Please tell us how you spent your most recent summer vacation

I spent most of my last summer (2007) traveling around Europe’s architectural sites and familiarizing myself with two important design softwares: Photoshop and Illustrator.

Since the summer was to be the last one to spend as a family, my parents and I decided to take

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a vacation of my choice, of which I choose Europe because of the continent’s wealth of historical and architectural heritage. I have always been fascinated by the cultural history of the continent’s architectural sites.

The first place to visit was Rome. It was amazing to the Roman Coliseum whose size architecture and appearance is just a beauty to be reckoned with; I felt so privileged to have seen this great piece of art. Irrigations pipes and channels built during the days of the Roman Empire were also great pieces of dazzling architecture I was privileged to see.

The second city to visit was Paris, France. One of the dazzling sites was the Mona Lisa, but I was dazzled to see that the picture is smaller than expected. It is widely said that a picture could be more than a thousand words; the Mona Lisa is worth more than those words and more than thousand times its sheer size.

This little-yet-widely-famous picture is recessed in the gallery, protected by thick glasses, Mona Lisa’s smile, small eyes and her androgynous features is a site for any art lover to stare and admire.

While still in France, we had a chance to visit Venice whose water transportation system and the beautiful voice that many of the Gondola drivers are just amazing sites. I spent the latter part of my summer learning how to use Adobe Photoshop and illustrator. The skills I developed, steady hands and strong concentration, will make it easy to deal with design classes at NYU.

#2) Describe a trait or characteristic that has been passed along to you by your family. Tell us why you like or dislike this part of yourself.

My home nickname is “silent but deadly”. “Silent” is from my father

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and “deadly” from my late mother. I like the combinations of these two names because it makes me feel as if my parents are in me at all times. My father is a successful executive in Hong Kong and has exemplified greater leadership skills that I have been associated with the character traits I borrowed from him.

Indeed, I find myself becoming a leader like my father. I have already started developing those skills through participation in group activities both in my neighborhood and in school; I have served as leader in several extracurricular activities throughout my education career. The listening skills that I got from my father have enabled me to be attentive to others as well as being tolerant to colleagues’ opinions.

My mother was a great philanthropist, perfectionist, full of grace, caring, attentive, understanding, and a-people-person. She was also charismatic, investigative and a straight talker. She was a thoughtful person who would never take stand or decision on something before undertaking some thoughtful process. The resulting decisions would have been final; she stood to what she believed-in.

These characteristics have made me an individual who is interested with other people in the society. Being a blend of two talented individuals has made a big contribution to the person I am today. Sharpening the combination of two individuals to NYU is one of the goals I want to achieve. I am also planning two use the skills I have developed from my parents legacy to make a contribution in NYU’s community.

#3) New York City is an essential element of academic and cultural life at NYU. If you could start a club or service organization at NYU, what would it be and how would you envision it impacting the larger community.

I plan to make a contribution to NYU and NYC through the establishment of a Chinese club that will enable members of the community to learn about Chinese ways of life. The club will for instance help NYU community members learn mandarin and Chinese calligraphy that are increasingly becoming popular worldwide.

Other activities of the club would include opera and water painting. All NYU community members would be welcome in the club, even if they are not of Chinese origin. This is because the club’s intention is to teach and learn from others. Incase there exists other clubs of this sort, I shall join them and make my contribution from there. The Chinese club will make a pint of joining hands with other cultural organizations in the NYU and with NYC to celebrate different cultures.

This shall be achieved through celebrations and carnivals at different calendar dates. Taking advantage of New York City as the melting port of world cultures will be the greatest help that NYU will provide this club; members shall be able to understand different people through learning and teaching activities. In addition, the club shall embark on helping people of different cultures to cope with the fast paced NYC-life.

This shall be achieved through the network of friendship that will have been established through association with other clubs within the college and New York City itself. To ensure that information about the club reaches a wider group of audience, the club shall establish a website where all its activities will be posted, including materials to teach language and calligraphy.

#4) You have been selected to sing in a talent show. What song would you choose? Why?

I would definitely sing Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You”; it reminds me of pleasant memories and has cultivated sense of making use of opportunities I find on my growth process. I first came across this song when I was watching the movie, “The Bodyguard” with my parents.  It was a very interesting movie. Like most of the love stories, this talked about a Bodyguard fell in love with his client, Whitney Houston.  Unlike many other movies, this movie is very special because it incorporates several music soundtracks.

However, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” stood out from the rest because it was my mother’s favorite song and. Lyrics, too, are very touchy and meaningful.  I love the lyrics of the song because it speaks a lot of the feelings I have for my mother.  Even though it has almost been 8 years since her death, “I will always love you” provides me with fresh memories of her.  In terms of musical quality, I love the arrangement, mainly because of the many instruments that were used: such as piano, guitar, drum, and last but not least the saxophone.

The saxophone part comes in the chorus; it heightens the overall emotion quality of the song.  I love this song and it is one of my all-time favorites. Because of the fresh memories that the song provides, I have always looked forward to saying “I Will Always Love You” to people and places; I for instance said it when I left Europe’s architectural sites. I would therefore feel obliged to sing the song at NYU, because the opportunity of studying there will leave a lasting impact in my life.

#5) Please tell us what led you to select your anticipated academic program and/or NYU school/college, and what interests you most about your intended discipline.

I am applying to the College of Arts and Science at New York University and hopefully major in the field of East Asian Studies, focus of study being: Chinese and Japanese Tradition”. Though I am born and raised in a Chinese family, I attended International School from 5th Grade onwards.

The International School, provided me with the opportunity to study European, American, Native-Indian, African, Indian history and many more.  However, little of Chinese history of art was taught. This has left me with great urge of learning the history and art of my country; which is the reason why I intend to study at NYU. It is unfortunate that I have no answers when my friends from the States ask about Chinese histories, cultural rituals and many more.

However, reading “China: Its History and Culture”, written by W. Scott Morton has provided me with great foundation for learning Chinese history.  It was not after reading the book that had a very understanding about the Chinese culture and values.  I think it is never too late to learn about something, especially something that is as meaningful and interesting as the history of my root, the place that I am born in.  I started looking for a transfer and NYU came across my mind.

The strong faculty that NYU has will help me excel in this specific field of study.  NYU has many resources and opportunity to offer that no other university can provide. In addition, NYU’s liberal arts education will provide me with and opportunity to learn about other areas of study apart from East Asian studies.

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