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Calli (Common App. Essay) - Something can fall in a heartbeat.


tobeJames 3 / 11  
Nov 15, 2009   #1
I am currently thinking about a potential conclusion and a better introductory sentence...

I knew exactly where it was. The photograph that my eyes had glazed over hundreds of times and vaguely memorized. If I shut them, I could see the outline of her and the fennel stem she held in her mouth, tickling my overjoyed face. The most affection I had known from someone who barely knew me. But I would not dare to close my eyes for I was oblivious to the scope of the intensity that this single photo held, laying face up, collecting dust. I would pretend she was my sister. She loved me like I imagined one would. Her caring eyes never flinched. Never wavered in the sincerity they delivered. I was naive to the perfection her unparalleled warmth resembled. I was told, however, that she was not withdrawn in her actions of kindness. At lunch, she would sit with the kids who had no friends. Stretch the boundaries of her heart for those who had never asked to be singled out, mocked, or ridiculed with the unrelenting potency of high school cruelty. The extremity at which this cruelty hits can only be dreamed of by us. But not to Calli. She knew all along.

Nine years ago, Calli went to the same high school I now attend. At my age, she was involved in a tragic drunk driving accident that left her with untreatable injuries. Her friends, distributed among the passenger seats, narrowly escaped the death that consequently smothered Calli's incandescent youth. In a narrative essay mysteriously due the day of her accident, Calli's thoughts clash with my own. She asks if she does what she knows is right, or if her actions comply with the masses. She contemplates the concept of fate. Are we given ultimate control, or is the destiny that have no part in changing already written out? "Could I have always been that strong, or was it just a phase of my weakness?" I now step backwards. It has occurred to me that it would be prodigal, at best, to let another day slip out of the bank of the uncertain amount I have left. Life is what you make it. Opportunity is what slips by while you are marveling at the scope and ramifications of obstacles and failure.

I now have a copy of Calli's essay elegantly taped to the wall in my room next to my computer. Her words inspire me and give her life meaning. We only begin to fathom the preciousness of this life, however, after it is taken from us.

I do not pride myself on our similarities. Instead, I cry at the waste of beauty. Ten years ago, I did not know. At her funeral, I did not know. Even now, I am at the very age she was when she died, and it is inexplicable to the point that my lips could not begin to quiver with movement; the words were not built to be spoken. Maybe when I am old and frail. Maybe I will never comprehend how such an unrelenting force of magnificence came to break and fall in such a heartbeat.
redsox34 2 / 10  
Nov 16, 2009   #2
is the destiny that has no part in changing already written out?

It's a very well written essay. It is moving.
OP tobeJames 3 / 11  
Nov 16, 2009   #3
Thank you for your input =)
XLZ 2 / 10  
Nov 17, 2009   #4
Awesome work. It was very powerful. Its hard to edit something so personal.

Please read my essay. Thanks.
tesfaw 2 / 3  
Nov 17, 2009   #5
Try making the first sentence more dramatic and personal, if that makes any sense. I think the first sentence is always the one to craft well; In my opinion, it is a little to simple. The conclusion is GREAT, I think you should leave as is. What is the prompt for this paper?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 17, 2009   #6
The photograph that my eyes had glazed over hundreds of times and vaguely memorized.

Yes, you have to scratch that first sentence about knowing where it was. This sentence above would be a good first sentence if it was a sentence, but it is not yet a sentence because it has no verb! Fix this, and consider using it as your first sentence.

With this sentence... The extremity at which this cruelty hits can only be dreamed of by us. ---> I think you mean: The extent to which cruelty can impact us is only a concept to some people, but she deeply understood others' suffering and took action to give them relief.
twchan 3 / 16  
Nov 17, 2009   #7
maybe combine the first two sentences, because i think the first sentence is too short and not catchy enough

"I knew exactly where it was. The photograph that my eyes had glazed over hundreds of times and vaguely memorized."

I knew exactly where the photograph was; my eyes had glazed over hundreds of times and vaguely memorized.

i like your essay... it's really touching... yet, sad at the same time

and please read my essay :D
twchan 3 / 16  
Nov 18, 2009   #9
and oh... my ap teacher told me, if you write a story in present, you will make it more vivid and lively =)

hope it helps
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 19, 2009   #10
Yes, Tsz, I just was talking about that in your thread, here: The use of present tense is a good technique.
OP tobeJames 3 / 11  
Nov 20, 2009   #11
EF_Kevin,

I feel switching to the present tense might be difficult. I am talking about Calli in the past and so I would have to switch back and forth between tenses, yes?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Nov 22, 2009   #12
Yes, it can be difficult. Also, it is unnecessary! That is just something that came to mind for me. It would be like this:

And this is a way to switch to the "active voice":
...We can only dream of the extremity at which this cruelty hits. can only be dreamed of by us.

And then if you wanted to do the present tense thing, you will indeed have to be slick about it. Maybe it is a bad idea, but exprimental things like that are fun. Anyway, I like the essay a lot this way too.
OP tobeJames 3 / 11  
Nov 30, 2009   #13
Thanks. Anything else? Is this worthy of using as my Common App. essay, and to apply to colleges such as Stanford?
HeyJude92 2 / 3  
Nov 30, 2009   #14
It's really good! I don't think that I can point out anything that hasn't already been pointed out.
Very well written and moving. Good job!


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