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Commonapp essay significant event about a midnight adventure and a club task


namibest 3 / 11  
Dec 27, 2010   #1
Evaluate an experience which had a significant effect on you. Did I structure it right? esp. the dialogue?

I sat in my room, with aching fingers, typing articles nonstop for the Local Chapter Annual Business Report (LCABR). In the beginning of the year, my Chapter, who had never received an award before, was motivated to win every award this year, and above all the Gold Seal Chapter Award. To do so, each chapter is required to complete activities related to FBLA's motto, "Service, Education, and Progress," such as attend conferences, elect officers, hold fundraisers, help the community, etc. Chapters are then encouraged to create and submit a LCABR, a thirty page summary that documents all the FBLA related events that a chapter has completed. Out of all the Chapters in California that submit a LCABR, only the top 15% are awarded the prestigious Gold Seal Chapter Award. Once it came time to submit documentation for these awards, we still had to create the LCABR so my officer team voted not to apply for the award we so yearned for. As President, I nominated myself to complete this task, the only problem was that it not only had to be finished, printed, hard and spiral bounded, but also postmarked in only one week.

Barricading myself in my room, I wrote articles about every one of our activities, ranging from State Leadership Conferences and Leadership Development Institutes to holding a March of Dimes project to raise money for premature babies. Once finished, I faced the challenge of compiling it into an organized report. I quickly opened Windows Publisher and hurried to finish so I could print and hardbound it, but my computer's lag was not helping me at all. Every ten minutes the computer would freeze and release a loud, "BEEP," but I finally finished at 10 PM, one day before I had to postmark the LCABR, and was set on printing!

I browsed online for a twenty-four hour Kinko's and luckily found one. I go to pick up my friend who said he had some money and proceeded to drive to Kinko's. Google Maps led me astray, so I ended up entering every entrance I saw around Foothill and Elm Street. One entrance led to the City Hall, which I visited about four more times until I finally swallowed my pride and had my friend call for directions. I arrived at Kinko's around 11 PM and waited for the lady ahead of me to finish. After what seemed like an eternity, the lady left, and it was my turn. I blurted out to the worker, "I need to print something very important!" He proceeded to give me a USB to put the LCABR file on, in which my driver's license was used as leverage until I returned it. The computers cost twenty-five cents a minute to use, and I raided each of my pockets and found three quarters. I planned out how I would put the file on the USB to finish before I exceeded the time limit and signed on. Once I logged off, the computer time showed two minutes and fifty-two seconds. Proudly, I walked to the front and gave the USB to the worker. He printed out four copies and spiral bounded them as I looked in astonishment. As I went to pay, I hoped I had enough money; the total cost was a little less than $120! I thanked the worker and left very happy and excited that everything was coming together.

I started my car and quickly rushed home so I could tell everyone the good news, but I noticed it was darker than usual. As I drove on the main road, I suddenly saw flashing lights and hear sirens. I pulled over, every possible scenario going through my head, imagining myself going to jail for life and getting my car towed. I sat still, petrified as I looked in my mirror and saw the reflection of the flashing red and blue lights. As the man in the black uniform approached my window, my hands increasingly trembled and my palms grew sweaty. I accidentally turned off my car so I could not roll down the window. After freaking out, I finally managed to get it down.

"Is there a reason your lights are off?" the policeman asked.

"Umm the lights weren't on? I'm sorry," I replied as I hit my head with my palm now realizing why the road looked darker.

"Let me see your driver's license," the officer instructed.

I reached for my wallet and opened it. I froze. I realized the Kinko's worker never gave it back!

"I was at Kinko's printing the LCABR, and the guy wanted something for the card, and I forgot to get it, I promise!"

I handed him the four copies of the LCABR as proof. The perplexed police officer proceeded to ask for my name and if the car is even under my name. He went back to his car, and I stared at the

steering wheel until he returned.

"So it says that you are a provisional driver and you are driving a passenger who is NOT over 21 years of age, PAST your provisional license hours, PAST curfew, with your lights off. Do you know what time it is? It's 2 AM!"

I looked down, too ashamed to look at him. I dreaded the thought of what was going to happen.

"Ok what's going to happen is you're going to go back to Kinko's and get your driver's license and head straight home!"

As he finished his statement I let out the biggest sigh of relief imaginable, thanked him, and shook hands with him. I headed back to Kinko's, and upon entering, the worker smirked and remarked, "Oh hey, you forgot your driver's license, you might need that in case you get pulled over or something." My friend and I turned and looked at each other with a blank stare.

That night I learned two things. One: always make sure your lights are on at night or buy a car that automatically turns on its lights for you. Two: in the end, everything works out the way it was meant to. My chapter went on to receive the Gold Seal Chapter Award. I will never forget that memorable night and I cannot wait for what adventures lie ahead of me.
debater514 6 / 18  
Dec 27, 2010   #2
Hey namibest,

The structure is correct, and the paper is really good. I could almost picture the entire event unfolding before my eyes. Not sure if you were looking for any other comments, but the only thing that would concern me is that the essay is over 1,000 words long. There are a lot of places where it could be shortened, which would make the essay even better. Otherwise you have a very good essay.
OP namibest 3 / 11  
Dec 27, 2010   #3
Can you give me an example of a few places, haha I revised this about 4 times tryign to make it shorter and shorter :(
acrayan 3 / 7  
Dec 27, 2010   #4
Well Done!
I only found one mistake,

I go [went] to pick up my friend who said he had some money and proceeded to drive to Kinko's

.
neil 1 / 12  
Dec 27, 2010   #5
Your content is really cool and interesting, but it could be expressed better. There aren't many individual grammar mistakes that I noticed, but overall, the writing style could be better. Also, try to remove some of the irrelevant details to make the writing more terse.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 7, 2011   #6
I don't think that 'not only, but also' form is good at the end of the first paragraph. It is probably better just to make it a list of things that need to be done (i.e. without separating 'postmarked' from the other items listed.

in which my driver's license was used as leverage ---- I don't think 'in which' is the correct phrase to use here! Here is the correct way to use in which: I took my education at schools in which learning was a priority.

everything works out the way it was meant to.--Well... I don't think the essay shows that... on that same night, kids like you died in car accidents, and their families may not have the same optimistic outlook. Your story does not show that things work out the way they were meant to, but only that they worked out the way you hoped they would after all.

When you use dialogue, you do a paragraph break every time a different speaker says something. So...
"Umm the lights weren't on? I'm sorry," I replied as I hit my head with my palm now realizing why the road looked darker.

"Let me see your driver's license," the officer instructed. I reached for my wallet and opened it. I froze. I realized the Kinko's worker never gave it back!

"I was at Kinko's printing the...

:-)


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