edited essays

Question: Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work
experiences. (150 word limit)
Tae-Kwon-Do has been more than just exercise. It’s been a major part of my life giving me the
opportunity to mature and grow. When I was five, I joined just because I thought I could be a
ninja, but my involvement changed over time. Now I’m a teacher with students who have the
same ninja dreams as I did. It has been a constant in my life, something that I could work
towards. I changed a lot growing up, I’ve lost interests and gained interests, but few things have
stayed with me like Tae-Kwon-Do. It has shaped my character by providing a job, a place to
meet new people, to maintain friendships, and where I could grow as a leader. I learned to take
charge, to organize groups of all ages, and to teach. I learned how to deal with conflict, console a
crying child, while still teaching the others.
H Sez: I like the last half, but the first half does nothing to convince me why Tae-Kwon-Do
appeals to you. You mention it wasn’t what you expected, but never really say why it hooked
you. That is an essential component of your response they will be looking for.
Question: Why are you drawn to the area(s) of study you indicated earlier in this
application? (You may share with us a skill or concept that you found challenging and
rewarding to learn, or any experiences beyond course work that may have broadened your
interest.) (250 word limit)
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be an engineer. Back then I didn’t know what engineering
was, so I said I wanted to be an inventor. I knew I wanted to make cool stuff and invent
something. As I grew, and learned what engineering was, and all the intricacies and different
types of jobs engineers do, I decided I wanted to be an engineer, a person who created innovative
solutions to problems. After taking a computer science class I realized that computer engineering
was what I wanted to focus on. Computer engineering is a field with endless depth which has
applications in everything. I want to study computer engineering to have an impact on the world
around me, and I will start with full and complete wireless electricity. In a world without wires,
energy could flow everywhere at any time, minimizing environmental impact and maximizing
the number of people able to access energy. A green power source can be constructed in terrain
that would normally be unable to support the wires needed to transport that power. Inventions
like robotics and electric vehicles, which currently struggle from a battery problem would not
have to worry about running out of juice. It might seem ambitions, but the proof of concept
exists, and it is something tangible that I could help invent and develop.
H sez: This response is too blandly matter of fact and needs more unity. I like starting with the idea
that you wanted to be an inventor. Then you discovered that an engineer is an inventor. Then you
realized that you want to create that wireless electricity idea which ties back into the sense of wonder
you had as a child and wanted to be an inventor. Rewrite it that way such that it ends on a note that
emphasizes this is always what you wanted to do – the only thing that has changed is the specificity of
the invention you hope to create. If you are going to talk about what wireless electricity can do, add
more enthusiasm/passion to it.
Question: What do you hope to experience at Brown through the Open Curriculum, and
what do you hope to contribute to the Brown community? (250 word limit)
Brown’s open curriculum allows me to focus on my major while also taking classes that
stimulates my interests without worrying about its impact on my performance. I can just learn for
the sake of learning. While engineer has always been my career of choice, law was a subject that
fascinated me. I joined mock trial in my Freshman year and took a law course at my first
opportunity. Brown’s open curriculum would allow me to pursue that interest, and it may even
push me towards a blend into patent law.
What I hope to contribute is my ability to combine analytical and creative thinking skills
towards problem solving. I have developed both through my interests in math and engineering as
well as the art of debate and public speaking. I am excited to contribute to Brown Mock Trial
and engineering competitions. I have also developed a love for teaching through my martial arts
and my school tutoring experience. I enjoy helping people learn and will continue to teach in the
H sez: This response is too unfocused. Lead with the idea that although your main
interest is engineering, the Open Curriculum gives you the opportunity to pursue other
passions like Mock Trial and martial arts and that you hope to both become part of the
Brown academic team competition community and to give back to the community of
Providence by getting involved in youth programs to introduce city youth to the martial
arts. Or something like that. Don’t spend many words talking about engineering here –
that is already in another response.
Question: Tell us about the place, or places, you call home. These can be physical places
where you have lived, or a community or group that is important to you. (250 word limit)
Because my mother is an immigrant from Russia where she left her immediate family and my
father has one brother with no kids, I don’t have a big extended family. I have no cousins over
for holidays nor have summers with my grandparents, who live in Florida. So to me home is my
small family, my parents and my little sister. I enjoy staying up late talking to my sister about
random things, having family dinners, playing board games, and watching TV. I am at home
when I’m sitting around telling stories and sharing my feelings and opinions. Home is the small
things, when you tell your sister about something that you saw online, or you tell your parents of
an article you read about a newly developed pair of headphones or a new monorail train that was
built, and how you think it’s interesting. Home for me is this kind of communication and the
kind of closeness you get when you have a small family and spend a lot of time with each other.
Home for me is the fact that I am close to my family and we know who each other are as people.
I don’t have a big extended family. My mother is an immigrant whose family is all in
Russia. My father’s family consists of one childless brother with no kids. The closest
relatives are my grandparents, who live in Florida. So, to me, home is my small, immediate
family of four, my parents, me and my little sister. Home is staying up late talking to my
sister about random things, and playing board games. Home is sitting around telling stories
and sharing my feelings and opinions in ways I cannot with anyone else. Home is small
things, like telling my sister about something that I saw online, or telling my parents about
an article about new headphone technology or a quirky story like the construction of a new
monorail train, and how I think it’s interesting. Home is the kind of closeness you get when
you have a small family and spend a lot of time with each other such that sharing thoughts
and bonding is the routine.
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