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Common App Short A. - Metaphorical significance or tangible significance?


icysakura 4 / 8  
Oct 27, 2009   #1
Hi!

Prompt: common app short answer; In the space provided below, please elaborate on one of your activities (extracurricular, personal activities, or work experience)(150 words or fewer).

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I'm not sure whether or not I should go for:
1. the more metaphorical kind of answer;basically, saying just what playing the djembe means to me personally
2. how my djembe playing affected others or where I served. In this one, I did try to squeeze some of that "personal meaning" in there...but it seems totally unfocused.

below are the respective drafts;

1. Several guys standing nearby smirked - they found the sight of me carrying a giant, African hand-drum an oddity.
Five years ago, I was initially hesitant to take up the instrument; though I loved percussion, who had ever heard of a girl, and a short, Asian one at that, playing the djembé? But that very notion spurred my desire to learn.

Today, I play for my church's services, children's program, and youth group praise team. I also play the djembé on short term mission trips to Brooklyn and the Dominican Republic. This is my third year serving on my youth group's praise team. I've noticed, with delight, the growing number of girls learning the djembé. Many of them had noticed me, the sole female percussionist on the team. I've been able to teach or encourage them to pursue whatever instrument they choose. For some, it is a hobby. For me, the throbbing of the drum is much more than the rhythmic pulse of a song; it is the vehicle/medium by which I define myself in the sight and hearing of all others.

2. I heard a snicker. A group of guys smirked at me - they found the sight of a diminutive, Asian girl carrying a giant hand-drum an oddity. I set my jaw, sat on a boulder nearby, deposited the djembé on the ground, and began to play. They fell silent.

Five years ago, I had been hesitant to take up the instrument; I loved music and had a knack for rhythm, but who had ever heard of a girl, and a short, Asian one at that, playing the djembé? But that very notion spurred my desire to learn.

The throbbing of the drum is much more than the rhythmic pulse of a song; it is the medium by which I define myself in the sight and hearing of all others. The drum beats are my feelings, my expressions of personality beyond the stereotypes for all to hear. Just as the djembé can beautifully enhance songs most would assume percussion is incompatible with, so do I seek to challenge assumptions and surprise people, through the shades of sound produced by the pounding of the drum.

Both a bit on the long side/180 word mark.
Any critiques or advice or suggestions are very much appreciated! Tear it apart :D

h4ppidais 2 / 7  
Oct 27, 2009   #2
I would definitely go for the first one.
Several guys standing nearby smirked - they found the sight of me carrying a giant, African hand-drum an oddity.
Need a better transition Five years ago, I was initially hesitant to take up the instrument.though Though I loved percussion, who had ever heard of a girl, short, and Asian one at that, playing the djembé? But that very notion spurred my desire to learn.

once again, get a better transitionToday, I play for my church's services, children's program, and youth group praise team. I also play the djembé on short term mission trips to Brooklyn and the Dominican Republic. This is my third year serving on my youth group's praise team. (i'm pretty sure you already put this in your activities (?) writing about it here again is useless. just move on to ur point which is this ->)I've noticed, with delight, the growing number of girls learning the djembé. Many of them had noticed me, the sole female percussionist on the team. I've been able to teach or encourage them to pursue whatever instrument they choose. For some, it is a hobby. For me,it is the throbbing of the drum, much more than the rhythmic pulse of a song; it is the vehicle/medium by which I define myself in the sight and hearing of all others.

hope that helped.
Can you give me a feedback also?
I appreciate it. thanks
EF_Stephen - / 264  
Oct 27, 2009   #3
I like the second one better. There, you talk about the beating of the drum, "the throbbing of the drum," and how it defines you. I understand that feeling, and it iis a great artistic signature. That you can become immersed in the beats is special, and those around you sense it, too. That is a special quality most don't experience.

The second one, definitely.
OP icysakura 4 / 8  
Oct 28, 2009   #4
thank you both very much for the input!


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