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A sigificant experience - hoping that my stutter would disappear

birzhanfm 5 / 14  
Dec 15, 2009   #1
Commonapp prompt 1:Evaluate a sigificant experience,achievement,risk you have taken, or ethical dilemmma you have faced and its impact on you.
I wrote my lifestory.All feedback would be very helpful. I am hestitating about this essay, because I think that my stutter can influence their decision. Therefore I will appreciate all comments.

I remember how I shuttled between a literature book and a notebook of my therapists in order to get "A" for the literature class in the middle school. I assured myself that failures left in the past and victories were waiting in the future. I worked hard on a new method of therapy hoping that my stutter would disappear.

When I came to the class an unknown examiner asked me to narrate an old Kazakh myth "Alpamys".
I mobilized myself and said:
"b-b-bul k-k-kazak..."
I stopped, I tried one more time. But again I failed. I tried to utilize all my practice lessons; however I understood that they were useless. I could not control my speech. I saw the examiner getting furious. I could see my classmates' scornful faces and could hear their laugh, which I had been hearing for 7 years. Suddenly the examiner interrupted my thoughts by saying:

"Moldagaliyev, you are not ready, "F". I ran out of the class with eyes full of tears. I approached an old tree and sit nearby.

I did not return my house because my mother would say:"Everything is going to be okay". However, I thought that nothing could be okay for the biggest loser. It was funny that at the age of 5 I dreamt to become a great scientist or a politician. Indeed, I saw no famous people stuttering. Therefore, I thought who I am to become famous, while all other stutterers left as mediocre people. I condemned that day when I met that dog which caused my stutter. I was upset, because I was so unlucky to become a stutterer, knowing that only 2% off all people are stutterers.

Unlike me my father always believed in my healing. He refuted all the "social facts" by leading me to singing and debating classes. He worked on 3 jobs to pay for my therapy in Moscow. He always said to me: all people laugh at you because they fear your greatness. He taught me to look at things only positively. Because of his advice I started to appreciate all surrounding things, because they can be ruined sometime, as my fluent speech did. I was glad that I became walking thesaurus because I used to interchange words starting with consonants. Since then I never envied my peers who speak fluently, because I knew that there is something inside me that make greater than most of them.

The only place where I forgot about my stutter were different math classes.Math competitions were a vital part of my life. The main thing I learned was that if you really want something you should go for it on your own. After that I gave up going to the speech therapists. I practiced my techniques; I had zillion failures but they were much more satisfactory than previous ones.

By doing extensive internet research I found new method which called "Air flow technique". This method was successful to me; stutter decreased considerably. Afterwards I translated this research papers into Kazakh and Russian with reference to authors in order to give to stutterers I had known. I even gave some introductory lectures on that method on Almaty stuttery foundation. I experienced greatest relief when I realized that people became more optimistic after my speeches. I understood that I became great by helping those peoples. Moreover I decided to support stutterers ever since that day.

Earlier I considered each my day as a failure or a lost opportunity. I even get used to failures and tried to conceive people that I did not care about my stutter. But now I think that each of those days were the days of the greatest victories. Though I referred to myself as a loser, subconsciously I said to myself: "Tomorrow I will try a new method against stutter".

Thank you in advance

Birzhan Moldagaliyev

yang 2 / 313  
Dec 15, 2009   #2
I understood that I became great

hopefully doesn't end here...so make it "am becoming" or use another verb

Though I referred to myself as a loser, subconsciously I said to myself: "Tomorrow I will try a new method against stutter".

Isn't the subconscious part a bit late? You should've put this right after you talked about the loser part in the body, not in the conclusion. The reader should learn nothing new in the conclusion, especially not in the last sentence. I get that it's a summary of your story...try coming up with a better end.

I persevered or something

how is this awkward? I personally really enjoyed your story, and think that this is actually a "hook" instead of a weakness. Things like race (altho they won't ever admit it), handicap (not sure what to call what you have, but stutter is proven to be a handicap)...if used in the right way, which you do, can be great boosters

EDIT: Where are you applying to? If it's an ivy lvl school, then what I say apply since they like uniqueness and people who overcome their predicaments...state schools, not sure.

well done. I'd just get it checked by an english teacher before submitting it.
OP birzhanfm 5 / 14  
Dec 15, 2009   #3
Thanks for your comment. Yeah,you are right I'd better change my conclusion.
I do not know. Throughout my life it was my main drawback. I think that it is quite risky approach,because some admission officers might think that I am somehow unable to communicate with others or...

I'm planning to apply to Williams,Uchicago and some low Ivy's.
BTW do you know something about competitive SAT scores for IVY league schools and UChicago.
I'm hestitating applying to high Ivy's ,because my SAT score is low(1900)
smit5292 - / 2  
Dec 15, 2009   #4
Ahh, they have no such minimum requirement for SAT scores, but I know one thing for sure -- application essays are as important as standardized test scores and your GPA.

Anyway, your essay is good. :)
yang 2 / 313  
Dec 15, 2009   #5
Ahh, they have no such minimum requirement for SAT scores

actually, they do...if tho they don't say it blatantly

it all depends on your overall app. Smit is right in that essays are an essential, part, but still not as quite as scores and GPA.

Here's the level of importance:

This being said, when all the three previous components are outstanding, which is pretty much 90% of ivy applicants (i sure hope), the essays become PIVOTAL in the decision process.

But that's at condition that the previous three are good. They pretty much go: is this student special in any way? (race? difficulties? (handicap, first year...), if not, then go: is this student qualified score-wise? (they put their mid-50% in Collegeboard.com), if so, then they won't go back to your scores.

I wouldn't simply say that you don't have a chance, since you do have a hook with your difficulty. However, it'll be hard...


lol i get back my EA response today... in 2 hours...

but I really can't tell for sure, I know that they like creativity and uniqueness, so you might have a shot...but 1900...don't wanna discourage you, but it'll be hard. Did you take ACT? You might do much better on that.

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