Please Help Me with my ESSAY! (MIT)

<p>This essay is for MIT question 1A. Describe a difficult situation in your life and how you reacted/responded. Any suggestions on improvement would be greatly appreciated.</p>

<p>Also, I would like suggestions on how to shorten my essay. Right now, it is 670 words, and I want to shorten it to 580 (the limit is 500, I know).</p>

<p>Thanks for the responses. Anyway, here it is, the origin of piman (and my essay):</p>

<p>__________Tight corner ahead. I lean left and apply the brakes just enough to make the turn. My friends, beside me, pedal furiously in an attempt to reach the bottom first. I know I can beat them. I pedal harder, but suddenly, I find myself unable to move. I look down, expecting to see my bike, but instead, I find a green stretcher. My head is caked in blood; my legs are covered in cuts and bruises. “You’re really lucky to be alive.” The words of the paramedic to my right.</p>

<p>__________What happened? Did I crash? An hour later, I got my answer. I had received a severe concussion, which explained the sudden jump in my memory. Apparently, my friends and I had decided to go rock climbing later that day. During the climb I slipped, leaving me to fall fifteen feet and roll thirty more down the side of the mountain. Fortunately, my plunge was broken when my body smashed into a stump. I’ve always been lucky like that. Unfortunately, because of my concussion, a neurosurgeon said I would suffer memory loss for the next nine months.</p>

<p>__________Most of my peers thought I was pretty lucky to get off with nothing more than a few cuts and a “bumped head,” but as a junior only a week into the school year, I felt anything but fortunate. My amnesia was so bad that I couldn’t even remember going to school the first week. I had trouble remembering what class I was in, or who my teachers were. At home, I couldn’t even recall where the dinner plates were kept. But I was determined to regain control over my life. I wouldn’t blindly accept the surgeon’s prognosis; I would turn it into a challenge. I vowed to regain my memory not in nine months, but in a mere three.</p>

<p>___________Of course, how to achieve this was an entirely different matter. How does one recall one’s memory? A seemingly paradoxical question. So, like any self-respecting nerd in times of trouble, I turned to math. My solution: a hobby taken up by geeks since the beginning of time. I would memorize the digits of pi. </p>

<p>___________At first, the going was relentlessly slow. I spent hours attempting to remember a cluster of just ten digits. 3.141592…nothing. My mind was blank. I would try again. Still nothing. For the moment, it seemed as if the surgeon might be right. </p>

<p>___________But my own doubt made me try even harder. Every second of my free time was devoted to pi. I stayed up late into the night, slowly reiterating the numbers that appeared on my electronic organizer. But the sleep deprivation was worth it. Within a few weeks’ time, I noticed a slight improvement. I could now memorize ten digits in single sitting, not phenomenal by any means, but a sure sign of progress. Bolstered by my meager success, I persisted in my routine. Weeks flew by. By the end of the first month, I had reached the 100-digit mark. I could sense my memory slowly returning. In school, I was less hesitant to ask a question, fearful that it had already been answered. I actually remembered all of my teachers’ names. I went even further. 200 digits. 300. No longer did I have to mutter things to myself to remember them. More importantly, though, I no longer forgot where the dinner plates were kept. I was on top of the world, and just in time. The three months were up.</p>

<p>___________I continued my memorization of pi for several more months. However, like most good things, excess breeds tedium. Somehow, when one knows 600+ digits of a number, one tends to lose interest in pursuing the number further. Simply put, I became bored with pi after memorizing 631 digits. But I know that memorizing pi has had a significant influence on my life, one that reaches beyond the regurgitation of a sequence of numbers. If nothing else, it has taught me that with enough time and effort, even a simple number can heal a battered brain."</p>

<p>I like the concept of pi helping you recover. But, I couldn't make myself read through your entire essay, because, frankly, its quite boring. You stress too much on the entire process of remembering each digit... and it gets really repititive. If you want my two cents, you could try and make it funnier. Talk about the sceptical reactions you got to your attempts or think up weird analogies between the digits.</p>

<p>Actually, I quite enjoyed it. It was an easy read for me and I think the admissions folks, especially MIT grads who work in the office, will find it interesting. :)</p>

<p>However, I would revise your intro paragraph to make it tie in somehow a bit better and catch the reader's attention. :)</p>

<p>did you really memorize 631 digits of pi? o.O</p>

<p>It's pretty interesting... but memorizing pi is said in like a few sentences... not bad tho.</p>

<p>I think this is a unique essay, a great idea. I concur with downtheway, in that you spent too much time describing the process of remembering. You could make it more interesting by describing how the brain remembers, how the process of long term and short term memory works (not too long, though, just a sentence or two). You could also say something about number theory. Why the remembering of pi is a challenge in itself, meaning something about the number pi..this would show your interest in Mathematics (if you are a Math person). Why that drew you in in the first place.
That would make it a more interesting essay.</p>

<p>Actually, when I think of this, there are several things you could articulate via this essay:
1) You are persistent and determined to overcome adversity. You have demonstrated this by what you have written so far.
2) You are intellectually interested in Math. You can do this by showcasing your knowledge of number theory, specifically, knowledge of pi.
3) You are a well-balanced person and therefore, also intellectually interested in other subjects such as cognitive science. You can do this by showcasing your knowledge (if you do possess the knowledge) of how the brain stores long and short term memory.</p>

<p>That would make it a great essay!</p>

<p>any suggestions or shortening it though? I'll try to include you suggestions, but I'm already way over the word limit. Also, how was my introduction?</p>

<p>piman, I would remove some sentences where you are describing your efforts to remember.</p>

<p>Boil these sentences down to just 1 or 2 sentences, maybe?:
But my own doubt made me try even harder. Every second of my free time was devoted to pi. I stayed up late into the night, slowly reiterating the numbers that appeared on my electronic organizer. But the sleep deprivation was worth it. Within a few weeks’ time, I noticed a slight improvement. I could now memorize ten digits in single sitting, not phenomenal by any means, but a sure sign of progress. Bolstered by my meager success, I persisted in my routine. Weeks flew by. By the end of the first month, I had reached the 100-digit mark. I could sense my memory slowly returning. In school, I was less hesitant to ask a question, fearful that it had already been answered. I actually remembered all of my teachers’ names. I went even further. 200 digits. 300.</p>

<p>I liked the introduction.</p>

<p>p.s - I also thought of something. By reducing the number of sentences you devote to your efforts and putting more emphasis on other aspects of this, you will come across as someone who does not feel sorry for himself but is willing to move forward from a traumatic experience.. not that I think you were feeling sorry for yourself or anything.</p>

<p>Anyway, do whatever you want. It should reflect your personality not mine or anyone else's . :)</p>

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<p>omg 631 digits?? Wow...that's impressive.</p>

<p>Sadly, Ive forgotten half of them over the past year. I only remember 300 now.</p>

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<p>I would second the above suggestions but, otherwise, I thought it was a great essay. Nice job.</p>

<p>hmmm
i guess it makes sense why your name is piman, hm?
:)</p>

<p>yeah, I was unsure of whether anyone made the connection. Cheers!</p>