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The Cross Eyed Look - 'the true value of appreciation' (commonapp on background, identity, talent..)


kinfgra16 3 / 6 1  
Dec 28, 2015   #1
If anyone can give me advice on what I should add to the essay maybe, if my transition and message is clear, and any other critiques to hear from please!

Saliva runs down her chin. She cannot speak, but she can feel. I feel her heart palpitation from under my hand. Her heart is racing, pumping to live. Those feeble arms droop to the floor like a deflated balloon longing for air. She clenches. I whisper to her, "It's okay, Genise, I am here." I sing her a lullaby hoping she might understand, yet even I do not understand.

My hands rub her chest. I feel every ligament, muscle, and bone. This little creature was malnourished. As I stretch and massage every part of her body, her story is deciphered. She has been abandoned. That stomach is bloated with questions; however, it is never filled with answers, but she looks up. Her big brown eyes, cross-eyed, look at me. They whisper to me, "It's okay, I am still here."

The world falls away. It is just the orphan and me. The painted trees and ladybugs from the wall fade into a haze of colors. Her stained pink flower dress illuminates the scene. The presence of the nurses and volunteers becomes an endless motion that ceases time.

She gasps. A pain had erupted from every part of her body as if wrapped in a blanket of nails. The excruciating torment of forcing a leg to bend and straighten was the only thing she could express, but she was determined to walk. The dream of setting foot on that Haitian soil; it would nourish her vibrant soul with victory; so, I continued to push her body. She squeezes her fists in hope of relieving the agony. I cannot help but look away as I beg for it to end. I concentrate on the pool of slobber. The transparent fluid evaporates from her dress of dreams to the heat of the wind.

I look up at her, and that is when I understood. She smiled at me and giggled. I kept singing the lullaby hoping to keep that smile. A single tear slid down from my warm, unblinking eyes, followed by another one and another one; until, soon a steadily stream of salty tears flowed down my pale cheeks. The world around became a blur of color that melts to gray. I was slowly releasing my emotion within my silent tears, dissolving into this girl's glance. A bittersweet emotion dove into my body, and I swirled through its current.

She taught me the greatest lesson in life, one that no common man can ever foresee: the true value of appreciation. Every problem I could think of was turned into a pebble. Every achievement was turned into a triumph. Her pure innocence led me to sanity; it flowed through every vein of my body.

The Haitian music began to buzz back in my ear. I picked her up ever so gently, cradled her neck like a newborn, and placed her on the wheelchair. I watched those lucid eyes fall into a maze of fantasies. I walked out quietly outside, lost in my feelings. I wanted to stay in the orphanage. In this so called home, every moment mattered. Each giggle bloomed a flower, and each sob lit the night. It was my paradise. The gift to love and care surrounded this orphanage.

I watched the disabled children observe the other kids. Their look was one of admiration. They each appreciated one another. The other kids came up to the disabled and made them laugh. I couldn't believe it.

Then, a nurse brought her out of the physical therapy room in her wheelchair so she can be with the other kids playing . I had to stay strong. So, I walked up to the little girl, took her out of the wheelchair, and carried her in my arms. I told her to trust me. She gave me a big smile. She looked at me and every word in my vocabulary melted out of existence.

vangiespen - / 4,137 1449  
Dec 29, 2015   #2
I am not really sure what it is you are trying to tell in this essay. As far as a background story is concerned, this does not sound like it is about you. Instead, it is about that person you assisted. The focus of the essay is not clear. You need to first establish the setting, the background of what you are doing and why, then introduce this incident if you want to use it as a backgrounder. That said, you need to tell us less about the actions taking place, since this is not a creative story you are writing, but rather, discuss why this event is important to you.

Relate the events that unfolded to lessons you learned, explain how this experience helped to mold you as a person. Describe who you were before you experience this event and then tell us how this experience changed you. As a creative story, this would definitely earn you a good grade in class. As part of a common app essay series, it doesn't really do anything except confuse the reviewer because the central point of your story was never made clear. Maybe you should consider either changing the prompt or changing your story to fit the prompt instead?
OP kinfgra16 3 / 6 1  
Dec 29, 2015   #3
Is there a way that I can send you a revised form of the essay with the suggestions you offered.
OP kinfgra16 3 / 6 1  
Dec 29, 2015   #4
Saliva runs down her chin. She cannot speak, but she can feel. I feel her heart pumping to live. Those feeble arms droop to the floor like a deflated balloon. She clenches her hands. I whisper, "It's okay, Genise, I'm here."

Haiti had nothing to do with Miami. I grew up in a Latin and European household where my two siblings and I spoke 3 languages - French, Spanish and English. Everything was provided to me. My problems consisted of not getting enough sleep and not having time to eat breakfast. I thought Haiti would help me get a new look of the world. Therefore, it made logical sense to visit a country where I could use my language skills. But boy, did I underestimate the power a third world country can do to you.

This little girl was malnourished. As I performed physical therapy, her story was uncovered. She was abandoned. Her stomach is bloated with questions, and not filled with answers. However she looked up with her big, brown cross-eyed look.

Her tiny life was in my hands; I was scared. Her emotional and physical suffering I would never know. But I did know how it felt when things are out of your control. At times, we are stretched too thin, pulled too tightly, rubbed too raw as if we have no input into the lives we were dealt.The only thing guaranteed in life is death, and I was witnessing death taking its next victim. I had no signals to follow, and her condition was worse than anything I could hope to cure.

She gasps. Pain erupting from her body as if wrapped in a blanket of nails. The excruciating torment of forcing a leg to bend and straighten was the only thing she could express. I cannot help but look away as I beg for it to end. I concentrated on the pool of slobber, wondering, was her life even worth the fight? She smiled at me and giggled.

I look up at her, and that is when I understood. Her condition did not define her, her will to live did. A single tear slid down from my unblinking eyes, until, soon a steady stream of tears streamed down my pale cheeks. The world inside me began to bloom, starting with the seed Genise planted in me. The beauty of her compassion showed me that life hands me the obstacles, but I choose how to lead myself through them. I give meaning to how I want to live every moment of everyday. Just like the bleak situation of the orphanage was powered by positivity, my life is powered by ambition. With this in mind, I pushed myself harder to fight, even a losing war, for a victory in any respect.

She taught me the value of appreciation. Every problem turned into a pebble. Every achievement turned into a triumph. She led me to believe in my mysterious capacity which allows for her suffering to affect me as though it were my own. It is that instinctive and selfless insight that revealed to me the existence of my own true being. Despite our different circumstances, we both lead emotion laden human lives.

I wanted to stay in this so called home. It didn't acknowledge the artificial, social, economic, and religious barriers we place between ourselves and others. From that moment on, I began traveling to Haiti often and learned that I wanted to study international relations so I can positively influence systemic changes in those countries where the need is the greatest.

So, I carried the little girl in my arms.I will fight with her against the never-ending battle of hunger and poverty and the never-ending battle to find self-worth. I may be too young to adopt the baby in Haiti but not too young to try to make change in the world.

My revised essay, I hope my statement is more clear. Thank you for all the help!


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