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"trip to the Gurdwara" - University of Michigan Diversity Essay


srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #1
Thanks alot in advance, any comments are welcome, constructive criticism especially appreciated. I know this is a rough draft, I'll still be working on it, my question is do you understand the message I'm trying to convey and does it seem too extreme? Most importantly, do I answer the question?

Share an experience through which you have gained respect for intellectual, social, or cultural differences. Comment
on how your personal experiences and achievements would contribute to the diversity of the University of Michigan.

I gaze with awe; it's crisp yet imperious nature before me. I take note of the state of the flag on this day: the state of tranquility achieved through the vigor of it blowing in the air is surreal.

My weekly Sunday trip to the Gurdwara, god's home where the flag lies, always emphasizes a guiding theme of unity. Everybody takes part in Sewa, which is as rudimentary as doing community work, but it's the indomitable power of faith that guides us in these telling moments. The culture created in this congregation is profound; I am immersed in populations of the same form of superficiality six days a week but it is this trip to the gurdwara that adds diversity to my life. When I am here, I aspire to go beyond rudimentary depths to strengthen its existence bounded by our faith.

Such an opportunity lies in the Sikh Youth Symposium in which I relay the virtues of our founding fathers to Sangat. It is my one opportunity to convey a certain rhythm to them, the one opportunity where we are at the same base.

When I speak, I am in a state of harmony where I feel the power of two relationships: between me and Sikh divinity and between me and the power of connecting with the Sangat. The combination of these two is my way of unifying me and Sangat. For those seven minutes, I ultimately realize how compatible faith in Sikhism is with everything I do and the immeasurable awe of the flag's vigor. The path to comprehending this awe derived from faith in a world so culturally different is something I feel I can share with the vibrant Michigan community. It is a community united under the same goal of prosperity in which everybody is united under the divine intervention of the great Michigan tradition. Hopefully, my faith is compatible with the tradition and culture of Michigan.

College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) What led you to
choose the area(s) of academic interest that you have listed in your
application to the University of Michigan? If you are undecided, what
areas are you most interested in, and why?

The message behind curiosity had been an enigma to me for so long. Where was it leading me? Why was it so undefined? How could I use its power? I was hapless by the depth of this thought.

Two and a half years ago, I did work looking at kidneys from the deceased but was too overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what I was encountering; it was a situation I had created in my mind. I was too intimidated to progress any further.

This past summer, I did lab work attempting to inhibit growth of BK virus through various drugs. I was immersed in my subject; every drug provided a powerful opportunity, a voice that I refused to ignore. I would spend hours scrutinizing potential effects of every drug and even more time bombarding my lab assistant with ideas and questions. I had no other motive than to indulge my curiosity. I had every scenario played out in my mind before I even started and gave each considerable importance. My determination was bounded by a suppression to not just learn, but to want.

The result of this scrutinizing process: abject failure. Once again, I was simply dominated by the subject. I was paralyzed, I had no answers. The power of these drugs and the nature of the BK virus replication seemed implausible. It was this challenge to my sense of plausibility that left me powerless.

It was the dominant nature of this subject that allowed me to realize just how dynamic it was, but all this did was strengthen my compulsion to find answers. The challenge presented to my curiosity ignited an interest unlike any I have ever had. As it turns out, curiosity need not lead me anywhere, curiosity is the one thing compatible with science and will lead to mediums where I can find answers; however undefined they may first appear to be.

tjk10 1 / 1  
Oct 28, 2009   #2
You definitely answered the first part of the question well - I really liked your opening hook - but I feel you could add a little more to answering the second part better. How will it contribute to the diversity. It's not an experience that is common at all but i do think you can mention how your faith, maybe not only in God, will benefit the Michigan community. Also I feel that you can make the last two sentences a little stronger (you used united twice in the same sentence) and the hopefully part seems a little week.

Good essay, but a stronger conclusion would definitely help. Also note that I'm just another kid trying to write his essays, too and has never done this before so take it for what it's worth.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 28, 2009   #3
thanks for the advice i know what your going through right now, lots of deadlines this week, it's hard to really explicity say how i contribute to diversity, i feel like that's something implied by what i mention in the first half. thanks for the advice though appreciate anybody feel free, any kind of advice thanks alot
jnbadj 1 / 3  
Oct 28, 2009   #4
You did a very good job answering the question. You might want to work on your conclusion though, and I think you lacking on how you would contribute to the diversity. You seemed to start answer here: "can share with the vibrant Michigan community", but I think citing relative specifc examples would help your essay quite a bit. Also can you define what "Sangat" is? Otherwise really good essay.
Moonshadow0302 - / 68  
Oct 29, 2009   #5
The idea of using your sikh identity as your contribution to diversity is good. But perhaps you can elaborate a bit more on what being a sikh means - it is not just faith and the belief in God, it also goes beyond and focusses strongly on community service and giving to the poor in the form of langar and sewa. This you can bring out more strongly and show how it gels with the Michigan spirit.

Again, a suggestion - your essays are rather verbose and wordy, try saying the same thing in simpler language. You lose the reader in the circumambulations of your sentences and end up sounding pompous. :-) I hope you got my point!
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 29, 2009   #6
Gazala Raza thanks alot for the advice, that is actually something I did mention in my rough draft, but I took it out due to a lack of space. The problem of space remains, I definitely want to talk about my experiences in the Sikh Youth Symposium, there just isn't the room too do all of this, its suppose to be aprox 250 words. What does everybody think of my intro? Is it powerful, or does it do the exact opposite, turn the reader off and prove to be irrelevant. I absolutely agree with you on the verbose comment, I def. will work on that, thanks alot. My only question is what is considered too verbose, words like prosperity, awe and superficiality? These don't seem like extreme words, I def. didn't look these up in a dictionary and put them, I felt like they did convey the messages I was trying to get across. Any suggestions anybody on what I could use instead, or what type of connotation I might be looking for? I also have a Dorian Gray essay without any comments, any comments are welcome there, I feel like that's my weakest essay. Thank you so much everybody.
cissylewel 5 / 24  
Oct 30, 2009   #7
you just need to go ahead to submit your essays.... very good job! especially the first one.
bmachado 5 / 23  
Oct 30, 2009   #8
so I read both of your essays on kidneys and I think that this version is considerably better than the one in the previous post. One thing that did catch my attention though was when you said "I had no other motive than to indulge my curiosity." in the second paragraph and then in the third you said "The result of this scrutinizing process: abject failure." I figured that the "abject failure" had to do with figuring out the effects of drugs on the BK virus, but in the second paragraph you say that you were driven by your curiosity and want to learn. Because of the relation of those things in this essay it seems as if you are saying that you did not indulge your curiosity or learn anything. I hope that makes a little bit of sense at least. Other than that it is a good essay. Good luck.
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 30, 2009   #9
thanks alot any other comments I'll probably be submitting both these essays and my dorian gray essay tom. I'm going to extend my biology essay little bit and use it for the common app. Any last thoughts? Feel free anybody to mention any comments or critiques you have. Thanks Alot
OP srandhawa 10 / 157  
Oct 30, 2009   #10
if im looking to cut something out of the first essay to fit length constraints, what should it be? ONe essay has to be cut down 30-40 words, and I want to use parts of this for teh common app 150 word description essay. Thanks alot


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