Help with essay

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Discus: College Admissions: December 2003 Archive: July 2003 Archive: Help with essay
By Worries (Worries) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 05:06 am: Edit

please be critical!

Life brings many disappointments as well as satisfactions. Could you tell us a time when you experienced disappointment, or faced difficult or trying circumstances? How did you react?

“,?I said quietly with my foreign accent.
“What did you just say? I don’t understand,?a student yelled across the room. The rest of the class started giggling. Unable to control myself, I burst into tears. I could not wait to get out of class.
“So how’s school today??my parents asked concernedly after my first day of school. What could I possibly say? I did not want to tell them how I truly feel about school and my new life here in L.A. I knew they had a lot more to worry about. I could not be inconsiderate and add to their heavy burden. Instead of telling them the truth, I told them the exact opposite--how much I loved school and how friendly everyone was.
School was nothing like what I had expected. When I first stepped on campus, I thought I went to the beach or the mall. Unlike Japan where uniforms were required, some students simply put on slippers and worn-out tee shirts. I was most amazed by the indifferent attitudes some students shown. Common pastime utilized behind teachers?backs were magazines, cd players, cards--just to name a few.
For the first few weeks, going to school was a torture for me. I could not stand being the target of insults and denunciation. Although I had little problem in understanding my teachers and classmates, I was too shy and self-conscious to voice my opinions. I also had trouble with my reading and writing. The easy math problems suddenly seemed hard because I failed to understand the questions.
Being a top student in Japan, I could not let myself fall behind. My dad willingly translated pages and pages of reading for me while I looked up vocabularies in the thick English- Japanese dictionary I brought with me. Meanwhile, I practiced spoken English with my cousin and learned about the American culture.
By the end of first quarter, though I was not completely integrated into class but I was adapting quite well to the new environment. School work was no longer a chore. I could easily finish my homework without much struggles. I also made some new friends from different background: one was Chinese, one was Korean, one even had mixed blood.
It has been five years since I immigrated to the United States. I would no longer consider myself a foreigner here. When I visited Japan last year, I was happy to share my experiences with my childhood friends. I could easily relate myself to their stories while they listened to mine in awe. Although I had such a difficult time when I first moved to L.A, I will always cherish my exposures and my two cultures.

By Crnchycereal (Crnchycereal) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:39 am: Edit

I definitely think that this essay has potential. Though it may have been done before, I think that the "immigrant adapting to American culture/society" essay can always turn out to be very strong and personal. I only have two real criticisms. First, and I know that this is not your fault because English is not your first language, but make sure to heavily edit and revise this essay. There are a lot of common grammar mistakes and the like, so make sure that you have as many people as possible read this (i.e. parents, friends, teachers). Secondly, try to put in a little more detail in your opening. I like the situation you bring up, but it's a little too vague and it seems as if anyone could've written it. Try to personalize it. Bring up interesting observations that nobody else would notice. Anyway, much luck with your essay!

By Serene (Serene) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 10:19 am: Edit

Hmm... ~260 out of 450 words were on the new environment, while the rest 190 was on how you adapted to it. I think you should switch so that how you adapted to the new environment/benefited from it carries more weight.

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