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Coffee seed, coffee tree and Starbucks - Common apps: topic of your choice

eternal flame 6 / 18  
Aug 30, 2009   #1
Hi, I have recycled one of my essay that have been posted here previously. Please feel free to make critical comments, criticism, etc. I really appreciate your help.

And as usual, please check for any grammatical/expression errors. Thank you in advance. =)

Coffee seed, coffee tree and Starbucks

Coffee seed

He was born into a family with a farming tradition in Vietnam. Everyday, he enjoyed having fun with jackfruits seeds and cashews nuts in a small house near a paddle field. When the monsoon season was about to come, his friends strangely disappeared each day. Rumors said a beast with ominous eyes had carried his friends away, one by one. Things remained shrouded in mystery and the house was soon lingered with eerie silence. One morning, he woke up and found him being carried to a mountain slope, far away from home.

The creature delicately put the heavy sack down and grasped the seeds. Burden and exhaustion revealed themselves under his eyes, across his ridged forehead and hollow cheeks. Instinctively, the seed began to run, but it was in futile. "Behold the finest seed of this land, crystallized from hard work against all odds." There was something inexplicable in his voice, radiating an unusual pride and sentiment. "Behold the land that has endured the hardship of war. Time passed, vengeance faded into the mist and fortune rebuilt from empty hands. You shall continue bringing up your best. Not only this generation, but many to come. Behold the hope of farmers."

H-O-P-E, what a strange word! While the seed was contemplating on its meaning, the farmer firmly pressed him into the muddy soil. Everything went black. No one knew the seed's fate, except a kid who had followed his grandfather to the coffee plantation.

Coffee tree

Arabica grew up in Vietnam, but was soon transplanted to a city garden named Singapore. Singapura sun and sky-rise buildings would never make him grow as tall as he was supposed to be. Yet he remains rich by reaching out his branches to embrace winds from across the globe. There were winds that brought him chronicle about the Great Wall, told him tales of the 1001 nights, and sang the songs about the legendary Samurai. In return, he shared with every wind about how a red soil, once studded with bomb craters and stained with heroic blood, has nourished him into an ambitious and proud young plant. He got richer with every window of perspective and cultural values brought to him each day.

But growing up in a foreign land was not just about crossing the cultural bridge. Underneath the seemingly peaceful shade, there was always an intense competition between him and others. Arabica's insatiable thirst for success drove him to seize every possible opportunity. He was not afraid of competition. Every challenge presented him with lessons and experience; sometimes are pleasant, sometimes are painful. There were many times that he was ready to give up, but struggles only made him stronger and livelier.


"It must be him, bright, youthful and determined. Exactly like when Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel and Gordon Bowker started their coffeehouse in Seattle in 1982." Twin-tailed siren logo recognized him from a distance.

One day, Starbucks received an appointment from a young man who would like to patent his charming coffee mix, blended with heritage and unique upbringing. An application from a far away country. From his enthusiasm, Starbucks sensed his eagerness and sincerity to meet the creme de la creme from the coffee trade. There was a curiosity mixed with uncertainty when he finally stood in front of the coffeehouse. He reached to the door but hesitantly pulled his hand back.

"Arabica, what's now?" Arabica bent down, with his leaves tickling the man's ears, whispered something; the tender caress made him feel safe and secure. "Not every thing is clear, dear tree, but certainly it will be exciting", he smiled.

Ding-dong. The bell rang as he pushed open the glass entrance.

Who am I? Am I a Vietnamese? Am I a Singaporean? An applicant to [college]? The coffee seed, the coffee tree and the trip to Starbucks had reflected my Vietnamese childhood, how my education in Singapore has allowed me room to grow as a person, and my decision to study in America. Looking back, my life has not been easy, but the experiences I have gained give me faith and confidence in what lies ahead.

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 30, 2009   #2
I love the creativity of this essay and the vivid details in the narrative.

Every day , he enjoyed having fun with jackfruit seeds and cashew nuts in a small house near a paddie field.

Who am I? Am I a Vietnamese? Am I a Singaporean? An applicant to [college]? The coffee seed, the coffee tree and the trip to Starbucks symbolize my Vietnamese childhood, how my education in Singapore has allowed me room to grow as a person, and my decision to study in America.
OP eternal flame 6 / 18  
Aug 30, 2009   #3
Hi Simone, thanks for your comment and compliment. It's certainly encouraging.

I am wondering if the last paragraph is really necessary. Some of my friends said it's totally redundant, since the essay has already encompassed what is written in the last paragraph. But I just want to make sure that the reader gets my idea of who am I after reading it. It's some kinds of summary for the whole essay.
Llamapoop123 7 / 442  
Aug 30, 2009   #4
I think that the last paragraph is not necessary but useful. I really like the last paragraph actually. It serves as the most personal part of your essay where the reader can really understand your ideas.

What a great essay! I don't know what else to say besides...I love jackfruit.
EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 30, 2009   #5
I also wondered if the last paragraph was needed. But I elected to offer a revision rather than telling you to omit it because, as we have seen on some other threads, some readers are awfully literal and need to be told what a more creative piece means.
maverick288 - / 5  
Dec 2, 2009   #6
Hi there,

I must say that your essay is one of the best Ive come across in a long time! What a unique way to present yourself and a job well done! I think the people at admissions will enjoy this one :)

Your english is good throughout. Just one correction I would like to point out

Rumors were that a beast had carried his friends away, one by one.

Rumors cant say things...I would think...

Good Luck!
amitdeb92 3 / 8  
Dec 3, 2009   #7
HI. Great essay! It was very detailed and emotional, but not in a hackneyed way. I am no writer and nor am I a grammar-whiz, so please do not take my comments to your heart.

1. The title- The seed, the tree and Starbucks
The title needs to be parallel, another word, you either have to get rid of the "the"s or add a "the" in front of Starbucks. It should be:

Seed, tree and Starbucks or The seed, the tree and the Starbucks.

2. This is a commonapp essay and even though it is supposed to be a personal statement, it is not meant to be written in a story format (or so I have been told). This essay is totally comprehensible, but try to project it through a more flowing organization and less in a short story format.

3. Was the italicized paragraph (last paragraph) part of your essay? If so, then elaborate a bit more. It will create a transition from your life events into your mind and how you changed or what you learned from these events.

-If this paragraph was not part of your essay, then I strongly recommend that you do add it. Your essay leaves a lot to the admission officers to decipher the meaning of it and allows them decide how these events affected you, but you do not want that. Make it easy for them see through your eyes and understand you.

4. Nice essay man! For an applicant from overseas, you have a great writing style and your English is near-perfect (because nobody is perfect...^^).

One last reminder that I am no great writer so I might not be right about everything. Good luck with your essay and just keep reaching high!

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