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VCU: page 87 of your autobiography; Land of the Free and Math


vananhdo 1 / 5  
Nov 27, 2009   #1
It sounds very awkward to me. Like I'm not sticking to the prompt essay or something...

Compose Page 87 of your autobiography. In this essay, you should be creative, considering where your life story would be at this point.

Land of the Free and Math

I jumped at the sudden noise down the stairs. My hands immediately wrapped around my head to block the cacophony. It was not the loudness that startled me; it was the rawness of the sound, the kind one can only hear when flesh is being abused. A slap, I sourly realized. The sound died as soon as it started before another followed. This time, it was mixed with my mother's whimpering.

Dad is home, I thought.

As if to confirm my thought, a loud bang boomed in the air when my father slammed his hand on the table. It was his way of saying he was angry. When he was angry, someone would have to pay, and more often than not, it was my mother who had to. A series of harsh and dry noises crackled in the air and was quickly joined by the sound of dishes shattering.

I shouldn't have been afraid. After all, I had grown up hearing these sounds hundreds of times. I should have been used to them by now. Yet my heart could not but raced in my chest as I imagined the things my father did every time he came home drunk.

I could only imagine because I rarely witnessed his arrivals. My mother locked my door from outside as soon as she heard my father's car engine roared that only happened when he was drunk. At first I protested because I thought if I had been around maybe I could somehow have lessened her "accidental injuries." Though, looking back, I hardly think any of our neighbors believed my mother acquired those bruises on her arms and forehead from working as a bank accountant. My mother bitterly opposed my idea of staying with her from the time I was five years old, when a blow from my father's hand bruised my cheek. From then on, I stayed in my room whenever father came home with alcohol in his system.

When locked up inside, I refused to curl up in one corner and let my fear devour me; instead, I lost myself in studying mathematics. I chose math because in math there are only numbers, equations, and formulas. In math, it is always fair, and there is always a solution to any problem. Math gave me safety and reminded me that somewhere in the world, there is justice, and that my mother's and my suffering will soon end.

My justice finally came when I was thirteen. On February 13, 2005, my mother and I arrived in Falls Church, Virginia to join my grandfather, who had been brought here from Vietname by the American military. Just like what the American's anthem states, America is truly the "Land of the Free." My mother and I are free of my father's oppression. Within months of our arrival, my parents divorced. Years of living with my father have taught me to be independent. Now that the door of a better future is widely open for me, I unhesitatingly move forward.

I have been a straight A's student ever since I entered American schools. I am a member of the National Honor Society and the Math Honor Society. In addition to serving as a member of the Falls Church High School Character Education Team for three years, I was selected to be the co-president of The Really Good Film Festival where we show movies that promote peace, unity, and friendship. Instead of suffering in silence, I now take actions to shape my life and the world around me. Though I find I can communicate better through writing than I can through spoken language, I am not ashamed to share with others the story of my abusive childhood. I do not seek sympathy from others; I simply want my listeners to have a better understanding of the problems that abused children must endure.

Since I moved to America, my bedroom door has never been locked, and my study of math is no longer limited to my bedroom. In fact, I do math everywhere and anywhere I can. I do math in my car. I do math in the restroom. I do math in the gym while waiting for my turn to shoot the basketball. My favorite hobby is to recite the first fifteen digits of Pi while waiting for my name to be called at the clinic.

I have been through the worse, and it did not break me then. Whatever else might come my way in the future - no matter how hard it is- I will persevere. I will move forward. And I will win.

Thank you so much for looking over my essay. It means a lot to me.

t1292 11 / 21  
Nov 27, 2009   #2
The last paragraph's are off topic maybe there is somewhere else in the Application that they can fit. I love your intro!
OP vananhdo 1 / 5  
Nov 27, 2009   #3
wow. Thank you for the super fast reply. I'm actually having difficulty writing the conclusion. How should I end this?
t1292 11 / 21  
Nov 27, 2009   #4
oh? I thought that was an end? and I thought it was a good end? its just the two paragraphs before it that seem to land like space crafts.
OP vananhdo 1 / 5  
Nov 27, 2009   #5
Yeah. You're right. It was the end. An awkward one. So I was trying to revise it. The last two paragraphs are inserted because at the beginning I was talking about how math helps me with my probs. that's why I need to link it back to my conclusion. and the very last paragraph I just put it there to show off a little...(haha)

Here's my revised one.

...I do math in the restroom. I do math in the gym while waiting for my turn to shoot the basketball. My favorite hobby is to recite the first fifteen digits of Pi while waiting for my name to be called at the clinic.

It has been five years since I moved to America. Like Langston Hughes once wrote "life ain't been no crystal stairs," but as long as there is a will, there will always be a way. I have been through the worst, and it did not break me then. Whatever else might come my way in the future - no matter how hard it is- I will persevere. I work hard. And I will win. From this page on, there will be nothing but moving forward. This, I promised myself.

is it better?
Lampshade00 - / 2  
Nov 27, 2009   #6
A Few Verb Tense Issues

"Yet my heart could not but raced in my chest as I imagined the things my father did every time he came home drunk."

-Change RACED to RACE.

"My mother locked my door from outside as soon as she heard my father's car engine roared that only happened when he was drunk."

-Change ROARED to ROAR.

"with alcohol in his system."

-Sounds a bit contrived. Make it simpler. Just use "drunk" or "intoxicated"

"Math gave me safety and reminded me that somewhere in the world, there is justice, and that my mother's and my suffering will soon end."

-This has the potential to be great, but the reasoning is faulty. How does math represent hope for your mother? Elaborate.

"Just like what the American's anthem states..."

-Again contrived. Make it simpler by taking it out. Just say "America is the land of the free..."

My mother and I are free of my father's oppression. Within months of our arrival, my parents divorced.

-Switch the 2 sentences around and change the verb tense to were.

Years of living with my father have taught me to be independent. Now that the door of a better future is widely open for me, I unhesitatingly move forward.

-Remove have
-Second sentence is a bit awkward. Try "I unhesitatingly moved forward as the door to a better future opened before me.

I have been a straight A's student ever since I entered American schools.

-Straight A student, take out the - 's -
-For the last paragraph, you don't want to sound like you're bragging.

...I do math in the restroom. I do math in the gym while waiting for my turn to shoot the basketball. My favorite hobby is to recite the first fifteen digits of Pi while waiting for my name to be called at the clinic.

It has been five years since I moved to America. Like Langston Hughes once wrote "life ain't been no crystal stairs," but as long as there is a will, there will always be a way. I have been through the worst, and it did not break me then. Whatever else might come my way in the future - no matter how hard it is- I will persevere. I work hard. And I will win. From this page on, there will be nothing but moving forward. This, I promised myself.


-The I do math prose and Pi revelation are a bit forced. I'd seriously consider taking it out. Or changing it to be more humorous.

Good Job.
:)
Mustafa1991 8 / 373 4  
Nov 27, 2009   #7
I jumped at the sudden noise down the stairs. My hands immediately wrapped around my head to block the cacophony. It was not the loudness that startled me; it was the rawness of the sound, the kind one can only hear when flesh is being abused. A slap, I sourly realized. The sound died as soon as it started before another followed. This time, it was mixed with my mother's whimpering.

Selected errors in bold.

You jumped down the stairs?
State directly what you did.
Reword; the sound is eerily familiar...


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