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My commonapplication "The Picture"


getitlow 7 / 17  
Jan 28, 2009   #1
Essay Prompt: Topic of your choice :

The Picture
Humidity, dust, long shadows and patches of light filtering in-the old closet, with its high, square-shaped windows and sleek wooden floorboards, is a sort of time capsule. Holding family possessions from years gone by, everything from childhood toys to my parents' wedding presents, this tiny room is proof of our past. Every time I step into it, marveling at how much closer the ceiling is to the top of my head, the march of ages that my family has traversed seems more palpable to me, distant though it may be.

While each object that the cramped little space holds has some sort of meaning, I am mostly likely to be transported into the past by the sight of a photograph, sepia-tinted and dog-eared, that invokes a family tradition or a moment that has long since faded from my mind. Perhaps it is easy for me to be drawn into a whirlwind of memories captured on paper because, while I don't think of these legacies constantly, I remain close to them by honoring what my family has taught me every day-by being the man they hoped I'd be

An image of my grandfather's wizened face, for example, will immediately conjure up childhood memories of exciting stories and lessons learned. When I was small, my parents were often gone on business; making ends meet, with a child to provide for, meant leaving my grandparents to school me in the things they wished they could teach me themselves. I was always with my grandpa during those times, following his every move. At that young age, I had the sense that without him, I would be like a fish out of water-and he, in turn, loved and cared for me with all his might. Though I was constantly asking questions, he never tired of answering them, and so taught me that an inquisitive mind is a blessing rather than a curse. Regaling me with tales of his life in the army, he talked not just of bravery but also of gentleness and kindness, and of the necessity of personal sacrifice and perseverance-his experience in Vietnam was not about politics but about life and death. A seven-year-old child, I was perhaps young to be initiated into so complex and serious a world, but I came away from our talks with unshakeable values about humanity and never giving up.

Seeing a portrait of my parents and myself, taken as we shared in the joy of the holidays, I think about how they have managed to shape my worldview even while they haven't always been present to guide me. They don't have to explain what it means to care about others and take responsibility for their well-being; every time they are absent from the crowd I am performing in front of, I realize how much they would love to share in this moment and what a sacrifice they are making for me in their absence. And when we find ourselves face to face, we are so close that I can tell them literally anything. My father never hesitates to challenge me-to treat my loved ones with tenderness and respect, to practice forgiveness, to never surrender in the face of a challenge, to take risks and to take control of my destiny. This prescription, essential my parents' definition of manhood, is not just about my own individual fate, though they have literally done everything in their power to keep me on the track toward pursuing my dreams. Equally important is the experience of all those around me, which one can enrich if one works hard. And indeed, they are living proof of that.

Of course, not too long into my reverie, I will inevitably be called away from the box of photographs in the old, tiny closet. Usually it is my mother who wants me, hoping I can lend a hand with some chore. And inevitably I run to her, just as happy to be with my wonderful family in the present as I am to daydream about the past. In general, this is how I live: ever-engaged in the moment, reaching into the promise of the present, but resting solid on the foundation that is my family and my heritage.

Note : I'd really appreciate your giving me specific comments on strengths as well as weaknesses of my essay ! Thanks much in advance
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 28, 2009   #2
My father never hesitates to challenge me-to treat his loved ones...

This prescription, essential to my parents' definition of manhood, is not just about my own individual fate, though they have literally done everything in their power to keep me on the track toward pursuing my dreams.

You need a period at the end of the second paragraph, but WOW!! You are a great writer!

Good Luck

:)
fantasy 1 / 3  
Jan 29, 2009   #3
Hi Getitlow,

It was certainly a great piece of work and I truly found the stuff you have written very much interesting. The descriptions of the room and family values to yourself seems immense and I appreciate it. Hope to reading more wonderful works of yours. Good Luck with your applications!
OP getitlow 7 / 17  
Jan 29, 2009   #4
thank you so much kevin and fantasy ! I'm now relieved to hear from you that there's no serious problem with my essay..my friends tell me that I'm not wise in choosing this topic : family...because admission officers may become bored with this topic...this is the only thing that makes me worried about my essay..do you find that this piece causes soporific effect while you're reading ?
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 29, 2009   #5
It isn't boring at all, it's touching, thoughtful, refreshing, and well written.
Good luck in school!

:)
OP getitlow 7 / 17  
Jan 30, 2009   #6
thank you so much kevin ;)
serendipity123 3 / 5  
Jan 30, 2009   #7
Hi, I read your essay and I think you've done a good job. Very thoughtful. You've built a bridge between the picture and your personal life.


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