学习啦  玉莲   2017-04-06 14:59:51



  Mathematics has always fascinated me. From playing “shopkeeper” in primary school to my AS-level French speech, I have always found ways to apply my mathematical knowledge in various aspects of my life. My real love for Mathematics began in year seven when we began studying algebra, then progressed from primary school Mathematics to the building blocks of my A-level and future studies.

  In Year 10, I was invited to study the Decision 1 module with a Sixth Form class. This opened up a new perspective on the subject, involving more than just the algebra and graph work I was studying for GCSE. The practical uses of this module showed another side of mathematical problem-solving than the more abstract UKMT Mathematical Challenges, whilst sharing the same logical thought process. Helping out with Year 6 Maths this year has been enjoyable, and I hope that I have inspired some of the girls to enjoy Maths as much as I do. After beginning Sixth Form proving Pythagoras’ theorem by various methods, I discovered Fermat’s last theorem. Having found it fascinating that such a seemingly simple statement can take so long to be proved, I began reading Simon Singh’s book on the topic. I found that both Fermat’s Theorem and the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture would either be proved or disproved by simply solving one of them. Although I have not yet studied enough Mathematics to fully appreciate this topic, it is something I look forward to studying in the future.

  Along with Mathematics I also enjoy Physics, and since many topics in the two subjects are very similar, such as the equations of motion and resolving forces. Studying the equations of motion last year, I saw how they were derived from Mathematics, by finding gradients and areas under graphs. As part of the Engineering Education Scheme, I had to explain the use of maths and physics in our project to other students and engineers.

  In my spare time, I regularly help out in the community. I have worked at Oxfam since year 10, where I do a wide range of jobs including cashing up and checking the takings for the week. After my GCSEs, I took part in the Millennium Volunteers Project, volunteering at CSV Media Clubhouse. Whilst there, I created various databases and worked on reception. Volunteering has greatly improved my confidence, leadership and teamwork skills, whilst enabling me to help others. I have also held editorial roles in two school magazines; both of which received the Searchlight Cup for Teamwork. This gave me experience of working to, and motivating others to meet deadlines, whilst producing a final product that we were all proud to have been a part of. Achieving my Brown Belt in Karate meant that I had to be dedicated to training up to four times a week, and also able to teach others in the class.

  In October 2007, I won an internship at BT specialising in cross-media communications research. This was a rewarding experience, as I saw some of the new technology being developed, learnt how to write a report of my research findings, and made a 40-minute presentation on my experience at BT. I am not afraid of speaking in public, having given many whole-school assemblies. In summer, I achieved runner-up in the GDST Somerville and Gurney Essay competition, which was very different to the science and French I had been studying, but also presented some interesting topics to write about, drawing from both personal experience and current events.

  I am looking forward to all the academic challenges at university, and know that I will make the most of university life to pursue my subject in the greatest depth possible.


  Shelley's belief that poets are the "unacknowledged legislators of the world" might seem like an exaggeration to some people, but in my opinion, his essay "A Defence of Poetry" eloquently expresses the importance of poetry, and other forms of literature. Studying literature is intrinsically valuable, but it also helps to illuminate other aspects of culture. Writers, as Shelley observed, "apprehend the true and the beautiful" while reflecting the society in which they live. It is the catholic nature of literature that I find intriguing, which is why I am keen to study English Literature at a higher level.

  I have enjoyed the English Literature A-Level course, with the variety of texts covered and the challenges of writing more sophisticated essays. I particularly enjoyed studying Keats's poetry, as I have a deep appreciation of the Romantics; I find the expression of Shelley's spiritual and political beliefs in his poetry especially interesting. I also read widely for pleasure, from Angela Carter's magic realist novels to the satirical writing of Evelyn Waugh. I have recently become interested in the work of English novelists from the modernist era, including Virginia Woolf and Patrick Hamilton. Hamilton's work has, I believe, been unfairly neglected; his astute observations of relationships and his ability to explore darker sides of human nature make him a writer worthy of study.

  My own attempts at creative writing have helped me to appreciate the challenges of writing novels, and to understand the thoughts and intentions of certain novelists. I admire "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov and Gunter Grass's "The Tin Drum" in particular, the former as a "love letter to the English language" and the latter for its playful, subversive style and idiosyncratic narrator. Through the voice of Oskar Matzerath, Grass conveys the horrors of Nazism, but reminds the reader that in spite of Hitler's nihilistic attitude towards the arts, creativity could not be suppressed, thus conveying both the true and the beautiful.

  Attending performances of plays by Euripides ("The Bacchae" and "Women of Troy" as well as seeing "King Lear" at the Globe and an adaptation of one of my favourite novels, Patrick Hamilton's "Hangover Square", has increased my appreciation and understanding of the texts. I also subscribe to the "Times Literary Supplement", which has helped me to discover new critical approaches to literature, as well as enabling me to learn of important new publications.

  My other A-Level subjects complement my study of English Literature very well. Writing History essays has encouraged me to develop my analytical skills, and I believe that reading the works of classical writers such as Homer and Sophocles is essential for any English Literature student.

  I have a wide variety of interests, and spend much of my spare time visiting art galleries and museums. Furthermore, I have found taking part in the "Share the Care" project, which involves helping a fourteen year old disabled girl to gain more independence, extremely rewarding.

  English Literature, for me, is not merely an academic subject but an interest which influences many different areas of my life, whether I am reading significant works of the Victorian canon or writing my thoughts on novels in my reading journal. Consequently, I am thoroughly looking forward to the prospect of studying English Literature at university.


  The bell has just tolled the hour. It is 11pm now. I have just got back from the library. After having a cup of tea, I am happy to find time to write my personal statement.

  If asked to describe myself in the briefest way, I’d say: a keen language learner. I’ve been studying the ancient Chinese for over 15 years, English 11 years, Spanish 3 years, and French and Japanese, each for a semester. Linguistics being my primary interest and sole concern in my life, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), China’s leading institution in language teaching and linguistics studies, is where I come from.

  Majoring in English, I currently rank within the top five students among 90 peers in the department. Given that my first year GPA was only mediocre, the progress I’ve made is truly remarkable. More important, I have studied Linguistics in a broad range that goes beyond the knowledge covered in class. Generally I regard language study as the center of my interests and explore its interface with peripheral areas, such as sociology, psychology and philosophy.

  Initially attracted to General Linguistics, I audited classes in the graduate program of Linguistics at BFSU when I was a sophomore and became an avid student in subjects such as lexis, semantics, syntax, and morphology. Among all my readings, it is William Labov’s early work on class-based variation in the speech of New York and elsewhere that impressed me most, which compelled me to delve deeper into the field of Sociolinguistics. Last semester, I worked as a research assistant to Professor Qian Qiang at Beijing University in Conversation Analysis. Currently I am working on two research papers, namely, ‘Age as a non-linguistic variable’ and ‘Conversation analysis of online students at BFSU’. Forever exploring new horizons, I also study Second Language Acquisition, based on my professional experiences.

  My professional experiences began as an International News Editor in the Beijing Television Station in April 2001. My main responsibility back then was to translate and edit English news into Chinese news format and to dub the English news. In July 2001, I joined the Beijing Global Translation and Consulting Company setup by Yang Lixin, Professor of English with BFSU. Our translation group in the company currently research in the field of Translation Method, or more specifically, Translation of Insurance English to Chinese and related Quantitative Methods. Besides, I am a Teaching Assistant in the Institute of Online Education at BFSU, designing and hosting the online oral English class every week.

  These experiences have nourished passionate love of languages in my heart since a long time ago. It is my belief that humans need to study language more. I appreciate that saying from French anthropologist Levi Strauss, “To say language is to say society.” Linguistics is such a subject that is never isolated from other subjects, and instead, it is a unified one that goes beyond the realms of culture and generation. It can reach the soul of wit. It is my great honor that I have had it as a faithful company for all these years.

  My personal objective is to attain a Ph.D in Linguistics and to become an expert in this field so as to contribute to the development of linguistics as a discipline in Chinese universities and colleges. I’d highly appreciate your favorable consideration on my application, and it is my cherished dream that some day, when asked to describe myself in the briefest way, I can proudly say: I am a linguist.








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