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"I am a performing Carmen" - Common Application Short Answer Response


FlorenceVN 1 / -  
Aug 21, 2010   #1
Do you think this is a suitable response? Because I've read a couple of examples and they all seem just like direct answers to the question rather than the more abstract...thing...I've got here. This response is also way over the word limit (at 222 words) and I'm in desperate need of merciless slashing. Any commentary on grammar and subject matter would also be great.

Prompt:
Briefly elaborate on one of your extracirricular activities or work experiences in the space below or on an attached sheet. (150 words or fewer)

Response:
My foot hurts. In that section of metatarsal right between the overlarge bunions that jut out from just under both my biggest and smallest toe, my foot hurts. Almost absentmindedly, I step on the shiny pink vamp of my brand-new left shoe with my right heel. As I apply pressure, the now rock-hard paper-maché that will eventually become soggy and dead and require replacement within a few short weeks gives way and I am able to fully flatten the entire bottom of my foot against the inner shank of my shoe.

Relief is immediate.

The moment I lift my right foot the left begins complaining anew but I cannot cater to it again. The first strains of music have reached my ears and, in the space of those few opening notes, the foot that hurts is no longer mine. I have deserted that tired, sweaty 15-year-old with aching feet borne of not-yet-broken-in-pointe-shoes to snuggle a new persona around my shoulders. I am Kitri, seductive muse of Don Q. I am Sleeping Beauty's charming Bluebird or impish Finger Fairy. I am Carmen, Aurora, Gamzatti, Giselle. I perform not in a cramped, air-condition-less studio room for a half-dozen other girls all awaiting their turn, but on a grand, glorious stage before a vast, dazzled audience.

For a minute, perhaps two, I am a dancer.

Kimathi 6 / 45  
Aug 22, 2010   #2
Almost absentmindedly

Love the alliteration :p

In that section of metatarsal, r ight between the overlarge bunions that jut out from just under both my biggest and smallest toe, my foot hurts.

I thought the sentence was a bit of a mouthful before adding the comma.

As I apply pressure, the now rock-hard paper-maché - t hat will eventually become soggy and dead and require replacement within a few short weeks-g ives way and I am able to fully flatten the entire bottom of my foot against the inner shank of my shoe.

I think the section I have set apart with the hyphen is nonrestrictive. A nonrestrictive
element supplies material not essential to the sentence and, if removed, will not
change the meaning of the original sentence. You should separate it from the rest of the sentence with commas but you have already used a couple in that sentence. I suggest a complete restructuring of the sentence. Perhaps :

I apply pressure as the now rock-hard paper-maché, that will eventually become soggy, dead and require replacement within a few short weeks, gives way and I am able to fully flatten the entire bottom of my foot against the inner shank of my shoe.

Though i think there is too much going on within this sentence. I'd prefer if you broke it down into smaller parts.

Relief is immediate.

I think this is a fragment. Though i like the effect it gives.

The moment I lift my right foot, the left begins complaining anew; however, I canno t cater to it again.

Sounded like a run on sentence before.

For a minute, perhaps two, I am a dancer.

I like this ending. :)

Your approach to the prompt is indeed unorthodox, but i think it works. you have indeed elaborated on one of your co-curricular activities and as such it is an appropriate response to the prompt. However, it is very risky. Brilliant, but risky. Some AO's will not appreciate the narrative take on the prompt... others will. S it is a game of chance. is it one your willing to take?

Also address the word limit. ( I hate them too. In fact the only reason i haven't done this essay yet is that darn 150 word limit!! :))
JbarP - / 4  
Aug 22, 2010   #3
I would suggest avoiding the creative writing for the short answer. There are ample opportunities to display your creativity in the CommonApp main essay as well as the supplements for the universities you are applying to.

You also have a very small word count so creative language will only harm you in that respect.

I would recommend that you spend 30 words, say, describing the activity. Then another 20 words explaining what you did in the activity. Another 50 words could then be used to describe, how you made an impact, what your responsibilities were, what you learnt from the activity etc. Finally the last 50 words could be used to explain how you plan to develop anything that you learnt from the activity at the university and how the university can help you in that particular aspect.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
Aug 23, 2010   #4
The writing is intriguing, and it really would be a page turner if it had multiple pages. The imagery is great. I still have trouble figuring out ... oh, you are a dancer! Cool...

I like your writing and hope you will check out essayforum.com/ef-contributor-page/

I have deserted that tired, sweaty 15-year-old with aching feet borne of not-yet-broken-in-pointe-shoes to snuggle a new persona around my shoulders. you can cut this. I hate to cut any of it. This is really well written.


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