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Common App Essay
Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.
At first sight, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies looked an appropriate compilation of concrete that echoed its dry name. I begrudgingly followed our tour group up aseptic gray steps, readying myself for whatever monotone white coat we would have to endure. My predisposition was so strong that I hardly believed the young, bright-eyed woman at the podium when she introduced herself as Dr. Crenshaw. Yet the stories and lessons she shared to us were too vibrant and passionate to ignore. In fact, it was Dr. Crenshaw's lecture that inspired me to go into research.
Science was hardly my forte at school. I was the acknowledged bane of my biology lab group whose grades and lives I'd once endangered mishandling a syringe of acid. Lab reports didn't matter to me. It seemed mindlessly redundant to prove empirical value "X" on page one hundred-something when the answer and procedure were always given to us beforehand. I was much more captivated by our classes more curious discussions. Genetic engineering, pluripotent stem cells, these poorly understood subjects offered a myriad of potential miracles. Yet such conversations were far and few in our classes humdrum curriculum and so science seemed just that: boring.
Dr. Crenshaw was not boring. Her personality out-bubbled solutions on Bunsen burners. At her lab desk sat a pair of headphones that blared the rhythms of our revered - though less accredited - Dr. Dre. But most prominent to us was the absolute rapture when she spoke of her research. How her work on Sickle-cell anemia served not just mankind but memorialized the life of her childhood friend. And she expressed vehement frustration at the lone nucleotide, of the thousands of millions in the girl's DNA, that caused the travesty. The detailed illustrations of twisted proteins and amino acids she presented told a tragic story, which made it fascinating.
Her lecture ignited my interests in biology. She reminded us that research in the science of life heavily impacted the lives of others. Her fun-loving personality brought peer-review academia down to earth, a subject that once seemed so aloof during our biology class discussions. I realized then what I had lost in the routine of my high school studies: that research was very much the pursuit of curiosity. That, behind its dull and didactic language, it was a means for the progression of society.
The tours last destination was the institutes cafeteria and we concluded the day seated on concrete tables with ham sandwiches. Admittedly, I was, by then, less interested in satiating my own scientific curiosities than my own stomach's ones. But by lunch, the Salk Institute's cement walls no longer felt so severe. The buildings modest design lent clarity to its inquisitive denizens. I promised myself I would find myself in a similar setting, pursuing research and work of my own.
Hi :) Your essay sounds great to me, I can make a few suggestions.
At first sight, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies looked like an appropriate compilation of concrete that echoed its dry name.
Not so sure about this opening sentence, only because it seems kind of negative, but it works if you really want to keep it, because you are simply being honest.
My predisposition was so strong that I hardly believed the young, bright-eyed woman at the podium when she introduced herself as Dr. Crenshaw.
This sentence is a little awkward. You could say it like this: "My predisposition vanished as a young, bright-eyed woman stood at the podium; she introduced herself as Dr. Crenshaw."
YetT he stories and lessons she shared to us were too vibrant and passionate to ignore. In fact, it was Dr. Crenshaw's lecture that inspired me to go intopursue some research. Yet suchThese enlightening conversations were far and fewsparse in our class's humdrum curriculum, and somaking science seem just that: boring.
Her lecture ignited my interest in biology.
... that research was very much the pursuit of curiosity.
and for the purpose of finding a solution to a scientific problem.