Where others see the engineering, experimentation, and presentation of science as a chore, I only see excitement. Even as a child I constantly sought it out, first on television with Bill Nye and The Mythbusters, then later in person in every museum exhibit I could find. Science in all its forms fascinated me, but science projects in particular were a category all to themselves. To me, science projects were a special joy that only grew with time.
In fact, it was this continued fascination for hands-on science that brought me years later to the sauna that is the University of Alabama in mid-June. Participating in the Student Science Training Program and working in their lab made me feel like a kid in a candy store. Just the thought of participating in a project at this level of scientific rigor made me forget that this was supposed to be my summer break and I spent the first day eagerly examining every piece of equipment.
Even at first, when the whole research group sat there doing rote calculations and others felt like they were staring down the barrel of defeated purpose, I remained enthusiastic. Time and time again I reminded myself of that famous phrase "great effort leads to great rewards," and sure enough, soon my aspirations began to be met.
This shift in attitude also coincided with a shift in location: from the computer desk to the laser lab. It was finally time to get my hands dirty. Now things began to get really interesting. During the experimentation phase of the project, I spent the majority of my waking hours in the lab — and I enjoyed every minute of it. From debriefing with my coordinator in the morning to checking and rechecking results well into the afternoon, I was on cloud nine all day, every day.
I even loved the electric feeling of anxiety as I waited for the results. Most of all, though, I loved the pursuit of science itself. Before I knew it, I was well into the seventh week and had completed my first long-term research experiment. In the end, although the days were long and hard, my work that summer filled me with pride. Now that I have a car, I never go to the bus stop, but I know its lesson, at least, will continue to take me places.
I hope my expanded empathy and open-mindedness will allow me to feel at home in any foreign situation and connect with all people. Joe Pucci New York, N. I often try to block out the hectic surroundings by isolating myself in music, but I can never seem to get out of the real life time-lapse.
In photography, a time-lapse is a technique at which the frame rate is lower than that used to view the sequence, thus, when the sequence is played at normal speed, it gives the effect that time is moving faster, or lapsing. In a Manhattan subway tunnel, a real life time-lapse gives the illusion that thousands are moving around you in one single moment.
Luckily, that afternoon, the frame rate was higher than the actual visual sequence. The crowd shoved their way toward the platform as the screeching train echoed through the underpass. The doors opened and I pushed my way toward the already full train. After five seconds, I began to worry, fearing that the door would close and I would be stuck longer in the blistering, underground cave. The tall, brunette girl in front of me inched her way over the gap between the rusted train and the yellow platform, but one misstep turned my time-lapse upside down.
In slow motion, one vertebra at a time, she fell through the gap toward the tracks as the train doors closed. I slipped my hands out of my skinny jeans and reached under her arms as her head neared the platform. I hoisted her up and the sensor doors reopened as we entered the train. I threw my headphones around my shoulders, clumsily turned down my embarrassing music, and asked if she was okay. My pause had lasted for all of about two seconds.
No one on the train noticed, not even her mom. I felt like I had done something much bigger than me, and I also felt like this beautiful girl and I would naturally connect over what just happened. I simply stood there thinking of something to say, only to be left mute.
Life is about taking risks, not about conforming and hiding behind invisible walls. For that girl, she was a vertebra away from not having another chance. The music was a place to buy myself more time, a place to quickly think about the next move.
But the top-half of the sandglass was empty and the girl got off at the next stop, roughly 30 seconds later. My eyes were fixed on her as she left the train and headed for the stairs.
Windows An eerie silence draped over New Orleans on a humid morning as the insects scampered back into their burrows. It was Saturday morning and I was still lying in bed, playing with the mood ring that my best friend, Anna, had given me as a good luck charm going into fourth grade. Something was different. I ran down to grab breakfast, but the voice of the news reporter and the hurricane alert noise coming from the kitchen television distracted me.
This time, though, the highways were too congested to get there safely. Instead, we headed to Charity Hospital since Papa, a neuroradiologist, was on call. With our previous experiences of nothing but strong winds and lights-out for a day or two, my parents decided it would be best for the four of us to stay together. We were assigned to a small room on the 14th floor with two tiny twin beds.
That night, the rain pounded on the old windows, like an angry crowd getting more and more agitated. Shards of glass flew around the room, forcing us to hide in a stuffy hallway storage closet. No one expected what would come next. In the basement, the emergency generators flooded, and the smell of rotting corpses from the morgue grew, getting stronger with the heat.
In the lobby, people broke into the vending machines, stealing and selling the food. What if I joined a Florida tennis club? What if I became a part of an American non-governmental organization? Would I value my achievements more if I had continued riding that yellow school bus every morning? It was a cathartic experience and with it finally came the discovery and acceptance of who I am. I no longer feel the need to decide where I belong.
They say the best books tell you what you already know, resonating with your own thoughts and emotions. As I read, it is as if the tempest of my thoughts is spelled out on paper. His words somehow become my words, his memories become my memories. Despite the high speed of the bullet train, my mind is perfectly still — trapped between the narrative of the book and the narrative of my own life.
I read the last page and close the book, staring out the window at the shining fish ponds and peaceful rice paddies. I feel like a speck of dust outside the train, floating, content and happy to be between destinations. I am at home between worlds.
I speak both English and Chinese: Chinese is for math, science, and process, but I prefer English for art, emotion, and description. America owns my childhood, filled with pine trees, blockbuster movies, and Lake Tahoe snow; China holds my adolescence, accompanied by industrial smog, expeditious mobility, and fast-paced social scenes. We are drawing into Shanghai Hong Qiao station.
Home is neither arrival nor departure, neither America nor China. Dare I say it out loud? Here, in my own home? Within seconds, my reflexes kicked in.
Get over the shock. Gloves, napkins, towels. How does one heal a bird? I rummaged through the house, keeping a wary eye on my cat. Donning yellow rubber gloves, I tentatively picked up the bird.
Never mind the cat's hissing and protesting scratches, you need to save the bird. You need to ease its pain. But my mind was blank. I stroked the bird with a paper towel to clear away the blood, see the wound. The wings were crumpled, the feet mangled. A large gash extended close to its jugular rendering its breathing shallow, unsteady.
The rising and falling of its small breast slowed. Was the bird dying? No, please, not yet. Why was this feeling so familiar, so tangible? The long drive, the green hills, the white church, the funeral. The Chinese mass, the resounding amens, the flower arrangements. Me, crying silently, huddled in the corner. The Hsieh family huddled around the casket. So many apologies. The body. Kari Hsieh. Still familiar, still tangible. Hugging Mrs. Hsieh, I was a ghost, a statue.
My brain and my body competed. Emotion wrestled with fact. Kari was dead, I thought. For instance, you might consider cross country an activity, but cooking an interest.
Writing about an interest is a way to highlight passions that may not come across in the rest of your application. You should also feel free to use this topic to show what an important activity on your application really means to you.
Prompt 2 The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? This prompt lends itself to consideration of what facets of your personality allow you to overcome adversity. There are times in life when your foundation is uprooted.
For example, if you lost a friend due to an argument, you can analyze the positions from both sides, evaluate your decisions, and identify why you were wrong. The key is explaining your thought process and growth following the event to highlight how your thinking has changed.
Did you ever admit your fault and seek to fix the problem? Have you treated others differently since then? How has the setback changed the way you view arguments and fights now? Framing the prompt in this way allows you to tackle heavier questions about ethics and demonstrate your self-awareness.
For example, if you used to stutter or get nervous in large social groups, you could discuss the steps you took to find a solution. To my shame, I had been appallingly ignorant of his pain.
When my parents learned about The Smith Academy, we hoped it would be an opportunity for me to find not only an academically challenging environment, but also a community. This meant transferring the family. And while there was concern about Sam, we all believed that given his sociable nature, moving would be far less impactful on him than staying put might be on me.
But preoccupied with new friends and a rigorous course load, I failed to notice that the tables had turned. Sam had become withdrawn and lonely. While I saw myself as genuinely compassionate, I had been oblivious to the heartache of the person closest to me. We stayed up half the night talking. He told me how challenging school had always been for him, due to his dyslexia, and that the ever-present comparison to me had only deepened his pain.
We had been in parallel battles the whole time and, yet, I only saw that Sam was in distress once he experienced problems with which I directly identified.
College Admissions Writing the college application essay is a daunting task. We learn that the author knows how to turn a phrase, the author is a warm and caring person, the author has a sense of humor, and the author will bring us cookies if we admit her to our imaginary college.
Windows An eerie silence draped over New Orleans on a humid morning as the insects scampered back into their burrows.