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My jail - common app essay (crit for crit)


autogunny 3 / 72  
Dec 31, 2009   #1
My essay has gone down from 1017 words to 620 words. I just want to know what you guys think. Of course, I will crit back :)

When my teachers assigned complicated midterm projects, I started, quite literally, cavorting around the classroom. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not the type to win over a teacher's affection by expressing an implausible amount of geniality. Nope, I genuinely loved projects.

So when my English teacher announced a Huckleberry Finn project, my reaction was a mixture of whooping and fist slamming. By the end of that day, I met with my group and decided upon a Huck Finn parody. This was Tuesday. Our presentation? Friday. By Wednesday, however, the situation had done a back flip. During school, my group members had secretly assembled together and voted unanimously on the idea of a musical. So much for democracy, right? Inspired by Machiavelli, I decided upon a cunning plan.

At the group meeting on Thursday, I turned to Mia and said, "But I dance like a caterpillar. You know that! You saw me at the winter formal". She reluctantly agreed. Encouraged, I turned to Rick and said, "I sing like a troll. You were there at Ritmo Latino". At this point, Anika, Jazz, and Robert pulled Rick and Mia to their side and rejected all of my "excuses", as they called them. It was clear I had been defeated. My group mates were standing together, forming a wall defending their musical idea from the onslaught of my chicanery.

In order to prevent further acrimony, I reluctantly ran through the skit. Curiously, I managed to croak through the Pokemon theme song and move my legs to Elvis' Jailhouse Rock. With the act over, I was astonished at my equanimity. At the very least, I had assumed I would be paralyzed by anxiety halfway through my lines.

In fact, I felt so overjoyed that I explained exactly why I refused to do a musical. At the time, it had felt so right to confide that the reason for my cynical behavior was simply the fact that I was scared. I promised them that I would perform flawlessly tomorrow morning and left for home.

Unfortunately, my confidence came with an expiration date. Entering the house, I strolled upstairs to my room, sat on the desk, and slammed my forehead upon it. The embarrassment had arrived later than expected. With contempt and bitterness, I realized how ironically I had put myself in a jail through my own actions. In the crux of that trying situation, however, I found the key to restore my confidence and as a result, break me out the jail. I was not so shocked at my discovery of the key, but rather its simplicity.

Taking the script with me, I sprinted to the bathroom and locked the door. Determined I convinced myself that the bathroom would be my jail. The only way I could get out of this jail was to run through the skit flawlessly. Script in one hand, I recited my dialogue without a problem. When it came time to perform the Pokemon theme song, I maintained eye contact with my reflection on the mirror and sang the theme song out loud. The sight did not look so bad after all. When I came out the bathroom nearly two hours later, my Jailhouse Rock moves were comparable to Elvis' himself.

Although my performance was for a classroom of thirty-six, the knowledge of that performance had spread to every member of the junior class. In addition, my teacher congratulated me at the end of performance and told me that she had never seen anything like it. Rumor has it that college is difficult and beyond anyone's total control but I know that I have a bathroom, closet, or any other tightly closed space where I can lock myself and escape out emboldened to face whatever uneasy situation blocks my path.
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Dec 31, 2009   #2
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
dizzydaydreams 5 / 26  
Dec 31, 2009   #3
I liked it! i didn't know where you were going with it at first and I was kind of wondering what this had to do with anything...but my only suggestion is that you put more emphasis on how this will help you...it was a little rushed and choppy at the ending. but i do think it is good! i changed mine a little bit...will you look again? thanks!
achen92 1 / 12  
Jan 1, 2010   #4
I liked your essay. There is one thing though. The conclusion is a bit rushed. I think that its OK if you write more that 620 since writing less seems to take a lot from your conclusion. I think it's better if you have a longer essay, but a great finishing touch.
nannna 3 / 14  
Jan 1, 2010   #5
Hmmm ^^
I remember reading this essay the day before and was very impressed by your writing style. I like it! I have to side with previous folks though that your conclusion is a wee bit rushed. Last time I checked common app had no limit. I think another 80 words will do you fine.
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #6
so do you want me to talk a little more about the performance itself at the classroom? or do you want me to connect this experience to college. It was never my intention to connect to college in the first place. Almost all of it was just me talking about my experience and the reader can take what he wants from it.
nannna 3 / 14  
Jan 1, 2010   #7
I had to write my common app essay a while back and was talking to my college advisor who lectured me about always connecting it back to yourself which will then connect to college. SO yes, I think you should connect to college. Not blatantly.. but more about your views and beliefs (colleges like that stuff).

Does that make sense?
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #8
Although my performance was for a classroom of thirty-six, the knowledge of that performance had spread to every member of the junior class. In addition, my teacher congratulated me at the end of performance and told me that she had never seen anything like it.

The bathroom was my rock, the scaffold I needed to gain the courage to perform. The courage to believe in myself was a result of my ability to keep my composure and keep persevering. Rumor has it that college is difficult and beyond anyone's total control but I know that I have a bathroom, closet, or any other tightly closed space where I can lock myself and escape out emboldened to face whatever uneasy situation blocks my path.

Would that be enough? I really do not want to muddle my essay with insightful talk, if you know what I mean. I think its kinda weird that I'm doing a narrative and then switching to introspective writing. But if it helps, then I'm all for it.
DeusEx 3 / 14  
Jan 1, 2010   #9
Like others, the beginning was a little ~~ but then I saw where you were going, and it turns out as a good essay. Feel free to add a bit more at the end - 620 isn't too long.
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #10
Thanks Paul and Jasmine and Natasha. Yes, I will add a little to the end cause its kinda unanimous in this thread and my other thread where the essay was longer(1017 words). I'm just wondering what to add..its kinda there in my head but I'm just not sure what kinda tone I should use when I relate it to college.

Thanks for helping you guys. I'll go edit some of your essays, I defn. have some time :D
nannna 3 / 14  
Jan 1, 2010   #11
Yes, I think that conclusion would be sufficient ^^
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #12
Excellent! Thanks a lot Natasha :D
nannna 3 / 14  
Jan 1, 2010   #13
you are very welcome (:
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #14
If you had the opportunity to spend one day in New York City with a famous New Yorker, who would it be and what would you do? (Your New Yorker can be anyone -past or present, fictional or nonfictional - who is commonly associated with New York City; they do not necessarily have to have been born and raised in New York.)

Whoopi Goldberg, would you like to have a drink? Take this hot chocolate I made for you; it can get pretty chilly in here. Hey can I ask you some questions? "We're here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark". Now, that was your quote. I'm just wondering what the little torches are. What do I have to make the torches out of? I only have a small amount of wiker and reeds to make the torch. Do you think I can make a difference?

Do you think this response makes sense? I tried to be as creative as possible ;/ but I don't think its working.
VANESSAPHAM12 2 / 15  
Jan 1, 2010   #15
@ THE NYU SUPPLEMENT POST:

It is creative, it is good that you stay away from Fifth Avenue and Broadway, etc. By the time the office read to your essay, they might die if they have to see any of that again.

The way you opened your answer is interesting as well. At least, I know it is different from the many others I have read.

Now, the only problem is your answer still sounds a bit abstract. What else you want to do with Whoopi Goldberg other than that? :)

If you would have a look at mine as well
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #16
If you would have a look at mine as well:

I just did yours haha :D what a coincidence.

Interesting viewpoint, vanessapham. I guess I will change it a bit.. I was trying to go for the quotes and asking her if she believed I could change the world.
hurdlingasian - / 3  
Jan 1, 2010   #17
Agree with other people saying the conclusion is a bit rushed. I figure you had to because you had to do some serious cutting down on the essay. I liked how you connected that experience to college. Just elaborate it a bit more.
VANESSAPHAM12 2 / 15  
Jan 1, 2010   #18
Yes, I see your point.

But do not worry, there are four of these random pieces (I am applying to NYU as well. I submitted it just yesterday) so you can still have the other three if this one does not satisfy the office of admission.

I personally think the poem and the movie part are the climax of creativity.

Do you have to submit your common app application for NYU today as well? Because I havent seen a deadline for that from NYU.
DeusEx 3 / 14  
Jan 1, 2010   #19
Isn't wiker spelled wicker usually? Besides that I thought it was very entertaining. =0
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #20
yes it is spelled wicker. Haha, me and my stupid typing skills..

"Do you have to submit your common app application for NYU today as well?"

Yes, you do. You have to submit the common app.
rapoch 9 / 28  
Jan 1, 2010   #21
some of your complex words just don't fit the humorous rhythm of your essay, they are... how can I say... cacophonous - if you know what I mean

Unfortunately, my confidence came with an expiration date. Entering the house, I strolled upstairs to my room, sat on the desk, and slammed my forehead upon it. The embarrassment had arrived later than expected. With contempt and bitterness, I realized how ironically I had put myself in a jail through my own actions. In the crux of that trying situation, however, I found the key to restore my confidence and as a result, break me out the jail. I was not so shocked at my discovery of the key, but rather its simplicity. this paragraph is too abstract. after you read it, youre still confused about what's happening, its nice to let somethings loose in order to make the reader curious, but structurally, its nice to end the paragraph with the "ah now i understand" sensation

other than that, awesome, awesome essay! kudos to you!
mkxtree - / 1  
Jan 1, 2010   #22
I hope I'm not too late. I had to go offline for a couple of hours. Anyways, I just found a minor error.

Determined, I convinced myself that the bathroom would be my jail.

Your essay is amazing! It flows nicely, and I love the humor you put into it! :D
OP autogunny 3 / 72  
Jan 1, 2010   #23
Determined, I convinced myself that the bathroom would be my jail.

Thanks a lot, mkxtree.
stars11 1 / 13  
Jan 1, 2010   #24
I really like the direction you took prompt. However, I don't know how risky it will be to do a direct convo. and discuss rhetorical questions, but best of luck to you!

:P


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