|By Sillygilly (Sillygilly) on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 12:40 am: Edit|
White female, Illinois.
1450 SATI, 31 ACT
640, 710, 740 SAT IIS
Skidmore precollege art program-- 4 weeks
RISD precollege architecture program-- 6 weeks
Gold scholastics award in drawing
oxbow art institute of chicago scholarship
lots of local art awards
80 hrs comm service
lacrosse MVP awards and coach for little girls
a lot of study abroad in the summers- france, france, morocco
Will study abroad in France second semester senior year
Here is my essay:
In response to the prompt: “Why are you studying abroad second semester?”
I try not to make generalizations, but I am convinced that foreigners are inherently superior to Americans at ping-pong. I have siblings from France, Nepal, Portugal, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Macedonia; each is a well-oiled ping-pong machine. Led by Captain Hajime, together they form the ‘Casten Family Foreign Legion.’
My parents collect children. Upon returning from college, summer programs, or even a night on the town, we Casten children are no longer surprised to find strangers in our beds. Our household has always been a potpourri of different cultures, colors and ideas. Some kids stay weeks, others years. We call them strays. There are always challenges; Hajime was at first loath to share the snacks his parents sent from Tokyo, and I wouldn’t try them because they smelled funny. Chiran, my Nepalese brother, smelled strongly of Indian spices and body odor, and stained the pillow covers with his kunthalamrutham hair oil. Nowadays, Haj not only shares, he is an avid volunteer; Chiran has sacrificed his beloved hair oil for shampoo; and I both adore Japanese cuisine and appreciate the importance of aroma in Nepalese culture.
However, I’m still an American. I still generally rely on interpreters to understand the non-English-speaking world. Recently, I listened to Jacques Chirac deliver a speech denouncing American aggression in Iraq. I suddenly understood David Sedaris’ joy in Me Talk Pretty One Day when his tyrannical French teacher tells him, “…every day spent with you is like having a Cesarean section.” It was not the subject matter that made me happy, but the fact that for the first time, I understood every single word. Agree with Chirac or not, I began to comprehend the eloquence with which he attained the French Presidency. It is an insight no translator can relay.
As much as I have learned and grown from my extended family, I still lack the cultural grasp that comes only with language. Many of our strays arrived with bumbling grammar and limited vocabulary; in a few short months they had both polished their speech and mastered the idiosyncrasies of English colloquialisms. They gave us a peripheral understanding of their own languages and cultures while achieving fluency in ours. I tested the waters of cultural immersion in seventh grade by beginning a summer exchange with an Arab-French friend. Subsequently, I have spent summers with her family in suburban Paris, Annecy, and Marrakech. These short stays have fueled my enthusiasm for studying abroad. If I can learn so much in three weeks, what can I learn in six months?
I can’t wait for my junior year in college to find out. So next semester I’m packing up to live and study in France. Maybe I’ll even pick up a few pointers on table tennis.
It is my turn to be a stray.
Could you critique it? Anyone's comments are welcome. I've posted my stats before but I'm really looking for some feedback on the essay. I applied to Dartmouth ED.
|By Thedad (Thedad) on Tuesday, December 02, 2003 - 12:49 am: Edit|
SillyG, I think the essay is okay--good but not brilliant...the second paragraph I like a lot. For Dartmouth I like your lacrosse...the person you should really ask is Carolyn. Your SAT II's look a little low to me, however...but I think you're a reasonable lottery ticket.
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