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    • Join Date: Jul 2010
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    #1

    Personal essay... Please Help... Need to correct it and improve it!

    Memories
    Today was a poignant day, after l left Santiago's house I walked downtown. The streets were still wet, because it had been raining for a few hours. My jeans were soaked through with water up to my knees; I did not noticed the puddles. My mind was empty at the time and the only thing I could recognize was the lovely smell of wet earth. In a few hours the darkness will cover the village; there are still some noises on the streets from the kids playing and laughing. I finally got to the downtown plaza, where I paused for a few seconds to look at the majesty and beauty of the trees. I couldn't resist the desire to sit down and contemplate the picture. Suddenly a touching scene made a profound impact into my heart. Before me, a son was learning one of the initial rites of childhood, riding a bike. I was missing something that I didn't learn to appreciate until it was gone.
    The aroma of handmade tortillas woke me up that morning, meaning that grandma was preparing el almuerzo for grandpa. I got up from a warm bed later than usual, because school had been canceled. At home my grandpa had made a fogón of stones and mud mixed with dry pine needles which gave a special smell to everything my mom or grandma cooked. I spent hours and hours in that kitchen where around the walls she had hundreds of hand crafted pottery, each one with a different paint design. My grandma was proud of the pots and cups she had as well as the plates, it seemed to me like she knew each of them by their shape, color and most importantly the memory it brought to her. Usually, I get up from bed and put some food in a container, but that day was different. I didn't have to hurry, so instead I sat down at the table and enjoyed a green salsa that my mother made. Isabel, my sister, always complained about me eating all the salsa. She is my second sister who has been always the closest to me, maybe because she was the one I had to take care since she was a newborn. Even though we always fought, she has always been respectful to me. She got up from the table and offered her seat to my grandfather who just arrived to the kitchen from watering the rosebushes. I was constantly fascinated by my grandpa stories; he loved to share his young man adventures while we were eating. It was routine for him to sit down and cross his legs one over the other and hang up his hat on one of the chair's corners. Somehow the old hat, ruined by the sun, was still my grandfather's favorite. Then he would ask for a cup of coffee, followed by cracking his fingers one by one until the end, and finally ask if we knew something about his teenage years. He started his conversation and we ate. My grandfather always sat down at the head of the table with grandmother on one of his sides followed by my mom on the other side. I sat on my grandpa's contrary side. Elizabeth was always at the middle of the table when grandpa visited. Normally, she sat at the head of the table filling my father's empty spot. My youngest sister, Madeline, would always sit right next to me; I guess she found in me a father figure. My mom and grandmother took turns to provide us with tortillas or whatever we needed to enjoy our lunch. I just loved those days when grandfather and grandmother came to visit us. After a few hours of quality time and visiting, I had to get ready to go to work. Since my dad had passed away I had to work even more than when he was alive. I consider my mother a fighter. She is a loving and responsible mother, always looking for ways to provide what my father never could, a responsible parent.
    My days were long, never easy to handle. High school, with all the homework, extracurricular activities, my job as a tutor, and home responsibilities, made me feel stressed out and gave little time for myself. Since I never had instruction from my father I had to come up with ideas to earn money in order to provide basic life necessities for my family. During my junior year in middle school a good friend of mine invited me to start working for a government institution working as a teacher, but not as well paid as them. I questioned at first, but my family necessity made me take a risk, so I started doing it. During those days I learned many pedagogic skills, and soon enough I developed my own pedagogic procedures in order to help adult people to learn. Even better I found my specialization in how to teach mathematics. Later on, that experience gave me the strength to start teaching on my own. Some of my questions were who am I going to approach and how am I going to prove that I can teach?
    My mother always taught me to have courage in making decisions, to risk in order to win, so I did. I asked my advisor at school to help me to get a copy of my grades so I could show the people that I was a good student. I knew it wouldn't be enough to convince the parents of what I thought would be my students. Pátzcuaro is a town where the social hierarchy is very defined. Wealthy people seem to have a fortune which never will end, in contrast to the poor people who seem like they won't get out of their poverty. I saw how defined it was so I made a plan and since most of the sons of the wealthy families were struggling in school I would offer my service to tutor them in school in exchange for money. Surprisingly enough I started with my rich friends and I ended being referred to different families who I never thought I could get involved with. Santiago was a teenager, who had many problems of concepts retention. His father, a business man, in town was a well known guy; he had the face of a strong man. Most people thought he was an unfriendly person, but unexpectedly he treated me very affable. Santiago would never say anything while his father was expressing his dissatisfaction about Santiago's performance in school. but when the father was gone, Santiago would play and talk a lot about his amorous pursuits. We became good friends.
    I was having such a good success with my new self employed job that even all the pressure I felt over my shoulders didn't matter. I felt satisfied, because I was doing what I wanted to do. In that particular day we had discussed some of the basic concepts of equations systems; Santiago was having a hard time trying to figure out how to "foil" similar terms. His face looked anxious, and I could see that he wanted the rain to stop. The red color of his checks wasn't there as usual. I knew his dad had pressured him so hard to get done with the chapter, but I knew that he was tired too. So I told him to help me solve one of the homework story problems that another kid I was teaching had tried to solve. I got his attention for a few minutes and then I told him we were done for the day. His smile returned to his face and his rounded eyes sparkled a light of happiness.
    I was worried because it had been raining; I didn't want to get all wet. Those cloudy days of rain made me feel like tears were coming down from heaven. Those days were reflection days for me. My life had been heavy to carry on, because responsibilities had invaded my life since my childhood. There were times when I felt tired, I wanted to give up. Those thoughts came to my mind while I was walking towards downtown. A feeling of emptiness, loss of direction inside of my mind, and reflection of my life to that point were fighting inside my conscience. I could hear the peculiar song of the birds getting ready to sleep. The sun was on its way to disappear on the horizon.
    When I got to the main plaza in downtown, I stopped astonished by the beauty of the panorama, the majesty of the trees being blown by the gentle wind made me sigh. I felt how gratitude came to my heart, because of what I had in front of my eyes. I was sitting there when a laugh sound attracted my attention, the heart of a little boy was scared of having to learn a new task in his life but at the same time his eyes could reflect the confidence on his master's care. His father had got him a little blue bicycle. I could perceive that he was a proud parent , pleased of being able to accomplish his duty as a father, his face looked concentrated on what his was doing with his son, even though he was a man, I could noticed his delicate moves, his palm holding the son's back and with his other hand being aware of his son's equilibrium. The image of that scene made me feel alone, without support and a wish for having a dad invaded my heart and mind. the image became fussy while some tears escaped from my eyes. I wanted to be in that child position, I was wishing to have back my childhood, but the most important my feelings of resentment, hate, and disrespect from my father wanted to be replaced by a feeling of love and gratefulness because even though I never had a perfect father, I was able to know what a father's love was. The scene I saw suppurate my mind's negativity and made me think in a different way, a father is always a father; after he died, I realized that deep inside of me, I loved him and I needed him more than ever I thought same as the kid I was looking at. We never realized how important a person is until it is gone. The memories of my life retrieved parts of my childhood as and made me put together all the pieces I was missing in order to understand that the loved ones are what we most missed .

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Personal essay... Please Help... Need to correct it and improve it!

    Quote Originally Posted by ed_onix View Post
    Memories
    Today was a poignant day. After l left Santiago's house I walked downtown.
    [In English we don't join two sentences with a comma. This is called a comma splice. You could use a semi-colon, but the two sentences are not really related enough to be joined.]

    The streets were still wet, because it had been raining for a few hours. My jeans were soaked through with water up to my knees; I did not noticed the puddles. My mind was empty at the time and the only thing I could recognize was the lovely smell of wet earth. In a few hours the darkness will cover the village; there are still some noises on the streets from the kids playing and laughing. I finally got to the downtown plaza, where I paused for a few seconds to look at the majesty and beauty of the trees. I couldn't resist the desire to sit down and contemplate the picture scene. Suddenly a touching scene made a profound impact into on my heart. Before me, a son was learning one of the initial rites of childhood, riding a bike. I was missing something that I didn't learn to appreciate until it was gone.
    The aroma of handmade tortillas woke me up that morning, meaning that grandma was preparing el almuerzo for grandpa. I got up from a warm bed later than usual, because school had been canceled. At home my grandpa had made a fogón of stones and mud mixed with dry pine needles which gave a special smell to everything my mom or grandma cooked. I spent hours and hours in that kitchen where around the walls she had hundreds of hand crafted pottery, each one with a different paint design. My grandma was proud of the pots and cups she had as well as the plates. It seemed to me like she knew each of them by their shape, color and most importantly the memory it brought to her. Usually, I get up from bed and put some food in a container, but that day was different. I didn't have to hurry, so instead I sat down at the table and enjoyed a green salsa that my mother made. Isabel, my sister, always complained about me eating all the salsa. She is my second sister, who has always been the closest to me, maybe because she was the one I had to take care of since she was a newborn.
    [A comma is mandatory after 'sister'. Otherwise it means that she is the second sister who was closest to you, leading us to wonder what happened to the first sister who was closest to you. See: non-defining v defining clauses.]

    Even though we always fought, she has always been respectful to me. She got up from the table and offered her seat to my grandfather, who just arrived to in the kitchen from watering the rosebushes.
    [Same reason for the comma after grandfather. This is a non-restrictive non-defining clause. The clause doesn't define which grandfather she offered a seat to, which would be the meaning without the comma.]

    I was constantly fascinated by my grandpa's stories; he loved to share his young man adventures while we were eating. It was routine for him to sit down and cross his legs one over the other and hang up his hat on one of the chair's corners. Somehow the old hat, ruined by the sun, was still my grandfather's favorite. Then he would ask for a cup of coffee, followed by cracking his fingers one by one until the end, and finally ask if we knew something about his teenage years. He started his conversation and we ate. My grandfather always sat down at the head of the table with grandmother on one of his sides followed by my mom on the other side. I sat on my grandpa's contrary side [opposite him?]. Elizabeth was always at the middle of the table when grandpa visited. Normally, she sat at the head of the table filling my father's empty spot. My youngest sister, Madeline, would always sit right next to me; I guess she found in me a father figure. My mom and grandmother took turns to provide us with tortillas or whatever we needed to enjoy our lunch. I just loved those days when grandfather and grandmother came to visit us. After a few hours of quality time and visiting, I had to get ready to go to work. Since my dad had passed away I had to work even more than when he was alive. I consider my mother a fighter. She is a loving and responsible mother, always looking for ways to provide what my father never could, a responsible parent.

    Corrected to here
    The grammar and vocabulary are excellent.
    A few minor problems with punctuation which you should be able to easily fix.


    • Join Date: Jul 2010
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    #3

    Re: Personal essay... Please Help... Need to correct it and improve it!

    Thanks for your help, it means a lot to me! When I said "opposite side" the opposite seat of the seat he always take.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • English
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    #4

    Re: Personal essay... Please Help... Need to correct it and improve it!

    Quote Originally Posted by ed_onix View Post
    Thanks for your help, it means a lot to me! When I said "opposite side" the opposite seat of the seat he always take.
    If you sit opposite someone, you sit in a place such that you are directly facing them, e.g. each person sits at alternate ends of the table, or they sit directly across from each other.
    "contrary" isn't colloquial here.


    • Join Date: Jul 2010
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    #5

    Re: Personal essay... Please Help... Need to correct it and improve it!

    Thank you!

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