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'a maroon elephant' - Johns Hopkins- Additional Interests


DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 25, 2011   #1
This is my first draft only so there may be awkward sentence constructions or grammatical mistakes. But it's also about 250 words too long and I'm not even sure if this idea is good, or if I should totally get rid of this essay and pick a new angle or interest to write on...

Tell us something about yourself or your interests that we wouldn't learn by looking at the rest of your application materials.

It began when my grandmother gifted me with a maroon elephant, the size of a fingernail. At the young age of nine, I was enthralled by its delicate handiwork and since then, I have been collecting elephants. Neatly arranged in the formation of an om on top of my bookshelf, the figurines all possess their own story, and the symbolism behind these works of art is as meaningful as the pieces themselves. Though these wonderful conversation starters have a knack for beautifying my room, their spiritual value is an ever-present connection to my Indian heritage.

Dancing Ganesh, crafted in stone by my dance guru's husband: Following my Arangetram, my guru's family presented me with this elephant as a reminder to my strong dedication to Indian art forms. It is not only bharatanatyam that has been part of my life, but also Bollywood and folk dancing, Carnatic classical music, and yoga. Though I, myself, do not sing, I expose myself to as many of the classical arts as I can by attending performances and visiting art museums. I perform Bollywood pieces with my friends for nearly every Indian festival and take opportunities to learn as many regional folk dances as possible, such as Maharashtran lavani, and Gujurati dandia and garba.

Wooden bookmark, with two elephants and goddess, Saraswati embossed in gold: Saraswati enforces the sacredness of knowledge, which I uphold in my various pursuits. Fluent in two Indian languages, Tamil and Telugu, and having taught myself Hindi, I am currently pursuing Sanskrit. My love for reading is not limited. Whether it is a teen fantasy novel, such as The City of Angels, or the latest research paper, in Scientific American, on telomere shortening, I become engrossed in my reading material.

Three clay elephants with mirrors and gem stones embedded into black stone, decorated to represent various parts of India: Painted and heavily decorated in jewels, elephants are paraded for various Indian festivals. Though unable to be around such grand festivities in America, I uphold these celebrations in various ways such as getting together in the park for Holi, the festival of colors, and dancing to the beat of the drums, or lighting the house with hundreds of oil lamps for Diwali, the festival of lights. My love for culture is evident not only in the ways I uphold my own, but also in my exposure to others; I have attended church services with my friends, witnessed Jewish ceremonies, and listened to Islamic musical concerts.

Ganesh made of gunmetal, decorated with red and orange garlands around his neck: Given to me by grandparents during my "coming of age" ceremony in India, this piece evokes memories of incense, oil lamps, and jasmine flowers, but most importantly, the feeling of togetherness. During a time when family and friends came together from all over India and America, it was the first day we were all united.

To the average eye, my elephant collection's purpose merely seems to add an Indian flavor to my American bedroom; however, it serves a greater purpose in holding my memories and linking me to my culture.
erndawg 4 / 13  
Dec 25, 2011   #2
I liked your essay :) I don't see any significant grammar errors in the essay besides a few run on sentences but other than that it looks great!

Look at my Penn supplement? Please :)
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 25, 2011   #3
The really, really great thing about your essay is that it goes beyond the link to your culture and shows also some of your other admirable characteristics.

I would use this to somehow make the conclusion a little more universal by adding a reference to your universal character traits.

By the way, I have lost all dignity and will start to beg:
please, please have a look at my essay (it's not long and you will get a candy bar...eventually)
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 25, 2011   #4
THANK YOU :) Okay I'll try to revise the run-ons and add a little bit more of a conclusion...I do need to cut down to fit the word count though haha. I'll get to both your essays tomorrow at the latest :) !
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 26, 2011   #5
The structure: many short paragraphs, kind of show you have too many points you want to make in one essay. First, focus on the prompt: Just tell them about an interest of yours not shown elsewhere in the app...Just tell about an interest of yours...a hobby and why you love it

But I really like knowing about your culture...if you tell it ..more genuinely? in your voice, then it could come off great:) Nice job, and think about my suggestions :)
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 26, 2011   #6
Cupnoodle: So do you think I should write on something completely different? Because all my hobbies are pretty much in my application. The only thing I haven't truly expounded on is how I pursue my culture, other than classical dance.
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 26, 2011   #7
Yeah, I mean if you're really passionate about that I think it'd be great to read about it :D And if you write about very...effectively, I guess, it would be really interesting :)

I guess write about whatever you really are passionate about...Also, so things about your hobbies might be really briefly stated in your app and if you wanted to explain one of them deeper because it shows another side to you, it could work too I suppose

HOpe this helps :) But your essays are great, with a clear focus, this one will be too
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 27, 2011   #8
I already wrote about classical dance though so I can't. This is pretty much the only direction I have but other people liked it so I think I'll just polish this one. Not really sure haha... Thanks :)
seni012 3 / 14  
Dec 27, 2011   #9
Ohh!! To cut this thing down by 250 words would be close to impossible...unless you take off one whole idea. Since you said that you're talking about classical dancing in another essay then i suggest you take out the Dancing Ganesh para. Even then I think you don't meet your word limit but you're somewhat closer. Overall, I think the essay is beautiful! To identify and fix run-ons I suggest you read your sentences out loud and they'll pop out like a pimple (sorry for the image).

Btw, kudos to you for upholding your Indian culture! You are more Indian than some of my friends who live in India. Please read mine! Thanks :)
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 27, 2011   #10
Oh I reread your essay, I now think it is really good...

Sry i think that last time i read it was at like past 12:00 AM and after a Christmas party....ya, so iwas kinda tired out...

Uh no actually, i think this is beautiful :)) Sorry about making you worried about anything

So I will make it up with good points :D

1) IT answers the prompt
2) I really like to hear about elephant collections
3) I really like to hear about Indian traditions I never heard of before
4) It's written stylistically very well
5) It has great organization I like the approach

Yup, so sorry about that!!! I looked back at what edits I made...I don't think I was in my right mind...ya so...ya

:) THis is a keeper..see I told you you wrote really well :)

Oh, but if you HAVE to cut it down by so much..hmm..I suggest don't just start deleting stuff...When I have to cut down by deleting stuff from an essay that is already great as it is..it doesn't end up really good. It just sounds like too much concrete detail (cuz you know, you start by cutting expendable fluff stuff)

So maybe restructure things...like brainstorm and organize, since you're mostly just naming many elephants and what they correlate to in each paragraph, maybe you could just name them all at once and then the other stuff about how it relates to you in a different paragraph...I guess...something more like that, just to be more concise

Man, deadline is drawing close though...wish you the best with this:D Repost it again if you'd like:D
babygurl2012 4 / 15  
Dec 27, 2011   #11
This is a unique essay! I loved your idea and you sound truly genuine. Johns Hopkins will love your originality and see your interests!

I am applying as well, it's a great school! Good Luck (:
wahmed 4 / 10  
Dec 27, 2011   #12
It definitely carries out your cultural background in a meaningful way. However there are grammatical mistakes. Most of them are pointed out by cupnoodle. Also keep in mind that this response has to be condensed into a 250 word limit.

Please respond to my two Hopkins supplements and tell me what you think. I appreciate it.
AbhaJ19 6 / 12  
Dec 27, 2011   #13
I really liked your essay!! It sounded like it was straight from the heart.
But like others have said I don't think you can cut it down. Try writing about something specific.

P.S I'm Indian too!
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 27, 2011   #14
Thanks, guys for all your comments!! I've been off Essay Forums for a bit so I'll start working on your essays and get to all of them by tomorrow evening.

This is my edited version, which fits the word count. I can't really tell if it's "good" or if sentences are awkward...
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 27, 2011   #15
This is great! If you wanted you could add some subjective stuff, like your feelings toward these elephants or what they represent, but otherwise, the elephants really match with what you are making them represent :)
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 27, 2011   #16
So a little more emotion in other words? Do you have any suggestions at what parts, because I'm a little confused. Thank you so much :)
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 27, 2011   #17
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR HELP :) If you'd like me to look over your other essay that I haven't, let me know :) Or any other essays if you need!
deremifri 9 / 137  
Dec 27, 2011   #18
Thank you very much DesiGirl for reviewing my essay. However I had already posted a revised version of it at the bottom. Please tell me what you think about that one, I would be very grateful.
cupnoodle123 15 / 52  
Dec 28, 2011   #19
If you can DesiGrl, please read my MIT ones ^^ and no problem, it's fun commenting yours, anytime anytime-- haha i'll be ready for your graduate essays when the time comes...
OP DesiGirl 9 / 52  
Dec 28, 2011   #20
Max Hasin: I'll take a look at your revised one (sorry I hadn't seen it before).
Sarah Kwan: Yes, of course I will :) Hahaha and thank you very much!!!


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