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MIT essay :)

88keys88keys Posts: 115Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2006 in College Admissions
If you have any comments that'll help, you're basically awesome! Thanks :)


Describe the world you come from, for example your family, clubs, school, community, city, or town. How has that world shaped your dreams and aspirations?

“Anton, do you ever just stare at a wall? It’d probably be healthy for you to once in a while just blank out. I do it all the time.”

Ah, some words of the famous Ms. MIT, Jacqueline Margaret Wentz herself. The moment I found out she was accepted I was ecstatic; it felt as if I had just received the acceptance letter myself.

That day in AP physics, after I had completed the assigned problem sets, I had created one of my own and began to furiously crunch numbers in my fabricated quest to calculate the algebraic expression for the moment of a cone about its axis using cylindrical coordinates and multiple integrals.

The intriguing (and for Jacqui, subtly annoying aspect of my endeavor) was that I had never been in calculus before. All I knew I had read “for fun.” “Anton, you’re not even in calculus. Why are you teaching me integrals?” she would whisper.

I have always admired self-taught individuals, people who pursued complicated ideas to fulfill their own curiosities; my half-sister’s father had been a self taught engineer: he read up on civil engineering, took a test, got his license, as if it was nothing.

With parents who don’t even know what MIT stands for, let alone the definition of an algebraic variable, I might as well have been given some initial horizontal velocity, because I did not just fall from the tree. “Anton, you think math and running is fun?” they often inquire.

Yet my ultimate inspiration comes from an anecdote recounted by Ms. Rose, my history teacher from last year, about how she was once at a congratulatory work function during which she was being rewarded for selling a phenomenal amount of credit cards to the US populous. While basking in her glory, she asked herself “Is this really how I want to be remembered?” at which point she quit her job to pursue a career in education, eventually teaching crazy kids like me.

For me to hear and become immediately inspired by this story was destined; to teach, to create, to utilize my imagination: this is where my heart lies, nowhere else. Her “Passion Project” assignment told our entire class the importance she placed on passion for what we do in life, and as I played Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude for my project, my passion was established.

But truly, why would I do all that I do if I felt I did not have a positive effect? Every tree I planted put a smile on my face; every piano song I played in the rest home for my half-sister’s father before he passed away put a smile on his. And even the boy whom I tutor and counsel who is getting nearly straight F’s each quarter is getting help, though he (and sometimes I) may not realize it.

This year in Eco Club, I have arranged to adopt a sloth; we will donate money to The Buttercup Foundation, a Costa Rica based program that aids disabled sloths as well as their threatened environment. Helping sloths means much more to me symbolically; it means helping others that are too weak to help themselves and making that difference in the world because the opportunity to so is completely tangible. No staring at walls for me.
Post edited by 88keys on

Replies to: MIT essay :)

  • NevermoreNevermore Posts: 58Registered User Junior Member
    3rd Paragraph: "moment" = "movement" or better yet, "rotation"?

    "he read up on civil engineering, took a test, and got his license, as if it was nothing."
    With parents who don’t even know what MIT stands for, let alone the definition of an algebraic variable, I might as well have been given some initial horizontal velocity, because I did not just fall from the tree. “Anton, you think math and running is fun?” they often inquire.
    Wait, what? Somehow that paragraph strikes me as humorous but I can't quite make sense of it. Maybe because it's 4AM.

    "selling a phenomenal amount of credit cards to the US populous." I think you might have meant "populace".
    For me to hear and become immediately inspired by this story was destined; to teach, to create, to utilize my imagination: this is where my heart lies, nowhere else.
    Sentence structure and punctuation seems slightly odd...

    *stops nitpicking* Just pay attention to grammar more please?

    Meh, need sleep now. There are a few structural things - more focus perhaps? - but I'll get to that tomorrow if no one else has by then.

    Overall, it's not bad. A bit random maybe (planting trees? Sloths?) but it kept me amused.
  • TralfamadorianTralfamadorian Posts: 145Registered User Junior Member
    Iono it kinda sounds like a list of all your ec's and everything... I think you need a little more focus.
  • negrunegru Posts: 880Registered User Member
    "3rd Paragraph: "moment" = "movement" or better yet, "rotation"? "
    i think he meant moment of inertia, maybe?
  • Crash_BlairCrash_Blair Posts: 608Registered User Member
    I agree with the more focus.
    The intriguing (and for Jacqui, subtly annoying aspect of my endeavor) was that I had never been in calculus before.

    Move the end parentheses.
    (and for Jacqui, subtly annoying)
  • Rick TylerRick Tyler Posts: 496Registered User Member
    It's an interesting essay, but I'm not sure it is FOCUSED on answering the question they asked. It's close, but not right on the money. Some random comments (and I am not even pretending that I've spent enough time to do a thorough job).

    - NEVER use "utilize" when you can use "use." It's a common way to sound pretentious without adding meaning.

    - I love some of the specific bits: whisper, the sloth, getting "Fs" but learning, subtly annoying. You have some nice imagery going on.

    - Resist the temptation to recapitulate your resume in your essay. Don't brag, explain. I just re-read your essay, and I want to repeat this -- stop using the essay as a hidden way to repeat your resume.

    - You start some good ideas, but don't really develop them. I would rather read one or two good ideas fully developed than a scatter-shot collection of sort-of-related ideas.

    - How does Jacqui's story fit into describing your world? I didn't understand.

    - Since my son was accused of trying to reinvent calculus when he was in algebra, I am particularly sympathetic to your cone story. It's particularly appropriate for MIT, I suppose. I liked it -- although you might work a little bit on the "fish out of water" aspect. Why would Jacqui not understand your drive if she's been accepted to MIT? I think everything in a college essay should have a point, and I'm not sure how Jacqui is the right person for MIT but she doesn't "get" you. Make sure it flows into the topic of the essay.

    - Your narrative flow is choppy. Do you have a parent, teacher or friend who could work with you on mixing up sentence structure and the critical transitions between paragraphs? Your writing is not bad, it could just be a little tighter.

    - You sure introduce a lot of characters in a short piece.

    - If Ms. Rose is your "ultimate inspiration" why don't you start with her? In journalism this is known as burying the lead. My choice for your lead, though, would be your parents. There is a lot of potential there for a "they love me, but don't really get me" story.

    - OK, I liked the "horizontal velocity" from the tree thing, but I had to read it twice to understand it. It does sound like the rest of the essay, though, and I'm sure it sounds like you. I wouldn't have written it that way, but it's more than OK. (Aargh. I can't resist. "I didn't just fall far from the tree -- I was forcibly expelled. I sometimes can't even see the family tree from where I've landed.")

    - I liked the way you tied the beginning and ending together. This is a mark of a mature essay of any kind. Don't leave the reader wondering why you introduced a story one way and then left it hanging at the end.

    Overall, I think you're doing fine. After all, you're not an English Lit major, right?
  • 88keys88keys Posts: 115Registered User Junior Member
    OK
    First of all:
    the moment of an object is a physics/math term that describes how the mass (and thus inertia) of an object is distributed about its axis of rotation.

    Second:
    People who feel I relisted my resume again and therefore need more focus are soooo right. I wasn't even thinking about it when I was writing the essay but by criticizing me in that aspect you were right on the money (thanks!) :)

    third:
    I was using asyndeton to describe my half-sister's father:
    he read up on civil engineering, took a test, got his license, as if it was nothing.

    fourth:
    You guys are awesome thank you so much
    thank you for the grammar points of "populace," the parentheses, and utilize
  • Ilovesoftball44Ilovesoftball44 Posts: 1,497Registered User Senior Member
    I think that once you fix what the above posts said, it will be a great essay! Good Luck :)
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