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'Thanksgiving 2011' - Harvard Essay


WelcomeCollege 3 / 10  
Dec 21, 2011   #1
Hi Everybody,
The following essay is my essay to Harvard. Be merciless and correct everything you can! Also my essay is 762 words, and even though Harvard doesn't have a word limit, I think it is a bit longer. Delete stuff you think are ineffective. Thank you so much! Your 5 mintues will save my future!

Prompt: Is there anything additional you would like us to know? (Basically just free topic)
Thanksgiving 2011
At my age, many think that only scientists and politicians, such as Isaac Newton and Bill Clinton, are able to change humankind. However, the minute I strode into Rose L. Hardy Middle School's main entrance as a math and science tutor, I realized that I, along with many other ordinary people, can make a difference. Thanksgiving is a process for me to give my thanks back to my society, a holiday that has lasted through the entirety of 2011 and will continue for a lifetime.

Three years ago, I had sneaked into Hardy's doors as an intimidated seventh grader who had just moved to the U.S. However, patient teachers and classmates guided me through my academics and introduced me to their colorful culture. Inspired by their optimism, I was eager to become a member of this crazy yet amicable community. Three years later, I am back to pay my gratitude. What way would best benefit Hardy other than inspiring its students?

After six months as a tutor at Hardy, I fell in love with my students. Innocent yet smart, these students often surrounded me with whimsical questions that I would answer with subdued laughter. Watching them scribbling on their math tests and science crosswords, I hoped they would one day follow my steps and pay their gratitude to their society.

This satisfying experience encouraged me to do more. Why don't I contribute to Sino-U.S. understandings? Because of my upbringing, it is not only my pleasure but also my responsibility to promote friendships between China and the U.S. Thrilled and guided by my father, who is a diplomat, I applied as the first high school intern at the U.S.-China Policy Foundation (USCPF) and began my journey of studying international relations. During the internship, I updated USCPF's twitter by accumulating the latest Chinese and American news and maintained its website by writing weekly research articles. As soon as I heard about the Senators' trip to China in August, I offered to help. While folding brochures, I discovered these brochures, which were to be given to Chinese officials, were completely in English. Although many Chinese officials today are fluent in English themselves in addition to having translators, creating a Chinese version of USCPF's brochure would clearly be convenient and indicative of the effort USCPF has contributed toward Sino-U.S. understandings. I recommended this idea to Dr. Wang, the Chairman of USCPF. She enthusiastically responded to my proposal. However, she indicated that previous attempts have failed due partially to time constraints and the difficulty to translate the brochure accurately. If full-time employees with graduate degrees have failed, how was I, a high school intern, able to successfully translate the brochure? However, confident of my bilingual skills and unable to constrain my thirst for challenges, I accepted this task, aiming to perfect this trip. After sacrificing my lunch time and diving into dictionaries for hours in search for the most perfect fit, I devised a final draft of my translation. My diligence paid off: Dr. Wang publicly praised me for the accuracy of my translation and its ability to represent USCPF's goal without distortion. Even more pleasant to hear was that Chinese officials have generated positive feedbacks after reading the brochure in their native language. I was delighted to know I had contributed something, no matter how trivial, to the friendships between two countries I love.

As the 2011 school year approached, I decided to expand my passion and continue giving gratitude. Outside of my school, I volunteered at the Coordination of Chinese American Councils to help Chinese senior citizens learn about the variety of health and social benefits they are entitled to. Inside my school, I founded a Chinese Culture Club, in which I eliminate general stereotypes and serve to introduce the beauty of China to my American friends, just like they had introduced the power of the American culture to me three years ago at Hardy. I tutored students with their Chinese and Ping-Pong skills, and experienced indescribable joy during this process of thanksgiving.

This year has been a year of gratitude. At the Thanksgiving this year, I thanked my parents for birthing me, China for its beautiful culture and language, and America for its tolerance and diversity. I will continue my path of paying back to the world, at Harvard as well as in my life. During this year of thanksgiving, I have grown from an immature child to a responsible youth. I kept this in mind: great accomplishments are not done by impulse, but by a series of small actions brought together.

desm2012 6 / 36  
Dec 21, 2011   #2
aw thats was cute. i smiled. your passion for this subject really comes through.

"it is not only my pleasure but also my responsibility"
it is not my pleasure, but my responsibility

"I had sneaked into Hardy's doors as an intimidated seventh grader"
I snuck into Hardy's doors as an intimidated seventh grader"

I feel like the last part of your essay "As the 2011 school year approached[...]Ping-Pong skills." is kind of just a recitation of your accomplishments. Isn't that stuff already on your application? I feel like you could take it out and let the reader focus completely on this individual accomplishment (the brochure thing) to exemplify your love for Sino-U.S. relations.

P.S.
Would you help me with mine? "My cousin, Trent"
OP WelcomeCollege 3 / 10  
Dec 21, 2011   #3
Thank you for your comment.
If you think the Ping-Pong/Club thing is redundant, do you think the paragraph about the tutoring should be deleted too?
P.S, I will edit ur essay. Check ur thread later for my comment :)
PinoyLad 2 / 3  
Dec 21, 2011   #4
I didn't really get the connection with Thanksgiving. You kind of just mentioned it in the beginning and brought back briefly at the end. I think you can just forgo this idea and just talk about how you like to give back to the society and are very thankful for what society has done for you.
OP WelcomeCollege 3 / 10  
Dec 21, 2011   #5
THank you for your comment. I used "thanksgiving" because in 2011 this became more than a holiday for me. What other title would you suggest I use?
ItsokaytoGaga 15 / 96  
Dec 21, 2011   #6
Hey Jingyi!

Great essay! It really talks in depth about your need to contribute to society in some way. And not just telling, but also showing how. :) There are certain structural errors

I could discern...

Thanksgiving is a process for me to give my thanks back to my society, a holiday that has lasted through the entirety of 2011 and will continue for a lifetime.

This sentence seems a bit 'off'. I can't really say what exactly. May be you should rephrase it.

Because of my upbringing, it is not only my pleasure but also my responsibility to promote friendships between China and the U.S

Here you seem to have taken the role of promoting Sino-US understanding all in your hands. The word pleasure takes the flow out of this sentence. I suggest you work at this sentence too.

While folding brochures, I discovered these brochures, which were to be given to Chinese officials, were completely in English.

Awkwardly phrased, "I discovered that these brochures, which were given to Chinese officials...

There are a few unnecessary words here and there, so consider revising till you get a near-perfect essay! :)

I hope I could help in any way possible.
PLEASE read the edited response to my CommonApp essay and critique it as harshly as you could. I would really appreciate any help!!
OP WelcomeCollege 3 / 10  
Dec 21, 2011   #7
THank you for your reply. Can you maybe give examples of "unnecessary" words you meant?
P.S., check ur forum later, you will see my comment :)
desm2012 6 / 36  
Dec 21, 2011   #8
I think the tutoring is an OK lead-in to the main topic, so you should probably keep it.


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