[문제] First experiences can be defining. Cite a first experience that you have had and explain its impact on you.
수업 중인 미국 학생들. 에세이를 쓸 때는 에세이 내용과 구성뿐만 아니라 어떤 주제가 적합한지에 대해서도 신중히 생각할 필요가 있다.
첫 번째 경험들은 결정적일 수 있다. 첫 경험을 언급하고 그것이 당신에게 끼친 영향을 설명하시오. - 펜실베이니아 대학교 입학에세이 주제
[학생 작문] At seven o’clock, I was in the classroom, reviewing materials for  final exam.  At last five minutes, I decided to go over  materials with my friends. Soon, I found out that I  forgot to memorize one whole chapter.  That test was so important to me that I did not want to do badly on it even though I did not study. I started to figure out the way that I can solve this problem, but I could not think of any solution. Then, I heard  inner side of me speaking: “Write it down or do something. Who cares if it is cheating? It will give you  better score. It does not matter if no one  knows about it.”
I wrote some information down on my desk.  But I could not look at notes during the test since I was timid and afraid of getting caught. Unfortunately,  supervisor saw my notes on my desk, and  I was reported for cheating. As punishments, I was about to get zero on my test and three days of suspension.
Then, my advisor stepped up and said, “I will be responsible for this incident. If anything like this happens again, I will be also responsible for that  by quitting my job.”
Because of my teacher, I was able to avoid punishments.  But there was something bigger than just avoiding punishments. I realized  how it is to betray someone’s trust. I still remember what my advisor said after the meeting.
“Greg, I have to say I am very disappointed. You are a class leader, and  I have not expected you to cheat.”
 Her one sentence hit the bottom of my heart. I  recognized her as generous teacher, but I did not know she had  a trust in me. I  realized how it is to be responsible for someone. Since she said she would be responsible for any further incidents, whatever I  do was related to my advisor’s job. Before I got caught for cheating, I was a cautious and modest person, but after  I became more cautious, thinking at least once more before I actually do.
I am still in touch with my advisor in these days. Whenever I  come out to Korea for vacation, I always visit her.  Not serious but for fun, she always  tells me, “Greg, you cheated again,  did not you?” My advisor is now retired from her job. Even though I graduated from my school, she is still an advisor to me, an advisor who led me  to become mature in early age. I was  really lucky that she was my advisor when that unpleasant incident happened.
Comment Overall, your essay is very good, but I am a little worried about the topic. I think you address very well how this incident impacted you and made you into a better person. However, you don’t want anything to jeopardize your chances of getting into a good college. I don’t know how the evaluators of your application for university entrance will respond to the fact that you admittedly cheated in school. It all depends on the person who is evaluating your application. Each person will respond differently. Is there a different topic which you could use? Even though I like how you have written this essay, it might be better just to be on the safe side and change it.
전체적으로 에세이는 매우 훌륭합니다. 그러나 주제 자체가 약간 우려됩니다. 글쓴이는 이 사건이 자신에게 어떤 영향을 미쳤는지, 그리고 결과적으로 더 나은 사람이 되게 했는지를 잘 다루고 있습니다. 그러나 글쓴이 역시도 대학입학에 위협이 될 어떤 것도 원하지는 않으리라 봅니다. 글쓴이가 학교에서 부정행위를 한 사실에 대해 대학입학 사정관들이 어떻게 생각할지는 확실치 않습니다. 이는 전적으로 글쓴이의 원서를 평가하는 사람에게 달려 있습니다. 각각의 사람들이 다르게 반응할 것입니다. 에세이는 잘 쓰였지만, (부정행위보다) 안전한 주제를 택하는 게 더 나은 방법일 것같습니다.
주간동아 2008.03.04 625호 (p92~93)