〖Please indicate any special talents or skills you possess. You should write in either paragraph or bulleted-list format (250 words).〗
Creativity is difficult to achieve. I’d realized this at a young age, banging my head against the desk trying to overcome writer’s block; however, with time, I discovered the best method to break the creative slowdown is to force your pencil onto the paper, make something up, and go
〖At Penn, learning and growth happen outside of the classrooms, too. How will you explore the community at Penn? Consider how this community will help shape your perspective and identity, and how your identity and perspective will help shape this community. (150-200 words)〗
In high school, I enjoyed spearheading an Investment Conference to provide more financial literacy to other students. At Wharton, I wou
〖How did you discover your intellectual and academic interests, and how will you explore them at the University of Pennsylvania? Please respond considering the specific undergraduate school you have selected. (300-450 words)〗
In stockmarketgame.org’s 2020 spring event, my team placed third in our region. My friends and I had spent hours each week drawing up diagrams, diversifying our portfolio, and brainstorming ways
A Harvard education would best prepare me to further my life’s mission: helping those around me.
Our public education system prioritizes “core” subjects while sacrificing survival courses such as personal finance. To promote financial literacy among high school students, I launched the virtual Southeastern Pennsylvania Investment Conference (SE
〖Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (Max 150 Words)〗
In the hopes of helping to improve my community, I applied for the position of Memorial Garden chair. Tasked with beautifying a ceremonial garden, I posted sign-ups on our Key Club website, but to my dismay, I found submissions in single digits, the garden in shambles, and the deadline fast approaching. Taking a more proact
〖For applicants to Columbia College, please tell us what from your current and past experiences (either academic or personal) attracts you specifically to the areas of study that you previously noted in the application.〗
In stockmarketgame.org’s 2020 spring event, my team spent hours each week brainstorming how to separate ourselves from the hundreds of opposing squads. Struggling to advance, we decided to short trav
〖Why are you interested in attending Columbia University? (200 words or fewer)〗
While I thoroughly enjoy teaching a writing class and hosting investment conferences, I usually find myself tackling problems of the past: helping a struggling student in grammar or providing basic financial literacy neglected by the public education system. Columbia University, which is dedicated to diverse perspectives and an enriched ed
〖Columbia students take an active role in improving their community, whether in their residence hall, classes, or throughout New York City. Their actions, small or large, work to positively impact the lives of others. Share one contribution that you have made to your family, school, friend group, or another community that surrounds you. (200 words or fewer)〗
During middle school and high school, I have volunteered at
List the titles of the required readings from academic courses that you enjoyed most during secondary/high school.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey; 1984 by George Orwell; The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl; Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell; The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald; A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams; Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
List the titles of the books, essays, poetry, short stories,
〖Please write a brief paragraph about your most significant activity out of those listed above and its importance to you.〗
Writing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From my elementary school times of vacations to the Bahamas up to my most recent year in high school, I’ve continued a blog documenting significant events. I’ve submitted over a hundred works to writing competitions, from in-schoo
〖Please tell us about a book that has influenced you, from any point in your life.〗
Ever since I discovered the concept of an iPhone, I placed the mastermind behind the technology on a pedestal above everyone else. Steve Jobs, the man who captured the magic and imbued it on a small rectangular box, was a wizard to a 13-year-old me.
〖“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” What does this statement mean to you and can it affect what you do? (800 Words)〗
“Take the shot if you’re open, Aiden.”
I nod. Down six, we needed three-pointers to close the gap in these two minutes. I exhaled and rubbed my shaking hands against each other. Stepping onto the court for perhaps the last time in my middle school
〖What is fairness in the world? Is merit always the pinnacle of fairness in education? (800 Words)〗
Somewhere along the road of early-grade gym class, I discovered that I wouldn’t be the fastest soccer player or the strongest batter. Consistently being picked in the final few during kickball would imprint those ideas in your mind; however, I felt unjustly robbed of the means of success on the playground. “Why can’t
〖We would like to know more about your interest in NYU. What motivated you to apply to NYU? Why have you applied or expressed interest in a particular campus, school, college, program, and or area of study? If you have applied to more than one, please also tell us why you are interested in these additional areas of study or campuses. We want to understand - Why NYU? (400 Word Maximum) 〗
〖Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.〗
Shielding my eyes from the scorching sunlight, I walked past a dusty soccer field, watching young, barefooted children kick around a battered leather ball, straps flapping around the dirt. Situated in the goalpost's shade, a m
“If you aren't gonna eat that Steven, I’ll take it.”
“I’m good. Here, pick it up yourself.”
Kris reached over the iron clasps into Steven’s craft, taking the only useful bits off his bench. Eying the arm, he tore off the fingers and removed the radius and ulna. He held the appendage over the side of his vessel and let the
Let’s get the big one off the table first: I’m going to New York University (NYU) to study business at Stern. Was it my first choice? No. Is my future bright? Yes. Is it a good school and opportunity? Absolutely. Am I excited?
Not really. Let me explain.
Since elementary school, most well-off middle-class Chinese
Staring out into the clear pool of the American conscience, 1920s America indulges in the idealistic belief of personal success and self-made wealth. In The Great Gatsby, the author Francis Scott Fitzgerald explores the pollution of the American dream, investigating the darkness residing in the depths of the fantasy. Through the descriptions of the green light, the Valley of Ashes, and the eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleburg, Fit
I saw a dead dog in the street. This happened a few weeks ago while practicing for an upcoming license exam. The small, frail body was mutilated, sitting on the yellow stripe between the lanes. Luckily for me, I was going forty miles per hour and whizzed by its small frame without a detailed image. It more or less resembled a smear of black and dull pink in my peripheral vision, though my imagination filled in most of
Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse is a relatively recent big-screen animated Marvel film, introducing a multitude of new characters originating from numerous dimensions derived from multiple comic book series. From the classic Peter Parker to a slightly more baconated Peter Porker, the wide-range of loosely-based spider (and another animal) heroes band together with the main protagonist and freshly-bitten Miles Morales
I have yet seen a movie about aliens where I felt fully immersed in their world. What I mean by that statement is that with every fictional alien society, I find myself picking holes in logic or viewing the overwhelming laziness in the details.
For example, Krypton, in the latest Man of Steel film starring Henry Cavill sporting the newest rendition of an ironically patriot
I recently wrote a small paragraph as an example to my 2020 summer writing class. It went like this.
I’ve always had this heavy question weighing down my conscious: Where do our boogers go? As children, we constantly took care to excavate the tunnels, cleansing them of gold and other nuggets of inhaled particles; however, as teenagers, such meticulous cleaning occurs at a
A dandelion sways in the sighing spring breeze— its petals glistening under the pale white moonlight. Among a field of dying weeds, the sunflower sparkles in defiance, glaring at its adjacent life forms. Please, the flower whispers to itself. Leave me alone and let me shine.
The world is cruel, but the dandelion doesn’t understand that. Yet. It doesn’t know that it too will one da
Hello everyone! I hope your summer has treated you well.
My name is Aiden, the English Writing teacher of Guanghua Chinese School, PA. I’ve been teaching for three years now, and, in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic situation, I have decided to open an online and free-of-charge summer writing program up to Ten Students in this summer break of 2020.
At the start of my freshman year, I launched a new English writing class at Guanghua Chinese School (GHCS), a local Sunday school. Focused on the fundamentals of English, my class consists of early middle school students who seek help with rudimentary writing skills. As an instructor of young students, I have grasped over the years the basics of handling responsibility as well as taking control of a situation. Furtherm
A person strolls past a plastic bag fluttering down the street. In one scenario he ignores the bag—in another, he recycles the trash. Later that day, the local news shows a report of a car crash apparently caused by a plastic bag.
In a general scope, the individual’s actions did not affect the flow of events in any meaningful way; however, based on his decision, the person may expe
Snow drifted in flurries down the dark December morning. Large flakes of ice rolled across the landscape like a scene from a Christmas commercial. The sun extended its bright holiday lights over the horizon, marking the beginning of gifts and cheer. However, my focus was directed towards the growing emptiness inside me.
“Mama, I thought you said I would get a Christmas pr
“Alright class, settle down. Everyone pretzels legs. Zip those lips and hands-on-hips!” Mrs. Cowler breathed an exasperated sigh. I could almost see gray hairs sprouting from her head like weeds in the school garden.
“Alright class, today we will be reading The Three Little Piggies…” She paused, waiting for a reaction. The class was silent. “...or we can read The
And I thought my dining experience was luxurious in Fragrant Pavilion in Hangzhou.
When one mentions "fit for a king", one sees a massive set of food in front of a gluttonous man with a gold crown and handlebar mustache. In China, that fat man is replaced by the given dictator of that generation, and he doesn't have a mustache. Disregard my tangent. Ton
Prosperous Suzhou by the Qing Painter Yang Xu (清代画家徐扬·《姑苏繁华图》)
【Aiden in English】
Up above there is heaven; down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.
I asked my mom what the difference was between the four attractions*, we saw in Suzhou today and yesterday. She said that some were... bigger. Amazing. Imagine the most generic Asian temple in the most generic Asian setting. Alright, you'
When people eat gold, it's the equivalent of running expensive wine through a wire mesh and throwing out the wine that passes through as if expecting to retain some nutrients. Luckily, I did not eat gold tonight. No, what a waste that would be. But I bring up gold because it certainly feels like we dined as wasteful arist
A lotus flower grows to a certain height. Within a patch, the ideal situation for all is that each grows to the same height. Life would be simple for every plant.
On my way to the hotel room in West Lake State Guest House, I spotted a grove of lotus plants bundled together near the bank. They varied in height, some shading others. The flowers on top grew in size and surfac
Nanjing is a rather interesting city designated as UNESCO City of Literature in 2019. However, among the other cities of my traveling career, it does not deserve to be revisited for a fourth blog post. Yet last night, a peculiar thought crossed my mind. What amazing flash of enlightenment entered my head? Well, I need to tell you how my night went first.
What is work? A job – a monotonous, persistent pursuit of promotion? Is it sitting at a desk, eight hours a day mulling over some characters on a computer? Is it speaking into a microphone for four hours a day to an unknown source of people? Is it smiling at the camera, waving goodbye to millions of people? Or is it pointing the camera at such persons?
If there was ever a moment of divine intervention, the past two years must’ve included some sort of magical editing. My freshman and sophomore year in my high school felt as if someone copied and pasted the same algorithm into two-time slots of my life. That isn’t such a bad thing either.
Ever watch a large wave stroll in on the beach? It starts small but eventually become
I get that a lot from my students. Normally, a prompt is slapped in their face, pencil stabbed into their hand, arms taped to the table and clock glued to their eyes, telling them “Hey, this is exactly what you should do to get a good grade.” Oddly, I respect the school system for this matter. They understand that not all
To what point has humanity crumbled. Recently, I read about complaints of Father’s Day being “offensive” to single moms and working women. While somewhat laughable, this apparently is a strong viewpoint in society. The same drastic feministic ideas that keep me up at night staring into the darkness, thinking.
Now, keep in mind, this is only an opinion of mine. Thus,
I watched Kawhi Leonard’s shot bounced in. It defied physics.
If you don’t know what I mean, go find a clip on YouTube. The ball was short. It hit the rim at such an angle, the ball bounced straight up into the air, crossing the circular net towards the other side. It bounced on the inside of the rim, straight up again. Then it proceeded to tortuously
Recently I’ve been diving into politics. Obviously, if there’s ever a time to get interested, the Trump administration is as good an opportunity as any. While everyone is going ballistic over the allegations and frantic scramble between parties, I look back using my Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) knowledge and say to myself…
Enter, March. Possibly the most interesting month of the year. While that same argument can be made for all other 11 months, it’s called March Madness for a reason.
It’s almost poetic that such a crazed portion of sports can reflect an equaling appalling section in my life. North Penn HS notoriously ramps up the tempo of curriculum, as they should, in the third marking pe
While being a teenage teacher has his moments, receiving an invitation to an appreciation dinner incites a rather satisfying feeling. Granted, the honor to such exclusive banquet comes from the endeavor to promote Chinese heritage in spite of hardship, because having money spent on food for teachers is exactly what Guanghua Chinese School (GHCS) would want.
A village sits in the mountains, deprived of food, fertile land, and eyes of heaven. Water is a commodity; trees, a rarity; and brief flashes of green only originate from an occasional sprout or small, slimy reptilian creatures.
Every year, a man comes to the village. He brings forth a flood of life. The village’s dry well fills with fresh water; the mountain stream
Well, it's the final day. I can't say I'm glad to go home, but YouTube and Snapchat, and Instagram do have a large hole that food can't fill. In addition, I miss air conditioning and not being sweaty all day. I would say Philadelphia is a rather hot city temperature-wise, but the air feels crisp and refreshing, not a massive wet towel plastered to your skin. Speaking of which, a cool shower would feel g
Today truly was the first day I felt this adventure in China was almost over. Thirty-six hours in Nanjing, twenty-four more in Beijing, and then fourteen hours sitting in one place surrounded by strangers while flying through freezing clouds. Oddly enough, when the finish line is in sit, mom slows the pace down, deciding now would be the best time to spend some family time.
Shanghai was fun while it lasted, and two days certainly does not do it justice. That is also why mom furiously pushed the exploration of Shanghai yesterday and today. Luckily, we covered a good bit of the touristic section last night, so all that was left near the city center was Shanghai Tower and its surrounding metal forest.
Alright, so now I'm in Shanghai... That was fast. I guess it's expected of a bullet train. Leaving Nanjing in the late morning, we arrived in Shanghai at mid-day, receiving a very, very warm welcome with delicious Shanghai cuisine. Luckily, the humidity dialed down a notch to a bearable level, and many shops in Shanghai had air conditioning.
I've heard plenty of demonic college anecdotes. In some ways, the stories line up with the Marine Corps, terrifying experiences by banding together strangers into bonds stronger than bullets. In this case, it appears college years make bonds strong enough to even survive the test of time.
You know, normally meeting old friends at a hospital isn't a good thing. However, when most of th
Mixed in between the constant ingestion of food and sweating, this summer trip sprinkled in visits to friends in China. Friends normally meant old college folks mom hasn’t seen in three decades, so most of the time, I felt detached from the conversation, hence the time to write these journal entries. Each friend often gave long, elaborate hellos that were cut short by my mom in order to fit in the time slot within a busy week.
The most annoying thing about the summer in Nanjing is the humidity. It's hot already. Then top it off with a constant layer of warm steam-like moisture coating your skins and you get the daily climate of Nanjing. It's the feeling of being hot and wet, yet somewhat dry at the same time. Your body is confused, so it sweats, adding to the already building layer of water on the skin. Your mind, also confused, wonders when the next sh