updated essay..comments

<p>I think this is much better...I am still unsure of how to present myself as being prepared for graduate school or what I can bring to the department. Shoudl I mention specific research interests, or leave it general?</p>

<p>many thanks</p>

<p>As a child, the series "Cairo Jim" inspired in me an interest in the ancient world and archaeology. However, for practical reasons I entered the world of Information Technology, earning my degree from Queensland University of Technology. Since then I have worked in a number of increasingly diverse positions and situations, performed contract work around the world, and earned a masters degree in Computer Science.</p>

<p>Having always been able to think quickly and pick up new concepts with ease, I looked forward to entering the university life, being awarded a chance to discuss and learn topics with my professors and students at my level. However I found at university that most students are still learning about life, and are not yet fully capable of planning or seeing the consequences of their actions, I know now this is somewhat accepted, as part of the goal of a university is to prepare students for the real world. </p>

<p>One important thing I discovered while earning my undergraduate degree is that I had a strong desire and gained joy from teaching people, helping them understand and passing on knowledge. This manifested itself as being offered a tutoring position in university, due to the fact that I was able to demonstrate my knowledge of the subject exceptionally well, until it went further, assisting lecturers with research and holding private tutoring sessions.</p>

<p>In part because of my teaching and professional experience, I was appointed as Teaching Assistant/Peer Mentor in QUT’s General Education Program. In working with a course titled Object Orientated technology, it was my responsibility to develop curriculum for “mentor sessions”, which accompanied the main course sessions. A significant portion of this year-long course examined the methods and practises of developing software using an object orientated approach, its differences, advantages and disadvantages in both professional and academic contexts. It was vital for the “mentor sessions” to consider and test concepts and understanding.
Also during this time, I gained an interest in travel and exploring the cultures and peoples of the world, starting with a coast to coast tour of the United States and Mexico lasting 3 months, later travelling all of 2005 across Europe and Asia, while completing contract work remotely and locally. It was an amazing experience to meet and make new friends, and perhaps more importantly see the ruins I had fantasized about seeing since my childhood, such as Pompeii and Athens and the coliseum.
At Queensland University of Technology, I engaged in a comprehensive undergraduate study of the four computer science sub-disciplines: data communications, software development, information systems and multimedia applications. I believe my academic and intellectual pursuits are well suited to the wide discipline field of Archaeology, because of its applications in reconstruction, modelling and simulation to aid in a better understanding.</p>

<p>I have acquired most of my knowledge and familiarity about the many archaeological sites only through my private readings, or by watching significant discoveries featured on Television. Yet I was also lucky to have a glimpse of some important sites during my travels in the last few years. There I had the chance to see some of the ruins of the once glorious Roman era. Some of the buildings such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, or the underground churches in the catacombs in Rome were still in good shape. The rest such as the various Roman forums were already in ruins. Still all of them clearly manifested how resplendent was their time once. I know there are still other known primitive and ancient places of equal importance or yet to be uncovered. </p>

<p>In line with my computer science background, which is largely a mathematical and logical science, I had a desire to undertake a different type of learning, in part inspired by my travels, seeing the worlds cultures, and wanting to better understand them, I made an effort to teach myself Standard Mandarin, which I am now at a third year level, and have a basic reading and speaking knowledge of german.
Computers have long been used by archaeologists for tasks such as recording excavation plans, illustrating artefacts and presenting the results of scientific analyses. Lately computer generated images have become commonplace in television documentaries, film and the publishing industries, however, if we are to avoid misleading representations of how a site may have appeared, then the computer generated environments should not only look real, they must simulate very accurately all the physical evidence from the site. It is my goal to utilize my extensive computer science background to aid in making new discoveries in the field of archaeology.
My relationships with my professors, my teaching and research experience, and my commitment to interdisciplinary work are formative of my plans to pursue graduate study at Cornell. As a student within the Archaeology Graduate Group, I would welcome the rigorous study of the discipline’s history and development, theory and methods, and would find comparative Archaeology paradigms particularly useful for pursuing my dissertation research. Studying for a MA in the Archaeology Program at Cornell would be an unparalleled opportunity for me. The university’s prestigious history, unparalleled resources, and established level of excellence make me believe that there is no better institution in which to prepare for a future of scholarship in the field of Archaeology. I would dedicate myself to making the most of this opportunity.</p>

<p>After skimming throught it briefly, I would drop the second paragraph. Also, don't tell Cornell how prestigious they are as the argument for why you chose to apply there. Instead, tell them how relevant the research of specific professors is to your interests</p>

<p>i wasnt sure about that part of it either</p>

<p>but how can i talk about my strongpoints or advantages, mention things i can bring to the department and why they shoudl strongly consider me?</p>

<p>Yep. Drop paragraph 2. </p>

<p>Don't describe your undergrad program. It will be obvious from your transcript.</p>

<p>Condense the two paragraphs on teaching/tutoring into one. </p>

<p>Resist the temptation to describe common sights. Everyone who will read your essay already knows their condition better than you do. </p>

<p>Make the chronology of your work and travel more clear. Condense those two long paragraphs into one. For example:</p>

<p>In 2005 I was fortunate to be able to travel and work in Europe and Asia. As a result I was able to visit a number of archaeological sites and see first hand the material remains I had previously read about. The inspiration this provided has led to my desire to pursue formal study in the archaeology.</p>

<p>Break out your language experience into its own paragraph. </p>

<p>Eliminate ALL of your "which" clauses as a first step to eliminating your run-on sentences.</p>

<p>all taken into account</p>

<p>what are some more ways I can show I can offer something to the department and that I am prepared?</p>

<p>Well, josh, how are you prepared to study Archaeology at Cornell? What can you offer the department there?</p>

<p>I think the reason that we haven't commented on that part is because we don't really know what you have to offer. How about you try representing that to us first, and then we'll go from there?</p>

<p>I mant in a more general sense, not specific to me..</p>

<p>I can bring my extensive computer science knowledge nad background, knowledge of chinese, traveling experience, desire to learn and ability to pick up new concepts quickly...</p>

<p>i dont know how to say some of these things without sounds pretentious, and i dont like teh idea of saying things that cannot be proven..ie anyone could say them...</p>

<p>"I mant in a more general sense, not specific to me.."</p>

<p>-If not specific to you, then what are you looking for??? I don't understand what you're asking.</p>

<p>"i dont like teh idea of saying things that cannot be proven..ie anyone could say them..."</p>

<p>-Then I recommend you be specific and NOT general.</p>

<p>i was asking the question in a more general sense</p>

<p>if im going to be specific, then how can I backup anything I say? I can think quickly, im good with languages, I have motivation etc, things like this may be specific to me but its also the sort of thing anyone might say to look good</p>

<p>Hmm...I would say your motivation is evident by the fact that you're applying to graduate school and doesn't need to be 'proved'. Anyone applying to a top school like Cornell should be fairly intelligent, so proof that you can think quickly and pick up things easily isn't necessary and should be demonstrated in your academic record. The only item I'd discuss, as you already have, is your knowledge of different languages.</p>

<p>ahhh, I should have been more clear</p>

<p>I am extremely intelligent, however due to some personnel circumstances, my academic record does not reflect this. I was advised not to bring up my intelligence, and need to show I can contribute and am prepared in the essay and with my CV, basically contradicting my gpa as an indicator.</p>

<p>Agreed - be specific about what you can offer. Don't say, "I'm good with languages." You've already listed languages you have learned. Don't say, "I am intelligent." Give examples (especially necessary if your academic record is not so good - you need to show you can do grad work).</p>

<p>The other big thing is why you need a grad degree. Programs want to see what your future plans are. You also say that comp arch will help you with your dissertation - can you expand on that at all?</p>

<p>It just seems like it's a lot of background, but not a lot of "purpose," and as it's a statement of purpose, that needs to be clearer.</p>