Friday 30th November 2018
Hull University Essay Winners
Two of our very own John Leggott College students have won an essay writing competition that was held by The University of Hull. The competition asked for entries for different academic topics including American Studies, Languages, Philosophy, English Language and History and asked for a 1000 word essay on a topic related to one of those subject areas.
Kate MacDonald, first year English Language student, took home the winning essay in the English Language category and Elena-Nicoleta Dinu, second year French student, was champion in the Languages category for her essay written in French.
Everybody here at John Leggott College is immensely proud of both of these girls are we’re lucky to have such inspirational, high achieving students who are so indulged in their subject areas that they use their free time to improve their academic knowledge.
We sat down with Elena for a one on one interview to find out more about her and what this competition meant to her.
Above: Elena with JLC French Teacher, Giuseppa Bolland.
What inspired your essay?
It was a personal experience of mine. I went on holiday when I was younger with my parents and whilst I was there I couldn’t communicate with any of the other children. It was awful, I felt like I had a disease almost – I could hear the sound and move around but I couldn’t actually understand anything happening around me. I thought, maybe there was something wrong with me?
Communication is so important; as humans we need communication to live. It’s a basic function – the same as we need water and food to survive, we need to be able to communicate with each other. So, afterwards, I dealt with it by learning all of these languages and it’s not a problem anymore [laughs].
How many languages do you speak?
I speak Romanian, English, French and Spanish. I also speak German now, not fluently, but I’m learning – I can have a conversation!
Were you surprised to get the email from Hull University saying you had won?
Yes, I was so surprised, I did not expect it at all! I did not know how many people I was going up against or what level they were working at. I thought my essay was good, but maybe not that good! So, yes, I was very surprised.
Who has been your biggest influence in terms of your writing?
Well, I read a lot of fantasy but I’m not sure if I’d say that’s an influence. I love reading work by Cassandra Clare, an English writer, and I mainly always read English or Romanian. Now, though, I read French too! I’ve competed in many essay writing competitions in the past, but this is my first submission in French.
What do you study with us here at JLC?
I study French, Spanish and Maths.
What’s your favourite subject?
French. I like all of them, but French is definitely something I enjoy. Funny story actually – I studied French previously for two years before coming to JLC and I hated it. But, I’ve completely changed my mind and I apologise for everything bad I’ve said about French [laughs]. I realised how much I actually enjoy learning the language and it has changed my life.
Do you have a plan for when you finish college?
I want to go to University to study Modern Languages – maybe to become a translator or a teacher in the future.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
As a Translator or a Teacher – I love children and I’ve always wanted to just help other people. Maybe I could help people such as Doctors if they have a language barrier, to help them improve their communication skills. I just want to help people with communicating.
Overall, how have you found your time at JLC?
I’ve generally had a really good time here. I’m more responsible. Being away from my parents has helped me think for myself, you know, with them not being there all the time to help I have become more independent.