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Rice: what perspective will you bring..."ordinary person working hard for big dreams"


amazingA 8 / 35  
Dec 17, 2010   #1
hello...yet another essay from my end...i would appreciate any input
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The quality of Rice's academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What perspective do you feel that you will contribute to life at Rice? (Most applicants are able to respond successfully in two to three double-spaced pages.)

"Right arm over the wicket", I said to the umpire, drenched in sweat while bowling the last over in Bharuch vs. Surat under-sixteen cricket tournament. The ball was old and to generate a swing on it was impossible. However, I had to restrict the opponents to a maximum of two runs in order to advance to the finals. The pressure was on. I set the fielders in the position that suited my bowling style and to the batsman's weakest area: the off stump. I counted my twenty step run-up and marked the area. I glanced at the field setup once more to be certain that we did not have any weak fielding spots. When everything was set correctly, I was ready to bowl the first ball of the last over. I run up to the crease and release the ball with a massive arm motion that carelessly cut through the air, one that produced the woosh-sound as evidence. Unrecovered from the action, I was confident that I had produced a good ball, a ball that would definitely go as a maiden if not enough to dismiss the batsman. However, soon enough, I heard a loud tock sound from the batsman's end and I helplessly watched the ball gliding down the grass field for four runs. We had lost the match and were out in the semifinals.

The match was out of our hands and we were all partly devastated. But, to my surprise, some of our players were still enthusiastic. "Never mind guys", said those wise people, "it's just a game." For some strange reason, I agreed with them. Why were we beating ourselves over a match of cricket? We still had plenty of chances to win and bring our small town of Bharuch into spotlight. And surely enough, the next year we won the states. Such a win prompted recruitment to the Mumbai Academy of cricket. Our parents, however, did not allow us to go to Mumbai for further practice, since to them, and to most Indians, a pursuit of a career in sports in a country like India was like diving into a pool whose depth was unknown. Therefore, we readily gave up any aspirations to become part of the Indian national cricket team and returned to our monotonous lives as ordinary Indian students. However, I felt a special euphoria since I was able to conquer the barrier that separated me from achieving the title of a respected cricket player in my town, no matter how short-lived it was. We were a group of players who won the state championship without any direct professional help, without any coaching. To me, it was a personal achievement.

A year later, I moved to America, a country where neither cricket nor badminton, another sport that interested me, was popular. However, tennis seemed to closely resemble badminton. So I went to our nearby Walmart and bought a beginners racquet. Finding ample free-to-play courts in the local middle schools, I started a daily routine of simply serving balls to the next court. Having no one to play tennis with, this is all I could expect. Gradually, however, the form kicked in and I was quite acquainted with the game of tennis. After a few months in the new school, I made some friends who, coincidentally, shared my newfound interest in tennis. We often played on our school courts after school, all the while improving my game, despite several clumsy errors. And then it was February when I faced the challenge of tennis tryouts for the school's varsity team. After a few days, I was a part of the team, playing in the top six. Cousins were startled and parents were proud on this achievement of mine. Five months in this country had shown to them an entirely new side of mine, the side that any parent would want to be proud of. I found my way into the varsity team without any prior experience or coaching in tennis and without any considerable money spent on this activity.

Hence, I am, at the very least, a person who knows how to rise from dirt. I often defy conventional wisdom to achieve, what to me is, greatness. When I moved to this country three years ago, I was bereft of fluency in English; however, every night I would stand in front of the mirror and recite to myself paragraphs from various books and magazines. I have been a person of limited means since my childhood, and I find ways to bring tangibility to my dreams and goals. Sports have been just one aspect of this story, but in my life on the whole, I choose to depend on my own hard work to succeed.

I do not succumb to the strong opposing forces. I hold my grounds to claim any amount of success that might arrive on my shores as a result. To Rice, I bring the perspective of an ordinary child working hard to find an image for himself. I bring to the college the perspective eager to embrace life's downfalls and to make the most out of a person's resources.

Also, I strive to bring the real experience and enthusiasm of playing cricket to the current cricket club at Rice, one of the very few in the country!

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is my essay convincing?
any other errors?
grammar?

thanks for the feedback..i will critique yours if you want :)
Supervisor 2 / 13  
Dec 17, 2010   #2
Some comments:
"The ball was old..." What do you mean by this (I'm curious). I think you mean that the ball is scratched up and thus hard to grip it in a way that allows the spin.

"Hence, I am, at the very least, a person who knows how to rise from dirt." Hehe. I think some people like this coming out just like that, as in the start of a paragraph, while people like me will think its too sudden. But, hey, that's just me.

"Also, I strive to bring the real experience and enthusiasm of playing cricket to the current cricket club at Rice, one of the very few in the country!" This definitely needs to go somewhere else. Maybe put it in as the last sentence of the paragraph before, removing the "Also". Then again, this means that you should try to not have two sentences starting with "I" in said paragraph.

"After a few months in the new school, I made some friends who, coincidentally, shared my newfound interest in tennis." Meeeeh. I don't know what to say 0.- I don't think you should have it worded like this.

"Therefore, we readily gave up any aspirations to become part of the Indian national cricket team and returned to our monotonous lives as ordinary Indian students. However, I felt a special euphoria since I was able to conquer the barrier that separated me from achieving the title of a respected cricket player in my town, no matter how short-lived it was. We were a group of players who won the state championship without any direct professional help, without any coaching. To me, it was a personal achievement. " Now, I see that you have used a whole bunch of sentence structures, but this __, ___, ___ appears A LOT throughout this essay.

And, so sad to hear that. I'm Indian too and seeing that the culture is like that (I grew up and was born [parallel structure = grr...] in the US) makes me wonder about those who do go to the academy. What about their parents' thoughts?

There you go. A quick overview, but get more information from others before you stick to my ideas.
OP amazingA 8 / 35  
Dec 17, 2010   #3
"The ball was old..." What do you mean by this (I'm curious). I think you mean that the ball is scratched up and thus hard to grip it in a way that allows the spin.

haha i'm not surprised at your answer..but no, if you've ever seen a cricket ball, its polished leather which generates its own "swing" when bowled at a fast pace...an old ball, on the other hand, is better for "spin" since its more creased, rough and used up (it basically provides more grip to the ground).

This definitely needs to go somewhere else.

thanks, but i think i meant to put it as a sort of "breaker" from the monotonous tone of the essay. i guess it didn't really work in convincing you

What about their parents' thoughts?

thats why i said, "most" of indian parents..specially the more educated who know that chances of succeeding as a cricketer are extremely low

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but that was good. it definitely teaches me that not all people would see the essay the way i wish them to, which i think is one of the most important thing to learn about writing

"After a few months in the new school, I made some friends who, coincidentally, shared my newfound interest in tennis." Meeeeh. I don't know what to say 0.- I don't think you should have it worded like this.

Also, what do you mean by this? how should i have worded it? if anyone else here has any idea, i would be glad to know
nick92 1 / 3  
Dec 18, 2010   #4
I really love the way you counter reacted your downfalls with achievements; it shows the college your ability to overcome obstacles. There are quite some punctuation problems - which I fixed above, but overall, this essay is excellent.
jarabhuiyan 4 / 9  
Dec 18, 2010   #5
I love the passion in your essay, and the story is wonderful. However, I think the story went on for too long, especially your experience in India I feel took up a tad bit too much of your essay, and dragged it on a bit. Maybe cutting a good portion of the beginning of the second paragraph (I think it did least to help explain your point) and concentrate on your ability to "rise from the dirt" Good luck, I was going to apply to Rice too!
OP amazingA 8 / 35  
Dec 18, 2010   #6
yes jara it is one of my characteristics and i need to work on it...but as you said i did change the second paragraph significantly

thanks a lot for the help guys...for the ones applying there, hope to see you on the campus if we make it :)
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 28, 2010   #7
Hi AmazingA, I can't believe you are new to the English language! Your way of writing is very precise and eloquent. You must have practiced very well. For example:

When I moved to this country three years ago, I was bereft of fluency in English; however, every night I would stand in front of the mirror and recite to myself paragraphs from various books and magazines. ---The way you used the semi-colon, the way you used the word "various," everything is of a very high quality.

I really think the best approach is to have a main idea that you capture in a sentence. Try to come up with two sentences that express the main idea of the essay in different ways. Put one in the intro paragraph and one in the conclusion.

In order for the reader to have a powerful experience, it is really helpful to end the first paragraph with one of those sentences that express the main idea.

:-) Thanks so much for the great help I see you giving other people at EF!


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