad was too busy to pack my lunch, and her expression when I praised how awfully good it was. I hate the reason why I was still alive, the reason I did not use drugs, the reason that I am sitting here and thinking about my future.

But no, the person that expected me to become a great doctor, expected me to know right from wrong, expected me to do one plus one, an elementary math teacher had made me realized that hatred does not exist.

anindyabd 1 / 14  
Nov 18, 2010   #2
You're right about the grammatical errors. I tried to ignore those as I read your essay.

I found it enjoyable to read overall, and I understood what you're trying to say [this teacher took the place of a mother you didn't have, and you resented that fact], but I think you should be more straightforward so as not to create any confusion. I've read in many places that admissions officers prefer clarity so that they can go through an essay quickly and absorb its meaning at first reading.

I think 'hate' is a strong word to use, and you've used it many times. Maybe it's replaceable with something else? And I find myself confused as to exactly why you hate the fact that this teacher was a mother-figure (I think I just coined this term...). Is it because she was someone whose presence in your life was temporary, and you knew it right from the start? Is it because you badly wanted her to be your real mother but you knew that was never going to happen? These things are implied but not stated outright. I think making certain bland statements is sometimes necessary to ensure that there's no confusion!
OP RyanVi16 12 / 91  
Nov 18, 2010   #3
Well i'm glad you read it literally, but this used to be my english essay and it meant to read figuratively. So "hate" doesn't really mean hate here. Well i can always edit my ending to let people know that what i really meant.

Thank you :)

Edit: So how about if i changed my ending like this, would this at least clear up some of the confusion?
No, I refuse to love the person that wanted me to become a decent doctor who would bring cure to cancer and AIDS, because she was just an elementary math teacher who made me realized hatred does not exist.

I know it's an odd piece, even my english teacher last year said so, i guess i have to write another piece or something.
anindyabd 1 / 14  
Nov 18, 2010   #4
Regarding the use of the word 'hate' what about this sentence:
'I hated it when I accidentally called my teacher "Mom" and the first graders would laugh at my foolishness.' Here the word is used in its literal sense, surely? No one likes being laughed at.

While here 'I hate the reason why I was still alive, the reason I did not use drugs, the reason that I am sitting here and thinking about my future' it's figurative because you certainly don't hate the teacher.

Perhaps using the word in the same way throughout will help avoid confusion. But is it really necessary to use it so many times?

But I love your style. If you clear up some of the confusion with a few edits and brush up the grammar, this is going to be good.

[note: I had previously thought that while you loved the teacher you really did resent the fact that this teacher was so much like a mother to you, but your comment has made me re analyze, so I guess my previous comment is now redundant]

Edit: I think this essay is quite good and you don't need to write something else. But I feel that just changing the last sentence isn't going to be adequate. A few more changes are needed.
koolaid3219 2 / 5  
Nov 18, 2010   #5
I agree with the comments made above, but more importantly I wanted to post to say that they always want application essays to stand out, and I really think yours will. I really liked it.
OP RyanVi16 12 / 91  
Nov 18, 2010   #6
Here my newer version
Thank you so much for pointing that out to me, i didnt realize that.:) (change in red)

I hated it when I accidentally called my teacher "Mom". Her gentle hands always assured me that everything is alright when my own mother wasn't there to wipe away my tears.

But no, the person that expected me to become a great doctor, expected me to know right from wrong, expected me to do one plus one, an elementary math teacher had made me realized that hatred does not exist.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,334 129  
Nov 27, 2010   #7
Here is a great place for a hyphen:
...expected me to do one plus one -- an elementary math teacher had made me realized that hatred does not exist.

I'm afraid some of the meaning is lost on me! Maybe you can make it clearer by changing a single word. Or maybe I am just too thick to understand! But think about how confusing it is for me as I try to figure out why you hate the way her hand moves, or while I try to figure out how you must have felt embarrassed when you accidentally said "mom." I think you can probably make a small change so that the reader can enjoy the theme you are expressing! :-)

Also, you don't need the wxord had here: math teacher had made me realized that hatred does not exist...


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