主文书样本及点评(5):BURYING MY GRANDMA

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    申请文书是学生唯一可控的,能够给录取者留下深刻印象的最后机会。写好这份文书因此成为大学申请过程中压力最大的部分。

    最强有力的文书不仅对人和事件有很好的描述,关键是要最终解释了这些经历对你的影响。这不是一项可以到临上轿才扎耳朵眼儿的活儿。需要思考,需要一些深刻的自我反省,需要打草稿,也需要专家、老师或家长帮忙修改。但是,过于依赖家长、辅导员或其他人来帮助写作,也很有可能会面临负面的后果。

    教授们每年读过数以万计的申请文书。我们非常清楚一个十七、八岁的孩子的语言和思维逻辑。有时候一篇文书显然被打磨抛光过,内容却不像任何一个我们见过的青少年的话语方式。我们并不希望看到大学毕业生的“人生理想”,也不想看到一个四、五十岁“人生导师”的鸡汤文。我们想要看到一个对世界或许充满不解,对人生或许充满困惑,却勇于探索,希望自我完善,决心自我奋斗去追寻未来的高中生。

    但对于许多高中生来说,如何确定他们自己的声音却是一项挑战,因为他们的生活经验还有限。在此刻之前,他们很可能一直是在高中教师的指导下写命题作文,而不是为了自己,更不是为了与读者分享自己而写作。

    先来看看下面这篇样文。这篇从自己祖母过世写起的文书,优点并不在于讲述了一个多么离奇的故事,只不过是截取了生活中一个常见的情节。开头直接切入,交代缘由,语言也很简洁,没有过多的环境渲染,只充满了自我的,私人的情感,立刻就能抓住读者。在情感的基础上进一步,重点讲述这个事件对自己所产生的影响,而且用事实去说明;再进一步,形成结论。由于这种影响,自己的思维方式、行为方式或看待世界的角度发生了什么变化。行文的展开呈现出清晰的思维线索,最后归结到的申请文书的永恒主题:“于是我就成了现在的我”。


    BURYING MY GRANDMA

    They covered the precious mahogany coffin with a brown amalgam of rocks, decomposed organisms, and weeds. It was my turn to take the shovel, but I felt too ashamed to dutifully send her off when I had not properly said goodbye. I refused to throw dirt on her. I refused to let goof my grandmother, to accept a death I had not seen coming, to believe that anillness could not only interrupt, but steal a beloved life.

    When my parents finally revealed to me that my grandmother had been battling liver cancer, I was twelve and I was angry--mostly with myself. They had wanted to protect me--only six years old at the time--from the complex and morose concept of death. However, when the end inevitably arrived, I wasn’t trying to comprehend what dying was; I was trying to understand how I had been able to abandon my sick grandmother in favor of playing with friends and watching TV. Hurt that my parents had deceived me and resentful of my own oblivion, I committed myself to preventing such blindness from resurfacing.

    I became desperately devoted to my education because I saw knowledge as the key to freeing myself from the chains of ignorance. While learning about cancer in school I promised myself that I would memorize every fact and absorb every detail in textbooks and online medical journals. And as I began to consider my future, I realized that what I learned in school would allow me to silence that which had silenced my grandmother.However, I was focused not with learning itself, but with good grades and high test scores. I started to believe that academic perfection would be the only way to redeem myself in her eyes--to make up for what I had not done as a granddaughter.

    However, a simple walk on a hiking trail be hind my house made me open my own eyes to the truth. Over the years,everything--even honoring my grandmother--had become second to school and grades. As my shoes humbly tapped against the Earth, the towering trees blackened by the forest fire a few years ago, the faintly colorful pebbles embedded in the sidewalk, and the wispy white clouds hanging in the sky reminded me of my small though nonetheless significant part in a larger whole that is humankind and this Earth. Before I could resolve my guilt, I had to broaden my perspective of the world as well as my responsibilities to my fellow humans.

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