Since I am applying for the Master’s in Creative Writing program at Iowa University, I thought I should talk about my creative writing teacher Michael Dylan Welch. Besides being an award-winning poet, the Poet Laureate of Redmond two times, and a highly-anthologized author in popular poetry books, his main contribution to writing, I believe, is being an exceptional teacher to many aspiring poets.
After my father passed away, who was a poet and essayist, I had a few other writing teachers that helped me realize more of my potential, but I had no teachers like Mr. Welch. His selfless and tireless assistance in person and by email not only raised my level of skill in writing, but also made me realize my own altruistic self. After about two years of his lessons and reading his essays, I got invited to mentor other poets in a large online community of over 8000 people, specifically in haiku and tanka. For me, this proves how much impact Mr. Welch has been on my writing.
I met him a few times at haiku meetings in the Northwest, and knew him as a friend of my father. A few years later after meeting him those times, living in Ukraine, I emailed him about a poetry book I had written. It was made up of lyrical poetry and haiku—connecting the forms and styles by themes. The comments I received back from him shocked me: it seemed after years of writing haiku, I still had not grasped what a haiku truly was. He made me realize I had to start from the beginning, and he cleared the misconceptions I had about the genre.
In the coming months, we sent emails back and forth, answering any questions I had. I also read almost all his essays on haiku and related forms. Out of the blue, I got an acceptance from Frogpond journal, the publication of the Haiku Society of America—which is one of the top journals in the world for haiku, in any language. I was overjoyed and surprised: I had been trying to get published in Frogpond for many years without success, and after taking lessons from Mr. Welch, I had gotten accepted by them.
This acceptance into Frogpond gave me complete confidence in Mr. Welch’s teachings. It also made me realize that I had a talent in writing haiku, or at least had worked hard and humbly enough to get published in a top journal. I continued to take lessons from Mr. Welch regularly and started to submit to journals every week. After getting accepted by top journal after top journal in haiku and tanka, I feel now settled in being a published poet.
Mr. Welch never asked for payments for his lessons, nor did he ask for personal favors. He always got back to me promptly and gave all the information he could about my questions. When I had written my second book of haiku, Zen and Son, which is a compilation of my father’s haiku and my own haiku, Mr. Welch read through the full book and wrote countless constructive comments. After helping me edit my book, he also directed me to a publisher, Red Moon Press.
Through his selfless teaching, I got inspired to create an online journal named Haiku Commentary, which presents analysis on submitted haiku and related forms of poetry. I created it to spread the word of haiku and teach others what I have learned and continue to learn from Mr. Welch. No money is involved—it was created for the love of haiku and to educate others about it.
In the Master’s in Creative Writing program at Iowa University, I want to focus on the advancement and analysis of haiku in academic settings. My goal is to make haiku a serious and essential part of the American collegiate curriculum in creative writing classes and English courses. I hope with my master’s degree, I can be better equipped and better placed to make these fundamental changes in American education involving poetry.
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Writing an Admission Essay
IELTS Cue Card Sample 1 - Describe someone in your family
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 01 August 2017 12:45
- Written by IELTS Mentor
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IELTS Speaking Part 2: Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.
Describe someone in your family who you really admire.
You should say:
- what relation this person is to you
- what are your first memories of this person
- how often you see this person
and explain why you really admire this person.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
Part 3: Follow-up Questions:
- What are the values of family in your country?
- How family bonding is necessary for happiness in life?
- What type of family do you like? Nuclear family or joint family?
- How family value and bonding have changed over the last decade?
Model Answer 1:
I've got a small family with only five members and all of us are very close to each other and we love each other very much. Among them, I love my mother more than anyone else in the whole world. I adore my mother for her caring, loving, adorable behaviours and wit. She is the person I can share everything with and that's the reason I worship her so much.
Possibly she was the first human I saw when I opened my eyes in this world. A relationship with a mother is divine and all of my childhood memories are either related to my mom or my school. I can still remember a day I was late to come back home after school and that's because there was a ceremony at the school I did not know about. All of a certain I found that my mother was entering through the school gate to find me. I was so frightened that my mother would rebuke me for being late unnoticed and she must be mad at me. But to my best surprise, when my mother saw me she had a warm smile on her face that I'll never forget till my last breath on this earth. Then she hugged me and gave me a kiss. I felt then that I love my mother more than me. She attended the program at the school and afterwards we came back home together.
I spent my 19 years or so with my father and mother but I stay at a metropolitan city now for my education. Whenever I get a vacation, I meet my mother at my village home. On an average, I spend 2/3 months with my mother each year but I talk to her over the phone almost twice a day.
The reasons why I admire her are endless. She is caring, tender, she has got a big heart and she possesses a great love for everyone. She had been an ideal mother to raise 3 kids and making sure our education and moral values. She had made a lot of sacrifices all of her life and had never complained about anything to my best knowledge. She is the person who reminds me the power of love and caring.
Sample Answer 2:
A person I admire is my “Mother” because she is a fighter. You may ask why? To start, my mom got pregnant with me at the age of 18 and she did not have the support of my grandparents. Her own parents wanted to kick her out the house when they found out. She convinced them to let her stay, but she could not ask them for any help when raising the baby. Knowing all this my mom still decided to have the baby.
Besides not having the support of her parents, she also did not receive any help from my father. Although my father cared about me, he never gave my mom money or clothes to help her maintain me as a baby. She had to provide for me on her own. Going to school and working was killing her, but she wanted me to have a good life so she did anything that she could. My mom got pregnant again two years later, with the same man. The only thing was this time - it was worse. He left her life completely and her dad was sick. Therefore, he could no longer work. Now, not only did she have to provide for her two babies, but also for her parents. She was overwhelmed with everything happening; she didn't know what to do.
Finally, she decided to attend college and become a teacher for she can support the family she was now in charge of. It was not an easy thing to do. After she finished college it took her a while to find a job. It is not easy to find a job in Nicaragua. However, my mom never quit, no matter how hard things got for her she fought through it. To provide for her kids and parents.
[Written by – Rafael]
Alternative Answer 3:
I have got 6 family members and all of them are very dear and close to me. If I need to pick one family member among them to talk about, that would be my father. My father’s name is (say your father’s name) and he is around 50 years old. He is the kind of person I would want my offspring to be. He did his graduation in a time when formal education was not people’s first choice. They would rather start earning from work rather than going to school. My father fought to ensure his education with the people who thought working or doing some sort of business has more value than education. But my father believed that education is the most important part of a man’s life. He heartily held the idea that education shapes a man’s life and is the kind of power and asset that would always accompany him.
I have lots of memories of my father and I see him every day. There exists a strong bonding between us that only two of us feel. I still remember those days of my childhood when I used to wait in the evening for my father to return from office. He would then play with me and help on completing my lessons. I vividly remember him sometimes taking me to the market and buy me gifts. When I was an infant he moved to the city from the village to ensure me better schooling and environment. That was a decision that has changed my life path. He himself helped me finishing my home works and lessons, always allured me of gifts if I could complete my study. Besides my education, he taught me lots of moral values and important things of life.
He used to work in a Government organisation and for his hard-working and kindness; he is revered by all of our relatives, his friends and neighbours.
He believes in humanity, good behaviour, our creator, and leads a life that can be exemplary. He still does most of his own works and helps my mom on her household works. After retirement, he has picked 2 new habits: gardening and teaching neighbours’ kids. He is a quiet and intelligent man who has benevolent heart and that what make him so admirable to me. He is still the pillar of our family and all of our family members love and respect him very much.
Tips for answering this Cue Card Sample:
You already know a lot about your family members and this cue card should be an easy one to answer. Just focus on the questions mentioned bellow the Cue card topic. Following questions may come for this cue card and note the quick answers of these questions:
1. Who is he/she? : My mother / My father/ My brother/ My sister etc.
2. Your relationship to this family member: She is my mother/ he is my father etc.
3. What you do together: We walk out together/ cook together/ study together/ talk a lot about family issues etc.
4. What is s/he like- He/ She is kind, talented, energetic, works a lot, dedicated, caring, possess a great personality, open minded etc.
5. How long do you know him /her: From my childhood/ all of my life/ for more than 20 years etc.
6. How often do you see him/her: Everyday/ once in a month/ most of the time I stay at home/ in every three months etc.
7. Why do you like him/ her or why do you admire him/ her?: S/he loves me a lot, very close to me, very caring, have a good heart, talented, helpful, my best mentor etc.
8. Since grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, etc could be the part of a joint family, you can describe any of them if you have a joint family.
While talking about what is s/he like or what qualities he /she has or even why do you like/ admire him/her you can use some of the following points:
- For father: He is honest, brave, had a good heart, talented, leads an ideal life. has sacrificed a lot to up-bring us, is an exemplary person, everybody respects him, is the best person I have ever seen, Loves me very much, hardworking, punctual, talented etc.
- For mother: She is so caring, loving, hardworking and possesses a good heart, had done a lot to up-bring us, very close to me, very understanding, one of my best friends, knows a lot of things and has so many practical skills etc.
- For brother: He is so brave, talented, well mannered, knows a lot about different things, has always supported you no matter what, he is loved and liked by others, cooperative and have lots of memories together, like a mentor to me, is my best buddy, taught me almost everything he knows, always protects me etc.
- For sister: She is caring, a good friend, loving, a good mentor, helps you on study or on other tasks, supportive, a very good friend, talented and well-mannered.
Necessary vocabulary for this cue card:
Relatives = Your family members are also your relatives.
Nuclear family = A nuclear family, also called an elementary family, is a type of family group consisting of a pair of adults and their children.
Extended family= An extended family extends beyond the nuclear family, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.
Sibling = Siblings are your brothers and sisters.
Relationship Synonyms = Tie, link, attachment.
Admire Synonyms: Adore, idolise, respect, revere, honour, hold in high regard, think highly of, esteem.
Memory Synonyms: Remembrance, thought, reminiscence, recollection, musing.
Phrase with meaning:
Bring up = Raise a child.
Look after = Take care of.
Rely on = Depend on:
Be close to = Having a strong bonding.
Get along with -= Being close and friendly.
Admire = To respect and like someone.
If you prepare for this cue card you should be able to answer the following cue cards as well with very little changes:
1. Talk about someone who cares you a lot.
2. Describe a person who you like very much.
3. Describe the person whom you admire most.
4. Talk about a person you know for a long.
5. Talk about a senior person whom you like a lot.
6. Talk about a person who has a great influence in your life.
Part 3 - Details Discussion:
Q. What are the values of family in your country?
Answer: That's a really important question. First of all, I believe that family values don't differ from country to country and allow me to say that they should be the same throughout the world. As far as I’m concerned, the most important values of a family are the so-called moral values, which enable people to draw plausible distinctions between right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. The lessons learned from the family are invaluable throughout our life.
Furthermore, the family values are vital in making decisions and can be obtained by personal and life experiences with close relationships with family members. To be more specific, some examples could be: being honest and trustworthy, courageous and patient, taking up responsibilities as well as adding values to the world are the norms of our family and society. A family is so important and we stand for our family members no matter what. Thus the family comes first is the morality everyone in our country believes. We also consider a family as the unit of a society or a country and bonding, relationship, trustworthiness, helpfulness are lessons that come with the close family ties.
Q. How family bonding is necessary for happiness in life?
Answer:Our parents are the reason for our existence and with them, we get a family. Parents are the persons we see and rely on when we open our eyes for the first time. Moreover, parents are the primary educator and they teach their children how to develop confidence, socialisation skills, morals, values and views in life. Since they are the base of our family, closeness in a family leads people to have an intrinsically fulfilling and flourishing life.
This can be justified by the fact that kids who enjoy strong family bonding tend to be happier and mentally healthier that those who are in a dysfunctional family environment.
Q. What type of family do you like? Nuclear family or joint family?
Answer: That’s really an interesting question! My personal opinion is that a nuclear family is much more preferable to me compared to a joint family. The reason for my preference is possibly because I grew up in a nuclear family and it was a pleasant memory for me. Besides, in a nuclear family there are the couple and their children and in this situation anything is manageable and family members have a stronger relationship. Fighting and quarrel are rare in nuclear families.
On the other hand, the second type of family is extended family or joint family and includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and so on. I prefer a quiet environment than a noisy one. In a joint family, this is unlikely to happen and people always do not have privacy. Therefore, I strongly believe that a family only with mum, dad and siblings works better for me.
Q. How family value and bonding have changed over the last decade?
Answer: Unfortunately, the sacred notion of a family has lost its meaning to a certain extent in the last ten years. People don’t invest in feelings anymore and don’t retreat as well. Nowadays quarrels between couples are a frequent occurrence and because women are financially independent, they don’t step back like they did many years ago. Moreover, a principal cause that has led to this situation is the internet. When family members have some spare time they prefer to consume it by going online instead of having some family conversations. I would jump to the conclusion that people who decide to create a family should let go off their ego and in difficult times they should also think that their children want their parents to be happy and together.
[Part 3 answers are written by Maria | UK ]