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"The study abroad program really caught my attention" -essay for transfering to UT

crchica33 1 / 3  
Aug 26, 2010   #1
[h2My Story in a Tiny Nutshell[/h2]

Transitioning from one of way of life to another is never an easy task. When I was old enough to start school I began in a private Christian academy. After I graduated from the first grade my parents decided to home-school my older brother and me. Home-schooling was somewhat strenuous for me because it was difficult to be disciplined enough to get up everyday and learn about something that I had little to no interest in. At the end of the sixth grade my mother told us that we would have to start going to public school. I was heartbroken, and terrified to have to face the cruel kids at the public school. Miraculously, middle school was not as bad as I had imagined. Even though at the beginning I had no clue what I was doing, eventually I was able to catch up and oftentimes surpass those around me. The major shift from home-schooling into public school was an enormous challenge for me, but I was able to adapt quickly to the changes.

During my junior year of high school I was made aware of a class called ECP that would allow us as students to teach pre-school for three days out of the week. This was a two hour class and there was no room in my schedule during that year. So I did something that I told myself I would never do; I took a summer-school class to make room in my senior year. The day I received that little slip of paper that said I was accepted to be a teacher in ECP was one of the happiest days in my high school career. During that year, I learned two new things about myself. First, I really loved teaching children. When I walked into the room everyday and saw their smiling faces I could not help but feel overjoyed. The second thing I learned was that I was really good at teaching them. I was able to help each child understand in a manner that fit their way of learning. Sometimes that meant that I had to repeat myself over and over again using different methods. There were a few, however, that I could not teach as well because they only spoke Spanish and I was not a fluent speaker. It was during that year that I decided what direction I would go in as a career choice; elementary education with bilingual certification. In my opinion it is vitally important that children get a good education in the right environment. I also chose to teach with a Spanish certification not only because of my love of the language, but also because of my Mexican heritage. My mother's side of the family is Hispanic and most of them already speak Spanish. I have been studying the language ever since my first trip to Mexico when I was eleven, and I intend to study abroad to put the icing on the cake by becoming fluent.

After high school I was still not sure how to go about the whole college thing. I knew in the back of mind that I wanted to teach kindergarten, but I did not have the slightest clue how to go about it. So I decided to take a year off and become an intern at Teen Mania Ministries. I was there a full year from August to August, and it was one of the hardest years of my life. I was confined in a room of six girls with a community bathroom shared between eighteen girls. That alone seems to be cruel and unusual punishment. I told myself, however, that if I could get through that one year I could get through any challenge that comes my way. After graduation I came back home and got busy. I started off slowly and worked for a full semester then I put myself into community college. Unfortunately, I threw myself out there a little bit too far and started to struggle. I enrolled in four classes during the spring semester while I was working around fifty hours a week at a new job. Needless to say that did not go too well. After that semester, I made a vow not to take on more than I can handle, so I started off a little slower. I was able to catch up and take more classes in no time and I was able to make the honor list each semester. My perseverance through the hard times was rewarded by an invitation into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, to which I have happily accepted.

In the beginning of the 2010 spring semester I visited the University of Texas website. I had always been a UT fan, but I had never actually thought about being a student. I assumed that the classes would be too big for me and I would feel out of place. As I skimmed through the site, the study abroad program really caught my attention because they had the program and country that I wanted to visit. From there I began to study the education program to get all the information that I would need to know. At that point I asked my mother if she really thought that I could get into such a great school, and when she said she believed in me I gained courage. I immediately made an appointment with the office in Houston and got started right away will all the logistical work. When I visited the campus, it became a reality that I actually have a chance to be apart of the legendary UT. Since February I have not stopped thinking about it and working toward my goal of becoming a student. I know that attending UT will be an awesome experience for me; the environment alone is amazing. Being surrounded by people with the same goal of getting a great education and putting it to use is something I wholeheartedly look forward to.

zengrz - / 92  
Aug 26, 2010   #2

First of all, I think you have an interesting life. I have never been home schooled and hardly know what it is like. It must take a lot of drive and interest to succeed.

Back to the essay. You have provided a broad background of your life since you are a child. Thus, I'd say that this statement lacks the focus, or a thesis, that is crucial to every essay. Thesis is the backbone of an essay, I would rather not say a thesis statement, because people will think of it as a sentence. Thesis is an idea that you want to convey through your essay. I 'd like to question you that I personally use to question myself before writing: After my readers have read my essay, I want them to know that...??

To me, your second paragraph is the most crucial part in this essay. Maybe try to elaborate on that more. Talk about Why you want to teach children, is there any connection to your own childhood?

First, I really loved teaching children, and second, I was really good at it.

Why do you love to teach them? What makes you good at it?

elementary education with bilingual certification

Why bilingual? Is it because you met someone who can't speak English well, and you felt the need to learn his language? What language is that?

Grammar wise, your essay is great.

G L~
OP crchica33 1 / 3  
Aug 27, 2010   #3
Thanks for your comment.. i was afraid that i lacked focus :( i appreciate your help!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Aug 28, 2010   #4
Although my mom did teach on occasion, she let us teach ourselves for the most part because she knew that everything we really needed to know was right there in the book, we just had to find it.

This sentence may reflect negatively on you and your mother, making you seem uneducated due to her negligence.

...and I intend to study abroad to put the icing on the cake by becoming fluent.

Okay, at the end of the first paragraph I am left feeling that, as you mentioned in your most recent post, the essay lacks focus. The trick is to start with a very focused paragraph. How do you make a paragraph focused? Make it about a single theme. Make it about one theme, and do not add sentences that are about something else. These paragraphs are quite long, and that can make an essay lack focus.

Look at the first sentence of each paragraph. Do those sentences convey the topics of each paragraph? Google this: how to write good topic sentences.

Also, look for ways to eliminate unnecessary words and sentences:
In the beginning of the 2010 spring semester I began to think about what University I would like to transfer to because I knew it was about that time. I looked at a few different schools online and browsed at their education programs. Then I came to I visited the University of Texas website. I had always been...

OP crchica33 1 / 3  
Aug 29, 2010   #5
Hello! i have revised the essay. please let me know if it better! thanks!
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,324 129  
Aug 30, 2010   #6
Here, I think you can use a colon to specify the program and country:
As I skimmed through the site, the study abroad program really caught my attention because they had the program and country that I wanted to visit: the XXXXXXX program, and an opportunity to visit (name of country).

This is looking good...

Okay, can you tell me the message of the essay in a single sentence? Sum it up in one sentence, and include that sentence somewhere. :-)
OP crchica33 1 / 3  
Aug 30, 2010   #7
The message of my essay is to explain my educational background, to show how i came to decide on my major, and how i decided where i would go to obtain it.

thanks so much for your help!!

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