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"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray.." Childhood flashback


sungin115 2 / 2  
Feb 9, 2018   #1
Question: Many childhood experiences leave lifelong impressions on people. Write an essay in which you describe a memorable childhood experience and explain its effect on your life.

Memories from the past and my teaching



"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray..." I remember singing when I was 12 years old as a middle school student. My class sang the song together under our English teacher's direction, Mrs. Lee. In Korea, we did not learn English until middle school, so it was difficult for us to sing an English song at the age of 12. However, singing the song, "You Are My Sunshine" took me away from my small town in the countryside and brought to life a different kind of culture far away into an unknown dreamland.

I don't know what happened when I sang the song, but the song made learning a complicated foreign language like English easier. Actually, I enjoyed singing even though I didn't know the exact meaning behind the lyrics. Through Mrs. Lee's instruction, my English class listened to the song from the cassette player as we sang the song together. Because we did this several times, I noticed myself humming the song when I commuted to school or during free moments. As time went by, we learned the meaning behind the lyrics, in addition to the grammar rules. I applied those grammar rules when I took difficult English grammar tests until I was in high school, humming the song trying to remember the rules. Without a doubt, my English score improved because of Mrs. Lee's instruction and my memory of the song.

Mrs. Lee's Korean name was pronounced similar to the word 'queen', so her nickname was 'queen' starting during her college life. The nickname was given by her favorite professor. When she revealed this to our class, she blushed a little bit and looked like she was in another world. Her tone of voice was always so gentle and nice. It's the kind of voice actor one might expect from a princess or pretty woman. Her voice made English sound sweeter and softer. Her gestures were like those one might see from a queen. They could be kind but strict with authority. I admired her way of talking and teaching especially when she inspired us to dream about bigger dreams, such as becoming a diplomat or president. Even though we lived in such a small countryside without public transportation, she inspired us to think outside the box. Thanks to her, I have dreamed of becoming an English speaking teacher since then.

It's been ten years since I came to the U.S. to study abroad. I am pursuing a teaching degree, like my queen in America. It's not easy for me to pass the many required tests, especially when they involve listening, reading, speaking and writing in English. However, I will not give up in order to make my dreams come true. I've volunteered to teach Korean to Korean Americans, in English here in the U.S for six years, trying to be nice and gentle like Mrs. Lee. In order for my students to avoid feeling as though the Korean Language is difficult, I've tried to have my voice soft and sweet. I am always dreaming that there will be more "little kings and queens" out there, waiting for my help with a sweet and soft sound.
jerrys1995 1 / 3  
Feb 9, 2018   #2
these are just my views on it. i hope this helps even though i myself am not so good at it

My class sang ... direction, Mrs. Lee.----- i think you can remove the direction and phrase it in a different manner.

my English class listened to ...---- i think you can rephrase this like say, we heard the music out of a cassetter player in our english classes.

... I noticed myself humming the song ...---- the music was always in my head and i found myself humming to it during my leisure times.

As time went by, we learned [...] my memory of the song.---- The song had given me a better grip over the language making it easier for me to speak, i could relate the grammar during learning and it also helped in understanding and scoring better in my english class.
sam1982 4 / 12  
Feb 9, 2018   #3
These are my views on the essay :-

Regarding the flow: - I would move the 3rd paragraph to the second, giving a background of Mrs Lee and then elaborate on her style of teaching in the third paragraph and move move on how she influenced you in your style of teaching in USA.

In terms of the content, I think its appropriate of how you were influenced by your teacher and inspired to pursue the same line of profession.

"It's not easy for me to pass the many required ..." :- Try to spin this in a more positive tone. " Despite of the difficulty in clearing English proficiency tests, I am not backing down; " something on these lines..
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 13,062 4260  
Feb 9, 2018   #4
@sungin115 your approach to the essay covers multiple memories. This runs counter to the prompt requirement of one, single, solitary memory from your past to discuss in the essay. Either discuss the day that you learned the song or, discuss one specific event that involved Miss Lee which had a developmental impact upon your character. You can choose only one topic, you cannot discuss more than one. The prompt is specific about that. If you feel that you cannot discuss only one topic from the number of memories you discussed in this version of the essay, then maybe it would be best for you to write a new one instead. An essay that can focus on only one memory and how it affected you. That memory may involve Miss Lee but the impression that she made on you as a child needs to cover only one specific instance instead of several as you present here. That single even should then be expanded to explain how it continues to be a relevant part of your life today.

This essay is not effective because the focus of the essay was not on you but rather on your teacher. At the end of the essay, I had learned more about your teacher than I did about you, which is a very bad thing to have happen in an essay that is focused on having you present a childhood memory. This has to be about you from beginning to end, no deviations. The minute you focus on a different person in the essay, you change the focus and no longer deliver the prompt elements as required by the instructions.


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