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"My mathematical expertise" -attribute of your personality are you most proud of


answers: 17
Aug 26, 2010, 10:26pm   #
I recycled some parts of my other essay here because I thought the prompts were somewhat similar. I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

What attribute of your personality are you most proud of, and how has it impacted your life so far? This could be your creativity, effective leadership, sense of humor, integrity, or anything else you'd like to tell us about. (*) (200-250 words)


I am an obstinate learner. Ever since I began schooling, I would bombard teachers with a myriad of questions in hope of unveiling the world around me; however, my inquiries often culminated in a disillusioning admission...


SEE BELOW


... my mathematical expertise but also had tasted the pride and grandeur of the teacher.



Do you think this answers the prompt well?

I like your starting sentence. However, you make a poor job of linking it with the rest of the essay. Right now it's hanging there alone. You should incorporate that with teaching -- how the best teachers are the ones who remain lifelong obstinate learners.
You make a similar observation here: "I learned that the great teacher learns with his students"
This is good, but there should be more. Cut some, add some.
freezard7734:
No other venture offers the gifts and gratification of experience

This is a useless sentence.
freezard7734:
Teaching is the noblest deed a person can partake of in his lifetime.

This one too. We all know how noble teaching is.
Aug 27, 2010, 10:21am   #
Hmmm... I think you are misunderstanding my main idea...My main point was that I love to teach... not that I'm an obstinate learner. That sentence was just an introduction to a small anecdote that would lead to my main point... Am I not doing this right? -.- ... If you don't mind, could you take a look at the actual essay I took this from? The prompts were similar, so I tried to recycle it so that I wouldn't have to write a new one: http://www.essayforum.com/undergraduate-admission-2/obstinate-learner- personal-quality-experience-important-18146/

Oh - and another question:
Is "a love for teaching" considered a personality?
freezard7734:
I think you are misunderstanding my main idea.

I think that is one of the problems. When I read the essay, I felt that it is on your love for teaching. However, when you brought up that point about learning with students, I became unsure. So right now your essay has two distinct themes which are not properly interlinked.

Anyway, I think it would be great if you can incorporate the obstinate learning thing with the main theme.
^^It's a personal opinion though.
freezard7734:
Is "a love for teaching" considered a personality?

Personality is a broad term. According to the prompt, you're supposed to talk about an attribute of your personality, and "love for teaching" should qualify as an attribute.

I've read the other essay. I think it suffers from the same problem. However, since that one is a bit wordier, you can get away with it. The anecdote you are referring to is on a completely different topic -- at least it seems to me that way. You can write an entire essay on "obstinate learning."
Aug 27, 2010, 10:49am   #
Thanks for the comments. I also think that the best way to go about the problem is to somehow fuse the two ideas together. I'm going to work on that now. :]
Aug 27, 2010, 02:16pm   #
Ok. Here is my second attempt at this prompt.
Do you think that the main thesis is much clearer?


I once despised teachers. Ever since I began schooling, I would bombard teachers with a myriad of questions in hope of unveiling the world around me; however, my inquiries often culminated in disillusioning shrugs of ignorance. Because teachers could not always offer answers, I had scorned the profession; ironically, I later found to my surprise and dismay that I loved to teach. However, through my endeavors, I soon became...

SEE BELOW
freezard7734:
I had scorned the profession; ironically, I later found to my surprise

I forgot to point out this in the first draft. The transition here is too abrupt for my liking. I think it would be great if your essay had the following organisation:

You hated teachers.
You had one (or two) experience which resulted in a paradigm shift. (Right here you can put the "ironically" part)
Now you like teaching. (You can explain why)

I think in this way it would be easier for the reader to follow your train of thought.

You can disagree, of course.
I once despised teachers. Ever since I began schooling, I would bombard teachers with a myriad of questions in hopes of unveiling the world around me; however, my inquiries often culminated in disillusioning shrugs of ignorance. Because teachers could not always offer answers, I had scorned the profession; ironically, I later found, to my surprise and dismay, that I loved to teach. However, Through my endeavors, I soon became proud of my passion for teaching as I learned that teaching is a noble and humble profession. The teacher not only trains apprentices, but also hones own pen of erudition; only together can they fend off the armies of enigma.
When I received my first math puzzles, I was delighted by the hidden messages and logic maps. I was thrilled when the puzzles were finally deciphered and urgently gathered my family to share my findings, only to receive indifferent nods. Nevertheless, I was compelled to share my knowledge. I had discovered my love for teaching.
Eventually, as a hobby, I tutored at a math circle. There, I learned that the great teacher learns with his students. I struggled with my students to unearth mathematical mysteries, and, together, we discovered out weakness and worked to improve our skills. In 2010, we marched our way to the states round of MathCounts, and two continued to compete nationally. I was honored to have coached this team and proud of our accomplishments. Through this experience, I tasted the pride and grandeur of the teacher.

Some of your sentences were serious run-ons, so I fixed them. Some commas needed and a few grammar mistakes. It's "Myriad questions", not "myriad of." That's a really common mistake.

"but also hones own pen of erudition; only together can they fend off the armies of enigma."

That part REALLY confused me. What are you saying?

Good start overall, but still needs some editing, some awkward phrases, etc.
Aug 28, 2010, 05:58pm   #
Michael48304:
Some of your sentences were serious run-ons, so I fixed them.

I think most of my semicolon usage is appropriate. For example, in
Michael48304:
I was thrilled when the puzzles were finally deciphered and urgently gathered my family to share my findings, only to receive indifferent nods. Nevertheless, I was compelled to share my knowledge

I used to semicolon as the transition between the contrast. Even though my family didn't care much, I still wanted to tell them.

Michael48304:
"Myriad questions"

Oh man. Thanks for that tip. :)

Michael48304:
"but also hones own pen of erudition; only together can they fend off the armies of enigma."

Here, I'm saying that the teacher learns with his students and together they solve problems and mysteries.
Aug 28, 2010, 08:42pm   #
Here's a revised version. Ershad, I tried to follow your guidelines. Is the essay's thesis much clearer and fluid?



I once despised teachers. As a child, I remember bombarding teachers with myriad questions in hope of unveiling the world around me; however, my inquiries often culminated in disillusioning shrugs of ignorance or indifferent replies of "Oh, you don't need to know that." Thus I scorned their profession. Ironically, I later discovered to my surprise and dismay that I loved to teach. However, through my endeavors, I soon became...

SEE BELOW
This one certainly flows better.
Okay, this is an improvement. The theme remains constant. The concluding sentence could be better.

Michael48304:
It's "Myriad questions", not "myriad of." That's a really common mistake.

I'm not sure about this.
I think when "myriad" is used as a noun, it is written like "...a myriad of questions." In fact, I've read somewhere that it is the original form of usage of the word.
When it is used as an adjective, it becomes "...myriad questions..."

Thus, Eugene's version was correct.
freezard7734:
Hmmm... I think you are misunderstanding my main idea...

See, that is what this kind of forum is good for. Even if we write very clearly, people get lots of ideas different from what we intend. That is not just about writing, obviously; I notice so often that I come off in the ways I do not intend....

Anyway, there will be varying interpretations no matter what we do. Getting lots of feedback helps us build intuition, or something like that.

The first sentence is interesting, but I wonder what other variations of it would also work. like... "I despised teachers, but not for the reasons one might expect."
or... In middle school, I began to despise teachers.

Okay, all of this is so poetic and awesome, but check this out: the premise has some inherent arrogance. (I just tried 6 times to spell arrogance until the spellchecker built into firefox finally approved...holy moly) For you to say, "As a child, I was frustrated with my teachers because they could not answer my questions"... I know that you are talking about knowledge and teaching, but notice that it also has other connotations, like you were too cool for school. Too smart for school.

However, I think you can make it perfect if you change it from "despise" (such a negative word) to something else... like, talking about how you felt desperately hopeful about every new teacher, because you had questions for which you could not get satisfactory answers.... or, you even could say something positive and optimistic that conveys this same message about the significance of teaching and of knowledge, and also your predilection for math.

You could say that there was I time you despised teachers because of a misunderstanding that you had. It doesn't matter how you do it; there are a lot of ways to avoid seeming like you fancy yourself a prodigy. Like I said, I know that is not the idea behind it, but the essay could be improved, maybe, if the "hook" statement was not about despising teachers, but instead about a slightly altered version of the same thing.
Aug 29, 2010, 03:01pm   #
EF_Kevin:
Okay, all of this is so poetic and awesome, but check this out: the premise has some inherent arrogance. (I just tried 6 times to spell arrogance until the spellchecker built into firefox finally approved...holy moly) For you to say, "As a child, I was frustrated with my teachers because they could not answer my questions"... I know that you are talking about knowledge and teaching, but notice that it also has other connotations, like you were too cool for school. Too smart for school.

Ha. :) Yeah, that would not be good. I see what you're saying here. I'll try to remedy that.

EF_Kevin:
(I just tried 6 times to spell arrogance until the spellchecker built into firefox finally approved...holy moly)

Yeah. Man, sometimes spelling is a pain. I remember trying out for the spelling bee in fifth grade and dropping out because I misspelled (wow - I just misspelled misspelled as mispelled) "unique" -.-
Sep 1, 2010, 08:03pm   #
Ok. I think this gets rid of that negative connotation, but I feel it lost the cutting introduction. :/
But I would say that the positive introduction is much more important. :)


I once had no faith in teachers. As a child, I remember asking teachers a myriad of questions in hope of unveiling the world around me; however, my inquiries often culminated in disillusioning shrugs of ignorance or indifferent replies of "You don't need to know." Thus I disliked teachers. Ironically, I later discovered to my surprise and dismay that I loved to teach. However, through my endeavors, I soon became proud of my passion to teach as I learned that teaching is a noble and humble profession. The teacher not only trains apprentices but also hones own pen of erudition; only together can they fend off the armies of enigma.

When I received my first math puzzles, I was delighted by the hidden messages and logic maps. I was thrilled when the puzzles were finally deciphered and urgently gathered my family to share my findings, only to receive indifferent nods; nevertheless, I was compelled to share my knowledge. I had discovered my love for teaching.

Eventually, as a hobby, I tutored at a math circle; there, I learned that the great teacher learns with his students. I struggled with my students to unearth mathematical mysteries, and, together, we discovered out weakness and worked to improve our skills. In 2010, we marched our way to the states round of MathCounts, and two continued to compete nationally. I was honored to have coached this team and proud of our accomplishments. Through this experience, I tasted the pride and grandeur of the teacher.



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