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The world I come from is practically non-existent -- visually, at least; Neuroscience UC Prompt #1


fatimakhan 1 / 3  
Nov 23, 2014   #1
If you were to meet me, the first thing you would probably notice is that my sense of sight is lacking. As a child, my eyesight began to deteriorate, and as the progression of my visual impairment continued to worsen, I turned to my creative instincts to fill the void. Spending countless hours adorned in Victorian gowns, I was intrigued by the fact that I did not need to physically visualize its beauty. Running my hand across the faux taffeta silk, stumbling upon each bead that was inlaid into the crevices of the fabric, gave off a sensation that was enough for me to comprehend the elegance of each gown. And with each gown emerged a new personality, polar to my own, that created a completely different world: the world of my imagination. It is in this place that I am able to express the emotions that consume my thoughts; it is uniquely my own, and, for that, it is where I feel an utter sense of satisfaction.

From an early age, my parents encouraged my dress-up habits. Born into extremely conservative households, both my mother and father were forced to oppress any creative tendencies they possessed. Regardless of their liberal parenting, I, too, was expected to subdue my world of imagination. Although I was born in America, I spent most of my childhood, without the guidance of my parents, living in Pakistan during a time when political upheaval caused many of its civilians to become fearful of expressing unorthodox ideas.

However, behind the closed doors of my grandmother's one-room apartment, I found an outlet for my world. My imagination was unrestricted from the barrier that I was compelled to uphold in public. Despite the residence being large, the only things inside it were a queen-sized bed, a nightstand ornamented with just a lamp, and a bucket that served as our bathroom. Yet, due to my poor eyesight, I saw the room in a much more favorable perspective. I had never even noticed the chipping wallpaper nor the termite infested wood floor that my grandmother often complained about. As my imagination reopened to compensate for my lack of vision, I forged the apartment into a safe haven for the various personalities found in the depths of my mind. Draped in a floral curtain, I became Lady Jasmine, the daughter of the Duke of Lahore (a prominent city in Pakistan), cordial and submissive in nature. As the realm of my imagination morphed again, the apartment turned into a saloon and my sandals into distressed cowboy boots; I, Nadia, epitomized an independent and unyielding spirit from the American Wild West.

With the fabrication of each new personality, the world of my imagination has become a source of expressing thoughts and ideas that would have been relatively dormant otherwise. It is in this place that I am able to communicate to myself who I really am as Fatima Khan. In some respects I am reflected by Jasmine's need for order, while in others Nadia conveys the more unconventional aspects of my actual personality. As I constantly reopen this world, I am reminded that being quirky and creative prompts a sense of fulfillment within me that ultimately fills the void caused by my lack of vision. It is here that I am not only true to myself, but I am also able to learn so much more about my personality that is hidden from others, and, for that reason, the world of my imagination is where I feel absolute contentment.
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 23, 2014   #2
This is a very involving essay about the world that you come from Fatimah. You successfully take us into the world of darkness or semi-darkness that you exist in while offering us a clear idea of how your situation in life and your environment helped shape the person you have become. In effect, you managed to establish a solid point of reference regarding the growth of your traits, goals, and ambitions in life in an unexpected manner. It is admirable to see that you have thought outside of the box with this essay by using your poor vision or lack of sight to help establish the world that you come from. It shows the kind of admirable inner strength you have which will definitely help you become a success in life. Are there any areas of concern in the essay that you wrote that you want me to concentrate on in this review?
OP fatimakhan 1 / 3  
Nov 23, 2014   #3
Wow, thank you so much for your feedback!! I was wondering if my reference to my internship was well written/descriptive enough? I feel I am missing some things, but am unsure of what else to add. Thanks again for your help!! :-)
enifeni 1 / 1  
Nov 23, 2014   #4
This essay is really powerful. Your opening was very intriguing and you kept me interested all the way through the end. This is perfection.
OP fatimakhan 1 / 3  
Nov 23, 2014   #5
Wow, thank you so much for your kind words!! :-)
vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Nov 23, 2014   #6
I am not sure what you mean by internship because there was nothing relating to work experience in the essay that you wrote. You were pretty much set in only your grandmother's apartment and the world that you created for yourself there. The essay is quite descriptive in my opinion and really brings the reader into your world. Almost begging that we close our eyes to become sightless in order to get a feel of what it is truly like to be in your world. It is well written and descriptive so you can relax and be confident in the work you have done :-) I am not saying that just to make you feel good. Believe me, if there were something wrong with the content, I would have pointed it out the first time you posted this thread :-)
taura 2 / 4  
Dec 26, 2014   #7
This is a very compelling essay, but some of the grammatical errors detract from your narrative. I'll focus my suggestions on the intro paragraph, and hopefully you can apply the principles throughout the rest of the essay.

"If you were to meet me, the first thing you would probably notice is that my sense of sight is lacking."
This phrasing is slightly awkward, you could rephrase it as something like "One of the first things people notice about me is my poor sense of sight." You might want to chose a more descriptive word than 'poor' however.

"As a child, my eyesight began to deteriorate, and as the progression of my visual impairment continued to worsen, I turned to my creative instincts to fill the void."

Too many commas, and the sentence is a little overly complex. I would simplify it. For example: "My eyesight began to deteriorate in childhood, and as my visual impairment worsened, I turned to my creative instincts to fill the void."

"Spending countless hours adorned in Victorian gowns, I was intrigued by the fact that I did not need to physically visualize its beauty."

You switch from present to past tense, and you have a pronoun antecedent disagreement. I would rephrase this as "I spent countless hours adorned in Victorian gowns, intrigued by the fact that I did not need to physically visualize their beauty."

"Running my hand across the faux taffeta silk, stumbling upon each bead that was inlaid into the crevices of the fabric, gave off a sensation that was enough for me to comprehend the elegance of each gown."

This is very powerful descriptive language, I can almost feel the gowns in my hand as you describe them. However it is marred by comma splices, which makes it harder to follow along. Again the tense feels inconsistent. Your descriptive language is one of your essays strengths, so I would definitely focus on making it as clear as possible.

"And with each gown emerged a new personality, polar to my own, that created a completely different world: the world of my imagination."

I would avoid starting sentences with "and". The punctuation isn't technically correct either. I understand what you mean by 'personalities', but I would consider using the word 'characters' instead. 'Personalities' may lead to the impression that you have multiple personality disorder.

"It is in this place that I am able to express the emotions that consume my thoughts; it is uniquely my own, and, for that, it is where I feel an utter sense of satisfaction."

Again improper punctuation distracts from what is a very beautiful thought. I love how you take the word 'place' mentioned in the prompt as not a physical location, but rather a mental 'place', one that wearing the dresses takes you. The punctation unfortunately hinders you, especially in "...my own, and, for that, it is...". This loses the reader and makes it confusing.

Overall, you have a very powerful story and vivid descriptions, but your story is crippled by mechanical errors. Simplifying sentences and improving clarity will go a long way towards improving your essay.

Good luck with your applications!
Ghfdw17 6 / 21  
Dec 26, 2014   #8
Your essay and description is perfect. I can find no flaw at all to be honest.
Good luck :)


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