Awkward phrasing

Here’s an essay I wrote. I think some of it needs alittle help so comments and suggestions would be excellent. Thanks! Oh I think I’ll use this for either the common app significant person or topic of choice

<pre><code>There was Grete, Emily, Melinda, Sue, Katrin, Simona, Christina . . . Who are these people I speak of?
One by one, over several years, each of these was often the first person I saw in the morning, the one who gave me breakfast, the one who drove me to swim practice, the one who I sang with in the car. Deeper than that, these young women were the ones who cracked open my shell, letting the light of the rest of the world shine through. I was peering outside the realm of Kansas suburbia, across the seas, into cultures a million miles away. My transport was through these women (really girls not much older than I am now), who each lived with my family for one year. They were called Au Pairs, and they lived with us as family members, caring for me and my brother, getting the American experience, and giving us a little piece of Europe.
The first time I realized I was getting a disguised worldly education was when a strange, circular, fried food item was placed in front of me. It closely resembled a pancake but I had a feeling that this was different. Grete, from Norway, had cooked it and said they were potato pancakes. Being a picky eater, I questioned how closely they related to my favorite breakfast dish of regular, old flapjacks. I was told to try them and see. Needless to say, I was less than pleased with the turn out of this supposedly Norwegian delicacy. However, I felt pretty special to be the only girl in my area to be eating something that came from so far away. Additionally, I was probably the only girl to know about them.
The outcome of the pancake incident was not only that I had tried something new, but that the gates in my mind were opening to see the world. My preconceived notions that my ballet performances, soccer practices, and piano recitals were of concern to everyone on the planet were shattered. When Emily, from England, opened up a package of foil-wrapped chocolates one winter, I was thrilled. But instead of handing them out, she walked over to the Christmas tree and hung them up. I thought, ‘Well aren’t we going to eat them?’ Turned out those chocolates were a tradition that she brought from home to share with us. Even little customs like that were interesting to me and broadened my perceptions. This insight has stayed with me and has helped shape the way I approach issues. My opinions are formed by knowing the facts instead of jumping to conclusions. The experience of having Au Pairs has also encouraged me to learn a foreign language. If they hadn’t learned English, none of them would have had the opportunity to come to the United States, an experience that was probably incredible to them.
</code></pre>

I now walk with an open mind ready to listen to others’ opinions before forming my own. Wherever I go for college and in life, I will always bring this with me because I realize that the only way to learn about oneself is to find out how one feels about the world.

<p>bump. </p>

<p>asd;lfkjas;flk</p>

<p>the problem that I have with your essay is that it kind of seems shallow. the admissions people might think that you are kind of spoiled (im not saying that you are) in talking about your various european au pairs. it doesnt seem like a deep enough topic. just my $.02</p>

<p>please post a version with breaks between paragraphs, so we can read it</p>

<p>it seems like you are spoiled, though i'm sure you're not. It justs seems as though you consider yourself better than them</p>

<p>ok wow I'm glad you said that. I definately don't want to sound like a brat. What do you think I should change or delete to make it better and not sound spoiled?</p>

<p>I think it would help if you put more information about how exactly exposure to au pair girls has affected the way you live your life now and what you have to offer a college. Reduce some of the info about your childhood, and show us more about yourself now.</p>

<p>ok I'll work on that. Thank you.</p>

<p>Kind of unrelated... You'd never had latkes?! (potato pancakes) They're a Jewish food for around Hannukah time. I recommend them with sour cream or apple sauce ;) . </p>

<p>As for having that in your essay, it startled me that you didn't know about latkes and Jewish culture (everyone around here eats them, even the people who aren't Jewish... although I live in a very Jewish area). I was just thinking of the adcoms reading it were Jewish, or aware of Jewish culture, they might be startled as well. But those are just my thoughts. They are yummy though :)</p>

<p>i've heard of them, but i've never eaten them, i agree with above suggestions</p>

<p>Ok so I did some revising. I really hope it doesn't make me seem shallow or spoiled anymore, I'm really not. As for the pancakes, I've heard of latkes but the kind I had were Lefse-the Norwegian kind, pretty much the same thing. I would like to try them again someday to see if I'd like them now. Anyway the essay is 558 words. Is that ok? Please tell me what you think of the revised version. Thanks for taking the time!</p>

<pre><code>There was Grete, Emily, Melinda, Sue, Katrin, Simona, Christina . . . Who are these people I speak of?

One by one, over several years, each of these was often the first person I saw in the morning, the one who gave me breakfast, the one who drove me to swim practice, the one who I sang with in the car. Deeper than that, these young women were the ones who cracked open my shell, letting the light of the rest of the world shine through. I was peering outside the realm of Kansas suburbia, across the seas, into cultures a million miles away. My transport was through these women (really girls not much older than I am now), who each lived with my family for one year. They were called Au Pairs, and they lived with us as family members, caring for me and my brother, getting the American experience, and giving us a little piece of Europe.
The first time I realized I was getting a disguised worldly education was when a strange, circular, fried food item was placed in front of me. It closely resembled a pancake but I had a feeling that this was different. Grete, from Norway, had cooked it and said they were Lefse, or potato pancakes. I was interested in them but I questioned how closely they related to my favorite breakfast dish of regular, old flapjacks. I was told to try them and see. My former picky eating habits caused me to be less than pleased with the turn out of this popular Norwegian meal. However, it was pretty exciting to be eating something so different from so far away.
The outcome of the pancake incident was not only that I had tried something new, but that the gates in my mind were opening to see the world. Introduction to these diverse cultures allowed me to explore different styles of art. Art is something I love doing, not just in classes but on my own as well. I keep a small sketchbook at home and continue to fill its pages. In addition, I was becoming aware of little holiday traditions like hanging chocolates, which Emily from England did, and placing candles, like Grete did, on the Christmas tree. Even little customs like that were interesting to me and broadened my perceptions. This insight has stayed with me and has helped shape the way I approach issues. My opinions are formed by knowing the facts instead of jumping to conclusions. The experience of having Au Pairs has also encouraged me to learn a foreign language. If they hadn’t learned English, none of them would have had the opportunity to live in the United States, an experience that was probably incredible to them. I would love to study abroad someday and the Au Pairs showed me why.
I will never forget how lucky I was to have the experience of living with Au Pairs. Their bravery to come and live with total strangers changed several lives for the better. I now walk with an open mind ready to listen to others’ opinions while contributing my own. Wherever I go for college and in life, I will always bring this with me because I realize that the only way to learn about oneself is to find out how one feels about the world.

</code></pre>

<p>Any more changes needed? Sorry about the indentions, they won't work on the forum.</p>

<p>Oh god. As an Ivy interviewer for many, many years, I would say lose the topic entirely. I'm really, really sorry to say this, but you are going to be the butt of a million jokes --- they are going to pass this around and bust up laughing. The entire university world is geared, today, to feeling embarrassed about their past sucking-up to the rich; this is just fodder. They will refer to it as "Muffy's au pairs" or something. You might as well write about....god, I really can't think of anything worse. Just what they need- another spoiled rich girl, raised by nannies! You are living in a dream world!</p>

<p>Think of your competition and what THEY will be writing about - and you imagine that Northern European traditions like candles on a Christmas tree are going to impress adcoms who are dealing with kids from the third world, Asia, etc., and looking for diversity?</p>

<p>Oh wait...my bad!!! This was a joke! Sorry, I'm an idiot! Ha, ha!</p>