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Essay about a young woman

jhon_lam 1 / -  
Mar 15, 2007   #1
Hey guys! I just found out about this website by randomly browsing the net for scholarship help, and I thought it was pretty cool. Although I have already submitted my college essay months ago, I woul still like some feedback--the good and the bad. So tell me what you think!

On January 1, 1979, a young woman clad in only an tattered summer dress and sandals steps off a plane landing at John F. Kennedy Airport not knowing what is to become of her future. Terrified by the frozen precipitation she has never seen before and the unfamiliar letters inscribed on every sign, building, and corner, she quickly learns to adapt and survive in this cold new world. Just one week later and a repertoire of six new words ("My name is..." and "I want work..."), this same woman finds herself boarding a local transit bus headed towards the American Fabrics Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut, her first official job in the United States. The change is quite overwhelming for her. Nearly six months ago, she was escaping the rain of bullets that fell on her small, Vietnamese town daily. Three months later, she cuts down coconut trees to make herself a temporary shelter on a remote island off of Malaysia, while awaiting a call of destiny that would determine the rest of her life as well as mine. Therefore, working in less-than-desirable conditions for below minimum wage is a relief for her.

The young woman above, Kien Lam, is my mother. To others, she might appear as a nasal-voiced, soft-spoken Asian woman who simply works hard to support her small, but demanding family. But to me, she is more than that-almost superhuman. An old Chinese proverb says that a person will live nine lives during the course of their lifetime. Well my mother has lived ten, and she's not finished yet. Her strength, passion, and dignity has allowed her to overcome every obstacle she has come her way, whether it is dodging bullets in a communist war or dealing with a delusional son who enjoys crashing automobiles and thinks he holds the key to life.

I am the complete and polar opposite of my mother. I will never be as strong, passionate, and poised as she has been for the past fifty-two years of her life, simply because I do not need to. After all, never in my life had have I ever had to flee from raging bullets or try to find work during my first week in an unfamiliar country. Although she has solely raised me (my father was there financially, but never physically because of his occupation), we both see life with different perspectives. While she is orderly and rational, I am free-spirited and stubborn. We almost always never agree on anything. Yet somehow, she has made me realize how important is to be prepared for life's ambiguity. In any moment at any given chance, there is a likelihood that life will throw stones that are inevitable to avoid. My mother's instinctive guard for the uncertainties of life has taught me to be prepared for anything---the good and the bad. I could have not asked for a better influenced than that.

EF_Team2 1 / 1,709  
Mar 15, 2007   #2

What an excellent and compelling essay! I love the dramatic opening! I think you did an outstanding job and there is little here to critique, other a few very minor word choice edits:

a young woman clad in only a [not "an"] tattered summer dress and sandals steps off a plane landing at John F. Kennedy Airport not knowing what is to become of her future.

every obstacle that [not "she"] has come her way

We almost [delete always] never agree on anything.

life's ambiguity. -- would be better to say "ambiguities."

I could have not asked for a better influence [omit "d"] than that.

Best of luck in your studies!


Sarah, EssayForum.com

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