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"Chicken Curry Sushi" - my common app personal essay

gonnabe1me 2 / 7  
Jan 14, 2010   #1
A Chicken Curry Sushi with English Tea, Sil Vu Plait

Do you know what a chicken curry sushi with Korean bean curd filling tastes like? Well, I've tried it, and unfortunately, it doesn't taste as nice as chicken curry, sushi or Korean bean curd served as separate dishes. And how, you may ask, did you come across such a weird combination? I made it. Of course. Don't laugh! I was curious how I would taste like if I were a dish: would I taste nice? Would people enjoy eating me? And that was the innovation behind the dish named Somang.

My shiny green passport says I'm Korean, but I've seen outside the box. I've lived in Sri Lanka for quite a proportion of my life, and lived as many years in England and Africa as I have lived in Korea. I'm one of those kids known as MKs and TCKs-Missionary Kids and Third Cultural Kids- who enjoy feasting on a slab of slightly burnt chutney as much as on a roll of tuna kimbab, like to have bacon-and-egg for breakfast rather than a bowl of white rice and spinach soup, and love keeping a chirpy transparent gecko lizard as a pet rather than your regular furry hamster. Of course, not all TCKs think geckos are adorable, but I find their innocently blinking glassy eyes and tiny webbed feet most squeaky! I mean, cute.

Sometimes, people would approach me and ask: "Wasn't it hard for you to leave your own country and follow your parents to a less developed country at war?" At those moments, I would smile politely and tell them how I was only 18 months old when I boarded on my first flight, and that I couldn't possibly have felt much remorse. Then they would chuckle understandingly and question no more.

I don't mind having lived in Korea only for a while, firstly because there was a Korean society almost everywhere we went, and secondly because I've enjoyed my bits of adventure. I distantly remember a tiny Somang with tiny dirty feet following a huge African bull-toad up a very slanted and stout banana tree. I also recall a squirmy little Somang squatting inside a tattered box with her Sri Lankan friends, sticking a long, dry twig outside the brim of the box, playing "we-are-fishing"- only with no fish.

Moreover, life is too short to spend regretting and pondering about a life I "could have" had. My life was more about cheering for Korea during the World Cups with our Sri Lankan and Indian neighbors on a 6-inch TV screen, and chasing after the ice cream-bajaj with my friends, waiving a crumpled ten rupee bill frantically above our heads. Besides, if I lived in Korea, I may not have met my two loving best friends who are charmingly Sri Lankan and elegantly Filipino. Someday, before any of us gets married, we're going to go traveling around Europe on bikes with nice brown baskets attached to the front, each basket occupied by a sleepy parrot with feathers matching the color of our bikes. Until then, we really should stop thinking about marriage.

So, wait, do you mean you don't see yourself as Korean? I've come across that question quite a few times, and my answer is NO: I am 100% Korean by blood, and my central roots remain deep inside Korean culture. My parents have put in much effort during my younger days to bring me up as Korean as possible. The first words I spoke were "Umma" and "Appa", not "Mommy" and "Daddy", and I learnt how to use chopsticks to pick up a leaf of spicy hot kimchi even before I started using a fork to poke at a carrot stick. Besides my international circle of friends, I have a comfortable place in the Sri Lankan Korean society where I talk with my friends about Korean singers, movies, and- believe it or not- recent news and politics. Although you might think it's weird for teenage kids to sit around and "gossip" about what they read on the news during their free time, news is a huge connection between us Koreans out here and the actual Korean society, and talking about it even seems inevitable. Moreover, I am all ears for news, international affairs in particular. What decision would this country make at such a situation? Would they accept the deal? Speech! I tell you, this is much more intriguing than any old gossip magazine.

Back to the point; I am Korean, I feel Korean, and I am proud of being a Korean. I'm just a more internationalized version with multiple subcultures and integrated mannerisms.

Ban ki Moon part deleted

Life as a missionary's kid was not all sweet romance as I have told you, but I have taken all I could from my current life, and I do not regret the experiences I have had. I have enjoyed every culture I have visited in the way a local member of the society would with all the joy and suffering, and this has helped me understand and accept others to a greater extent. Also, as our family was placed and replaced across the world, I was situated amongst strangers and in foreign cultures all the time. As I rapidly became accustomed to "change" itself, I understood the basics of quickly befriending new people. Wherever I went, I was not surrounded by "strangers", but seated among friends. I believe that this will act as a strength in any society.

So, do you know what Somang tastes like? If you think you have seen it all, you're in for a shock. Would you like a taste? It's Somang!

p.s. Do you know how a monkey ended up in our kitchen?


The topic is "of your choice" an it is 1104 words including the title.

Please tell me what you think (e.g. it lacks substance, it's too long and boring, unneccessary paragraph) and please check the grammar and style too!!

Any editing MOST WELCOMED :)
Wanderer_x 5 / 88  
Jan 14, 2010   #2
Its definitely a good piece. The way you tell your story is interesting. But at times, it gets out of focus. Also its quite long (must be 1000+ words I suppose). you can do without Ban ki Moon episode. Since you basically talk about things adcom must have read before(in an engaging manner of course), your essay will work better if you trim down a third of it.

Will you review mine:
curious - / 5  
Jan 14, 2010   #3
I found the idea of one being a dish with a taste quite original and interesting .
you shouldn't have said that you aren't quite sure about being korean in the next paragraph.
In the conclusion you shouldn't have said your own opinion of yourself,instead you could've said that like food everyone thinks quite differently about how someone "tastes" and noone will know how a certain dish tastes unless try it .good luck!
OP gonnabe1me 2 / 7  
Jan 14, 2010   #4
thankyou for your comment!

Do you think this essay is suitable to apply to places like Trinity U, Pepperdine, Emory, SUNY Binghamton, Carleton College and Northeastern? :/
Does this essay reveal my personality and "me" as a great prospective addition to the college?
If not, how could I improve?


(The wandering offs are also part of my random personality, but if it looks like a flaw, I'll correct it :))
OP gonnabe1me 2 / 7  
Jan 14, 2010   #5
Well, I've tried to edit the essay following the comments :")
please keep the comments coming!!
youngkim9193 4 / 13  
Jan 14, 2010   #6
First, I really adore your essay. It definitely has your voice. Very interesting piece.
Overall very nice work!

But.. there are few parts I had hard time following.. .

Someday, before any of us gets married, we're going to go traveling around Europe on bikes with nice brown baskets attached to the front, each basket occupied by a sleepy parrot with feathers matching the color of our bikes. Until then, we really should stop thinking about marriage.

I see you are trying to describe your meaningful friendship here, but I personally think it is quite random..

Moreover, I am all ears for news, international affairs in particular. What decision would this country make at such a situation? Would they accept the deal?

Why do you have "all ears for news?" I think the essay will be better if you explain what led you to be interested in international affairs.

I hope my comment helps! :)
Good Luck!
OP gonnabe1me 2 / 7  
Jan 14, 2010   #7
oops :)
my interest in international relations was mentioned in the "Ban Ki Moon Part Deleted" written in red lol suggested to me removed by wanderer_X

"I have once read in a biography of the current UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon that he wanted to become a diplomat who let the world know of the existence of a country called Korea. His life story inspired a dream into me: I want to become a diplomat; a representative of our country and a member of the UN who works not only for one's own country but for the improved lives of people all over the world. I want to use my cross cultural life experiences for the benefit of other children who have dreamt of, but had not had the chance of, traveling. "

do you think this part should come back?? :)

THankyou for your comment!!
youngkim9193 4 / 13  
Jan 14, 2010   #8
If I were you, I would cut this part and keep "Ban Ki Moon." (Since you are trying to cut down words..)

but it's only a suggestion and the essay is YOURS. :)

Good luck!

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