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darkboron
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Posted Tue Apr 26, 2005, 3:41pm
Subject: Essays
 

Ahem, I have to write a short set of reflective essays for an application for the college I want to attend (St. John's, Santa Fe) and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I've had a lot of help from CG members and I'm hoping you guys can help me again. First off, how am I supposed to start something like this? I have no experience in writing essays, so I'm having real difficulties here.
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jim_schulman
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Posted Tue Apr 26, 2005, 4:05pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

Given the college, a story about how a book got you seeing the world in a new way, and some thoughts on what this means, would be appropriate. If that's never happened to you, you may reconsider your college choice, since the place might not be your cup of coffee.

 
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espressophile
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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2005, 10:06am
Subject: Re: Essays
 

darkboron Said:

Ahem, I have to write a short set of reflective essays for an application for the college I want to attend (St. John's, Santa Fe) and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I've had a lot of help from CG members and I'm hoping you guys can help me again. First off, how am I supposed to start something like this? I have no experience in writing essays, so I'm having real difficulties here.

Posted April 26, 2005 link

It's simple, really.  Pick the best coffeeshop that you can think of and apply to the college closest thereto.  Write your essay about the coffeeshop. :)

 
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Wills
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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2005, 12:18pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

darkboron Said:

Ahem, I have to write a short set of reflective essays for an application for the college I want to attend (St. John's, Santa Fe) and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I've had a lot of help from CG members and I'm hoping you guys can help me again. First off, how am I supposed to start something like this? I have no experience in writing essays, so I'm having real difficulties here.

Posted April 26, 2005 link

Reflective essay about your life I'm guessing?

well think of why you want to attend the college? If it was a long term goal? Explain how you got to where you are now...etc..etc. Atleast get started..and we'll help you "brew" the rest! :)
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reeeneeee
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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2005, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

...wasn't college application time October-December?
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darkboron
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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2005, 4:18pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

reeeneeee Said:

...wasn't college application time October-December?

Posted April 27, 2005 link

I'm applying for 2006 entry - I'm a junior.

espressophile Said:

It's simple, really.  Pick the best coffeeshop that you can think of and apply to the college closest thereto.  Write your essay about the coffeeshop. :)

Posted April 27, 2005 link

But the only college I want to go to right now is St. John's. There isn't another college like it - seriously! I can't think of one other college that comes close to what St. John's is doing. But that is a good idea for graduate school!

The reason I'm having troubles writing it is because I hate self-evaluation. The very notion seems arrogant to me. My brother had the same problems when he had to write an essay for the college he's in. I have always hated it when people give themselves a pat on the back - or a slap - when they really have no right to do so, in my opinion. This is the biggest dilemma I'm facing right now. I'm not going to bull---t my way through this. But how am I supposed to ascribe myself what they're looking for without getting out of hand?
Did any of you guys have this problem?
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lachattenoire
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Posted Wed Apr 27, 2005, 4:45pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

Hi,

I graduated from university a few months ago with a bachelors in political science. We had a few political philosophy courses offered; I took a couple of them. I checked up on what St. Johns was about and saw the curriculum had a few of the authors I encountered throughout many of the courses I took. Our general discussions of the works which were relevant to the history of political thought were in a sense reflective. Although we were no asked to compose a reflective essay in response to any of our readings, I still have a fews ideas of the kind of essay you're being asked to write.

In a way, the essay is an explanation of the self. This is neither the time to praise nor to slap yourself, as you so eloquently phrased it. But is an opportunity to consider how you got to where you are. A concise essay about your formative years. For instance, I've kept a journal since I was eight years old. If a stranger were to read all that was written since then 'til today (I'm 26 so that's quite a bit of reading to do!!!), then a common theme would stand out. Almost like a creed. We each hold a certain philosophy that guides us.

You asked how should you start this, I suggest you sit and make a list of key moments of your life. What decisions did you make in response to those moments? What commonalities do these have? I suggest you write about these moments, engage in serious debate. I think your reader wants to learn whether you are capable of seeing meaning behind the actions and words of not just of what you will read at the college but also of yourself. Read between the lines of your own actions, interpret and write. That to me, in one sentence is where a reflective essay starts and ends.

I hope that something in all of this helped.
Best of luck, let us know how you did!!
Jess
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hamm
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Posted Sun May 1, 2005, 6:54pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

darkboron Said:

The reason I'm having troubles writing it is because I hate self-evaluation. The very notion seems arrogant to me. My brother had the same problems when he had to write an essay for the college he's in. I have always hated it when people give themselves a pat on the back - or a slap - when they really have no right to do so, in my opinion. This is the biggest dilemma I'm facing right now. I'm not going to bull---t my way through this. But how am I supposed to ascribe myself what they're looking for without getting out of hand?
Did any of you guys have this problem?

Posted April 27, 2005 link

I had the same.  I hated self-evaluation for the longest time but I realized it was because I didn't like who I was.  I've battled quite a few demons in that arena, but at one point I realized that some people are going to dislike you no matter what, but the stonger your character you have will ensure that a LOT more people will love who you are.  Be yourself and if you don't like that, then do some "soul searching," for lack of a better term.  Come to grips with who you are, and change the things you dislike.  It takes some people a lifetime to do that though, so don't get discouraged if it's tough.

Then, make a list of all the thing's you're good at.  Make another list of the things you would like to do that you currently cannot do. Identify weaknesses.  Pick a weakness that you can turn into a strength by applying your "good" skills.  Write. Rinse, repeat if necessary.

Sounds easy, huh?  :D

Employers love to see stuff like that, not just colleges.  But all the best to you.  You've got some time left.  I procrastinated and wound up attending a university that I really didn't care for.  But I can't change the past.  I made choices, so I live with the results. i made a lot of great friends, but I didn't get the exact degree I wanted.  Compromise can be a good thing, but it made life tougher for me.  Keep you head on straight and you'll do fine.

Enough preaching from me though.  Time for a snack.

Hamm
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FadedFromWinter8
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Joined: 8 May 2005
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Location: Beverly, MA
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Posted Sun May 8, 2005, 6:11pm
Subject: Re: Essays
 

hey...i am in the same boat as you are lol i am applying for spring 2006 at St. John's annapolis. i had such a hard time writing those essays. i'm still not entirely happy with the second one,  discussing a book that has been particularly important to you...but i can't procrastinate about it any more lol. it's been a bit since your first post, how are yours coming? I just pretty much took every aspect of the school that really appealed to me and talked about how that had or hadn't been a part of my education to date and why it made me want to come to st. johns. i know what you mean about the pat on the back or the slap. i had such a hard time trying to discuss myself without seeming like i thought i was the greatest, or like i hated myself lol i was just honest about myself and how i got where i am without going too far. IM me sometime if you want to talk about essays and stuff. i'm not sure how valid my opinions will be, seeing as i haven't gotten my admissions  decision yet. but....you never know lol
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