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Stanford Supplement: Intellectual Development "Look over these packets"


angelserenite 9 / 14  
Dec 30, 2011   #1
Stanford students possess an intellectual vitality. Reflect on an idea or experience that has been important to your intellectual development

"Look over these packets. Chapter one test is in two weeks." With a thud, the heavy packet of papers falls onto my desk, and I immediately scan over the words. "What is 'nadar'? And what are conjugations?' With my anxiety level going off the roof, I try to take a deep breath as, and cover my flushed cheeks with cold hands. 'Hmmm, maybe I should've taken French instead of Spanish!' The thought leaves my mind in a second because I realize that Spanish would be beneficial and interesting to learn, especially as I live in California. 'Who knows, perhaps someday, I can understand those Mexican soap operas!'

Thus began my adventure to conquer this new language, as I attacked Spanish with the incantations of memorization. I could not depend on my mentor to guide me in this battle for her methods of teaching constantly confused me. Yet, my independence was a blessing in disguise for I learned the most effective ways to learn. I would write the words in Korean to practice my pronunciation and repeat the definitions of words until I memorized them. I also realized that my brain demanded to understand the mechanisms, such as the explanation for the wrong conjugation and importance of accents, before it processed any information. I realized that comprehension and the speech were fundamental as well as I undertook higher levels of Spanish. During my first listening comprehension tests, I was stumped on the meaning of a single word that the essence of the dialogue was lost to me. It was the same with speaking as I stumbled upon a word or a verb tense that I forgot my train of thought. Yet, these problems were part of the inconspicuous joy in learning a new language and every failure was a step closer to proficiency.

Learning a new language is a challenge, but it is a challenge I am glad to have taken. Learning Spanish has not only allowed me to communicate with some of my friends in their native language but it has allowed me to fully discover my learning mentality and techniques.
pringles 6 / 36  
Dec 31, 2011   #2
It was a great topic, just a little polishing is needed. Some of the wording needs to be looked at and some clarifications need to be made. Other than that, you're set! I hope this helped!
OP angelserenite 9 / 14  
Dec 31, 2011   #3
Can you guys give me more criticism please? I think out of the three supplements, this is the weakest.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Dec 31, 2011   #4
Here are a few thoughts:

It isn't clear who is talking in the first two quotes. I assume the first one is your teacher and you are the second? You might want to clarify or even omit the first quote. Are these internal thoughts or are they spoken aloud? Usually, if something is not spoken aloud, it would go in italics instead of quotes.

Italicize the Spanish words instead of putting them in single quotation marks (including telanovelas).

heavy packet of papers

This is a bit redundant. The reader can assume that the packet contains papers.

going off the roof

through the roof

I am not sure why you have the single quotes. The only time you would use single quotes would be if you had a quote inside of a quote.

My adventure to conquer this new language began as I attacked Spanish with the incantations of memorization.

There's a lot going on in this sentence, and the meaning gets lost. I'd try to rewrite it and tighten it up a bit.

I could not depend on my mentor to guide me in this battle for her methods of teaching constantly confused me. Yet, my independence was a blessing in disguise as I learned my most effective ways to study.

This might come across as negative to the reader. It sounds like you are saying that your mentor couldn't teach and that you are better at devising study habits. Rewording this to indicate that you do not always learn by traditional methodology and overcome that obstacle with perseverance would put a more positive spin on it.

I would write the words in Korean to practice my pronunciation and repeated the definitions of words until I memorized them.

Your verbs aren't parallel here.

During my first listening comprehension tests, I was stumped by the meaning of a single word and the essence of the entire dialogue was lost to me. It was the same with speaking as I stumbled upon a word or a verb tense that I discontinued talking.

These two sentences aren't as clear as they could be.

Yet, these problems were part of the inconspicuous joy of learning a new language and every failure was a step closer to proficiency.

You'll need a comma before the word "and" because the second clause could stand as a sentence on its own.

There are a lot of strengths in this essay. I like the way you have used mostly active verbs, the variety in sentence structure, and the way you have incorporated interesting vocabulary.
OP angelserenite 9 / 14  
Dec 31, 2011   #5
Can anyone read my edited, final essay, please, and give me their criticism/comments? I'd like to be done with this.(Look at the wayyyy bottom!)
BigBoob15 4 / 17  
Dec 31, 2011   #6
I like it but I think you should replace some of the big words with simple words that have the same meaning.
pringles 6 / 36  
Dec 31, 2011   #7
"Look over these papers," said Mrs. Nguyen. "Chapter one test is in two weeks." With a thud, the heavy packet falls onto my desk, and I immediately scan over the words. 'What is nadar? And what are conjugations?' I ask myself. With my anxiety level going off the roof, I slowly take a deep breath, and cover my flushed cheeks with cold hands. 'Hmmm, maybe I should have taken French instead of Spanish!' The thought is transient because I realize that Spanish would be beneficial and interesting, especially as I live in California. 'Who knows, perhaps someday, I will understand those telenovelas!'

My adventure to conquer this new language began as I prepared the incantations of memorization to dissolve the incessant demons of vocabulary. I could not depend on my mentor to guide me in this battle for it was more pragmatic to teach myself as I could gain a penchant for learning Spanish and earn my most effective study habits. I would write the words in Korean to practice my pronunciation and repeat their definitions until I memorized them. (the last sentence seems to be very abrupt. the next sentence could be started with "While doing this, I discovered" or something like that to make it would flow better) I also discovered that my brain demanded to understand the why's and how's, such as how conjugations appear in sundry verbs tenses and why accents are used, before it processed any information. I realized that comprehension and the speech(< Sounds weird) were fundamental as well as I undertook higher levels of Spanish. During my first listening comprehension tests, I was stumped by the meaning of a single word and the essence of the entire dialogue was lost to me. It was the same with speaking as I stumbled upon a word or a verb tense that I discontinued talking(< could also use rewording) . Yet, these problems were part of the inconspicuous joy of learning a new language, and every failure was a step closer to proficiency.

Learning a new language is a challenge, but it is a challenge I am glad to have taken. Learning Spanish has not only allowed me to communicate with some of my friends in their native language but it has allowed me to fully discover my learning ability.

Other than a few tweaks, it looks good to go.
Be careful on the vocabulary. A little goes a long way. Sometimes it seems as if you were trying too hard to make the writing sound more intelligent.

I would also really appreciate it if you could take a look at my second draft of my roommate essay for stanford. :) please and thank you


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