|By Finnryant (Finnryant) on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 11:39 pm: Edit|
Id like you to tell me what you think of this essay i sent for Dartmouth...on person who influenced blah blah blah
I have never met anyone in the unique situation I am in, but if I were to meet someone within it I would ask, “Would you wish for him or her to be normal if you could?” The unique situation I speak of is having a sibling with severe special needs. If I were to be asked the question I posed earlier I would answer “Never.” My younger brother, Kevin, suffers from mental handicaps and has had the biggest influence in my life in the most positive way I can imagine.
When I was much younger and much less mature than today I was under the assumption all younger brothers acted as mine. I thought that at five years of age it was normal for younger siblings to have to cry to communicate. When my peers would talk about fighting with younger siblings I would be confused. They’d ask me if I had similar experiences and I would reply, “No, why would we fight?” It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that my situation wasn’t as common as I assumed. As of 6th grade my entire after school life and vacation time consisted of caring for Kevin. By my freshman year, I thought I was missing out on my childhood.
I would try to overcome missing out by making arrangements for others to watch him, or by taking him to my extracurricular activities. Most of the time, my directors and advisors were happy to allow Kevin to attend with me. Kindly, they would ignore his uncontrollable outbursts. But I remember times when I was selfish. Times when I would wish I never had a brother at all, or would displace my anger on him. At times I would be furious because he had ruined something like a book or game of mine without knowing it. I would yell, and feel terrible afterwards.
One particular time when I was mad, my dad sat down with me and told me how much I meant to Kevin. He said to me, “Don’t you see? You’re his best and only friend in the world. He loves you.” I felt terrible in how I had objected him before and vowed not to again.
Kevin changed my life more than anyone. If it wasn’t for his disability I might not have been so inspired to work hard in school, to strive toward the medical profession, to volunteer my time to Special Olympics, and I might not have been as noble a person as I find myself today. And even as I type this essay now, Kevin is yelling “Hey Buddy,” the salutation I have used with him as long as I can remember. The fact that he chooses this phrase leads me to believe that I have had as much impact on his life as he has on mine. In a way, it is the greatest honor of my life.
|By Starbucksfreak (Starbucksfreak) on Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit|
This is warm and heartfelt. It's unusual. I like it!
|By Cognitio (Cognitio) on Wednesday, January 07, 2004 - 12:29 am: Edit|
Agreed, but you really, really need to correct the grammar. You consistently use the wrong tense for your verbs, and there are several words in here that just don't make sense. For instance, you would never be "within" a situation, that just doesn't make sense. You can be "in" a situation, but being "within" it implies that its a physical things that you can actually step into. Also, things like "As of 6th grade my entire after school life and vacation time consisted of caring for Kevin." - This doesn't make sense, because you're taking about an indefinitely large period of time leading up from 6th grade so you can't use the preterite past tense to describe it. I would change it to start with "By 6th grade, etc." Really, you should get someone to proofread this because I would *not* submit it on any Ivy League application.
That said, the content matter is certainly profound and, as Starbucksfreak said, heartfelt.
|By Wyoskiguy (Wyoskiguy) on Wednesday, January 07, 2004 - 08:07 pm: Edit|
Well I liked the content a lot- I know that they ask questions about how a person has influenced you, and all too often people write about that person. College's want to hear about you, not the other person really, and I thought you did a nice job of relating your brother and his life to how it has changed yours. However- I do agree with Cognito, the grammar is a bit of a downfall. Did you have anyone check this over before you submitted it? Cognito told you some mistakes, but I am a subjunctive freak. If people say things like "I wish I was going" I freak out. So you said "If it wasn’t for his disability..." number one you should never use a contraction in formal writing, but number two, it was grammatically incorrect. It should have been "If it were not for his disability..." I think essays have a big impact on an application- so hopefully other aspects were okay.
|By Katicus (Katicus) on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 01:05 am: Edit|
I'm with the consensus -- fabulous content. It was one of those rare essays that made me think, "Wow, he sounds like a really great guy. Someone I'd definitely hang out with." But the grammar is distracting, to say the least. The extraneous in-paragraph diaglogue weakened the already-thin premise of the introduction. And as some unsolicited and by no means universal advice, referring in formal works to the moment at which you are writing them -- Faulknerian though it may be in principle -- has a fifty-fifty chance of sounding schmaltzy. Last note: even under the pressure of a word count, contractions aren't acceptable in formal works.
|By Katicus (Katicus) on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 01:19 am: Edit|
I'm with the consensus -- fabulous content. It was one of those rare essays that made me think, "Wow, he sounds like a really great guy. Someone I'd definitely hang out with." But the grammar is distracting, to say the least. The extraneous in-paragraph diaglogue weakened the already-thin premise of the introduction. And as some unsolicited and by no means universal advice, referring in formal works to the moment at which you are writing them -- Faulknerian though it may be in principle -- has a fifty-fifty chance of sounding schmaltzy. Last note: numbers under ten, as well as multiples of ten below the four-digit range and all numbers used to start sentences *must* be spelled out. (Well, that's the new school of thought. Old school [which I subscribe to] says all numbers below ten thousand. Haha, one of the many fringe benefits of being taught by ruler-wielding nuns...)
|By Bigtmushett (Bigtmushett) on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 07:35 am: Edit|
I think contractions are alright. This is a personal essay about something close to your heart. It is supposed to express your own personal voice. If that involves contractions, then so be it. This isn't a term paper here.
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