This Malaysian-Born Girl Win The Heart of Best Ivy League Universities with Her Essay
Being offered to attend 1 or 2 ivy league universities is every education seeker’s dream. Everyone knows that ivy league universities had a very strict rule on application acceptance. Not only you need to excel in academic, you also need to prove yourself that you’re worthy to join the big league alumni. Meet the girl who win the heart of the (not 1 but 8) best ivy league universities around the world including top university such as Harvard and Stanford.
Cassandra Hsiao is a 17 years old girl originally from Malaysia. She immigrant from Malaysia when she’s just 5 years old, currently reside at Walnut, South California. Cassandra is your typical bright asian student, good academic score and have an excellent resume from outside school activities. However it is not her academic and resume that impressed the panel from top ivy league universities. It is her “truth to the heart” essay that play a big role on her amazing acceptance from the best of the best education school.
Originate from not first language English country, Cassandra mention its difficult to pronounce proper English when she just arrived on the American’s soil. Being a quick learner, she pick up the language quickly over the years. But as the essay described broken English is not all bad because when talking “bad English” among family it’ll bring the beauty of languages.
Here’s the essay that all the ivy league universities loved.
In our house, there is no difference between cast and cash, which was why at a church retreat, people made fun of me for “cashing out demons.” I did not realize the glaring difference between the two Englishes until my teacher corrected my pronunciations of hammock, ladle, and siphon. Classmates laughed because I pronounce accept as except, success as sussess. I was in the Creative Writing conservatory, and yet words failed me when I needed them most.
Suddenly, understanding flower is flour wasn’t enough. I rejected the English that had never seemed broken before, a language that had raised me and taught me everything I knew. Everybody else’s parents spoke with accents smarting of Ph.D.s and university teaching positions. So why couldn’t mine?
My mother spread her sunbaked hands and said, “This is where I came from,” spinning a tale with the English she had taught herself.
When my mother moved from her village to a town in Malaysia, she had to learn a brand new language in middle school: English. In a time when humiliation was encouraged, my mother was defenseless against the cruel words spewing from the teacher, who criticized her paper in front of the class. When she began to cry, the class president stood up and said, “That’s enough.”
“Be like that class president,” my mother said with tears in her eyes. The class president took her under her wing and patiently mended my mother’s strands of language. “She stood up for the weak and used her words to fight back.”
We were both crying now. My mother asked me to teach her proper English so old white ladies at Target wouldn’t laugh at her pronunciation. It has not been easy. There is a measure of guilt when I sew her letters together. Long vowels, double consonants — I am still learning myself. Sometimes I let the brokenness slide to spare her pride but perhaps I have hurt her more to spare mine.
As my mother’s vocabulary began to grow, I mended my own English. Through performing poetry in front of 3000 at my school’s Season Finale event, interviewing people from all walks of life, and writing stories for the stage, I stand against ignorance and become a voice for the homeless, the refugees, the ignored. With my words I fight against jeers pelted at an old Asian street performer on a New York subway. My mother’s eyes are reflected in underprivileged ESL children who have so many stories to tell but do not know how. I fill them with words as they take needle and thread to make a tapestry.
In our house, there is beauty in the way we speak to each other. In our house, language is not broken but rather bursting with emotion. We have built a house out of words. There are friendly snakes in the cupboard and snacks in the tank. It is a crooked house. It is a little messy. But this is where we have made our home.
Essay taken from tab.com
Truly a remarkable essay that speak the truth which happening to all immigrant family whom English is not their first language. However that didn’t stop them to learn and improve, breaching the language barrier for their new home.